American Revolution Military Documents
Letters of the Founding Fathers, The most comprehensive source for letters written by the members of the Continental Congress
American Archives, Peter Force's massive collection of primary source documents from the American Revolution
The Diary of Ezra Stiles, Volume One
The Diary of Ezra Stiles, Volume Two
Diary of the American Revolution a massive collection of primary sources compiled by Frank Moore
Diary of the American Revolution Volume Two
Letters of Episcopal Ministers of Massachusetts
Letters of Episcopal Ministers, showing their loyalty to Britain.
Sermons Preached During the Revolutionary Period, an online collection of dozens of sermons that fueled the American Revolution
The American Revolution in New Jersey; an abundance of primary sources
The American Revolution in New York, an exhibit of primary material
Speech of Governor William Franklin of New Jersey (1775); loyalist son of Benjamin Franklin
Letters of a Westchester Farmer, Rev. Samuel Seabury (1775); loyalist propaganda
The Farmer Refuted, Alexander Hamilton (1775). In this defense of the American cause in response to an Anglican minister's criticism of the revolution, Hamilton states that laws, rights, and political principles are all based in the existence and law of God.
John Newton Criticizing Arminians (1775) A letter from the author of "Amazing Grace" claiming that repentance is the not key to atonement.
Daniel Leonard's Letter of January 9, 1775
Defensive War in a Just Cause Sinless, David Jones (1775). Sermon justifying the revolution.
Speech on Conciliation with America, Edmund Burke, March 22, 1775; Burke describes the character of the American colonists and links their commitment to liberty to their Protestantism.
Government Corrupted by Vice, and Recovered by Righteousness, Samuel Langdon, May 31, 1775; This sermon preached a year before Jefferson wrote his declaration, included this phrase: "By the law of nature, any body of people, destitute of order and government, may form themselves into a civil society, according to their best prudence, and so provide for their common safety and advantage."
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) Resolutions of Presbyterians of Mecklenberg, North Carolina.
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death, Patrick Henry (1775). Famous oration which motivated Southerners to join in the battle already taking place in New England.
Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, Jefferson and Dickinson, July 6, 1775. This document was inspired by the Puritan Declaration of August, 1642, "Declaration of the Lords and Commons to Justify Their Taking Up Arms," available in John Rushworth, ed., Historical Collections of Private Passages of State, Weighty Matters in Law, Remarkable Proceedings in Five Parliaments (1680-1722),vol. 4, pp. 761-768.
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) Unquestionably a document which Jefferson had in mind when writing the Declaration of Independence.
Concord Town Resolutions (1776)
Sources of the Declaration of Independence (1776) Documents which prove that Jefferson modeled the Declaration largely upon the 1689 Declaration of Rights.
The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men, John Witherspoon, May 1776. This sermon was preached by a member of the Second Continental Congress during the period in which the members were deciding upon American Independence.
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.
"This Has Been a Presbyterian War from the Beginning," An Address to the British Government (1776) by William Jones.
Reflections on the Mood at the time of the Signing, Benjamin Rush
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). A statement of an American loyal to the King.
History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776) Edward Gibbon
Political Works of Richard Price
Papers of Charles Lee
Letters of Charles Lee
Letters Pertaining to Aaron Burr
Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith (1776). The manual for capitalism, the economic backbone of the United States. Jefferson said this was the best book of its kind.
The American Journal of Ambrose Serle, Secretary to Lord Howe (1776)
The Philosophical Works of David Hume
The Plain Truth (1777)
Divine Judgements Upon Tyrants, Jacob Cushing, April 20, 1778; a sermon on the three year anniversary of the war.
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)
Correspondence of Edward Winslow (1780-1789)
U.S. Articles of Confederation The first Constitution of the United States.
The Origins and Progress of the American Revolution Peter Oliver (1781). Oliver, a tory, names the persons he feels are most responsible for the rebellion. James Otis and the Calvinist clergy ("black regiment") were the chief culprits.
United States Articles of Confederation (1781)
Annuit Coeptis (1782), the religious motto for the U.S.A. that was approved by the founding fathers.
Letters From an American Farmer, Crevecour (1782)
Reed - Cadwalader Correspondence
Essay on Money, John Witherspoon, Presbyterian theologian and president of Princeton University.
Reason: the Only Oracle of Man, Ethan Alllen (1784) Revolutionary War hero and Deist.
Charter of Columbia College (1784)
Sketches of American Policy, Noah Webster (1785)
Memorial and Remonstrance, James Madison (1785). Championing the principal of religious liberty.
Land Ordinance of 1785 (Jefferson). Detailing the manner in which the Northwest Territory shall be partitioned and sold.
The Annapolis Convention (1786), prelude to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
The Federalist Papers 1-85, Madison, Jay, and Hamilton's defense of Federalism
Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, Author of the U.S. Constitution
Letters of Elbridge Gerry
Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, James Madison. These are the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia, an essential guide to interpreting the intent of the Framers.
Denominational Affiliations of the Framers of the Constitution , contrary to the myth, this chart shows that only 3 out of 55 of the framers classified themselves as Deists.
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) Detailing the manner in which new states may be added to the United States.
Shay's Rebellion (1787)
Laws of Maryland (1787)
Revised Charter of “Columbia College in the City of New York” (1787)
Letter from Boston (1788)
Slave Trade and the Middle Passage, Alexander Falconbridge (1788)
History of the American Revolution, David Ramsay (1789), the first complete treatment of the American Revolution by an eyewitness.
The Life of Olaudah Equiano, A Slave's Autobiography (1789)
Debates in the First Federal Congress Regarding A Religious Amendment to the Constitution (1789), edited by Jim Allison. An important source for understanding the intention of the framers concerning religious liberty. Mr. Allison has collected together the debates in the House and the Senate on this most important subject.
Federal Statutes
Statutory Laws and Judicial Precedents in Early America
Federal Legislative Documents
Records of the First Sixteen Federal Congresses
The Virginia Chronicle, John Leland (1790). Champion of religious disestablishment. Friend and influence upon James Madison.
On Dissenting from the Episcopal Church, John Leland (1790)
Of the Natural Rights of Individuals, James Wilson (1790-91)
On the Equality of the Sexes, Judith Sargent Murray (1790)
Bill of Rights and the Amendments to The Constitution (1791) The concession to the Anti-Federalists to win their acceptance of the Constitution.
The Funeral of Arminianism, William Huntington (1791)
Fugitive Slave Law of 1793
Greenville Treaty with a number of Indian Tribes (1795)
Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, William Godwin (1793) Part of Jefferson's library of political works.
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), Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence, emphasizing the religious foundation and goal of all education.
Four Discourses On The General First Principles of Deism (1798), Samuel E. McCorkle, D. D. The biggest intellectual controversy of the 1790's was called the "deist controversy." On the one side were the followers of Thomas Paine, on the other side were the orthodox Christians as represented here by the Rev. McCorkle.
The Kentucky Resolutions (1799)
Obituaries of George Washington