Online Primary Sources for the American Revolution

This page contains links to websites that house sizable collections of open-access primary source materials on the American Revolution. The listings below link to records from major archives and research libraries as well as online collection projects and databases that have compiled resources from numerous locations.  There are also links to digitized versions of books containing historical documents, mostly state-sponsored series started in the late-19th century that reproduced government records from the colonial and Revolutionary era.

(NOTE: Most of the collection descriptions below are taken directly from the corresponding websites. Some have been abridged or edited for clarity.)

Newspapers:

Sources on the Founders and National Politics:

Digitized editions of the complete published papers series (along with yet-to-be-published documents) of the major “founding fathers.” Papers of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Over 176,000 searchable documents, fully annotated, from the authoritative Founding Fathers Papers projects.

This fantastic Library of Congress site provides access to digitized versions of the published records of Congress. This includes volumes relating the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention: the Journals of the Continental Congress, Letters of Delegates to Congress, Eliot’s Debates, and Farrand’s Records of the Constitutional Convention. It provides links to volumes dealing with debates within the House and Senate and the text of laws passed by Congress

 A searchable database of election returns that can be filtered by state, date, office, jurisdiction, party, and election type.

Links to treaties with European powers (Native American treaties are on a separate page).

In the century before the creation of the Supreme Court of the United States, the British Privy Council heard appeals from the 13 colonies that became the United States and from the other ‘American’ colonies in Canada and the Caribbean. This catalogue focuses on all currently known colonial cases appealed to the Privy Council from the future United States, a number totaling nearly one-third of the more than 800 heard from the Americas. For the appeals from the 13 colonies, the catalogue provides links to original documents in England and the United States. Most significantly, the site includes images of surviving briefs filed in 54 of these appeals. Known as ‘printed cases’, these briefs provide the ‘reasons’ for the appeals.

General Collections Covering the Revolutionary Era

A fantastic resource from Northern Illinois University: 9 volumes of the American Archives series fully digitized and keyword searchable. A massive collection of documents from 1774-1776 that deal with everything from the conflict with Britain, the process of state creation, political philosophies, the state of the economy, military engagements, clashes between patriots and loyalists, to the lives of ordinary farmers, artisans, slaves, and women.  The site is searchable in a variety of ways and the editors have categorized the documents by larger themes.

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the American Revolution, including manuscripts, broadsides, government documents, books, and maps. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the American Revolution that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on the American Revolution and a bibliography containing selections for both general and younger readers.

This website provides access to some of the remarkable materials digitized as part of the ongoing, multi-year Colonial North American Project at Harvard University. Currently, there are over 5,000 separate items in the collection.

When complete, the project will make available to the world digitized images of all known archival and manuscript materials in the Harvard Library that relate to 17th and 18th century North America. Scattered through twelve repositories, these documents reveal a great deal about topics such as social life, education, trade, finance, politics, revolution, war, women, Native American life, slavery, science, medicine, and religion. In addition to reflecting the origins of the United States, the digitized materials also document aspects of life and work in Great Britain, France, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

Digitized manuscripts from the New York Historical Society that are key word searchable. The number of collections related to the Revolution seems limited as is the search function which is slow and difficult as far as browsing documents.

A collection of travelers’ accounts from the Library of Congress. They are full text and keyword searchable (which is handy if you are looking for a document dealing with a specific topic).

The contents of Witness to the Early American Experience are drawn from the collections of New York University and the New-York Historical Society. The Richard Maass Collection of Westchester and New York State is part of the archives and manuscript collections of the Fales Library, New York University. It contains over three hundred documents relating to the early history of New York State, with a particular focus on the American Revolutionary War. The site contains The Erskine-DeWitt Maps, which include field sketches and finished maps of projected battle sites in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, the Papers of William Alexander, “Lord Stirling” 1767-1782, and broadsides that document the American Revolution and the tumultuous events leading up to it.

The archive is not especially user friendly as far as searching and browsing in that it does not allow users to isolate a particular collection and browse through it.

This collection represents an important historical record of the mapping of North America and the Caribbean. Most of the items presented here are documented in Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789: A Guide to the Collections in the Library of Congress compiled in 1981. The bibliography contains approximately 2,000 maps and charts. Over the next several years many of the maps and charts in this bibliography will be added to the online collection each month.

The Printed Ephemera collection at the Library of Congress is a rich repository of Americana. In total, the collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. An American Time Capsule, the online presentation of the Printed Ephemera collection, comprises 17,000 of the 28,000 physical items.

Papers and letter book of wealthy Charleston merchant William Ancrum that reflect the financial impact of the American Revolution on this South Carolina businessman and planter.

The letter book (1776–1780) preserves communications with merchants in Camden, S.C., as well as plantation overseers, and others; the account book details Ancrum’s personal expenses, 1776–1789. The earliest financial entries, 1757–1758, preserve mercantile accounts recorded during the French and Indian War by the firm of Fesch & Guinard [Guignard], the original owner of the volume.

  • Medicine in the Americas, 1750-1799 (National Institute of Health, US National Library of Medicine):

http://collections.nlm.nih.gov/?f%5Bdrep2.isMemberOfCollection%5D%5B%5D=DREPMIA&f%5Bexample_query_facet_field%5D%5B%5D=years_1750

This link leads to a list of over 600 items related to medicine in the Americas (mostly the United States) between 1750 and 1799. This search-list is part of a much larger collection containing over 15,000 items between the years 1610-1920.

Colony and State Records

  • Archives of Maryland Online (Maryland State Archives):
    Digitized version of the more than 850 volumes of records published over the massive Archives of Maryland that reproduces hundreds of volumes of records of the colonial, revolutionary, and early national governments (and continues up to recent times).

Although you can find links to the Revolutionary-era volumes below, here is a link to the listing for all 850+ volumes, each of which has its own link from the main pages:
http://aomol.msa.maryland.gov/html/volumes.html

(Keep in mind that the lists are not chronological; instead they refer to the order in which the documents were published in the series.  For example, some of the most recently published volumes (700+) include some of the earliest records (from the 1730s-1760s).  The early volumes tend to focus on the colonial and Revolutionary years.  Unfortunately, after that, records from the period are scattered throughout the series.)

If you have a topic or person or some other key word you want look for documents about, the SEARCH function will be most helpful.  Just enter a term (for example, “slave” or “slaves” or “woman” or “tory”) and then click on box(es) for a date range of 1750-1799 and/or 1800-1849:
http://aomol.msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/html/search.html

Archives of Maryland Volumes for the Revolutionary Era

Volume 11 – Journal of the Maryland Convention July 26 to August 14, 1775
Volume 11 – Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, August 29, 1775 to July 6, 1776
Volume 12 – Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, July 7 – December 31, 1776
Volume 14 – Correspondence of Governor Sharpe, 1761-1771
Volume 16 – Journal and Correspondence of the Maryland Council of Safety, January 1 – March 20, 1777

Volume 16 – Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, March 20, 1777 – March 28, 1778
Volume 18 – Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution
Volume 21 – Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, April 1, 1778 through October 26, 1779
Volume 32 – Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1761-1769
Volume 43 – Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1779-1780
Volume 45 – Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1780-1781
Volume 47 – Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781
Volume 48 – Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1781-1784

Volume 58 – Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1762-1763
Volume 59 – Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1764-1765
Volume 61 – Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1766-1768
Volume 62 – Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1769-1770
Volume 63 – Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1771 to June-July, 1773
Volume 64 – Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, October 1773 to April 1774
Volume 71 – Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1784-1789
Volume 72 – Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1789-1793
Volume 78 – Proceedings of the Conventions of the Province of Maryland, 1774-1776
Volume 81 – Maryland Tax Records (1783 Tax Index)
Volume 105 – Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1796
Volume 141 – Clement Dorsey. The general public statutory law and public local law of the state of Maryland: from the year 1692 to 1839 inclusive, with annotations thereto, and a copious index.
Volume 192 – William Kilty et al., (eds). The Laws of Maryland from the End of the Year 1799,…
Volume 203 – Hanson’s Laws of Maryland 1763-1784
Volume 204 – Laws of Maryland 1785-1791
Volume 207 – Meetings of Presidential Electors in Maryland, 1789-1980
Volume 208 – Proceedings of the Electors of President and Vice-President of the United States in Maryland, 1789 – 1980
Volume 365 – Searching for Ancestors who were Slaves: An Index to the Freedom Records of Prince George’s County Maryland, 1808-1869, by Louise Joyner Hienton. (external link)
Volume 415 – Land Office and Prerogative Court Records of Colonial Maryland
Volume 416 – Maryland Constitution, 1792
Volume 420 – The American’s Guide: Comprising the Declaration of Independence; The Articles of Confederation; The Constitution of the United States, and the Constitutions of the Several States Composing the Union
Volume 426 – A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 435 – Lawrence C. Wroth, A History of Printing in Colonial Maryland: 1686-1776
Volume 438 – Joseph Towne Wheeler, The Maryland Press, 1777-1790
Volume 439 – Rachel A. Minick, History of Printing in Maryland, 1791-1800 with a Bibliography of Works Printed in the State During the Period
Volume 545 – The County Courthouses and Records of Maryland — Part 1: The Courthouses
Volume 546 – The County Courthouses and Records of Maryland — Part 2: The Records
Volume 644 – Session Laws, 1792
Volume 645 – Session Laws, 1793
Volume 646 – Session Laws, 1794
Volume 647 – Session Laws, 1795
Volume 652 – Session Laws, 1797
Volume 653 – Session Laws, 1798
Volume 703 – Provincial Court Land Records, 1763-1765
Volume 725 – Provincial Court Land Records, 1765-1770
Volume 726 – Provincial Court Land Records, 1770-1774
Volume 728 – General Court of the Western Shore Land Records, 1783-1786
Volume 729 – 1798 Federal Direct Tax – Maryland
Volume 738 – Kent County Register of Wills, 1781-1790
Volume 744 – Index to Colonial Probate Records, 1634-1777
Volume 825 – Anne Arundel County Court, Manumission Record, 1797-1807

  • Probing the Past: Virginia and Maryland Probate Inventories, 1740-1810 (Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University):
    http://chnm.gmu.edu/probateinventory/

Probing the Past makes available on the web information from 325 probate inventories that were recorded between 1740 and 1810 in several counties of Virginia and Maryland. Users may browse by time period or city/county, or search the database to find records that meet specific criteria, and then view the original written text or a transcript of the inventories.

  • The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1636-1776 (Archives.org):

Volumes of The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1636-1776. Volumes twelve through fifteen cover the Revolutionary era for the colony

Volume 12: May 1762 – October 1767
https://archive.org/details/publicrecordsofc012conn
Volume 13: May 1768 – May 1772
http://www.archive.org/details/publicrecordsofc013conn
Volume 14: October 1772 – April 1775
http://www.archive.org/details/publicrecordsofc014conn
Volume 15: May 1775 – June 1776
http://www.archive.org/details/publicrecordsofc015conn

Wills recorded in the Royal Colony of Georgia. Each of these documents has several dates.  The date indexed here is the date the will was proved, since this is likely to be closest to the date of the testator’s death.  If the date proved is not evident, the date indexed is the date the will was recorded. In addition to Colonial Will Books, the Georgia Archives has a series of Colonial Wills, which are the loose copies submitted to the Ordinary for transcription into these volumes.  RG 049-01-002 includes thirty-two wills from the Trustee period, 1733-1753, which are not recorded in these volumes.  Researchers should search BOTH series for a comprehensive search of Georgia

Digitized book with public documents on Maine during Revolutionary War. Most of these documents are government records from Massachusetts that relate to Maine, which at the time was part of Massachusetts.

Collections of primary source documents from the Massachusetts Historical Society organized around topics related the Revolution from 1764-1776. Topics include: The Sugar Act, The Stamp Act, The Formation of the Sons of Liberty, The Townshend Acts, Non-Consumption and Non-Importation, The Boston Massacre, The Formation of the Committees of Correspondence, The Boston Tea Party, The Coercive Acts, The First Continental Congress, Lexington and Concord, The Second Continental Congress, The Battle of Bunker Hill, and more.

Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society related to the Boston including newspaper accounts, broadsides, letters, diary entries, pamphlets, printed depositions, orations, trial notes, and even bullets (pictured right) recovered from the site, all relating to this significant event in America’s early history. (See also the document collections on the Boston Massacre on the MHS website in the “Coming of the American Revolution” site).

Part of University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School website on “Famous American Trials.”  Contains documents and excerpts from trial transcripts related to the Boston Massacre.

Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society related to the debate about the ratification of the U. S. Constitution in Massachusetts (including the District of Maine).

  • Colonial and State Records of North Carolina (Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill):
    http://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/

This site contains the digitized version of twenty-six published volumes of historical materials (and  a four-volume master index) on North Carolina from 1662 to 1790, most of which deal with the Revolutionary era. These volumes contain mostly records and correspondence from the colonial, revolutionary, and early national government. They are particularly useful for understanding the creation of the new revolutionary government, wartime issues, and the immediate postwar decade.

Massive digitized collection of North Carolina manuscripts and government records that can be searched or browsed by time period, region, type, etc.

The Historical Governors’ Papers collection is an ongoing digitization project and will eventually include the correspondence of many of North Carolina’s early governors. These materials are from the collections of the State Archives of North Carolina and each group of correspondence will be indexed by month and year.

Currently this collection includes the papers of:

Richard Caswell, in office 1776-1780; 1785-1787
Abner Nash, in office 1780-1781
Thomas Burke, in office 1781-1782
Alexander Martin, in office 1782-1785; 1789-1792
Samuel Johnston, in office 1787-1789
Richard Dobbs Spaight, in office 1792-1795
Samuel Ashe, in office 1795-1798
William Richardson Davie, in office 1798-1799
Benjamin Williams, in office 1799-1802; 1807-1808

The Pennsylvania Archives is an amazing collection that contains a wealth of documents on Pennsylvania, many related to the Revolutionary era. Those records include various colonial and Revolutionary government bodies and committees, militia muster rolls, Continental Line rolls, various military account books charting expenditures, Journals and Diaries of soldiers and officers, marriage records, tax lists, land warrants, records of confiscated Loyalists estates, and much more. Use the wikipedia link to locate the volumes you would like to examine. Although you can use the links to wikipedia to access any of the volumes, rootsweb site has links to the archives.org copies which (I think) are easier to work with.

Digitized book that contains documents on the Revolutionary War in South Carolina. Documents include petitions, militia payrolls, treaties with Native Americans and other issues related to the war.

Sources on Slavery and African American History

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 contains just over a hundred pamphlets and books (published between 1772 and 1889) concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States. The documents, most from the Law Library and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, comprise an assortment of trials and cases, reports, arguments, accounts, examinations of cases and decisions, proceedings, journals, a letter, and other works of historical importance. Of the cases presented here, most took place in America and a few in Great Britain. Among the voices heard are those of some of the defendants and plaintiffs themselves as well as those of abolitionists, presidents, politicians, slave owners, fugitive and free territory slaves, lawyers and judges, and justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Note: This collection is not organized by date so you will have to do some browsing to find documents from the time period.

This website contains various documents on slavery specific to New Jersey. The documents consist of various acts and laws from regulations on slavery, issues with the militia and slavery and court cases. The website provides the documents organized according to New Jersey as a colony and after the American Revolution with dates provided and subject headings, allowing for the searching of specific documents relatively easy. Also available is an index with key words and the documents pertaining to it provided, helping with searches.

The Project offers a searchable database of detailed personal information about slaves, slaveholders, and free people of color. Designed as a tool for scholars, historians, teachers, students, genealogists, and interested citizens, the site provides access to information gathered and analyzed over an eighteen-year period from petitions to southern legislatures and country courts filed between 1775 and 1867 in the fifteen slaveholding states in the United States and the District of Columbia.

The North Carolina Runaway Slave Advertisements project provides online access to all known runaway slave advertisements (more than 2300 items) published in North Carolina newspapers from 1751 to 1840. These brief ads provide a glimpse into the social, economic, and cultural world of the American slave system and the specific experience within North Carolina. The NCRSA website includes digital scans of the ads, contextual essays to address their historical research value, full text transcripts, an annotated bibliography to aid researchers, and a searchable database.

The Geography of Slavery in Virginia is a digital collection of advertisements for runaway and captured slaves and servants in 18th- and 19th-century Virginia newspapers. Building on the rich descriptions of individual slaves and servants in the ads, the project offers a personal, geographical and documentary context for the study of slavery in Virginia, from colonial times to the Civil War.

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database has information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. The actual number is estimated to have been as high as 12.5 million. The database and the separate estimates interface offer researchers, students and the general public a chance to rediscover the reality of one of the largest forced movements of peoples in world history.

Historical manuscripts and rare published works that serve as a window upon the lives of African Americans in Massachusetts from the late seventeenth century through the abolition of slavery under the Massachusetts Constitution in the 1780s.

  • Slaves and Free African Americans, Reports and opinions from the newspapers of Hagerstown, Washington County, and Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland, 1790 to 1864 (Western Maryland’s Historical Library):
    http://www.whilbr.org/WesternMDSlaves/index.aspx

The Hagerstown newspapers from 1790 to 1864 included many stories of African Americans in Washington County, Maryland. Primary source material that has survived from this time period is usually restricted to court documents like wills, jail records and manumissions and the small collection of church records that included African American births, deaths and marriages.

Documents from a Canada’s Digital Collections, a government website.  The site contains many excellent documents related to slaves and free Blacks who sided with Britain, many of whom settled in Canada after the war.

Two books you can read on-line containing about 2,500 pages of family histories based on all colonial court order and minute books on microfilm at the state archives of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Delaware (over 1000 volumes), tax lists, wills, deeds, free Negro registers, marriage bonds, parish registers, Revolutionary War pension files, etc. There are also another 5,000 pages of abstracted colonial tax lists, Virginia personal property tax lists, under “Colonial Tax Lists…”

Sources for Women’s History

The letters exchanged between Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814) and Hannah Winthrop (baptized 1727-1790) provide a remarkable window into the daily lives of families living through the challenges of revolution and nation building.

This site provides both a transcribed and scanned copy of midwife Martha Ballard’s Diary. It was used for the documentary  Midwife’s Tale, and offers a view into the predominately female occupation of midwifery and the daily lives of women and families in the Revolutionary and early Republic period.  The website is searchable by date as well as keyword and offers some documents organized by themes. The scanned copies are difficult to read. However, the site contains transcriptions along with the copies.

  • Elisabeth Murray:
    http://back.acs.csulb.edu:8080/emurray/primarysources.htmlDocuments from the “Elizabeth Murray Project,” a biographical website that centers on the life of Elizabeth Murray, an eighteenth-century woman who was born in Scotland and who spent much of her adult life in colonial Boston. She was married three times, engaged in commerce as a shopkeeper and importer, and was involved in the struggles of the American Revolution.
  • Pension Applications of Revolutionary War Veterans and Widows: http://www.usgwarchives.org/pensions/revwar/

This site contains transcriptions of the applications for Revolutionary War veterans and widows.  As part of the application, veterans usually recounted their military service during the war.  The pensions are also a window in the lives of ordinary men and women before and, especially, after the war.

Sources for Native American History

Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842, contains approximately 2,000 documents and images relating to the Native American population of the Southeastern United States from the collections of the University of Georgia Libraries, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Library, the Frank H. McClung Museum, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and the LaFayette-Walker County Library. The documents are comprised of letters, legal proceedings, military orders, financial papers, and archaeological images relating to Native Americans in the Southeast.

The First American West consists of 15,000 pages of original historical material documenting the land, peoples, exploration, and transformation of the trans-Appalachian West from the mid-eighteenth to the early nineteenth century. The collection is drawn from the holdings of the University of Chicago Library and the Filson Historical Society of Louisville, Kentucky. Among the sources included are books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, scientific publications, broadsides, letters, journals, legal documents, ledgers and other financial records, maps, physical artifacts, and pictorial images. The collection documents the travels of the first Europeans to enter the trans-Appalachian West, the maps tracing their explorations, their relations with Native Americans, and their theories about the region’s mounds and other ancient earthworks. Naturalists and other scientists describe Western bird life and bones of prehistoric animals. Books and letters document the new settlers’ migration and acquisition of land, navigation down the Ohio River, planting of crops, and trade in tobacco, horses, and whiskey. Leaders from Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to Isaac Shelby, William Henry Harrison, Aaron Burr, and James Wilkinson comment on politics and regional conspiracies. Documents also reveal the lives of trans-Appalachian African Americans, nearly all of them slaves; the position of women; and the roles of churches, schools, and other institutions.

Links to treaties between the US and Native American tribes between 1778 and 1868.

Letters and journals of a prominent Indian agent during the era of the French and Indian War

Sources for Military History

Documents related to South Carolina and the Revolutionary War

  • Revolutionary War Military Documents:
    http://www.revwar75.com/library/index.htmThis site contains a number of transcribed documents relating to the military aspects of the war, most focusing on recounting battles on land and sea.

Fire destroyed the War Department office in 1800. For decades historians believed that its files, and the window they provide into the early federal government, had been lost forever. This collection unites copies of the lost files in a digital archive that reconstitutes this invaluable historical resource.

Papers of the War Department 1784-1800, an innovative digital editorial project, will change that by making some 42,000 documents of the early War Department many long thought irretrievable but now reconstructed through a painstaking, multi-year research effort available online to scholars, students, and the general public.

These Papers record far more than the era’s military history. Between 1784 and 1800, the War Department was responsible for Indian affairs, veteran affairs, naval affairs (until 1798), as well as militia and army matters. During the 1790s, the Secretary of War spent seven of every ten dollars of the federal budget (debt service excepted). The War Office did business with commercial firms and merchants all across the nation; it was the nation’s largest single consumer of fabric, clothing, shoes, food, medicine, building materials, and weapons of all kinds.

  • The Siege of Boston (Massachusetts Historical Society):
    http://www.masshist.org/online/siege/index.phpMore than one dozen accounts written by individuals personally engaged in or affected by the Siege, including soldiers, prisoners (one imprisoned Loyalist and one Patriot), and residents along with the record of a town meeting during the Siege. These first-hand experiences recounted in 25 manuscripts (approximately 300 pages of letters, diaries, and documents from the Massachusetts Historical Society collections) give the human side of the American Revolution, a perspective often overlooked in histories that describe the Siege as a series of military events. Three maps show the original, ruggedly-shaped peninsula of Boston, the harbor and harbor islands. The maps show various locations associated with the Siege including some military positions and defenses such as the blockade lines (or “works”) on Boston Neck (the thin strip of land connecting the peninsula to Roxbury).
  • The Rochambeau Map Collection (Library of Congress):
    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/rochambeau-maps/index.html
    The Rochambeau Map Collection contains cartographic items used by Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725-1807), when he was commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780-82) during the American Revolution. The maps were from Rochambeau’s personal collection, cover much of eastern North America, and date from 1717 to 1795. The maps show Revolutionary-era military actions, some of which were published in England and France, and early state maps from the 1790s. Many of the items in this extraordinary group of maps show the importance of cartographic materials in the campaigns of the American Revolution as well as Rochambeau’s continuing interest in the new United States.

This site lists documents that have been digitized from items/volumes in the New York State Library’s collection. The New York State Library holds an extensive collection of material on the American Revolutionary War in print, microform, and online formats. This material consists of troop rosters and other details extracted from muster and pay rolls, Loyalist records, colonial New York State history documents, military bounty land records, diaries, orderly books, personal papers of participants and broadsides.  The New York State Library is also a depository for several record series compiled by New York State Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution, including grave locations of Revolutionary soldiers and their immediate family members buried in New York State.

  • Letters from Spies During the American Revolution:
    http://www.si.umich.edu/spies/The exhibit is based on spy letters from the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The Gallery of Letters provides a brief description of each letter and links to more information about the stories of the spies in the letter or the secret methods used to make the letter.

An introduction to the diverse elements of the 18th century fortifications in America. This online exhibit features examples from the Clement Library’s rich collection of plans and maps.

This site contains transcriptions of the applications for Revolutionary War veterans and widows.  As part of the application, veterans usually recounted their military service during the war.  The pensions are also a window in the lives of ordinary men and women before and, especially, after the war.

Sources for Religious History

  • Religion and the Founding of the American Republic (Library of Congress):
    http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/Library of Congress exhibit on religion and the American Revolution containing many documents and images.

Early Virginia Religious Petitions presents images of 423 petitions submitted to the Virginia legislature between 1774 and 1802 from more than eighty counties and cities. Drawn from the Library of Virginia’s Legislative Petitions collection, the petitions concern such topics as the historic debate over the separation of church and state championed by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, the rights of dissenters such as Quakers and Baptists, the sale and division of property in the established church, and the dissolution of unpopular vestries. The collection provides searchable access to the petitions’ places of origin and a brief summary of each petition’s contents, as well as summaries of an additional seventy-four petitions that are no longer extant. The collection complements the Library of Congress exhibition Religion and the Founding of the American Republic and is a collaborative venture between the Library of Congress and the Library of Virginia.

Journal of Presbyterian ministers travels through the Carolina back country to persuade Loyalists to join the Patriot side.

The papers of the Reverend Oliver Hart (1723-1795) span the years 1741 to 1795 and include correspondence, diaries, and sermon notes from colonial and Revolutionary periods in Charleston, S.C. The bulk of the correspondence is from Oliver Hart to his brother, Colonel Joseph Hart of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, relaying news from South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. Ten volumes of diaries and journals detail diverse activities in Hart’s life. Topics discussed include a storm in Charleston harbor in 1761, travels in Virginia and North Carolina, and his tour of the South Carolina upcountry during the initial months of the American Revolution with William Henry Drayton (1742-1779) and Congregational minister William Tennent III (1740–1777), and later officiated at the latter’s funeral. Throughout his journals, Hart always notes the weather and from what verse he preached a particular sermon.