Marjoleine Kars


Early American and Atlantic World Websites

A. Document Sets
B. Individual People

C. Exhibits

D. American Revolution
E. Early Maryland History

F. Historians of Early America

G. Other Useful Links 

A. Document sets:
Archives of Maryland Online

Colonial Connecticut Records, 1636-1776.  See also the digital collections of the Connecticut State Library, which contains a large number of primary sources.

Pennsylvania Archives: this wiki guides you to the 138 volume set of colonial and revolutionary records of Pennsylvania available on google books.

Colonial and State Records of North Carolina, available as part of the UNC-CH Documenting the American South series, this site provides access to all volumes of all original volumes of colonial records and almost all of the state ones.  Fully searchable by volume, topic, etc.

A website of primary documents related to early America

Jesuit Relations and Allied documents: a site that contains the entire English translations of these fantastic volumes of Jesuit reports (1610-1791) about their interactions with Indians in northern North America published in the late nineteenth century.  You may also want to check out another site with documents on early Canada: Early Canadiana Online, in English or in French.

Letters from the Clergy of the Anglican Church in South Carolina, 1696-1775,  Edited by George W. Williams.  Abstracts and full text.  "In addition to recording the religious work of Anglican ministers, they contain some of the best available information on the development of education, Native Americans, major events such as the Yamassee War, slavery, architecture, and many other subjects."

Classics of Early America: a website of historical texts about early America.

Early Americas Digital Archives, a collection of electronic texts published and supported by the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland.

The Bethlehem Digital History Project contains records, both originals in German and translation in English, about the Moravian community at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Contains autobiographies of individual Moravians (European, Indian and African), extracts from the communal diary, bills of sale and manumission, minutes of religious meetings, and many other documents.  Site keeps growing! 

The Virtual Jamestown Archive, a site created by the collaboration of Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia, with grants from NEH and other sources, provides maps, public records, laws, demographic materials and first hand accounts to explore the history of seventeenth-century Jamestown and Virginia.

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record, a project created by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy, contains numerous images relating to the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The Geography of Slavery in America: provides transcriptions and images of more than 2,400 runaway slave advertisements between 1736 and 1777.

The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School is a website documenting the American Constitution.  Contains copies of the Magna Carta, colonial charters, and other legal documents.

Parallel Histories is a Library of Congress "pilot project examines the history of Spanish expansion into North America from Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas across the continent through Louisiana and Texas to the Southwest, California, and as far as Alaska."            

Meeting of Frontiers is a Library of Congress "bilingual, multimedia English-Russian digital library that tells the story of the American exploration and settlement of the West, the parallel exploration and settlement of Siberia and the Russian Far East, and the meeting of the Russian-American frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest." 

Website of the Commission to Coordinate the Study, Commemoration, & Impact of Slavery's History & Legacy in Maryland.  This site is still under construction, so not too much is up yet, but it promises to be a great site.

The Cultural Landscape of the Plantation, created by American studies professor John Michael Vlach, uses images of plantation buildings from the Library of Congress and linking them with the testimony of former slaves recorded in the 1930s.

Plymouth Colony Archive Project at the University of Virginia: wills, probates, court records, material culture, biographies, architecture and more!

Plimoth-on-Web, website of the living history museum of 17th-century Plymouth

Historic Deerfield, a 330-year-old village in eastern Massachusetts.

Website about the 1704 Indian raid on Deerfield, Mass., with many resources and images.

American Centuries . . . View from New England, Memorial Hall Museum at Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, Massachusetts. Exhibits approximately 1,800 objects and transcribed document pages on New England life—with a focus on Deerfield, Massachusetts—from the 17th through the early 20th centuries.

Colonial Charters, Grants, and Related Documents, part of the Yale University School of Law Avalon project.

Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project contains hundreds of archival documents, court transcripts, maps, and much more.

The Cornell University Library Witchcraft Collection, an online selection of titles from the Cornell University Library's extensive collection of materials on Witchcraft.  The collection focuses on witchcraft not as folklore or anthropology, but as theology and as religious heresy.  Full text of all materials available on line.

Eighteenth-century Londontown, Maryland

Divining America: Religion in American History: site maintained by the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, contains lots of information on the colonial period as well as subsequent centuries.

Nature Transformed: The Environment in American History: also from the National Humanities Center

Slaves and the Courts, 1750-1860, part of the Library of Congress' American Memory site

Early colonial history classics

Fun and informative articles about early American cities, among them Baltimore, on the Common Place site, an electronic journal about early American history.

American Journeys: Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement: American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later, put together by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Peter Stuyvesant's World: This site was put together by students at the University of Utrecht who studied New Netherland for half a year.  They digitized many seventeenth-century Dutch texts, annotated them, designed lists of seventeenth-century terms and their modern equivalent, and they wrote commentaries and annotations, which they hyperlinked.  The site also contains time lines and student essays.  Much is in Dutch but English speakers may find some portions helpful.  Navigate the site by clicking on various items on the opening page (ie. the hourglass provides a time line; the book provides access to the various seventeenth-century travel narratives about NN; etc.)

University of Georgia Hargrett Library Rare Map Collection of the New World: wonderful collection of rare maps, organized by topics such as colonial America, revolutionary America, etc.

Seventeenth Century Colonial New England: site with links about witchcraft in American colonies and Europe

American Beginnings: a site put together by the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, containing primary resources about the period 1492-1690, thematically organized with notes and discussion questions. Made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Part of a larger site, Toolbox Library: Primary Resources in US History & Literature.

Lists of shiprecords coming over to the New World, including the Collection of the Jacobite Rebellion Ships.  May be searched. Links to other useful sites.

The Georgraphy of Slavery in Virginia, contains runaway ads for 18th and 19th centuries, supported by the University of Virginia.

Runaway Slave Advertisements from Eighteenth-Century Virginia Newspapers, compiled by Prof. Thomas Costa from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

B.  Individual People:

Diary, Correspondence, and Papers of Robert "King" Carter, 1701-1732: "of the richest and most important man of his day in Virginia, who owned at his death at least 300,000 acres containing many farms and plantations that produced tobacco and other crops for sale, some 1,000 slaves to work those plantations, and large sums of money invested in Virginia and in England. Robert Carter was a member of the Council of Virginia, was acting governor, and a political power in the colony. He had received a classical education in England, and corresponded widely both within the colony and with merchants in England." 

The account book of John Head, an eighteenth-century furniture maker who died in 1754 in Philadelphia, put on line by the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia and accompanied by several essays explaining the account book.

The Allen Parker slave narrative  provides the complete text and further information of Allen Parker's Recollections of Slavery Times (1895), the autobiography of a man who was enslaved in coastal North Carolina from 1838 until his escape on a Union boat in 1862. 

Full text of Mary Rowlandson's Captivity Narrative.  See also a site about Mary Rowlandson for useful links and bibliographical information on captivity narratives as well as about Mary Rowlandson herself.

Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, full text.

A website about Olaudah Equiano and the controversy over the authenticity of his narrative.

John Quincy Adams: One President's Adolescence: a site put together by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

C. Exhibits:
Cultural Readings: Colonization and Print in the Americas," sponsored by the U. of Penn Library.

Eighteenth-century Londontown, Maryland

Several exhibits about the borderlands in North America as well as a neat exhibit on the New World, supported by the Texas Council for the Humanities Council Resource Centerl.

Companion Site for the PBS "Reality" series: Colonial House

A Comparative Archaeological Study of Colonial Chesapeake Culture: a cooperative study funded by NEH and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, contains images, maps, papers, bibliographies.

Library of Congress online exhibits:

"Welcome to 1492: An Ongoing Voyage

"In the Beginning was the Word: The Russian Church and Native Alaskan Cultures"

"Religion and the Founding of the American Republic"                                                 

"Declaring Independence"                                                

"The African American Mosaic"  

  1. D.American Revolution 

Davis Library of the American Revolution, click on research and then “online resources.”

Various documents packets for teachers put together by the MD State Archives

UMBC Prof. Terry Bouton's webpage on the American Revolution

Runaway Slave Advertisements during the Revolutionary War Era

Look, too, at the runaway slave ad sites listed above under

Liberty! The American Revolution, PBS documentary in six parts

Complete works of Thomas Paine, including letters, essays, pamphlets, and books - online version of  Phihil S. Foner, The Complete Writings of Thomas Paine, 1945.

The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799

The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress, 1607-1827

The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Yale Avalon Project  (see the list of other Jefferson sites at the end)

The Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive, put together by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

How Did the Ladies Association of Philadelphia Shape New Forms of Women's Activism during the American Revolution? Part of the Women and Social Movements site - by subscription only.  Some sample documents may be accessed here.

Women of South Carolina in the Revolution, a set of source documents put together by readers.

The American, maintained by history enthusiasts

Houghton Mifflin Links to the American Revolution

Papers of General Nathanael Greene

Spy letters of the American Revolution: exhibit at the Clemens Library, U. of Michigan, with images of the letters, transcriptions of the text, explanations of who sent them and how they created the letters (invisible ink and so on) - great site for teachers.

Images of the American Revolutionary war from the National Archives

Abigail's War: The War through the Eyes of Abigail Adams, a teachers' packet put together by the Massachusetts Historical Society

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation, Library of Congress site that contains much material for the revolutionary era.

E Pluribus Unum: A Guide to Resources about African-Americans, Native-Americans and Women in the Era of the American Revolution, created with the help of an NEH grant by faculty of Assumption College in Worchester, MA. Contains links to wonderful primary sources.

The Founders' Constitution, edited by Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, "WWW edition of documents from the leading works of political and legal philosophy, history, and constitutional argument that informed the thought and debates of the framers of the US Constitution.  A project of the University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund.  


Researching Maryland History

Documents about Maryland may be found at the State Archives publication series, Archives of Maryland Online.  Here you have access to over one million documents: laws, court records, legislative debates, newspaper notices, and much more, from earliest settlement to well into the twentieth century.

Some Sample Documents from the colonial period:
Documents about interactions between colonists and Indians in Charles County, 1692
Documents about a series of murders perpetrated by Indians in 1665
Several European and African servants murder their master, Baltimore County, 1671
Documents about a murder trial in 1653

The Maryland State Archives website also offers biographical information on people in Maryland's history.  Check out the Historical and Biographical Series at the Maryland State Archives. From this page you can link to St. Mary's City career files, which contain research notes about over 6,600 individuals in St. Mary's County, MD, in the colonial period based on provincial court records, probate records, and quitrent records.  

Dr. Lois Green Carr's Biographical Files of 17th and 18th Century Marylanders is a magnificent resource for information on colonial Marylanders. “features transcribed primary documents from the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, biographical profiles of the Eastern Shore's earliest settlers.” 

Related Web links

Virtual Jamestown

Native American Accohannock Living Village (Maryland) 

Nanticoke Tribe Web Page

Maryland History from Colonial Times to the Present course syllabus

Web based courses on Maryland taught by Dr. Papenfuse of the Maryland Archives

Lost Towns Project (Anne Arundel County colonial towns)

Medicine in Maryland, 1752-1920, site developed for MD State Archives by Nancy Bramucci.  

Dr. Kars’ Selected Bibliography on Early Maryland - under construction.



An interview with Mary Beth Norton

G.  Other Useful Links:

Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture provides links to other early American sites

H-IEAHC, contains the best series of links.

A Chronology on the History of Slavery and Racism, with links to other sites about slavery.

Africans in America, website for the PBS Series

Bibliography about slavery and abolition in DC

Colonial Maps of the Caribbean

Maritime History on the Internet: A Guide to Doing Maritime History online, put together by the University of Washington Libraries

Digital History link

Popular Songs in American history: check out folk songs from the 17th and 18th centuries

Colonial Williamsburg teaching resources

Diary Research Website, a guide to historical and literary diaries published in English.  Be sure to click on Browse for a grid with all the years for which diaries are in print - starting in 838 AD

WGBH-Boston has placed a large number of history lectures online by famous historians about all kinds of topics.  Check it out!