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

New Hampshire's Tobias Lear was on the scene during the long slow death of President George Washington at Mount Vernon. His detailed and carefully written account offers a detailed view of Washington's last moments.

An excerpt published in the Philadelphia Inquirer during the Civil War era, this editorial informs the public of the Federal Marshall's decision to suppress another local paper, Christian Observer. The attack and suppression of the Christian Observer comes as a result of its anti-Union sentiments. Obviously deriding the Christian Observer, it is clear that the Philadelphia Inquirer supports the government's decision. This is a clear cut demonstration of the Inquirer's Republican bias at the time.

Photographs of the Woman's Land Army from the Philadelphia War Photograph Committee collection documenting World War I participation on the Philadelphia home front.

Photograph of a National League for Woman's Service Exhibition on the seventh floor of the Gimbel Brothers store.

Photograph of the first yeowoman sworn in from the Philadelphia War Photograph Committee collection documenting World War I participation on the Philadelphia home front.

Photographs of female railroad workers from the Philadelphia War Photograph Committee collection documenting World War I participation on the Philadelphia home front.

Photographs of the Woman's Liberty Loan drive and parade from the Philadelphia War Photograph Committee collection documenting World War I participation on the Philadelphia home front.

Settlers blamed the Provincial Pennsylvania government for not providing militia support to stop Indian attacks. This list of their complaints was an attempt to highlight their plight and to request redress of these grievances from the Provincial government was written between 1760 and 1770. 

This account of 1755-1757, chronicled by a soldier, not only listed the names of settlers killed in a particular region of the country, but also the number of persons that were made captive by the Indians.

As the French and Indian Wars wound down, Trustees for the Mennonites wrote this letter to the Commissioners for Indian Affairs about negotiating to secure the release of the white settlers that are still being held prisoners by the Indians. The letter is dated June 6, 1760.

  
 

James Kenny meticulously kept a ledger book of the trades between the Indians and the back settlers at Fort Augusta. His ledger book contains a record of this mutually beneficial trade between the two groups from May 6th until August 10th of 1763 in the vicinity of present day Sunbury, Pennsylvania.

James Kenny, originally from Chester County, journeyed to Fort Pitt (present-day Pittsburgh) in 1761 to take charge of a trading store established by the Commissioners of Indian Affairs. His two-year diary describes in great detail the activities of local Native Americans with whom he traded.