Featured Primary Sources

Empire Building

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.

Theodore Roosevelt to William H. Hunt, September 26, 1901 (Gilder Lehrman Collec

Confirming governors for territories of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, 1901

Creator: Theodore Roosevelt Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Our Victorious Fleets in Cuban Waters, 1898. (GLC03534)

Our Victorious Fleets in Cuban Waters, 1898

Creator: Currier & Ives Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Map of the United States, Mexico, and the West Indies, 1846 (GLC)

Panama Canal proposal, 1881

Creator: Ulysses S. Grant Curriculum Subjects: Geography, Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Primary Sources from Other Sub-Eras

Detail from U.S. Capitol

The Monroe Doctrine, 1823

Creator: James Monroe Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Geography, Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: