Revolutionary America Primary Sources

Primary Collections

  1. The Founders Online Digital Collection – The National Archives
  2. The Adams Family Papers – Massachusetts Historical Society
  3. The Papers of George Washington – National Archives
  4. The Papers of George Washington – The Washington Papers at University of Virginia
  5. The Washington Papers at the Library of Congress
  6. George Washington Papers at Mount Vernon
  7. The Adams Family Papers – Massachusetts Historical Society
  8. The John Adams Papers – National Archives
  9. The Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606 to 1827 – Library of Congress
  10. The Thomas Jefferson Papers – National Archives
  11. he Papers of Benjamin Franklin – Yale University and the American Philosophical Society
  12. The Papers of James Madison – National Archives
  13. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton – National Archives
  14. The Rufus King Papers – New York University
  15. The Papers of John Jay – Colombia University

Primary Documents 

  1. Text of the Sugar Act of 1764 
  2. Text of the Molasses Act of 1733 
  3. The Currency Act – April 19, 1764
  4. Text of the Stamp Act of 1765
  5. The Currency Act; April 19, 1764 
  6. A Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-America, Now Met in Congress at Philadelphia, Setting Forth the Causes and Necessity of Their Taking Up Arms – July 6, 1775
  7. Petition from the Massachusetts House of Representatives to the House of Commons; November 3, 1764
  8. Petition of the Virginia House of Burgesses to the House of Commons: December 18, 1764
  9. Text of Virginia Resolves
  10. View the Boston Gazette Online Archive (1765-1777) Massachusetts Historical Society
  11. View the Boston Evening Post Online Archive (1765-1777) Massachusetts Historical Society
  12. Resolutions of the Stamp Act Continental Congress October 19, 1765
  13. Connecticut Resolutions on the Stamp Act December 10, 1765
  14. Resolves of the Pennsylvania Assembly on the Stamp Act, September 21, 1765 
  15. New York Merchants Non-importation Agreement October 31, 1765
  16. Broadside, Glorious News, Just Received from Boston 16 May 1766
  17. Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration by John Locke 
  18. 1763: James Otis Jr., Rights of British Colonies Asserted (Pamphlet)
  19. Jared Ingersoll to Thomas Fitch, 11 Feb. 1765
  20. Colonial Charter of Virginia
  21. Colonial Charter of Massachusetts 
  22. Colonial Charter of Pennsylvania 
  23. Colonial Charter of Carolina
  24. Colonial Charter of Georgia
  25. Great Britain : Parliament An Act Repealing the Stamp Act; March 18, 1766
  26. Great Britain : Parliament The Declaratory Act; March 18, 1766
  27. The Quartering Act; May 15, 1765
  28. The Townshend Act, November 20, 1767
  29. Mason’s Letter to London Merchants June 6, 1766
  30. The Papers of George Mason, 1725-1792 (University of North Carolina)
  31. Complete Text of “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania” by John Dickenson
  32. Massachusetts Circular Letter to the Colonial Legislatures; February 11, 1768
  33. Letter from Earl of Hillsborough to Colonial GovernorsWhitehall, April 21, 1769
  34. Boston Non-Importation Agreement, August 1, 1768
  35. George Washington letter to George Mason April 5, 1769
  36. View the Boston Gazette Online Archive (1765-1777) Massachusetts Historical Society
  37. View the Boston Evening Post Online Archive (1765-1777) Massachusetts Historical Society
  38. The Quartering Act; May 15, 1765
  39. Circular Letter to the Governors in America; April 21, 1768 
  40. Copies of letters from Governor Bernard to the Earl of Hillsboroug (University of Michigan) 
  41. Select Papers of John Hancock (1754-1792) Harvard University
  42. Personal Papers, 1754-1785
  43. College Accounts, 1766-1786
  44. Administrative Records, 1773-1792 
  45. The Boston Pamphlet or The Votes and Proceedings of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, in Town Meeting Assembled 
  46. The Letters of Gov. Hutchinson and Lt. Governor Oliver
  47. The Tea Act of 1773
  48. Association of the Sons of Liberty in New York; December 15, 1773
  49. Collection of Primary Source Documents related to the Boston Tea Party
  50. View the Boston Gazette Online Archive (1765-1777) Massachusetts Historical Society
  51. View the Boston Evening Post Online Archive (1765-1777) Massachusetts Historical Society 
  52. Samuel Adams The Rights of the Colonists (1772) with Benjamin Franklin Introduction
  53. The Boston Port Act : March 31, 1774
  54. The Massachusetts Government Act; May 20, 1774
  55. The Administration of Justice Act; May 20, 1774
  56. The Quebec Act: October 7, 1774
  57. The Quartering Act; June 2, 1774
  58. On this latter motion a warm and interesting debate arose, in which Mr. Edmund Burke spoke as follows. 
  59. James Wilson, Considerations on the Authority of Parliament (Collected Works of James Wilson, vol. 1)
  60. James Wilson, Collected Works of James Wilson, vol. 2
  61. Thomas Jefferson: A Summary View of the Rights of British America
  62. Declaration and Resolves on Colonial rights of the First Continental Congress
  63. Proceedings of Farmington, Connecticut, on the Boston Port Act; May 19 
  64. Letter from the New York Committee of Fifty-One to the Boston Committee of Correspondence; May 23
  65. Proceedings of the Inhabitants of Philadelphia; June 18
  66. The Association of the Virginia Convention; August 1-6 
  67. Galloway’s Plan Journals of the Continental Congress 
  68. The Suffolk Resolves 
  69. To George Washington from Major General Alexander McDougall, 13 April 1778
  70. From Alexander Hamilton to Alexander McDougall, [1774–1776]
  71. Copies of letters from Governor Bernard to the Earl of Hillsboroug (University of Michigan) 
  72. Digitized issues of the Virginia Gazette September 10, 1736 to December 9, 1780
  73. By the King, A Proclamation, For Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition
  74. The Boston Port Act : March 31, 1774
  75. The Massachusetts Government Act; May 20, 1774
  76. The Administration of Justice Act; May 20, 1774
  77. The Quebec Act: October 7, 1774
  78. The Quartering Act; June 2, 1774 
  79. Thomas Jefferson: A Summary View of the Rights of British America
  80. Declaration and Resolves on Colonial rights of the First Continental Congress
  81. The Suffolk Resolves 
  82. Journals of the Continental Congress
  83. The Olive Branch Petition
  84. A Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-America, Now Met in Congress at Philadelphia, Setting Forth the Causes and Necessity of Their Taking Up Arms
  85. The American Prohibitory Act (1776)
  86. The American Declaration of Independence
  87. Common Sense by Thomas Paine
  88. A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier by Joseph Plumb Martin 
  89. Treaty of Alliance with France (February, 1778) 
  90. Portrait of Nathanael Greene by Charles Wilson Peale 
  91. Portrait of Henry Knox by Gilbert Stuart 
  92. Papers of Henry Knox NYPL 
  93. The Treaty of Paris (1783)
  94. The Articles of Confederation
  95. Report on Government for Western Territory; March 1, 1784
  96. The Northwest Ordinance 
  97. The Land Ordinance of 1784
  98. The Land Ordinance of 1785
  99. Journals of the Continental Congress Franklin’s Articles of Confederation; July 21, 1775 
  100. Journals of the Continental Congress John Dickenson’s Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union; July 12, 1776 
  101. Discussion of The Articles of Confederation in Jefferson’s Autobiography
  102. The Articles of Confederation
  103. The United States Constitution 
  104. Preamble and Resolution of the Virginia Convention, May 15, 1776
  105. Draft Constitution for Virginia June 1776 
  106. The Constitution of Virginia; June 29, 1776
  107. The Association of the Virginia Convention; August 1-6, 1774
  108. Resolutions of the Provincial Congress of Virginia; March 23, 1775
  109. Virginia Declaration of Rights; June 12, 1776
  110. Constitution of Pennsylvania September 28, 1776 
  111. Pennsylvania An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, 1780 
  112. Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention (1787)
  113. Proceedings of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government (1786)
  114. The Primary Papers and Writings of James Madison University of Pennsylvania
  115. The Complete Papers and Writings of James Madison The Library of Congress
    The complete papers of James Madison published by the Library of Congress with the indexes spans an absolutely amazing 122 volumes + 2 boxes of fragments. 
  116. The collected writings of James Wilson
  117. The Federalist Papers : No. 10
  118. The Federalist Papers : No. 39
  119. The Federalist Papers : No. 51
  120. The Federalist Papers : No. 54
  121. The Federalist Papers : No. 84
  122. The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates
  123. The Declaratory Act of 1766 
  124. The New York Restraining Act (1767)
  125. The Townshend Revenue Act (1767)
  126. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania 
  127. The Boston Gazette and Country Journal
  128. Resolves of the Pennsylvania Assembly on the Stamp Act, September 21, 1765
  129. New York Merchants Non-importation Agreement; October 3, 1765
  130. Connecticut Resolutions on the Stamp Act: December 10, 1765
  131. Great Britain : Parliament The Stamp Act, March 22, 1765
  132. Great Britain : Parliament An Act Repealing the Stamp Act; March 18, 1766
  133. Governor Francis Bernard Describes the Boston Riot
  134. Origin and Progress of the American Rebellion (1781).Peter Oliver
  135. Second Treatise of Government by John Locke 
  136. An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, Volume 1 by John Locke
  137. An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, Volume 2 by John Locke 
  138. Areopagitica by John Milton 
  139. A Treatise of Civil Power by John Milton
  140. Cato’s Letters, 4 vols. in 2
  141. December 23, 1783 – General George Washington Resigns His Commission
  142. December 23, 1783 – The Continental Congress’ reply to General George Washington on his resignation 
  143. James Otis – A Vindication of the Conduct of the House of Representatives (1762)
  144. James Otis – The Rights of the British Colonies, Asserted and Proved (1764)
  145. James Otis – Considerations on Behalf of the Colonists (1765)
  146. Peter Oliver’s Origin And Progress Of The American Rebellion, A Tory View
  147. “The Boston Pamphlet” – 1772
  148. Colonists respond to the Stamp Act, 1765-1766
  149. Colonists respond to the Stamp Act’s repeal, 1766
  150. Massachusetts Circular Letter 1768
  151. George Washington to Bryan Fairfax, 20 July 1774
  152. George Washington to Bryan Fairfax, 24 Aug. 1774
  153. George Washington to Bryan Fairfax, 4 July 1774
  154. George Washington to George William Fairfax, 10-15 June 1774
  155. George Washington to George William Fairfax, 31 May 1775
  156. George Washington to Martha Washington, 18 June 1775
  157. George Washington to Robert McKenzie, 9 Oct. 1774
  158. George Washington to John Augustine Washington, 25 March 1775
  159. George Washington to Robert Cary & Company, 20 Sept. 1765
  160. George Washington to Robert Cary & Company, 21 July 1766
  161. George Washington to Capel & Osgood Hansbury, 25 July 1767
  162. George Washington to George Mason, 5 April 1769
  163. The Sugar Act of 1764
  164. The Stamp Act, March 22, 1765
  165. An Act Repealing the Stamp Act; March 18, 1766
  166. Declaration of Independence – HTML
  167. Declaration of Independence – Free Kindle Version
  168. The Articles of Confederation
  169. Thanksgiving Proclamation 1777 – By the Continental Congress- The First National Thanksgiving Proclamation
  170. Constitution of the United States – HTML
  171. Constitution of the United States – Free Kindle Version
  172. The Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution – HTML
  173. The Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution – Free Kindle Version
  174. A Poetical Dream concerning Stamped Papers,” poem (anonymous), 1765
  175. Memorandum On Events Of April 18, 1775 By Paul Revere
  176. Alexander Hamilton to Francois De Marbois on the War for Independence
  177. Treaty of Alliance Between The United States and France; February 6, 1778 – National Archives
  178. 1785 – Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom
  179. “The Boston Pamphlet” – 1772
  180. The Federalist Papers
  181. George Washington to Elizabeth “Betsey” Parke Custis, 14 Sept. 1794
  182. George Washington to Lund Washington, 20 Sept. 1783
  183. George Washington to Burwell Bassett, 23 May 1785
  184. George Washington to William Gordon, 20 Dec. 1784
  185. George Washington to Thomas Law, 10 Feb. 1796
  186. George Washington to Sally Ball Haynie, 11 Feb. 1798
  187. Martha Washington to Frances “Fanny” Bassett, 29 Aug. 1794
  188. George Washington to Eleanor “Nelly” Parke Custis, 21 March 1796
  189. George Washington to Benjamin Harrison, 18 Jan. 1784
  190. George Washington to Charles Carter, 14 Dec. 1787
  191. George Washington to David Humphreys, 26 Dec. 1786
  192. George Washington to David Stuart, 19 Nov. 1786
  193. George Washington to James Madison, 30 Nov. 1785
  194. George Washington to James McHenry, 22 Aug. 1785
  195. George Washington to James Warren, 7 Oct. 1785
  196. George Washington to John Jay, 18 May 1786
  197. George Washington to Annis Boudinot Stockton, 31 Aug. 1788
  198. George Washington to Benjamin Lincoln, 29 June 1788
  199. George Washington to Benjamin Lincoln, 28 Aug. 1788
  200. George Washington to Bushrod Washington, 9 Nov. 1787
  201. George Washington to David Humphreys, 8 March 1787
  202. George Washington to David Humphreys, 10 Oct. 1787
  203. George Washington to David Stuart, 17 Oct. 1787
  204. George Washington to David Stuart, 30 Nov. 1787
  205. George Washington to Edmund Newenham, 29 Aug. 1788
  206. George Washington to Edmund Randolph, 8 Jan. 1788
  207. George Washington to Henry Knox, 8 March 1787
  208. George Washington to Henry Knox, 3 Feb. 1787
  209. George Washington to Henry Knox, 15 Oct. 1787
  210. George Washington to Henry Knox, 5 Dec. 1784
  211. George Washington to Henry Lee, 22 Sept. 1788
  212. George Washington to Jabez Bowen, 9 Jan. 1787
  213. George Washington to James Madison, 31 March 1787
  214. George Washington to James Madison, 10 Oct. 1787
  215. George Washington to James Madison, 5 Nov. 1786
  216. George Washington to James McHenry, 31 July 1788
  217. George Washington to John Armstrong, 25 April 1788
  218. George Washington to John Jay, 10 March 1787
  219. George Washington to John Jay, 15 Aug. 1786
  220. George Washington to Lafayette, 28 April-1 May 1788
  221. George Washington to Lafayette, 18 June 1788
  222. George Washington to Lafayette, 7 Feb. 1788
  223. George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 1 Jan. 1788
  224. George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 31 Aug. 1788
  225. George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, 10 July 1787
  226. George Washington to George Washington Parke Custis, 13 June 1798
  227. George Washington to Elizabeth “Betsey” Parke Custis, 10 Feb. 1796
  228. Geoge Washington’s Farewell Address
  229. The Articles of Confederation
  230. Constitution of the United States – HTML
  231. Constitution of the United States – Free Kindle Version
  232. The Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution – HTML
  233. The Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution – Free Kindle Version
  234. Albany Plan of Union – 1754
  235. 1790 Naturalization Act
  236. Full Text of the Jay Treaty – November 19, 1794 – Yale University
    Formally titled – “Treaty of Amity Commerce and Navigation, between His Britannick Majesty; and The United States of America, by Their President, with the advice and consent of Their Senate.”
  237. New Hampshire Constitution – 1776
  238. New Hampshire Constitution – 1784
  239. Massachusetts Constitution – 1780
  240. Royal Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations of 1663
    (Rhode Island did not have a formal constitution until 1843)
  241. Fundamental Orders of the Colony of Connecticut – 1639
  242. Charter of Connecticut – 1662 
    (A Connecticut Constitution was not adopted until 1818)
  243. New York Constitution – 1777
  244. New York Bill of Rights – 1787
  245. New Jersey Constitution – 1776
  246. Pennsylvania Constitution
  247. Delaware Constitution – 1776
  248. Virginia Constitution – 1776
  249. Maryland Constitution – 1776
  250. North Carolina Constitution
  251. South Carolina Constitution – 1776
  252. South Carolinia Constitution – 1778
  253. Georgia Constitution – 1777
  254. 1777 – Vermont Declaration of Independence
  255. Vermont Constitution – 1777
  256. Vermont Constitution – 1786
  257. Letters From an American Farmer – J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur 
  258. Letters From an American Farmer – J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur – Yale
  259. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania – Delaware Historical Society
  260. The North Briton Number 45, 1763
  261. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania – John Dickinson
  262. To the Betrayed Inhabitants of the City and Colony of New York
  263. The Northwest Ordinance 
  264. The Southwest Ordinance Of 1790
  265. The Land Ordinance of 1784
  266. The Land Ordinance of 1785
  267. The Jay Treaty; November 19, 1794 – Yale
  268. Pinkney’s Treaty of 1785 – George Washington’s Mount Vernon Collection
  269. Tennessee Constitution of 1796