Primary Sources

Teachers, need a primary source to create a lesson in the classroom? 

Students, need a source for research project? 

You can find the primary sources that used in the unit plans here where they are searchable by keyword, title, and topic.  

Besides an image of the source, on its page, you may also find ways to purchase copies for the classroom, a transcription, and its proper citation for inclusion in a bibliography.

Our digitized collection, however, is much bigger than this selection.  Be sure to search the Collection section of our website too.

And if you  need help reading old handwriting, there are many sources on line, such as this one from ancestry.com.

Browse Sources

The Dead House on the Schuylkill stood on what is now the west side of 22nd Street between Race and Vine Streets. It was used to store dead bodies during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793.  This watercolor was made by David. J. Kennedy from an old pen & ink drawing by Birch.

Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) was a Philadelphia doctor who was involved in the military and political aspects of the American Revolution and early republic.  He was controversial as an advocate for inoculation (a new practice)  and bleed letting (an traditional medical practice).  He was also an abolitionist and advocate for mental health.

This engraving is after a painting by Thomas Sully.

This bound volume contains incoming correspondence to Doctor Benjamin Rush regarding the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia. Letters are written by a variety of Philadelphians, many seeking treatment or aid in identifying symptoms of Yellow Fever. Some letters contain graphic descriptions of symptoms.

Excerpts are transcriptions of testemonies regarding the Kensington Riots from Morton McMichael, High Sherrif of Philadelphia, and Brigadier General Cadwallader.

This  article from a magazine called The Republic is on the Kensington Riots.

This edition of the newspaper was published during the Bible Riots. This particular page features an assortment of advertisements.

A long poem by an unknown writer on the Kensington Massacre from May, 1844.

Clipping of an Americans for Democratic Action printing of a Stamford poll testing Americans' views on different aspects of the war in Vietnam.

Book written by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith in 1967 outlining a plan to remove US troops from Vietnam. 

Foreign policy statement read on the Senate floor on January 31st, 1966, by Senator Joseph Sill Clark, outlining his plan for detante in the Cold War. Clark stresses the need to keep Russia and China from uniting, and asserts that the continual "Search and Destroy" bombing campaign in Vietnam will not serve to that end.

Pamphlet published by Women Strike for Peace, outlining arguments against United States military involvement in Vietnam at the outset of the conflict. In particular the pamphlet suggests that a costly war will distract from Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society policies beginning to take effect in the mid-1960s.

An open letter to President Johnson, published in the New York Times on March 1, 1965 and signed by several hundred university faculty questioning the United States war with Vietnam.