Back to home
Home | Your Account | Sign Out  
  Authors Exam Copy For Instructors Related Titles Reviewers Contact Us  
Primary Sources

Preface Letter
Table of Contents
Chapter 4
From Plantations to Provinces: The Evolution of American Society and Culture, 1660–1763
Chapter 11
The Old South
Chapter 15
“This Mighty Scourge”: The Civil War Years
Chapter 20
Post-Civil War Thought and Culture
Chapter 26
An Exhilarating Decade: American Life in the 1920s
Chapter 30
In the Shadow of the Bomb: The Cold War in the Truman Years

Primary Sources

The websites linked from this page are online versions of important primary source texts in American history. Some of them are the complete texts that have been excerpted in the pages of Unto a Good Land. All of them are useful for increasing our understanding of history as witnessed by those who lived through it.

Note: please report any dead links to

Jump to:
Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6
Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11Chapter 12
Chapter 13Chapter 14Chapter 15Chapter 16Chapter 17Chapter 18
Chapter 19Chapter 20Chapter 21Chapter 22Chapter 23Chapter 24
Chapter 25Chapter 26Chapter 27Chapter 28Chapter 29Chapter 30
Chapter 31Chapter 32Chapter 33Chapter 34Chapter 35Chapter 36
Chapter 37     

   Chapter 1return to top   

Extracts from the journal of Christopher Columbus, 1492
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's letter to Charles I, 1541
Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, 1517
The Code of Handsome Lake, 1799
Thomas Hariot, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, 1590

   Chapter 2return to top   

James I, A Counterblaste to Tobacco, 1604
John Pory, letter to Sir Dudley Carleton, 1619
John Winthrop, "A Model of Christian Charity," 1630
Anne Hutchinson's examination in court, 1637
The Book of the General Laws and Liberties Concerning the Inhabitants of the Massachusetts, 1648

   Chapter 3return to top   

Roger Williams, excerpt from The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution, 1644
The Conventicle Act of the Clarendon Code, 1664
William Penn, The Great Case of Liberty of Conscience, 1670 (PDF)
John Lawson's A New Voyage to Carolina, 1709
Autobiography of Elizabeth Ashbridge (1713–1755)
James Oglethorpe's letter to the trustees of the Colony of Georgia, 1743

   Chapter 4return to top   

Excerpt from the journal of John Woolman, 1757
Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania, 1749
Excerpts from William Byrd's secret diary, 1709–1711
Sermons of George Whitefield
Jonathan Edwards, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, 1746

   Chapter 5return to top   

"Report of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, on the Petition …for a Grant of Lands on the River Ohio, in North America" (PDF, begins on p. 303)
Jonathan Mayhew's "A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers," 1750
Sam Adams sounds the alarm in the Boston Gazettes, 1771

   Chapter 6return to top   

Paul Revere's account of his "midnight ride"
Thomas Paine's Common Sense, 1776
Charles Inglis, "The True Interest of America Impartially Stated," 1776
George Washington's letter to the State of New Hampshire, December 29, 1777
Abigail Adams's letter to John Adams, March 31, 1776
John Adams's reply, April 14, 1776

   Chapter 7return to top   

Thomas Jefferson on Shays's Rebellion, 1787
The Federalist Papers, 1788
Mercy Otis Warren's anti-federalist argument, 1788
James Madison argues for a Bill of Rights, 1789
Ezra Stiles, "The United States Elevated to Glory and Honor," 1783

   Chapter 8return to top   

Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address, 1801
Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, 1802

   Chapter 9return to top   

The Monroe Doctrine, 1823
Rufus King argues against admitting Missouri, 1819 (PDF)
Peter Cartwright on the Cane Ridge Revival, 1801–1804

   Chapter 10return to top   

Charles Grandison Finney's Lectures on Revival, 1835
Abraham Lincoln's temperance address, 1842
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Declaration of Sentiments," 1848
Hand-book of the Oneida Community

   Chapter 11return to top   

Index of online slave narratives
Joseph R. Wilson's "Mutual Relation of Masters and Slaves as Taught in the Bible," 1861
George Bourne, "A Condensed Anti-Slavery Bible Argument," 1845
James Battle Avirett's proslavery memoir The Old Plantation: How We Lived in Great House and Cabin before the War
The Confessions of Nat Turner, 1831

   Chapter 12return to top   

Cherokee Nation v. State of Georgia, 1831
Andrew Jackson on Indian removal, 1835
Robert Hayne's first defense of nullification, 1830
Daniel Webster's reply to Hayne, 1830
South Carolina's Ordinance of Nullification, 1832

   Chapter 13return to top   

The Texas Declaration of Independence, 1836
Across the Plains in 1844, by Catherine Sager Pringle
John L. O'Sullivan coins the phrase "Manifest Destiny," 1839
Abraham Lincoln's speech against the Mexican War, 1848
Henry David Thoreau, "Resistance to Civil Government," 1849
Sir Richard Burton encounters Mormonism
William Swain's letter from the California Gold Rush, 1850

   Chapter 14return to top   

John C. Calhoun on the Compromise of 1850
Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" 1852
Abraham Lincoln on the Know-Nothing Party, 1855
Charles Sumner, "On the Crime against Kansas," 1856
"The Lawrence Massacre by a Band of Missouri Ruffians under Quantrell," 1863
The Dred Scott decision, 1857
John Brown's address to the court, 1859
Abraham Lincoln's "House Divided" speech, 1858
John S. Preston addresses the Convention of Virginia on secession, 1861

   Chapter 15return to top   

Mary Boykin Chestnut, A Diary from Dixie
Jefferson Davis's inaugural address, 1861
Julia Ward Howe, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"
Henry Ward Beecher, "War and Emancipation: A Thanksgiving Sermon," 1861
Joel Tucker's sermon "God's Providence in War," 1862
The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863
Susie King Taylor, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops Late 1st S.C. Volunteers
Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address, 1865

   Chapter 16return to top   

Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, 1863
Frederick Douglass, Speech to the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1865
"Black Codes" of Mississippi, 1865 (PDF)
Atlanta News editorial "Meet Brute Force with Brute Force," 1874
Sojourner Truth, "When Woman Gets Her Rights Man Will Be Right," 1867 (PDF)
Henry Grady on the "New South," 1889

   Chapter 17return to top   

Lakota Chief Red Horse, eyewitness account of the Battle of Little Bighorn, 1876
Transcription of Wovoka's Ghost Dance message, 1891
Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin), "The School Days of an Indian Girl," 1900
Solomon Butcher on tensions between ranchers and farmers, 1884
John Wesley Powell, Exploration of the Colorado River of the West, 1875 (PDF)

   Chapter 18return to top   

Frank Norris, The Octopus, 1901
Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management, 1911
Sherman Anti-Trust Act, 1890
"Labor's Catechism," 1887
Police reports on the Haymarket Affair, 1886

   Chapter 19return to top   

Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882
Saum Sung Bo protests the Statue of Liberty, 1885
Polish immigrant family correspondence, 1904–1912
Josiah Strong, "Perils–The City," from Our Country, 1890 (PDF)
William L. Riordan, excerpt from Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, 1905
Florence Kelley, Our Toiling Children, 1889
Walter Rauschenbusch, excerpt from Christianity in Crisis, 1908

   Chapter 20return to top   

Edward Livingston Youmans, The Culture Demanded by Modern Life, 1873
Andrew Carnegie, "Wealth," 1889
Albert Bushnell Hart, "The Status of Athletics in American Colleges," 1890
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull-House, 1910
Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward, 1888
Ignatius Donnelly, Preamble to the Omaha Platform of the People's Party, 1892

   Chapter 21return to top   

Robert Ingersoll waves the "bloody shirt," 1876
Campaigning for women's rights at the nation's centennial, 1876
Pendleton Act for civil service reform, 1883
William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech, 1896

   Chapter 22return to top   

Theodore Roosevelt on the Monroe Doctrine, 1897 (PDF, see page 4)
Richard Olney on American Jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere, 1895
John Hay's First Open Door Note, 1899
Albert Beveridge speaks on "America's Destiny," 1900
Rudyard Kipling, "The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands," 1899

   Chapter 23return to top   

Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois debate African American education, 1896–1902:
     Booker T. Washington, 1899
     W. E. B. Du Bois, 1902
Glen A. Cook on his experience at the Azusa Street Mission, 1906
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, 1906
Socialist Party platform, 1904 (PDF)
Billy Sunday's sermon "The Need for Revivals"

   Chapter 24return to top   

Theodore Roosevelt's "Square Deal" speech, 1903
Theodore Roosevelt on the need for conservation, 1907
Theodore Roosevelt accepts the Progressive Party nomination for president, 1912
Woodrow Wilson's first inaugural address, 1913
Clayton Anti-Trust Act, 1914
Carrie Chapman Catt's address to Congress, 1917

   Chapter 25return to top   

Panama Canal Act, 1902
Resolutions passed by the Church Peace Union, 1914
Woodrow Wilson on relations with Latin America, 1913
Woodrow Wilson's Declaration of Neutrality, 1914
Woodrow Wilson's "Peace without Victory Speech," 1917
Woodrow Wilson asks for a declaration of war, 1917
"Spies and Lies" poster, 1917
Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, 1918
The Sedition Act, 1918
The Espionage Act, 1918

   Chapter 26return to top   

Editorial, "Don't be a Dust Eater," 1925
F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Diamond As Big As the Ritz," 1922
Ellen Welles Page, "A Flapper's Appeal to Parents," 1922
Claude McKay, Harlem Shadows, 1922
Harry Emerson Fosdick, "Shall the Fundamentalists Win?," 1922
Transcript of Clarence Darrow's examination of William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes Trial, 1925
H.L. Mencken, "To Expose a Fool," 1925
Judge Webster Thayer's charge to the Jury in the Sacco & Vanzetti trial, 1921
Ezra Pound, "A Few Don'ts by an Imagiste"
Calvin Coolidge's "Law and Order" speech, 1920
Herbert Hoover on "Rugged Individualism," 1928

   Chapter 27return to top   

Herbert Hoover's State of the Union address, 1931
Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigns for president at Oglethorpe University, 1932
Franklin D. Roosevelt's first inaugural address, 1933
Huey P. Long, "Carry Out the Command of the Lord," 1934
New York Herald Tribune editorial opposing "court-packing," 1937

   Chapter 28return to top   

Franklin D. Roosevelt's letter to the nation's clergy, 1935
Letter to President Roosevelt from a Baptist minister, 1935
John Dewey on "progressive education," 1936
"Humanist Manifesto," 1933
Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno, 1931
Introduction to I'll Take My Stand, 1930

   Chapter 29return to top   

Report of the Special Committee on Investigation of the Munitions Industry (The Nye Report), 1936
The Atlantic Charter, 1941
Survivors recount the attack on Pearl Harbor, 1941
Katie Grant, a "Rosie the Riveter," on her work on the homefront
Felix L. Sparks's recollection of the liberation of Dachau, 1945

   Chapter 30return to top   

Harry S Truman's order to desegregate the U.S. Armed Forces, 1948
Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain Speech," 1946
The Marshall Plan, 1947
Harry S Truman articulates the "Truman Doctrine," 1947
Harry S Truman's "Fair Deal," 1949
Joseph McCarthy attacks the State Department, 1950 (PDF)

   Chapter 31return to top   

Richard Nixon's "Checkers" speech, 1952
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954
Roundtable discussion of black and white students at Little Rock Central High School, 1957
Martin Luther King, speech to Montgomery Improvement Association mass meeting, 1955
John Foster Dulles on massive retaliation against the Soviets, 1954 (PDF)
Excerpt from Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking, 1953
Dwight D. Eisenhower warns against the rise of the "military-industrial complex," 1961

   Chapter 32return to top   

Martin Luther King Jr., "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," 1963
Malcolm X, "Message to the Grass Roots," 1963
Roe v. Wade majority opinion, 1973
Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society, 1962
Mario Savio's speech to Free Speech Movement demonstrators at Berkeley, 1964
Gaylord Nelson on the first Earth Day, 1970
The Sharon Statement of the Young Americans for Freedom, 1960

   Chapter 33return to top   

John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, 1961
George C. Wallace's "Schoolhouse Door" speech, 1963
Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, 1963
John F. Kennedy announces presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, 1962
Lyndon B. Johnson, "Let Us Continue," 1963
Barry Goldwater accepts the 1964 Republican presidential nomination
U.S. Supreme Court decision and dissent, Engel v. Vitale, 1962
Tonkin Gulf Resolution, 1964
Martin Luther King Jr., "Beyond Vietnam," 1967 (PDF)

   Chapter 34return to top   

Ron Ridenhour's letter prompting investigation of the My Lai incident, 1969
Richard Nixon's "Silent Majority" speech, 1969
Richard Nixon seeks "Peace with Honor," 1973
War Powers Act, 1973
Transcript of "Smoking Gun" tape of Richard Nixon and H.R. Haldeman, 1972
Richard Nixon resigns, 1974
Gerald Ford tells the nation, "Our long national nightmare is over," 1974
Jimmy Carter's "Crisis of Confidence" speech, 1979
Diary of Iran hostage Robert Ode, 1979 (PDF)
Ronald Reagan accepts the Republican nomination for the presidency, 1980

   Chapter 35return to top   

Ronald Reagan's first inaugural address, 1981
Ronald Reagan's remarks at the Brandenburg Gate, 1987
George H.W. Bush accepts the Republican nomination for president, 1988
Independent Counsel report on Iran-Contra, 1993

   Chapter 36return to top   

Bill Clinton's first inaugural address, 1993
Bill Clinton's address to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Prayer Service, 1995
Documents relating to the investigations of Bill Clinton
George W. Bush's speech to the nation the evening of September 11, 2001
George W. Bush's second inaugural address, 2005

   Chapter 37return to top   

California's Proposition 209, 1996
T.D. Jakes, "All I Have Is a Seed on My Side," 2002