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.

This cartoon is from the 1912 Presidential Election and shows Woodrow Wilson as the new President on his way to Washington. The moose is Theodore Roosevelt since he ran under the Bull Moose Party and the Elephant is William Taft since he ran as the Republican candidate.

This cartoon was created in 1908, and it depicts Standard Oil as a snake coiling around Uncle Sam. It is referencing the power of Standard Oil to control the government.

This cartoon is referencing Theodore Roosevelt’s political fight with William Barnes. He charged Barnes with political corruption after Barnes repeatedly opposed Roosevelt within the Republican Party. Roosevelt claimed that Barnes worked with Charles Murphy and created a corrupted government. Roosevelt eventually won the trial against Barnes, ending Barnes political career.

This cartoon is referencing the 1912 presidential election where former President Theodore Roosevelt ran under the Bull Moose Party Platform against President William Taft and Democratic Candidate Woodrow Wilson.

This cartoon presents John D. Rockefeller telling a bedtime story to the child in his arms that is labeled “common people.” It is referencing Rockefeller’s business tactics and poking fun at how he came to corner the oil market.

This cartoon is referencing the "Panic of 1907" that caused several banks and trusts to fail. Although it was quickly quelled, it is known as the first modern day banking panic where people began to question banking procedures.

At the time of the Civil War, the local volunteer militia was only allowed to serve three months out of a year. This illustration is refferencing that by showing the man coming home, yet assuring his family he will return to the militia soon. 

This illustration compares the 1860 Presidential Race to Baseball. Baseball was a popular sport, even in the 1800s, although the rules were slightly different than today. In the cartoon, President Abraham Lincoln is the only candidate to score a "run" and he is carrying a rail, not a baseball bat. 

This cartoon is in reference to President Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction policies, particularly pardoning Confederates. 

Jefferson Davis is running away from oncoming soldiers after the Confederacy surrendered. 

This cartoon was created after the Battle of Chancellorsville, somtimes considered General Lee's greatest victory.

This cartoon is mocking women who live in the North, yet are Southern sympathizers.