Featured Primary Sources

The Thirteen Colonies

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. In addition, you may want to search the Gilder Lehrman Collection itself for other resources to enrich your lessons.

A view of Savanah [sic] as it stood the 29th of March, 1734, engraving by Pierre

A View of Savannah, Georgia, 1734

Creator: Pierre Fourdrinier Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
New-York Weekly Journal, May 19, 1735. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Arguments for educating women, 1735

Creator: John Peter Zenger Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississippi [map of North America], by Guil

Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississipi, 1718

Creator: Guillaume De l’Isle Curriculum Subjects: Geography, World History Grade Levels:
John Reid Jr., Indenture of apprenticeship with Robert Livingston Jr., 1742 (GLC

Indenture agreement, 1742

Creator: John Reid Jr. Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
John P. Zenger, New-York Weekly Journal, March 11, 1733[/4] (GLC08724p3)

Slave revolt in the West Indies, 1733

Creator: John Peter Zenger Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Geography, World History Grade Levels:
Daniel Horsmanden, A Journal of the Proceedings . . . 1744. (GLC04502.01)

The New York Conspiracy of 1741

Creator: Daniel Horsmanden Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels:
A Memorial of the State of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England to Q

The Province of Massachusetts Bay requests aid from Queen Anne, 1708

Creator: Thomas Oliver Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Primary Sources from Other Sub-Eras

Archibald Hinshelwood to Joshua Mauger, August 19, 1765. (GLC03902.61)

A report on reaction to the Stamp Act, 1765

Creator: Archibald Hinshelwood Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels:
The Christian History, June 30, 1744, published by Thomas Prince (GLC08819p137)

A revival of religious fervor, 1744

Creator: Thomas Prince Curriculum Subjects: Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels:
Agreement between Livingston and Kidd, and Blackham, 1696. (GLC)

A secret agreement between pirate hunters, 1696

Creator: Robert Livingston, William Kidd, and Richard Blackham Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels:
John Winthrop to Nathaniel Rich, May 22, 1634. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

John Winthrop describes life in Boston, 1634

Creator: John Winthrop Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Recens Edita totius Novi Belgii [New Netherland - New York], 1730. (Gilder Lehrm

Map of the New World, with European settlements and American Indian tribes, 1730

Creator: Matthew Seutter Curriculum Subjects: Geography Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
he Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.... (London, 1794). (Lib

Olaudah Equiano

Creator: Curriculum Subjects: Economics, World History Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
The Stamp Act, pamphlet, published in London, 1765. (GLC03562.11)

The Stamp Act, 1765

Creator: George III Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels:
True copy of articles, whereupon . . . the New Netherlands were surren

The surrender of New Netherland, 1664

Creator: Richard Nicholls Curriculum Subjects: Geography Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+