"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers"
The Proclamation of 1763
by King George III (10/07/1763)
"The several Nations...of Indians...should not be molested"
"An act for granting certain duties in the British colonies and plantations in America."
Currency Act of 1764
"Great quantities of paper bills of credit have been created and issued in his Majesty's colonies or plantations in America..."
"An act for punishing mutiny and desertion, and for the better payment of the army and their quarters."
A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law
by John Adams (1765)
"The poor people, it is true, have been much less successful than the great."
"An act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British colonies and plantations in America."
The Stamp Act Crisis
by Archibald Hinschelwood (08/19/1765)
"There is a violent opposition raised on the continent"
The Continental Congress’ Declaration of Rights and Grievances
"We have several times promised to treat our readers with a correct copy of this venerable manuscript."
Resolutions on the Stamp Act
"That no man can justly take the property of another without his consent."
Benjamin Franklin and the Stamp Act Crisis
by Benjamin Franklin (1766)
"There is not gold and silver enough in the colonies to pay the stamp duty for one year"
Examination of Dr. Benjamin Franklin in the House of Commons
"There are taxes on all estates real and personal"
"An act for the better securing the dependency of his majesty's dominions in America upon the crown and parliament of Great Britain."
"An act for allowing a drawback of the duties of customs upon the exportation, from this kingdom, of coffee and cocoa nuts of the produce of the said colonies or plantations..."
Bostonians Protest the Townshend Acts
by John Hancock (09/14/1768)
"Taxes are imposed upon the People, with out their consent"
James Otis Describes the Situation in the American Colonies in 1769
by John Easson (07/27/1769)
"The governors of too many of ye colonies are not only unprincipled, but...rapacious"
North Carolina Regulators
"the Power of our County Courts so curtailed"
Accusations that the British Are Plotting to Deprive Americans of their Liberties
by Charles Thomson (11/26/1769)
"The army...is now publicly declared to be for the purpose of enforcing obedience to the authority of Parliament"
Account of the Boston Massacre
A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston
"The said party was formed into a half circle; and within a short time after they had been posted at the Custom House, began to fire upon the people."
The Boston Massacre
by Deacon John Tudor (03/05/1770 to 03/08/1770)
"A most horrid murder was committed...by 8 or 9 soldiers"
Account of the Boston Massacre
Captain Thomas Preston's account of the Boston Massacre
by Thomas Preston (03/13/1770)
"I was soon informed by a townsman their intention was to carry off the soldier from his post and probably murder him."
John Dickinson Identifies the Colonial Cause with Virtue and the British with Corruption
by John Dickinson (10/31/1770)
"I trust we have Virtue & Resolution"
Benjamin Franklin Grows Increasingly Alienated from the British Empire
by Benjamin Franklin (12/30/1770)
"My Enemies were forced to content themselves with abusing me...in the Newspapers"
by Richard H. Lee (06/19/1771)
"Lawyers, bad everywhere, but in Carolina [are] worse than bad"
Samuel Adams Describes the Situation in Massachusetts in 1772
by Samuel Adams (07/16/1772)
"The Wretch who betrays his Country"
Boston Tea Party
by George Robert Twelve Hewes (1773)
"An act to allow a drawback of the duties of customs on the exportation of tea to any of his Majesty's colonies or plantations in America."
John Adams Describes Escalating Tensions in Massachusetts
by John Adams (04/19/1773)
"A System of Tyranny gaining ground upon us every day"
John Adams Describes the Situation in Boston Five Days Prior to the Boston Tea Party
by John Adams (12/11/1773)
"Nothing but equal Liberty...can secure the attachments of the Colonies to Britain"
The Boston Tea Party
by John Easson (12/18/1773)
"There arrived from England 450 chests of tea"
A Summary View of the Rights of British America
by Thomas Jefferson (1774)
"Kings are servants, not the proprietors of the people."
Administration of Justice Act
"An act for the impartial administration of justice in the cases of persons questioned for any acts done by them in the execution of the law."
An Appeal to the Inhabitants of Quebec
"These are the invaluable rights that form a considerable part of our mild system of government..."
Boston Port Act
"it is therefore expedient that the officers of his Majesty’s customs should be forthwith removed from the said town..."
Massachusetts Government Act
"An act for the better regulating the government of the province of the Massachuset’s Bay, in New England."
Leading Bostonians War about the British Threat to the Colonists Liberties
by George Read (05/26/1774)
"We consider each Colony on this Continent as parts of the same body"
Quartering Act of 1774
The Continental Congress Expresses Fear that British Policies Will Reduce the Colonists to Slavery
"When a Nation...turns advocate for Slavery and Oppression, there is reason to suspect she has...ceased to be virtuous"
A False Report of a British Attack on Boston
by Caesar Rodney (09/17/1774)
"They found upwards of fifty thousand men well armed, actually on their march to Boston"
"An Act for making more effectual Provision for the Government of the Province of Quebec in North America."
Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress
"That they are entitled to life, liberty and property: and they have never ceded to any foreign power whatever, a right to dispose of either without their consent."
The Continental Congress Implores King George III to Intercede on the Colonists' Behalf
"We...lay our grievances before the throne"
John Adams Describes the Colonists' Grievances
by John Adams (12/28/1774)
"It will produce Resistance, and Reprisal, and a Flame through all America"
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death
by Patrick Henry (03/23/1775)
"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience."
How Britain Was Inflaming American Opinion
by Ezra Stiles (04/15/1775)
"We consider ourselves as laying the foundation of a glorious future Empire"
The Battles of Lexington and Concord
by Isaac Merrill (04/19/1775)
"Troops...marched to Lexington & there Killed a number of our American Soldiers"
Thomas Gage's 1775 Offer of Amnesty
by Laurence Fishburne and Thomas Gage (06/12/1775)
"The name of God has been introduced in the pulpits to excite and justify devastation and massacre"
The Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms
by John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson (07/06/1775)
"Our forefathers, inhabitants of the island of Great Britain, left their native land, to seek on these shores a residence for civil and religious freedom."
Olive Branch Petition
"We shall decline the ungrateful task of describing the irksome variety of artifices practised by many of your Majesty’s Ministers."
Royal Proclamation of Rebellion
"after various disorderly acts committed in disturbance of the publick peace..."
Mercy Otis Warren Describes Conditions in the Colonies in 1775
by Mercy Otis Warren (08/24/1775)
"All Europe is interested in the fate of America"
John Adams Proposes a Plan for a New State Government with Three Branches
by John Adams (11/15/1775)
"The Course of Events naturally turns the thoughts of Gentlemen to the Subjects of Legislation"
Letter from Gen. George Washington to John Hancock, President of Congress
by George Washington (12/04/1775)
A Sailor Says that a number of these Comeing out have been innoculated, with design of Spreading the Smallpox thro’ this Country & Camp.
Adam Smith Criticizes the British Colonial System
by Adam Smith (1776)
"To prohibit a great people...from making all that they can of every part of their own produce...is a manifest violation of the most sacred rights of mankind"
by Thomas Jefferson (1776)
"The Christian King of Great Britain [is] determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold"
Original Rough Draught of the Declaration of Independence
by Thomas Jefferson (1776)
"When in the course of human events"
by Thomas Paine (1776)
"I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense"
The Resolutions and Recommendations of Congress
(05/10/1776 to 05/15/1776)
"That it be referred to the Secret Committee"
Fragment of the First Draft of the Declaration of Independence
"we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends"
Richard H. Lee Defends his Call for American Independence
by Richard H. Lee (06/02/1776)
"It is not choice...but necessity that calls for Independence"
John Hancock Recounts British Hostilities Against the Colonists
by John Hancock (06/04/1776)
"Our affairs are hastening fast to a Crisis"
Lee Resolution for Independence
by Richard H. Lee (06/07/1776)
"they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown"
by George Mason (06/12/1776)
"neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other"
Virginia Declaration of Rights
"That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights."
The Declaration of Independence
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Quakers Address the Problem of Slavery
(09/23/1776 to 09/28/1776)
"The Iniquitous Practice of depriving any of their just right to Liberty"
Town Meeting Resolution
"Because the Same Body that forms a Constitution have of Consequence a power to alter it."
John Jay's 1776 Appeal to the Inhabitants of New York
by John Jay (12/23/1776)
"Our cause is the cause of God, of human nature & Posterity"
The American Crisis
by Thomas Paine (12/23/1776)
"THESE are the times that try men's souls."
Blaming Wartime Inflation on Loyalists
by Josiah Bartlett (04/21/1777)
"It seems their design is, this spring, to spread smallpox thro the country"
The Impact of the Revolution on the Homefront
by Lucy Knox (08/23/1777)
"I hope you will not consider yourself as commander in chief of your own house"
George Washington Reports on the Status of the War to Congress
by George Washington (12/14/1777 to 12/15/1777)
"It would be next to impossible for Britain to succeed"
George Washington Describes the Continental Army's Needs
by George Washington (12/29/1777)
"We had...not less than 2898 men unfit for duty, by reason of their being barefoot and otherwise naked"
A Glimpse of San Antonio in 1778
by Juan Agustin Morfi (1778)
"The streets are tortuous and are filled with mud the minute it rains."
Treaty of Alliance with France
"aid each other mutually with their good Offices"
Sir Henry Clinton's 1778 Manifesto and Proclamation
by Henry Clinton (10/03/1778)
"The benevolent overtures of Great-Britain towards a re-union and coalition with her colonies"
The War in the South
by Henry Laurens (02/14/1780)
"The loud roar of our approaching Enemy"
The Articles of Confederation
by Edmund Pendleton (09/25/1780)
"'Twas high time the confederation was completed"
Benedict Arnold's Treason
by Edmund Pendleton (10/17/1780)
"The story...is indeed shocking to humanity"
Thomas Jefferson Describes the Revolutionary War in the South
by Thomas Jefferson (10/22/1780)
"A considerable Fleet of the Enemy has arrived within our Capes"
The War in the South: Lord Cornwallis's 1781 Proclamation
by Charles Cornwallis (02/20/1781)
"Measures for suppressing the remains of the Rebellion"
George Mason Describes the State of the Revolutionary War in 1781
by George Mason (06/03/1781)
"Our affairs have been for some time growing from bad to worse"
An Assessment of the American Army's Prospects a Month Before the Battle of Yorktown
by Edmund Pendleton (09/10/1781)
"We are told the enemy['s]...superior fleet will soon drive off the French"
The Peace Negotiations with Britain
by Edmund Pendleton (10/21/1782)
"The designs of the enemy in strengthening Canada, & bending the residue of their force against the West Indies"
Treaty of Paris
"to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship..."
African Americans and the Revolution
by Peter Kiteridge (04/06/1806)
"In the year of our Lord 1775...I entered into the service of the U.S. as a private soldier"