Custom Sourcebook: U.S. History I to 1877

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Read the Spring 2019 update by Kelli McCoy

Table of Contents

Unit 1: Old Worlds in Transition: America, Africa, and Europe before 1600

Privileges and Prerogatives Granted by Their Catholic Majesties to Christopher Columbus (1492)
Requerimiento (1513)
Martin Luther: Ninety-five Theses (1517)

Unit 2: Exploration, Conquest, and Settlement in the New World (1450–1650)

Iroquois Thanksgiving Address (ca. 1451)
Christopher Columbus: Letter to Raphael Sanxis on the Discovery of America (1493)
The Journey of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (1542)
Bartolomé de las Casas: A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies (1552)
Father Paul Le Jeune: “Brief Relation of the Journey to New France” (1632)
Adriaen van der Donck: Description of the New-Netherlands (1650)

Unit 3: English Beginnings in the Chesapeake (1607–1676)

John Rolfe: Letter to Sir Edwin Sandys (1619)
Richard Frethorne: Letter to His Parents (1623)
John Smith: The Generall Historie of Virginia (1624)
Massachusetts Bay Colony Trial against Anne Hutchinson (1637)
Maryland Toleration Act (1649)
Nathaniel Bacon: Manifesto (1676)

Unit 4: Empires in Flux (1620–1681)

Mayflower Compact (1620)
Letter of Edward Winslow to a Friend (1621)
John Winthrop: “A Model of Christian Charity” (1630)
Virginia's Act XII: Negro Women's Children to Serve according to the Condition of the Mother (1662)
Virginia's Act III: Baptism Does Not Exempt Slaves from Bondage (1667)

Unit 5: Wars for Empire (1685–1763)

Ann Putnam: Confession (1706)
Jonathan Edwards: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (1741)
John Woolman: Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes (1754)
“A Minute against Slavery Addressed to Germantown Monthly Meeting” (1688)
Letters of Governor Alexander Spotswood (1712-1716)
Benjamin Franklin: “The Way to Wealth” (1758)
Proclamation of 1763 (1763)

Unit 6: Tax Acts, Declaring Independence, and the American Revolution (1763–1783)

James Otis: The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved (1764)
Declaration of Rights of the Stamp Act Congress (1765)
Boston Non-Importation Agreement (1768)
Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography (1771)
Samuel Adams: “CANDIDUS” (1771)
Benjamin Franklin: “Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One” (1773)
Proclamation by the King for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition (1775)
Patrick Henry: “Liberty or Death” Speech (1775)
Thomas Paine: Common Sense (1776)
George Mason: Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776)
Abigail Adams: “Remember the Ladies” Letter to John Adams (1776)
John Adams: Thoughts on Government (1776)
Declaration of Independence (1776)
Articles of Confederation (1777)
Petition of Prince Hall and Other African Americans to the Massachusetts General Court (1777)
Pennsylvania: An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery (1780)

Unit 7: Debating, Defining, and Ratifying a Constitution (1783–1791)

Thomas Jefferson: Notes on the State of Virginia (1784)
Thomas Jefferson:  Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom (1786)
Constitution of the United States (1787)
Slavery Clauses in the U.S. Constitution (1787)
Northwest Ordinance (1787)
James Madison: Federalist 10 (1787)
John Jay: Federalist 2-5 and 64 (1787-1788)
James Madison: Federalist 51 (1788)
Patrick Henry: “Liberty or Empire?” Speech (1788)
Bill of Rights (1791)

Unit 8: Making the New Republic (1789–1800)

George Washington: First Inaugural Address (1789)
Alexander Hamilton: “Opinion as to the Constitutionality of the Bank of the United States” (1791)
Thomas Jefferson: “Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank” (1791)
George Washington: Proclamation of Neutrality (1793)
Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 (1793)
Richard Allen: “An Address to Those Who Keep Slaves and Approve the Practice” (1794)
George Washington: Farewell Address (1796)
Alien and Sedition Acts (1798)

Unit 9: The Jeffersonian Revolution (1800–1816)

Thomas Jefferson: First Inaugural Address (1801)
Thomas Jefferson: Message to Congress about the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803)
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Louisiana Purchase Treaty (1803)
Ohio Black Code (1803)
Aaron Burr: Address to the Court on Innocence of Treason (1807)
Fletcher v. Peck (1810)
Tecumseh: Speech to Governor William Henry Harrison at Fort Vincennes (1810)
Tecumseh: Speech to Major General Henry Procter at Fort Malden (1813)

Unit 10: The Roots of American Exceptionalism (1815–1850)

James Monroe: Second Inaugural Address (1821)
John Quincy Adams: First Annual Message to Congress (1825)
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Catherine E. Beecher: Treatise on Domestic Economy (1842)
Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842)
Harriet Farley (Using the Pseudonym “Susan”): Letters from the Lowell Mill (1844)
Josephine L. Baker: “A Second Peep at Factory Life” (1845)
Margaret Fuller: Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
Seneca Falls Convention Declaration of Sentiments (1848)

Unit 11: Democracy in America (1820–1850)

Missouri Compromise (1820)
Monroe Doctrine (1823)
Andrew Jackson on Indian Removal (1830)
Cherokee Nation v. The State of Georgia (1831)
John C. Calhoun: “On the Relation Which the States and General Government Bear to Each Other” (1831)
South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification (1832)

Unit 12: The Old South: Slavery and the Politics of the Plantation (1808–1860)

David Walker: Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World (1829)
The Confessions of Nat Turner (1831)
William Lloyd Garrison: First Liberator Editorial (1831)
William Wells Brown: “Slavery As It Is” (1847)
Frederick Douglass: First Editorial of the North Star (1847)
Frederick Douglass: Letter “To My Old Master” (1848)
Frederick Law Olmsted: Journeys and Explorations in the Cotton Kingdom (1861)
Frances Anne Kemble: Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839 (1863)

Unit 13: Manifest Destiny

James Polk: Message to Congress on War with Mexico (1846)
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)
Henry David Thoreau: “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” (1849)
Compromise of 1850 (1850)
Stephen A. Douglas: Speech Defending the Compromise of 1850 (1850)

Unit 14: The Gathering Storm (1850–1860)

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (1850)
Sojourner Truth: “Ain't I a Woman?” (1851)
Daniel Webster: Speech to the Senate on the Preservation of the Union (1850)
Frederick Douglass: “Fourth of July” Speech (1852)
John C. Frémont: The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains Oregon and California (1853)
Wendell Phillips: “The Philosophy of the Abolition Movement” (1853)
Henry David Thoreau: Walden (1854)
Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)
Abraham Lincoln: “House Divided” Speech (1858)
William Henry Seward: Speech on the “Irrepressible Conflict” (1858)
John S. Rock: “Whenever the Colored Man Is Elevated It Will Be by His Own Exertions” (1858)
South Carolina Declaration of Causes of Secession (1860)

Unit 15: America at War (1861–1865)

Jefferson Davis: Farewell Address to the U.S. Senate (1861)
Jefferson Davis: Inaugural Address to the Confederacy (1861)
Abraham Lincoln: First Inaugural Address (1861)
Emancipation Proclamation (1862)
Pacific Railway Act (1862)
Homestead Act (1862)
Frederick Douglass: “Men of Color, To Arms!” (1863)
Gettysburg Address (1863)
Ulysses S. Grant: Letter to William Tecumseh Sherman (1864)
Abraham Lincoln: Second Inaugural Address (1865)
Articles of Agreement Relating to the Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia (1865)

Unit 16: Reconstruction

Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1865)
Black Code of Mississippi (1865)
Testimony before the Joint Committee on Reconstruction on Atrocities in the South against Blacks (1866)
Civil Rights Act of 1866 (1866)
Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868)
Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1868)
Henry McNeal Turner: Speech on His Expulsion from the Georgia Legislature (1868)
Ku Klux Klan Act (1871)