May 27, 2022

Primary Source Documents: Free Access During March to “History of America in 50 Documents” From Adam Matthew

Note: Users do not need to register for the following resource. Just click and go.

From Adam Matthew:

From 1st-31st March, Adam Matthew will enable free access to ‘American History in 50 Documents’ fifty hand-picked documents [full image] and associated analysis of their importance from the first module of American History, 1493-1945, sourced exclusively from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York.

These primary source documents illustrate some of the key themes of American History during the period covered in Module 1 (1493-1859) – African-American History, Women’s History, Native American Indian History, Military History, Religion, Reform Movements, Migration and more – enabling users to uncover key moments in the lives of the characters.

By visiting during March visitors may explore examples such as:

  • Pierce Butler’s annotated copy of the first draft of the United States Constitution; one of two drafts contained within the first module of the collection
  • Correspondence between George Washington and Henry Knox, including Washington expressing his reluctance to accept the role of President of the United States; part of the Henry Knox Papers of over 10,000 items relating to the Bostonian’s journey through the Revolutionary and New Nation eras
  • A letter written by Harriet Beecher Stowe to England’s Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, accompanying a first edition of her controversial abolitionist novel ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’, published in 1852; forming part of many of the original manuscript letters within the collection

The complete Module I: Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform, 1493-1859 [of the American History, 1493-1945 database] provides access to 50,000 letters, diaries, maps, pamphlets, printed books, newspapers and photographs. Module II, Civil War, Reconstruction and the Modern Era, 1860-1945 is scheduled to be released this summer.

Direct to The History of America in 50 Documents: 1493-1859

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.