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The American Republic: Primary Sources

Bruce Frohnen (editor)

The American Republic is an excellent textbook for classroom use which provides, in a single volume, critical, original documents revealing the character of American discourse on the nature and importance of local government, the…

The Case of Great Britain and America, and Both Houses of Parliament (London, December 1768)

Anonymous Pamphleteer 1768 (author)

Some scholars have suggested Gervaise Parker Bush as the author of this anonymous pamphlet that argues that the American colonists are even more disenfranchised and unrepresented than Englishmen without suffrage. The anonymous author…

The Claim of the American Loyalists

Joseph Galloway (author)

Having lost his valuable estate in Pennsylvania during the American Revolution, the Loyalist Galloway spent the rest of his years in exile in Britain lobbying the government for compensation and writing books like this one to…

A Collection of the Political Writings of William Leggett

William Leggett (author)

A two volume collection of newspaper articles and other writings by the Jacksonian era journalist and advocate of free banking and other free market policies, William Leggett.

Considerations of Behalf of the Colonists

James Otis (author)

Otis wrote a couple of pamphlets in the early phase of the American Revolution which galvanized and radicalized the colonists’ opposition to the British Empire. In Considerations of Behalf of the Colonists Otis continues his…

The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 4 vols.

John Jay (author)

A 4 volume collection of the works of John Jay. Vol.1 covers the period 1763-1781; vol. 2 1781-1782; vol. 3 1782-1793; vol. 4 1794-1826.

The Crisis: A British Defense of American Rights, 1775–1776

Neil L. York (editor)

The Crisis was a London weekly published between January 1775 and October 1776. It was the longest-running weekly pamphlet series printed in the British Atlantic world during those years, and it used unusually bold, pithy language.…

Daniel Webster on the Draft: Text of a Speech delivered in Congress, December 9, 1814

Daniel Webster (author)

A reprint of Webster’s famous speech against conscription during the War of 1812 against Britain. It was reprinted by the American Union against Militarism in 1917 when America was on the verge of entering World War I and…

The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, 2 vols.

Gouverneur Morris (author)

A two volume diary which Morris kept while he was Minister to France for the new American Republic from 1792-94. It provides much detail about the social life and political turmoil of Paris during a critical phase of the French…

The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, vol. 1

Gouverneur Morris (author)

Volume 1 of a two volume diary which Morris kept while he was Minister to France for the new American Republic from 1792-94. It provides much detail about the social life and political turmoil of Paris during a critical phase of the…

The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, vol. 2

Gouverneur Morris (author)

Volume 2 of a two volume diary which Morris kept while he was Minister to France for the new American Republic from 1792-94. It provides much detail about the social life and political turmoil of Paris during a critical phase of the…

Empire and Nation: Letters from a Farmer

John Dickinson (author)

Two sets of letters that have been described as “the wellsprings of nearly all ensuing debate on the limits of governmental power in the United States” are collected in this volume. They include Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty: Political Writings of Colonial British America from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution

Jack P. Greene (editor)

Exploring the Bounds of Liberty is a 3 vol. collection which presents a rich and extensive selection of the political literature produced in and about colonial British America during the century before the American Revolution. Most…

Four Tracts on Political and Commercial Subjects

Josiah Tucker (author)

Four essays on trade, war, and the rebellion in the American colonies.

George Washington: A Collection

George Washington (author)

George Washington speaks for himself on behalf of liberty and the emerging American republic. Drawing extensively on his correspondence, this volume includes all of his presidential addresses, various public proclamations, his last…

The Goodriches: An American Family

Pierre F. Goodrich (author)

A biography of one of Indiana’s most prominent twentieth-century families. It begins with the birth of James P. Goodrich in 1864 and continues through the death of his son Pierre F. Goodrich in 1973. James Goodrich served as governor…

The History of the American Revolution, 2 vols.

David Ramsay (author)

David Ramsay’s History of the American Revolution appeared in 1789 during an enthusiastic celebration of nationhood. It is the first American national history written by an American revolutionary and printed in America. Ramsay…

History of the Insurrection in the Four Western Counties of Pennsylvania

William Findley (author)

Findley was a strict constitutionalist who opposed Hamilton’s Federal military intervention in a local state uprising.

History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution 2 vols

Mercy Otis Warren (author)

Mercy Otis Warren has been described as perhaps the most formidable female intellectual in eighteenth-century America. This work (in the first new edition since 1805) is an exciting and comprehensive study of the events of the…

The Lamp of Experience

Trevor Colbourn (author)

In a landmark work, a leading scholar of the eighteenth century examines the ways in which an understanding of the nature of history, seen as as a continual struggle between liberty and virtue on one hand and arbitrary power and…

Letter to Charles Sumner (1864)

Lysander Spooner (author)

Spooner criticised Senator Sumner of Massachussetts for not being rigorous enough in his condemnation of the unconstitutionality of slavery. Like all politicians, according to Spooner, Sumner made too many compromises once he entered…

The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: From 1817-1882

Frederick Douglass (author)

Douglass’s third and last autobiography of his life as a slave, runaway, and then campaigner for the abolition of slavery. This edition is interesting because of the introduction by one of Britain’s leading classical liberal…

The Life of George Washington

John Marshall (author)

A one volume abridgement of the first major biography of Washington by John Marshall who became the third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. An influential conservative interpretation. The volume also contains 5 of the more…

Marie: ou l’Esclavage aux États-Unis

Gustave de Beaumont (author)

Beaumont and Tocqueville jointly collected information about American slavery on their 1834 trip, but Beaumont was the one to publish the book on slavery. The first part is in the form of a novel, rather sentimental at times but full…

Massachusettensis

Daniel Leonard (author)

A legalistic defense of the Loyalist opposition to the right of the American colonies to seek independence from Britain. This work was the subject of John Adam’s lengthy rebuttal in “Novanglus”.

No Treason. No. I (1867)

Lysander Spooner (author)

Although this is numbered number 1 there were only three parts to this series (1, 2, and 6) in which Spooner argues that the individual is not bound to obey the American constitution because it justified slavery and otherwise…

No Treason. No. II. The Constitution (1867)

Lysander Spooner (author)

Although this is numbered number 2 there were only three parts to this series (1, 2, and 6) in which Spooner argues that the individual is not bound to obey the American constitution because it justified slavery and otherwise…

Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution

Richard Price (author)

A defence of the American Revolution by one of its key supporters in Britain, along with a letter by Turgot and a short essay by Mathon de la Cour (also known as Fortuné Ricard).

Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty

Richard Price (author)

Price was both a supporter of the American desire for political independence and a sharp critic of the expences of the British empire.

The Origins and Principles of the American Revolution

Friedrich von Gentz (author)

Gentz was a conservative German who supported the American Revolution but strongly opposed the French. This work was originally published in a journal Gentz edited in May and June 1800 and was translated by John Quincy Adams. Liberty…

The Pacificus-Helvidius Debates of 1793-1794

Alexander Hamilton (author)

The Pacificus–Helvidius Debates of 1793–1794 matched Hamilton and Madison in the first chapter of an enduring discussion about the proper roles of the executive and legislative branches in the conduct of American foreign policy. The…

an ANSWER to a PAMPHLET, entitled Taxation no Tyranny. addressed to the AUTHOR, and to PERSONS IN POWER

Anonymous Pamphleteer 1775 (author)

As with other respondents to Johnson’s Taxation No Tyranny, the author of this pamphlet takes on Johnson’s towering literary reputation head on, asserting in his second sentence, “The very title of your pamphlet is delusion.” The…

A Plan for the Abolition of Slavery, and To the Non-Slaveholders of the South (1858)

Lysander Spooner (author)

A double page broadside pamphlet in which Spooner appeals to the non-slave owning population of the South to support the abolition of slavery.

The Plea of the Colonies, on the Charge Brought Against Them (December 1775)

Anonymous Pamphleteer 1775 (author)

Some scholars propose Hugh Williamson as a possible author for this pamphlet that argues that the British government has pushed the Americans “ into the very bowels of a civil war.” The author further suggests that peace requires a…

Resistance No Rebellion: An Answer To Doctor Johnson’s Taxation No Tyranny

Anonymous Pamphleteer 1775 (author)

One of the many pamphlets in response to Johnson’s Taxation no Tyranny, Resistance no Rebellion praises the good sense and dignity of the Americans while noting the ways in which they have been insulted by the British. The author is…

Retrospect of Western Travel, 3 vols.

Harriet Martineau (author)

After her trip to American in 1834-36, Martineau wrote a perceptive analysis of social and economic conditions in the U.S.

Revolutionary Writings

John Adams (author)

This volume contains the principal shorter writings in which Adams addresses the prospect of revolution and the form of government proper to the new United States. There are pieces on the nature of the British Constitution and the…

The Revolutionary Writings of Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton (author)

This is a comprehensive collection of Hamilton’s early writings, from the period before and during the Revolutionary War, and includes The Continentalist, lettters by Publius, and Remarks on the Quebec Bill.

Rights of the British Colonies

James Otis (author)

Otis wrote a couple of pamphlets in the early phase of the American Revolution which galvanized and radicalized the colonists’ opposition to the British Empire. In The Rights of the British Colonies Otis goes from an objection to a…

Society, Manners and Politics in the United States

Michel Chevalier (author)

Observations by a French economist of his trip to the United States. Like Tocqueville, Chevalier was sent by the French government in 1834 to inspect American institutions - Tocqueville was sent to inspect American prisons, Chevalier…

Strictures upon the Declaration of the Congress at Philadelphia (1776)

Thomas Hutchinson (author)

Dr. Hans Eicholz’s edited version of the text can be found here.

The Pamphlet, Entitled, “Taxation no Tyranny,” Candidly Considered, and it’s Arguments, and Pernicious Doctrines, Exposed and Refuted

Anonymous Pamphleteer 1775 (author)

This response to Johnson’s Taxation no Tyranny emphasizes the concord which had existed between Great Britain and the colonies in previous times. Now, though, “The Tories have forced us into a situation which threatens shipwreck.”…

Taxation no Tyranny; An Answer to the Resolutions and Address of the American Congress

Samuel Johnson (author)

Written in 1775 in response to the Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, Samuel Johnson’s Taxation no Tyranny is a defense of Parliamentary Sovereignty, particularly the right to tax. One of the greatest English…

Taxation, Tyranny, Addressed to Samuel Johnson

Anonymous Pamphleteer 1775 (author)

This 1775 pamphlet was published as an anonymous response to Samuel Johnson’s Taxation No Tyranny. Johnson’s towering reputation as a man of letters appears to enrage rather than intimidate this anonymous author, who takes Johnson to…

To Secure the Blessings of Liberty: Selected Writings

Gouverneur Morris (author)

Morris served as Deputy Superintendent of Finance during the American Revolution and devised the system of decimal coinage. As a member of the Committee on Style and Arrangement, he put the Constitution in its present form and…

Tyranny Unmasked: An Answer to a Late Pamphlet Entitled Taxation no Tyranny

Anonymous Pamphleteer 1775 (author)

Written in response to Samuel Johnson’s Taxation no Tyranny, this pamphlet dismisses Johnson’s arguments as unworthy of response, except for the fact that they are “irritating to Englishmen.” The author makes much of Johnson’s…

The Unconstitutionality of Slavery (1860)

Lysander Spooner (author)

The first of a two part series on Spooner’s theory that the institution of slavery was not supported by the ideas behind the constitution and was thus “unconstitutional.”

The Unconstitutionality of Slavery: Part Second (1860)

Lysander Spooner (author)

The second of a two part series on Spooner’s theory that the institution of slavery was not supported by the ideas behind the constitution and was thus “unconstitutional.”

Union and Liberty: The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun (author)

These writings address such issues as states’ rights and nullification, slavery, the growth of the Federal judicial power, and Calhoun’s doctrine of the “concurrent majority.” This selection presents twelve notable speeches, letters,…

The Webster-Hayne Debate on the Nature of the Constitution: Selected Documents

Herman Belz (editor)

The debates between Daniel Webster and Robert Hayne gave utterance to the differing understandings of the nature of the American Union that had come to predominate in the North and the South by 1830. To Webster the Union was the…

Words of John Robinson. Robinson’s Farewell Address to the Pilgrims

John Robinson (author)

A collection of sermons by the English Puritan minister John Robinson who was the pastor to the Pilgrim Fathers.

The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), 12 vols.

Henry Cabot Lodge (editor)

A 12 volume collection of the works of Alexander Hamilton.

The Works of John Adams, 10 vols.

Charles Francis Adams (editor)

A 10 volume collection of Adams’ most important writings, letters, and state papers, edited by his grandson.

The Works of Thomas Jefferson, 12 vols.

Thomas Jefferson (author)

The “Federal Edition” of Jefferson’s works in 12 volumes edited by Paul Leicester Ford in 1904-05.

The Writings of Albert Gallatin, 3 vols.

Henry Adams (editor)

Vols. 1 and 2 contain Gallatin’s letters to people such as Jefferson, J.Q. Adams, and Henry Clay and Vol. 3 contains longer works such as speeches and reports on elections, the finances of the US, public lands, currency and banking,…

The Writings of George Washington, 14 vols.

Worthington Chauncey Ford (editor)

A 14 volume collection of Washington’s writings.

The Writings of James Madison, 9 vols.

James Madison (author)

A 9 volume collection edited by Gaillard Hunt in 1900-10.

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