References/Resources (clink on the link below)


1774 – 1789: Continental Congress to Constitutional Convention (Library of Congress)

1789 – 1950: U.S. Statutes at Large (Library of Congress)

1951 – 2011: U.S. Statutes at Large (Library of Congress)

Statutes at Large ( 

Congressional Timeline of over 900 laws (Dirksen Congressional Center)

Treaties and Foreign Affairs:

U.S. Treaties (Library of Congress)

Foreign Relations Series pre-1945 (State Department Office of the House Historian)

Foreign Relations Series 1945 – 1988 (State Department Office of the Historian)

Primary Sources – founding fathers and mothers

Correspondence between founding fathers and mothers (National Archives)

Papers of the founding fathers and mothers (The American Founding Era – U. of Virginia)

Federalist Papers (Library of Congress) 

George Washington’s papers (Library of Congress)

John Adams’ papers (National Archives)

John Adams’ Novanglus Essays  (published in the Boston Gazette 1774-1775)

John Adams and the Massachusetts Constitution (Mass Historical Society)

Thomas Jefferson’s papers (Library of Congress)

Thomas Jefferson’s papers (Princeton University)

Thomas Jefferson’s book collection (Library of Congress)

Thomas Jefferson’s catalog (Library of Congress)

James Madison’s papers (University of Virginia)

Dolley Madison’s papers (University of Virginia)

Abraham Lincoln’s papers (Library of Congress)

Benjamin Franklin’s papers (National Archives)

Benjamin Franklin’s papers and publications (Library of Congress)

Alexander Hamilton’s papers (National Archives)

Alexander Hamilton’s papers (Library of Congress)

Alexander Hamilton antiquaria (Kaller collection)

Primary Sources – historic documents

The Constitutional Convention

Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention (Library of Congress)

Farrand’s Records of the Federal Convention of 1787

Journal of the Constitutional Convention kept by James Madison (edited by E. H. Scott)

Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention

Journal, Acts and Proceedings of the Convention Assembled at Philadelphia which formed the Constitution of the United States

Notes of Rufus King on the Constitutional Convention

Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Convention assembled in Philadelphia for the purpose of forming the Constitution (from the notes of Robert Yates)

The Virginia Plan presented by Edmund Randolph

The New Jersey Plan presented by William Patterson

Alexander Hamilton’s Plan

Charles Pickney’s Plan


Elliot’s Debates (Library of Congress)

Ratification debates (Center for the Study of the American Constitution)

Popular culture and ratification (Center for the Study of the American Constitution)

Illustrations appearing in newspapers during the ratification debates (Center for the Study of the American Constitution)

Political humor in the ratification debate (Center for the Study of the American Constitution)

New York Ratification Exhibit (NY Historical Society)

Other primary sources

First Congress Project (George Washington University)

American Memory Project (Library of Congress) 

American State Papers 1789 – 1838 (Library of Congress)

Avalon Project of primary sources (Yale University)

100 Milestone Documents in American History (

Shaping the Constitution (Library of Virginia)

Primary documents in American History (Library of Congress) (National Archives)

Documents for the study of American History (AMDOCS)

American History project – from Revolution to Reconstruction

America’s Homepage – historical documents

Abraham Lincoln’s papers

Records of the House of Representatives

Anthology of constitutional history  (The Founder’s Constitution website)

Foundational documents (Center for the Study of the American Constitution)

Gilderman Lehrman Institute of American History

U.S. Capital Historical Society blog

Presidential Speeches (Miller Center)

Historical Society of the New York Courts

Revolution Era Maps and Charts (Library of Congress)

Congressional debates & State of the Union addresses

Journal of the Continental Congress

Annals of Congress – 1st Congress to 18th Congress (Library of Congress)

Register of Debates – 18th Congress to 25th Congress (Library of Congress)

Congressional Globe – 23rd Congress to 42nd Congress (Library of Congress)

Annals of Congress volumes 1-42 (Hatitrust)

Congressional Record – printed by the Government Printing Office beginning in 1873 (Library of Congress)

State of the Union addresses (American Presidency Project)

State of the Union history blog

Presidential documents, statements, and speeches (The American Presidency Project)

Current legislation (

Colonial period & early Antebellum America

Early State Constitutions (National Humanities Institute) 

Colonial Charters (National Humanities Institute)

Foundational Documents (Center for the Study of the American Constitution)

Colonial History (

Essays in the History of Early American Law (edited by David H. Flaherty)

The History of the American Bar (Charles Warren)

Esteemed Bookes of Lawe and the Legal Culture of Early Virginia (edited by Billings & Tarter)

Legal Publishing in Antebellum America (M.H. Hoeflich)

Historic Newspapers (Library of Congress) 

Early English law

Charter of Liberties (1100)

Magna Carta (1215)

Petition of Right (1628)

English Bill of Rights (1689)

Reference materials

Checklist of United States Public Documents 1789 – 1909 (Mary Ann Hartwell, GPO)

National Loans of the U.S. from 7/4/1776 to 6/30/1880 (U.S. Treasury)

Major Acts of Congress (Brian K. Landsberg, 2004)

Landmark Legislation, Major U.S. Acts and Treaties (Stephen W. Stathis, 2014)

The Laws that Shaped America: Fifteen Acts of Congress and their Lasting Impact (Dennis W Johnson, 2009)

The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A comprehensive Encyclopedia of America’s Founding (John R. Vile, 2005)

A History of the American Bar (Charles Warren, 1911)

American History for Kids (