Featured Primary Sources

The Road to Revolution

Nothing can enrich and enliven our understanding of the nation’s past, or dispel apathy about it, more powerfully than primary sources. The primary sources below open up a variety of viewpoints and have been chosen by master teachers specifically for use in the classroom. Affiliate School members can print a packet that includes an image of the document, photograph, or other resource, a transcript where applicable, text to place the document in historical context, and document-based questions. Additionally, you may want to search the Gilder Lehrman Collection itself for other resources to enrich your lessons.

Paul Revere, “The Bloody Massacre in King-Street, March 5, 1770.” Boston, 1770.

Paul Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre, 1770

Creator: Paul Revere Curriculum Subjects: Art, World History Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
King George III, Proclamation of 1763, 1763. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Proclamation of 1763, 1763

Creator: George III, King of Great Britain Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
"Bloody Butchery by the British Troops,” broadside by Ezekiel Russell, 1775. (Th

The Battles of Lexington and Concord, 1775

Creator: Ezekiel Russell Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

Primary Sources from Other Sub-Eras

Declaration of Independence, Charleston, South Carolina, August 2, 1776. (Gilde

Declaration of Independence, 1776

Creator: Continental Congress Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Henry Knox to Lucy Knox, July 8, 1776. (GLC02437.00363)

Henry Knox on the British invasion of New York, 1776

Creator: Henry Knox Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: