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18th Century Primary Sources
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18th Century Primary Sources

One Hundred Documents Pertaining to Africans and Slavery in America
The Selling of Joseph, Samuel Sewall (1700) An argument against the slave trade.
A Memorial Representing the Present State of Religion on the Continent of North America Thomas Bray, D.D. (1700)
King William Addresses Parliament on the French Question 31 December 1701
A Christian At His Calling, Cotton Mather (1701)
Magnalia Christi Americana, Cotton Mather (1702)
Robert Beverley on Bacon's Rebellion (1704)
Money and Trade Considered With a Proposal for Supplying the Nation with Money John Law (1705)
Slave Laws in Virginia (1642-1705)
The Repentance of a Salem Witchcraft Accuser Ann Putnam (1706)
Philosophical Commentary Pierre Bayle (1708)
William Byrd's Diary [excerpt] (1709)
William Byrd's Diary [excerpts regarding slave punishments] (1709)
Theopolis Americana ("God's City: America") Cotton Mather (1709)
Awakening Truths Tending to Conversion Increase Mather (1710).
About the Duties of Husbands and Wives Benjamin Wadsworth (1712)
Curriculum of the Boston Latin Grammar School (1712)
The History of the Common Law of England Matthew Hale (1713)
Documents Concerning the Jacobite Rebellion
The North Carolina Biennal Act (1715)
Vindication of the Government of New England Churches John Wise (1717)
The Angel of Bethesda Cotton Mather.
Selections from Cato's Letters John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon (1720-23)
Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy
Statutes of the College of William and Mary (1727)
Massachusetts House of Representatives on the Governor's Salary 11 September 1728
Governor Burnet of Massachusetts on the Governor's Salary 17 September 1728
The Story of Venture Smith (1729-1809)
Plain Reasons for Presbyterians Dissenting Andrew Clarkson (1731).
Dissertation Upon Parties Henry St. John Bolingbroke (1733).
Founding Vision for Georgia General James Oglethorpe (1733)
Negotiations Regarding the Settlement of the Georgia Colony Count Zinzendorf (1733)
Transcript of the Trial of Peter Zenger (1735)
Defense of Peter Zenger, Andrew Hamilton (1735)
Letters on the Study and Use of History Henry St. John Bolingbroke (1735)
On Patriotism Bolingbroke (1736)
Governor Gabriel Johnston's request to repeal the Biennal act 18 October 1736
Disposition of the North Carolina Biennal Act (1737)
The Idea of a Patriot King Bolingbroke (1738)
Discourse on the Five Points [Of Calvinism] Daniel Whitby.
On Efficacious Grace John Gill (1738)
Intentions of the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) (1740)
The True Scripture-Doctrine Concerning Some Important Points of the Christian Faith Jonathan Dickinson (1741)
The Works Of Jonathan Edwards
Sermons of George Whitefield
The Works of John Wesley
Letters of John Wesley
The Essential Rights and Liberties of Protestants Elisha Williams (1744)
Regulations at Yale College (1745)
The Presence of Great God in the Assembly of Political Rulers
Narrative of the Deliverance of Briton Hammond An account of an African-American taken captive by Native Americans (1747)
The Principles of Natural Law J. Burlamaqui, tr. Thomas Nugent (1748, tr. Thomas Nugent 1752)
The Principles of Politic Law, J. Burlamaqui, tr. Thomas Nugent (1748, tr. Thomas Nugent 1752) Sequel to The Principles of Natural Law
The Spirit of Laws, Charles de Montesquieu, (1748, tr. Thomas Nugent 1752)
An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy
History of Massachusetts Bay Thomas Hutchinson, excerpt regarding coinage.
Remarks on the Fable of the Bees Frances Hutcheson (1750)
A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers Jonathan Mayhew (1750)
Petition to Parliament: Reasons for Making Bar, as well as Pig or Sow-iron (ca. 1750)
Petition to Parliament: Reason Against a General Prohibition of the Iron Manufacture in Plantations
Memoir on the English Aggression, October 1750
Memoir on the French Colonies in North America, December 1750
Adams, Franklin, and Madison: Accounts of Their Original Plans to be Christian Clergymen
Of Party Divisions, William Livingston (1753)
A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Jean Jacques Rousseau (1754)
A Discourse on Political Economy, Jean Jacques Rousseau (1755)
Dictionary, Samuel Johnson (1755) Standard dictionary of the late 18th century.
The Value and Purpose of Princeton College, Samuel Davies and Gilbert Tennent (1754)
Religion and Patriotism the Constituents of a Good Soldier, Samuel Davies (1755).
Military Documents of the French and Indian War
Primary Sources Pertaining to the French and Indian War
A Complete Poem by Jupiter Hammon (1760)
The Social Contract, Jean Jacques Rousseau (1762)
The Curse of Cowardice, Samuel Davies (1758)
Against the Writs of Assistance, James Otis (1761)
The Role of the Indians in the Rivalry Between France, Spain, and England, Governor Glen (1761)
Elements of Criticism, Lord Kaims [Henry Homes] (1762)
Treaty of Paris (1763) French and Indian War.

Acts of Parliament regarding the American Colonies

The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved, James Otis (1764)
Blackstone's Commentaries (1765)
Blackstone's Contents (1765)
"Offenses Against God and Religion," William Blackstone (1765).
"Offenses Against the Public Peace" William Blackstone (1765)
"On Husband And Wife", William Blackstone (1765)
Considerations, Daniel Dulany, October 1765
The Objections to the Taxation Consider'd, Soame Jenyns (1765)
The Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress, October 19, 1765
The Declaration of Rights of the Stamp Act Congress (1765)
William Pitt's Speech on the Stamp Act, January 14, 1766
Examination of Benjamin Franklin in the House of Commons (1766)
On Crimes and Punishments, Cesare Beccaria (1766)
On the History of Civil Society, Adam Ferguson
John Dickinson's Letter 2, from Letters from a Farmer, 1767-1768
John Dickinson's Letter 4, from Letters from a Farmer, 1767-1768
On the Misfortune of Indentured Servants, Gottlieb Mittelberger
An Election Sermon, Daniel Shute; Delivered in Boston, Massachusetts-Bay, 26 May 1768.
Charter of Dartmouth College (1769)
Virginia Nonimportation Resolutions (1769)
Excerpts From Mary Cooper's Diary (1769)
Daniel Boone's Journal
Anna Bergen Rapelje's Full Manuscript (1770-1797)
The Boston Massacre, The Boston Gazette, 12 March 1770
Anonymous Account of the Boston Massacre, 5 March, 1770
Captain Thomas Preston's account of the Boston Massacre, 13 March 1770
The Hymnbook of Isaac Watts
The Rights of the Colonists, Samuel Adams (1772)
An Oration on the Beauties of Liberty, Reverend John Allen (1772)
Oration Deliverd at Boston, Joseph Warren (1772)
Second Oration Delivered at Boston, Joseph Warren (1772)
An Election Sermon, Simeon Howard (1773) Demonstrating that an armed war against a tyrant was a Christian's duty.
The Sovereign Decrees of God, Isaac Backus (1773)
Eyewitness Account of the Boston Tea Party, George Hewes (1773)
Resolution of the Virginia House of Burgesses for Establishing an Intercolonial Committee of Correspondence (1773)
Early Virginia Religious Petitions (1774-1802)
Boston Massacre Oration, John Hancock (1774)
A Plea Before the Massachusetts Legislature, Isaac Backus (1774)
Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament, James Wilson (1774)
To the Inhabitants of the Several Anglo-American Colonies, William Livingston (1774)
Declaration of Colonial Rights of the Continental Congress (1774)
First Prayer Given in the Continental Congress, Rev. Jacob Duche (1774)

Journals of the Continental Congress, 34 Volumes.
Resolution of the House of Burgesses in Virginia (1774)
Sermon on Civil Liberty, Nathaniel Niles (1774)
The Olive Branch Petition (1774).
A Plan for the Union of Great Britain and the Colonies, Joseph Galloway (1774)
The Suffolk Resolves, Joseph Warren (1774)
Phyllis Wheatley to Samson Occam (1774)
Works of Henry Laurens, President of the Continental Congress
Authors Most Frequently Cited by the Founders
John Adams Discusses the Historic Sources Which Provided the Intellectual Foundations of American Political Theory

Works of Benjamin Franklin

Works of Sam Adams Works of George Washington Works of John Adams Works of Thomas Jefferson

Famous Works

Annual and Special messages to Congress Inaugural Addresses Messages to Congress Indian Addresses Miscellaneous Papers Letters Works of James Madison The Works of Thomas Paine American Revolution Military Documents Works of Ethan Allen, Revolutionary War hero and Deist.
John Newton Criticizing Arminians (1775)
Daniel Leonard's Letter of January 9, 1775
Defensive War in a Just Cause Sinless, David Jones (1775).
Speech on Conciliation with America, Edmund Burke, March 22, 1775
Government Corrupted by Vice, and Recovered by Righteousness, Samuel Langdon, May 31, 1775;
On Civil Liberty, Passive Obedience, and Nonresistance, Jonathan Boucher (1775)
A Calm Address To Our American Colonies, John Wesley (1775)
The American Vine, Jacob Duche (1775)
The Charlotte Town Resolves (1775)
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death, Patrick Henry (1775).
Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, Jefferson and Dickinson, July 6, 1775.
Yankee Doodle The anthem of the Continental Army
The Church's Flight into the Wilderness, Samuel Sherwood, January 17, 1776; A sermon which labels British tyranny Satanic.
The Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason (1776)
The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men, John Witherspoon, May 1776.
The Declaration of Independence (1776) According to recent scholarship, this document was modeled after the Dutch Calvinist Declaration of Independence. In other words, this statement of basic principles was simply a restatement of what Protestant Political theorists and preachers had been saying for centuries.
State Constitutions A collection of the constitutions of each colony.
Religious Clauses of State Constitutions Demonstrating that most states had establishments of religion.
On the Right to Rebel against Governors, Samuel West (1776)
The True Interest of America Impartially Stated, Charles Inglis (1776)
Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith (1776)
Resolves of the Continental Congress
Divine Judgements Upon Tyrants, Jacob Cushing, April 20, 1778
Election Sermon, Phillips Payson (1778)
Defensive Arms Vindicated (1779) A sermon vindicating the activity of General George Washington.
A Sermon on the Day of the Commencement of the Constitution, Samuel Cooper (1780)
U.S. Articles of Confederation The first Constitution of the United States.
The Origins and Progress of the American Revolution Peter Oliver (1781).
United States Articles of Confederation (1781)
Letters From an American Farmer, Crevecour (1782)
Essay on Money, John Witherspoon, Presbyterian theologian and president of Princeton University.
The Lord's Supper, Joseph Priestly (1783)
Memorial and Remonstrance, James Madison (1785). Championing the principal of religious liberty.
Land Ordinance of 1785 (Jefferson)
Treaty With the Cherokee (1785)
The Annapolis Convention (1786)
The Federalist Papers 1-85
Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787
Denominational Affiliations of the Framers of the Constitution
Records of the Constitutional Convention (Farrand's Records)
United States Constitution (1787)
Elliot's Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution
Northwest Ordinance (1787)
Northwest Ordinance
Shay's Rebellion (1787)
Letter of Transmittal of U.S. Constitution
Debates in the First Federal Congress Regarding A Religious Amendment to the Constitution (1789)
Bill of Rights and the Amendments to The Constitution (1791)
Federal Statutes
Statutory Laws and Judicial Precedents in Early America
Federal Legislative Documents
Records of the First Sixteen Federal Congresses
Slave Trade and the Middle Passage, Alexander Falconbridge (1788)
The Life of Olaudah Equiano, A Slave's Autobiography (1789)
The Virginia Chronicle, John Leland (1790).
On Dissenting from the Episcopal Church, John Leland (1790)
On the Equality of the Sexes, Judith Sargent Murray (1790)
The Funeral of Arminianism, William Huntington (1791)
The Rise and Progress of the Young Ladies' Academy of Philadelphia, Molly Wallace (1794)
Fugitive Slave Law of 1793
Greenville Treaty with a number of Indian Tribes (1795)
Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, William Godwin (1793)
William Godwin's Works
Treaty of Tripoli (1795)
Washington's Farewell Address
The Sedition Act (1798)
On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic (1798)
Four Discourses On The General First Principles of Deism (1798), Samuel E. McCorkle
The Kentucky Resolutions (1799)
Obituaries of George Washington

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Originally Posted to Gaspee Virtual Archives 3/2003      18thCenturyPrimSrc.htm