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Primary Source Documents

Primary Source Documents Pertaining to Early American History An invaluable collection of historical works which contributed to the formation of American politics, culture, and ideals The following is a massive collection of the literature and documents which were most relevant to the colonists' lives in America. If it isn't here, it probably is not available online anywhere. (Use Your Browser's FIND Function to Search this Library) Major Medieval Sources Having Significant Influence Upon the American Colonists Ordinance of William the Conqueror Sowing the seeds of separation of Church and State in the English world. Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century Sources Profoundly Impacting the History of America Malleus Maleficarum, Directions for witch hunting (1486) Journal, Christopher Columbus, (1492). The Geneva Bible was the Bible of choice for the Puritans, the Calvinists, and the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock. A Never Before in History: America's Inspired Birth Patriarcha, Robert Filmer. Related:  American History

History - Colonial Authority Black slaves were prohibited from carrying firearms by a 1639 Virginia law, which prescribed 20 lashes for violations of the statute. There was one exception: with his master’s permission, a slave could bear firearms to defend against Indian raids. Massachusetts became the first colony to legalize slavery in 1641. In 1650, Connecticut legalized slavery. The Barbados slave code was set up by the English in order to provide a legal base for slavery in the Caribbean island. Slavery was legally recognized in Virginia with the passage of a 1661 fugitive slave law. A 1662 law decreed that the children of slaves took on the status of their mother, in contrast to common law, which conferred the father’s status on a child. In 1664, slavery was legalized in New York and New Jersey. In 1667 Virginia even enacted a law that decreed that baptism would not change the status of the converted, meaning that becoming Christian would not free a slave. Pennsylvania banned the importation of slaves in 1712.

National Atlas Home Page The National Map is now offering a collection of small-scale datasets that can be downloaded for free. Although the 1997-2014 Edition of the National Atlas of the United States was retired in September 2014, The National Map recognizes the importance of continuing to make a collection of the small-scale datasets, originally developed for the National Atlas, available to users. Small-scale maps have an advantage over large-scale maps when there is a need to show a large area in a single view. This makes small-scale maps an ideal solution for scientists, decision-makers, and planners needing to provide a geographical context for the research projects. The National Map collection of 197 small-scale datasets can be downloaded at small-scale data download page . Even though the 1997-2014 Edition of the National Atlas has retired, nationalmap.gov will continue to offer the Set of Dynamic Topographic Maps Illustrating Physical Features.

Battle of Cowpens: Daniel Morgan Defeats Banastre "Bloody Ban" Tarleton ,When Tarleton beheld his foe ready to receive him, he immediately reconnoitered his front; but was prevented in this by the picked marksmen who were scattered along the forward line. On spotting the cavalry, a few discharges were made by these shooters that made the British shiver in their boots at the deadly aim of the Southern riflemen. The Brits were formed up within nine hundred feet of the front of Morgan's force and, after giving a cheer and firing off some of their artillery, began pouring in an incessant crackle of musketry as they came on. Those accurate words were justified by the sight of dead and wounded, officers and enlisted men, who sank down under the deadly discharge which first met the advance of the British; but this was not enough to repel them under the stimulation of battle and the prodding of their leaders who remained standing, shouting orders to close any gaps and continue moving forward.

1740 | Slave Code of South Carolina Editorial Introduction: Viewed through the looking glass of contemporary law as reflected in free and democratic societies, the 1740 Slave Code of South Carolina is most certainly an abomination. It is a stain upon British and American legal history - South Carolina was a subject Province (aka colony) of "Her Majesty" in 1740. But then, few if any countries have perfect historical records regards to slavery. This law reflected the reality that pursuant to property law as then in vogue, negro slaves were the chattel of their owners to do with as they liked; really, except for speech, no different from a pig or a horse. To some extent, it was a reaction to a slave riot that had occurred in September 9, 1739 near the Stono River (see §56), especially as news had reached South Carolina slaves that the Spanish masters in present-day Florida was not only liberating slaves that could reach their but was also giving them land (see §47). South Carolina's Negro Act certainly went a step further.

"The Bostonians paying the excise-man, or tarring and feathering." A 1774 British print depicted the tarring and feathering of Boston Commissioner of Customs John Malcolm. Tarring and feathering was a ritual of humiliation and public warning that stopped just short of serious injury. Victims included British officials such as Malcolm and American merchants who violated non-importation by importing British goods. Other forms of public humiliation included daubing victims’ homes with the contents of cesspits, or actual violence against property, such as the burning of stately homes and carriages. This anti-Patriot print showed Customs Commissioner Malcolm being attacked under the Liberty Tree by several Patriots, including a leather-aproned artisan, while the Boston Tea Party occurred in the background. In fact, the Tea Party had taken place four weeks earlier.

Battle of Cowpens: Daniel Morgan Defeats Banastre "Bloody Ban" Tarleton ,When Tarleton beheld his foe ready to receive him, he immediately reconnoitered his front; but was prevented in this by the picked marksmen who were scattered along the forward line. On spotting the cavalry, a few discharges were made by these shooters that made the British shiver in their boots at the deadly aim of the Southern riflemen. The Brits were formed up within nine hundred feet of the front of Morgan's force and, after giving a cheer and firing off some of their artillery, began pouring in an incessant crackle of musketry as they came on. Those accurate words were justified by the sight of dead and wounded, officers and enlisted men, who sank down under the deadly discharge which first met the advance of the British; but this was not enough to repel them under the stimulation of battle and the prodding of their leaders who remained standing, shouting orders to close any gaps and continue moving forward.

Coming of the American Revolution: First Continental Congress News of the Coercive Acts arrives in the colonies in the spring of 1774. In response to the punitive measures outlined in the Boston Port Bill, Bostonians propose to cease all trade with Britain, as set forth in the Solemn League and Covenant. Haunted by the failure of earlier commercial resistance initiatives, the other twelve colonies (as well as most towns in Massachusetts) are wary of yielding to Boston's leadership. A colony-wide congress to discuss a united course of resistance emerges as a logical alternative. Massachusetts delegates John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Thomas Cushing begin their journey to Philadelphia on 10 August, surveying the political landscape and meeting fellow delegates along their route. On 6 September, delegates are informed that General Thomas Gage has seized provincial military supplies stored in Charlestown, Massachusetts, causing quite a stir among the colonists there. The Congress does not publish any of its proceedings until after it has adjourned.

LIBERTY! . Chronicle of the Revolution . Boston 1774 Hardliners in the British government, looking for reasons to clamp down on the Bay colony, found their cause last December when the Sons of Liberty made a salty Darjeeling of Boston Harbor. 342 crates of tea were dumped into the ocean in response to a parliamentary act which imposed restrictions on the purchase of tea in the colonies. For his part, Franklin stood stoically through the ordeal, but was heard to mutter "I shall make your king a little man for this," to Wedderburn as both left the council at the end of the day. The tea party, Franklin's roasting in Parliament and now the closing of Boston harbor exemplify the hardening of positions on both sides of the Atlantic. cornwalis.html The Surrender of Cornwalis (1781) Lord Cornwallis to Sir Henry Clinton. Yorktown, October 20, 1781 I have the mortification to inform your Excellency that I have been forced to give up the posts of York and Gloucester, and to surrender the troops under my command, by capitulation on the 19th inst. as prisoners of war to the combined forces of America and France. The enemy broke ground on the night of the 30th and constructed on that night, and the two following days and nights, two redoubts, which, with some works that had belonged to our outward position, occupied a gorge between two creeks or ravines, which come from the river on each side of the town. On the night of the 6th of October they made their first parallel, extending from its right on the river to a deep ravine on the left, nearly opposite to the center of this place and embracing our whole left at the distance of six hundred yards.

History News Network Mr. Stern is now completing his doctorate in the department of history, Princeton University; his dissertation is tentatively entitled, "The Overflowings of Liberty": Practical Politics, Political Ideas and the Townshend Crisis in Massachusetts, 1766-1770. He is also the author of "Jane Franklin Mecom: A Boston Woman in Revolutionary Times" (Early American Studies, Spring 2006). In the last episode of HBO’s recent and much-lauded miniseries, “John Adams,” the aged former president is taken to see artist John Trumbull’s enormous new painting, depicting the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Adams scoffs at its distortion of the real event’s complexity, warning that it falsifies history for the sake of dramatic presentation. It was a curious admonition for the screenwriters to include, for the HBO series itself does, consistently and often egregiously, exactly what Adams is shown warning against. History is continually and casually altered as the program proceeds.

United States History • Skip Navigation • Skip to main content United States History Native Americans: Stereotypes and Assimilation Native American History: John Smith and the Powhatan Indian Removal The American Revolution and the Enlightenment The Boston Massacre Espionage in the American RevolutionThe Loyalists US Constitution versus the Articles of Confederation US Constitution: The Preamble US Constitution: The Bill of Rights US Constitution: The Powers of the PresidencyThe Alien and Sedition ActsViews of Antebellum SlaveryThe Cotton Gin The Age of ReformManifest Destiny and Westward Expansion Westward Expansion and the African-American Experience Westward Expansion at Firsthand: Letters of Anna Ketchum and Ruhamah Hayes Racial Violence and Jim Crow America: Lynchings and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 World War I 1920s Consumer CultureWoman Suffrage, 1890 - 1920The AutomobileWorld War II: The HomefrontThe Manhattan ProjectThe Civil Rights MovementTet and the Vietnam War Back to History Connecting to the Past History Works

Contract between the King and the Thirteen United States of North America. Contract Between the King and the Thirteen United States of North America. Contract Between the King and the Thirteen United States of North America, signed at Versailles July 16, 1782. And we, Benjamin Franklin, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of North America, in like manner vested with full powers of the Congress of the said States for the present purpose, after duly communicating our respective powers, have agreed to the following articles: It is agreed and certified that the sums advanced by His Majesty to the Congress of the United States under the title of a loan, in the years 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, and the present 1782, amount to the sum of eighteen million of livres, money of France, according to the following twenty-one receipts of the above-mentioned underwritten Minister of Congress, given in virtue of his full powers, to wit: Done at Versailles the sixteenth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two. GRAVIER DE VERGENNES [Seal] B FRANKLIN [Seal]

United States Elections Project Last Updated: 3/25/2013 Please see the FAQ for information on the construction of these statistics. The demoninator data reflect the July 1, 2010 and July 1, 2011 voting-age population estimates extrapolated to Nov. 2012, non-citizen estimates from the 2011 American Community Survey , the year-end 2010 DOJ prison report and the year-end 2010 DOJ probation and parole report . Starting in 2010, I report the actual number of felons on probation with no estimated adjustment. Note, a '0' indicates that either a state does not disfranchise a class of felons or the state does not incarcerate felons within their borders. The overseas eligible population estimate is calculated from 2011 overseas civilian estimate from the State Department -- which reports 6.3 million overseas citizens in 2011 and is deflated by 75.2%, the percentage of the domestic citizen population that is of voting age according to the 2011 American Community Survey. Again, please see the FAQ for more information.

Freedom: A History of US. Webisode 1: Independence. Introduction or a century and a half Britain, the mother country, and the North American colonies, her children, were as close as a parent and children could be. What happened to change that relationship? Perhaps the colonies outgrew childhood and wanted the independence that adults enjoy. The trouble began after the French and Indian War, which left Britain with tremendous debt. Why shouldn't the colonists pay some of that debt? To the colonists, the answer was easy: They shouldn't have to pay for it because they had no representation in the British Parliament that levied the taxes for the colonists to pay. To be subject to laws in which they had no voice amounted to tyranny. Parliament tried to tax sugar and tea. In 1775, Patrick Henry expressed the indignation of many who until this time considered themselves British subjects. That is exactly what the delegates to the Second Continental Congress did on July 4, 1776. In signing, they risked their lives and fortunes.

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