Credible Sources for 18th Century

Primary Sources

Below is a list of great websites for finding historical primary sources, ranging from the Constitution to the Civil War and even WWII.  You will be able to find transcripts, text documents, photos, and other important pieces of history to use in your research papers and assignments. Don’t forget to bookmark this page for easy access!

 

Archives.gov

This resource allows you to browse all primary sources available from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, with topics including America’s founding documents, science and technology, and military records. This is one of the most comprehensive places to find primary sources on for America’s history on the web. Here are some examples of what you will find there:

 

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

This resource provides an enormous collection of American historical documents ranging from letters, diaries, maps, newspapers, and photos.  The sources found here range from the very beginning of American history, the landing of columbus, to Barack Obama’s first inaugural address. Some examples of what you’ll find include:

 

OurDocuments.gov

This resource provides a long list of primary sources that chronicles American history from 1776 to 1965. The documents listed here include:

 

CivilWar.org

This website is dedicated to information about the American Civil War and provides a thorough list of any primary sources available from that period, including speeches, military correspondence, and photos. Here is some of what you’ll find:

 

Famous-Trials.com

Famous-trials.com is a website operated by professor Douglas O. Linder from the UMKC School of Law. The site provides primary documents and information on many very well-known trials throughout history, going all the way back to the Trial of Socrates, and also most recently covering the George Zimmerman case involving Trayvon Martin. Here are some examples of what you can find here:

 

TeachingAmericanHistory.org

Despite the name of the website, this resource is not just for teachers as it does provide access to many primary sources from American history. The page linked to here lists 50 “core documents that tell America’s story” and include the Declaration of Independence and 1944 State of the Union address. Here is some of what you’ll find:

 

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is a major record-keeping entity of the U.S. government and contains many documents of all kinds that are important to American history and culture. The link listed above takes you to a page where you can search, or select from the links on the right side of the page to browse be era. Here are those links, for your convenience:

 

Further Resources

The combination of resources above should do well in meeting any students needs for primary sources on topics relating to American history, but there are still many other resources available to access these kinds of documents. Here is a gigantic list of other websites that can provide a wide variety of primary sources:

 

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

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CREDIBLE SOURCE

URL:

https://millercenter.org/president/adams/life-before-the-presidency

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

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Sample:

“Adams launched his legal career in Boston in 1758. He faced several years of struggle in establishing his practice. He had only one client his first year and did not win his initial case before a jury until almost three years after opening his office. Thereafter, his practice grew. Once his practice started to flourish, he began to court Abigail Smith, the daughter of a Congregational minister in nearby Weymouth. They were married in 1764. Five children followed in the next eight years, although one, Susanna, died in infancy. By 1770, Adams was a highly successful lawyer with perhaps the largest caseload of any attorney in Boston, and he was chosen to defend the British soldiers who were charged in the Boston Massacre in March 1770. Through his able defense, none of the accused soldiers were sent to jail. During these years, he lived alternately in Boston and Quincy, an outgrowth of Braintree, where he had been reared. As success came, Adams wrote extensively, publishing numerous essays in Boston newspapers on social, legal, and political issues.

When the colonial protest against parliamentary policies erupted against the Stamp Act in 1765, Adams was initially reluctant to play a prominent role in the popular movement. With a young and growing family, he feared for his legal practice. In addition, he distrusted many of the radical leaders, including his cousin Samuel Adams. He not only believed the imperial leaders in London had simply blundered but also suspected that the colonial radicals had a hidden agenda, including American independence. Nevertheless, under pressure to act, he did assist the popular movement, writing anonymous newspaper essays and helping to churn out propaganda pieces. In time, as Britain continued its attempts to tax the colonies and to strip them of their autonomy, Adams gradually grew convinced that the radicals had been correct, and he became an open foe of ministerial policy.

In 1774, Adams went to Philadelphia as one of the four delegates from Massachusetts to the First Continental Congress. He was reelected to the Second Continental Congress, which convened in May 1775, just a few days after war with the mother country had erupted at Lexington and Concord. When Congress created the Continental army in June 1775, Adams nominated George Washington of Virginia to be its commander. Adams soon emerged as the leader of the faction in Congress that pushed to declare independence. In June 1776, Congress appointed Adams, together with Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, among others, to prepare the Declaration of Independence. Adams served on more committees than any other congressman—ninety in all, of which he chaired twenty. He was the head of the Board of War and Ordinance, the congressional committee that oversaw the operations of the Continental army. He was also an important member of the committee that prepared the Model Treaty, which guided the envoys that Congress sent to France to secure foreign trade and military assistance.”

Description:

Biography of John Adams life before his presidency from the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, with detailed info about his education and career.

Author(s):

  • None.

Title:

  • John Adams: Life Before the Presidency

Publisher:

  • Miller Center, University of Virginia

Date:

  • No date.

Citations:

Need the full citations? Request them in the Study Hall and we will respond with them as quickly as possible. You can also request more research, or get help with other parts of your paper.

CREDIBLE SOURCE

URL:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/johnadams

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Tell us what you’re looking for in the Study Hall and get responses from us, and you’re fellow students. Get help with exactly what you need so you can get this assignment out of the way and move on to better things (or the next assignment).

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Sample:

“When Adams became President, the war between the French and British was causing great difficulties for the United States on the high seas and intense partisanship among contending factions within the Nation.

His administration focused on France, where the Directory, the ruling group, had refused to receive the American envoy and had suspended commercial relations.

Adams sent three commissioners to France, but in the spring of 1798 word arrived that the French Foreign Minister Talleyrand and the Directory had refused to negotiate with them unless they would first pay a substantial bribe. Adams reported the insult to Congress, and the Senate printed the correspondence, in which the Frenchmen were referred to only as “X, Y, and Z.”

The Nation broke out into what Jefferson called “the X. Y. Z. fever,” increased in intensity by Adams’s exhortations. The populace cheered itself hoarse wherever the President appeared. Never had the Federalists been so popular.”

Description:

Biography of John Adams as Vice President and President in his dealings with the French and political opposition, as well as early life and retirement.

Author(s):

  • None.

Title:

  • John Adams

Publisher:

  • whitehouse.gov

Date:

  • None.

Citations:

Need the full citations? Request them in the Study Hall and we will respond with them as quickly as possible. You can also request more research, or get help with other parts of your paper.

CREDIBLE SOURCE

URL:

https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/VP_John_Adams.htm

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

Tell us what you’re looking for in the Study Hall and get responses from us, and you’re fellow students. Get help with exactly what you need so you can get this assignment out of the way and move on to better things (or the next assignment).

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Sample:

“On April 21, 1789, John Adams, the first vice president of the United States, began his duties as president of the Senate. Adams’ role in the administration of George Washington was sharply constrained by the constitutional limits on the vice-presidency and his own reluctance to encroach upon executive prerogative. He enjoyed a cordial but distant relationship with President Washington, who sought his advice on occasion but relied primarily on the cabinet. Adams played a more active role in the Senate, however, particularly during his first term.

As president of the Senate, Adams cast twenty-nine tie-breaking votes—a record that no successor has ever threatened. His votes protected the president’s sole authority over the removal of appointees, influenced the location of the national capital, and prevented war with Great Britain. On at least one occasion he persuaded senators to vote against legislation that he opposed, and he frequently lectured the Senate on procedural and policy matters. Adams’ political views and his active role in the Senate made him a natural target for critics of the Washington administration. Toward the end of his first term, he began to exercise more restraint in the hope of realizing the goal shared by many of his successors: election in his own right as president of the United States.”

Description:

Author(s):

  • None.

Title:

  • John Adams, 1st Vice President (1789-1797)

Publisher:

  • United State Senate, Senate Historical Office

Date:

  • No date.

Citations:

Need the full citations? Request them in the Study Hall and we will respond with them as quickly as possible. You can also request more research, or get help with other parts of your paper.

CREDIBLE SOURCE

URL:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/02/george-washington-man-of-mystery/462810/?utm_source=SFTwitter

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

Tell us what you’re looking for in the Study Hall and get responses from us, and you’re fellow students. Get help with exactly what you need so you can get this assignment out of the way and move on to better things (or the next assignment).

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Sample:

“But one man both literally and figuratively stands above the fray in each of these productions: George Washington. No one seems to have the ability or desire to crack the code on the tall Virginian. Whatever the scenario, the other men squabble and fight, but Washington stands to the side: quiet, dignified, a bit aloof, and probably dressed in his military uniform. In Hamilton, Miranda acknowledges this lack of color when he has General Washington break the fourth wall to beg the audience’s pardon so that he can “let down my guard and tell the people how I feel a second.” He briefly shares his concern that the soldiers he commands want to “put him on a pedestal,” and then he quickly returns to that very stand for nearly the balance of the show. For the most part, however, Washington stands much like a statue as the other Founders swirl about him in a frenzy of activity.”

MLA Citation:

Adelman, Joseph M. “George Washington, Man of Mystery.” theatlantic.com. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 15 Feb. 2016.  (PUT DATE OF ACCESS HERE). <http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/02/george-washington-man-of-mystery/462810/?utm_source=SFTwitter>.

In-Text: (Adelman)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

APA Citation:

Adelman, J.M. (2016, Feb. 15). The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/02/george-washington-man-of-mystery/462810/?utm_source=SFTwitter

In-Text: (Adelman, 2016)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

CREDIBLE SOURCE:

 

URL:

http://faculty.washington.edu/qtaylor/a_us_history/1700_1800_timeline.htm

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

Tell us what you’re looking for in the Study Hall and get responses from us, and you’re fellow students. Get help with exactly what you need so you can get this assignment out of the way and move on to better things (or the next assignment).

Learn More

Sample:

“July 8, 1783 – The Supreme Court of Massachusetts abolishes slavery in that state.

September 3, 1783 – The Treaty of Paris is signed by the United States and Great Britain. Congress will ratify the treaty on January 14, 1784.

October 7, 1783 – In Virginia, the House of Burgesses grants freedom to slaves who served in the Continental Army.

November 2, 1783 – George Washington delivers his farewell address to his army. The next day, remaining troops are discharged.

December 23, 1783 – Following a triumphant journey from New York to Annapolis, George Washington, victorious commander in chief of the American Revolutionary Army, appears before Congress and voluntarily resigns his commission, an event unprecedented in history.

January 14, 1784 – The Treaty of Paris is ratified by Congress. The Revolutionary War officially ends.”

MLA Citation:

Taylor, Quintard. “United States History: Timeline: 1700 – 1800”. faculty.washington.edu. University of Washington, n.d.  (PUT DATE OF ACCESS HERE). <http://faculty.washington.edu/qtaylor/a_us_history/1700_1800_timeline.htm>.

In-Text: (Taylor, Quintard)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

APA Citation:

Taylor, Q. (n.d.). United States History: Timeline: 1700 – 1800. Retrieved from http://faculty.washington.edu/qtaylor/a_us_history/1700_1800_timeline.htm

In-Text: (Taylor)

***REMEMBER all lines of the citation after the first get indented once***

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