Online Resources for Documents on the American Revolution
†† Images of newspapers, indexed and organized by date, but not keyword searchable
Virginia Gazette (collection dates: 1736-1780, Colonial
†† Images of newspapers, indexed and organized by date, but not keyword searchable
The Maryland State Archives contains a wealth of online primary documents. The most important resource here is the massive Archives of Maryland Online that reproduces hundreds of volumes of records of the colonial, revolutionary, and early national governments (and continues up to the 1970s).
Your best bet may be to start by browsing to get a sense of the kind of records that are available: http://aomol.net/html/volumes.html
(Keep in mind that the lists are not chronological; instead they refer to the order in which the documents were published in the series. For example, some of the most recently published volumes (700+) include some of the earliest records (from the 1730s-1760s). The early volumes tend to focus on the colonial and Revolutionary years. Unfortunately, after that, records from the period are scattered throughout the series.)
If you have a topic or person or some other key word you want look for documents about, the SEARCH function will be most helpful. Just enter a term (for example, "slave" or "slaves" or "woman" or "tory") and then click on box(es) for a date range of 1750-1799 and/or 1800-1849: http://aomol.net/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/html/search.html
For the early 19th century, the State Archives also has some digitized
newspaper holdings: http://aomol.net/megafile/msa/speccol/sc4800/sc4872/html/index.html
There are many other types of records available on the MSA's site. Poke around and see what you can find.
The fine folks at the MSA have already compiled a number of document sets that pertain to various topics. Here are the relevant topics for the Revolutionary Era. (If you plan to become a teacher, check out their Education and Outreach page http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/homepage/html/educ.html and the list of online resources around which you can develop lessons: http://teachingamericanhistorymd.net/ )
The Burning of the Peggy Stewart: http://teachingamericanhistorymd.net/000001/000000/000030/html/t30.html
Documents from the Maryland State Archives relating to
George Washington and the Paradox of Slavery: http://teachingamericanhistorymd.net/000001/000000/000105/html/t105.html
Documents related to George Washington and the slaves at
Governor Robert Eden and the American Revolution: http://teachingamericanhistorymd.net/000001/000000/000075/html/t75.html
Documents related to
Robert Long: Merchant of
Pension Applications of Revolutionary War Veterans and Widows: http://www.usgwarchives.org/pensions/revwar/
This site contains transcriptions of the
applications for Revolutionary War veterans and widows. As part of the
application, veterans usually recounted their military service during the
war. The pensions are also a window in the lives of ordinary men and
women before and, especially, after the war.
Early Virginia Religious Petitions (1774-1802), Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/repehtml/repehome.html Early Virginia Religious Petitions presents images of 423 petitions submitted to the
American Archives: Documents of the American Revolution, 1774-1776:
fantastic resource from
American Notes: Travels in
The First American West: The Ohio River Valley, 1750-1820, Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award99/icuhtml/fawhome.html The First American West consists of 15,000 pages of original historical material documenting the land, peoples, exploration, and transformation of the trans-Appalachian West from the mid-eighteenth to the early nineteenth century. The collection is drawn from the holdings of the
Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860, Library
of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/sthtml/sthome.html
Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 contains just over a hundred
pamphlets and books (published between 1772 and 1889) concerning the difficult
and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the
American colonies and the United States. The documents, most from the Law
Library and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of
Congress, comprise an assortment of trials and cases, reports, arguments,
accounts, examinations of cases and decisions, proceedings, journals, a letter,
and other works of historical importance. Of the cases presented here, most
took place in
Documents from a
Revolutionary War Letters,
Diaries, and Orders:
Revolutionary War Military Documents: http://www.revwar75.com/library/index.htm This site contains a number of transcribed documents relating to the military aspects of the war, most focusing on recounting battles on land and sea.
History Matters: What
follows are links from the "History Matters" website containing many
excellent documents on various aspects on the American Revolution. The
documents are especially strong in the area of social history, providing
windows into the experience of ordinary men and women, slaves, and Indians and
on Great Awakening and the religious history of the era. The documents are
arranged more or less chronologically so you'll have to scroll down and read
through the summary paragraphs to get a sense of what the document is
Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects: http://digilib.nypl.org/dynaweb/digs/wwm9728/@Generic__BookView
Book of poetry from 1773 by famed African American author. Digitized by
Elisabeth Murray: http://back.acs.csulb.edu:8080/emurray/primarysources.html Documents from the "Elizabeth Murray Project," a biographical website that centers on the life of Elizabeth Murray, an eighteenth-century woman who was born in
The Rochambeau Map Collection, Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/rochambeau-maps/index.html
The Rochambeau Map Collection contains cartographic items used by Jean
Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau
(1725-1807), when he was commander in chief of the French expeditionary army
(1780-82) during the American Revolution. The maps were from Rochambeau's
personal collection, cover much of eastern
The American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America
and the West Indies, 1750-1789, Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/armhtml/armhome.html
This collection represents an important historical record of the mapping of
North America and the Caribbean. Most of the items presented here are
documented in Maps and Charts of North America and the
Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional
Convention, 1774-1789, Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/bdsds/bdsdhome.html
Congress Broadside Collection (253 titles) and the Constitutional
Convention Broadside Collection (21 titles) contain 274 documents relating
to the work of Congress and the drafting and ratification of the Constitution.
Items include extracts of the journals of Congress, resolutions, proclamations,
committee reports, treaties, and early printed versions of the United States Constitution
and the Declaration of
Independence. Most Broadsides
are one page in length; others range from 1 to 28 pages. A number of these
items contain manuscript annotations not recorded elsewhere that offer insight
into the delicate process of creating consensus. In many cases, multiple copies
bearing manuscript annotations are available to compare and contrast.
Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwjclink.html
Records of the 1787 Constitutional Convention: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwfr.html (Farrand's Records) and James Madison's Notes: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/debates/debcont.htm
Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/jefferson_papers/
The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the
Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000
documents. This is the largest collection of original
The James Madison Papers, Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/madison_papers/index.html
The James Madison Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of
Congress consist of approximately 12,000 items captured in some 72,000 digital
images. They document the life of the man who came to be known as the
"Father of the Constitution" through correspondence, personal notes,
drafts of letters and legislation, an autobiography, legal and financial documents,
and miscellaneous manuscripts.
The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the
Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Papers: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/hamilton/ A searchable version of the Federalist Papers.
The Papers of George Washington, UVA: http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/index.html
Political Documents from the Revolutionary Era: http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/D/#1751 This site contains many links to documents from the Revolutionary Era that are mostly about politics, either colonies vs. crown, internal documents relating to the creation of the American government, or treaties with Indians.
from Spies During the American Revolution: http://www.si.umich.edu/spies/
The exhibit is based on spy letters from the William L. Clements Library,
Loyalist Songs and Poetry: http://users.erols.com/candidus/music.htm Songs and Poetry for you to decipher and decode.
Pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary Era documents from
Documents on the American Revolution from
Documents Relating to American
Foreign Policy: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pre1898.htm
(A website from
Religion and the Founding of the
Images of the Revolution from the National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/revolution-images/ The National Archives Digital Classroom with Documents and Lessons.
Colonial Currency: http://www.coins.nd.edu/ColCurrency/ Examples of currency from around the colonies, new states, and new nation for you to examine and decode.
The Founding Library: http://www.founding.com/library/lbody.cfm?parent=16 A site with documents related to the elite founding fathers (letters and speeches) along with government documents and some religious sermons.
The American Colonist's Library: http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/ A site with many documents relating to political and religious history. It is a particularly good resource for documents relating to the religious aspects of the Revolution. The site also has links to other document-related websites.
Images of American Political History, 1750-1800: http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/_browse1800.htm Images on site dedicated to teaching American political history (use only those images produced during the time period).