The links below are organized under the following headings:

Acts of Parliament, Acts of Congress, President/Founding Father most associated with a law or “Story,” Miscellaneous “Stories,” and Antiquarian Legal Texts.

ACTS OF PARLIAMENT (leading up to the Coercive / Intolerable Acts)

1651 – MERCANTILISM AND THE NAVIGATION ACTS

1764 – CURRENCY ACT

1764 – SUGAR ACT 

1765 – STAMP ACT

1765 – QUARTERING ACT

1766 – DECLARATORY ACT 

1773 – TEA ACT 

COERCIVE / INTOLERABLE ACTS (leading to the Revolutionary War)

1774 – BOSTON PORT ACT

1774 – QUARTERING ACT

1774 – ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE ACT

1774 – MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNMENT ACT

1774 – QUEBEC ACT

EARLY COLONIAL RESISTANCE – 1st Continental Congress

1774 – SUFFOLK RESOLVES

1774 – DECLARATION OF COLONIAL RIGHTS and the CONTINENTAL ASSOCIATION (coming soon)

1775 – PROHIBITORY ACT OF 1775 (Britain’s declaration of economic war against the colonies which helped precipitate the Declaration of Independence) and the OLIVE BRANCH PETITION

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE – 2nd Continental Congress

1776 – JEFFERSON AND THE SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS DECLARE INDEPENDENCE

1781 – THE BATTLE OF YORKTOWN

CONSTITUTION – Constitutional Convention

1787 – 1789 THE CONSTITUTION – AMERICA’S SECOND REVOLUTION

BILL OF RIGHTS – PART 1: BACKGROUND IN ANGLO-AMERICAN HISTORY

BILL OF RIGHTS – PART 2: CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION’S CURIOUS OMISSION

THE CONSTITUTION’S FORGOTTEN COVER LETTER – Part 1 (Overview)

THE CONSTITUTION’S FORGOTTEN COVER LETTER – Part 2 (the Hamilton Authorship Thesis)

THE CONSTITUTION’S FORGOTTEN COVER LETTER – Part 3 (the Legacy of the letter over time)

THE CONSTITUTION’S FORGOTTEN COVER LETTER – Part 4 (pending research questions)

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN AMERICA

1787 – THE COMPROMISE OVER WAR POWERS AND THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE (coming soon)

1787 – THE EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE: Part 1

1787 – THE EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE: Part 2

EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE: AN INTRODUCTION (PART 1)

EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND THE FOUNDERS (PART 2)

OVERVIEW OF THE FIRST CONGRESS

1789 – 1791: MADISON AND THE FIRST CONGRESS 

ACTS OF CONGRESS

Index of the Major Acts of Congress 1789 – 1898 (1st to 50th Congress)

1789 – OATH ACT (the first Act of the first Congress) 

1789 – ACT ESTABLISHING THE WAR DEPARTMENT

1789 – BILL OF RIGHTS: Part I

1789 – BILL OF RIGHTS: Part II

1790 – NATURALIZATION ACT OF 1790 (1st naturalization law)

1790 – COPYRIGHT ACT of 1790 (1st Federal copyright law)

1790 – CRIMES ACT of 1790 (1st Federal criminal laws)

1790 – RESIDENCE ACT (Hamilton’s grand compromise)

1790 – FUNDING ACT (Hamilton’s financial plan and assumption of state debt)(coming soon)

1790 – ACT OF THE GOVERNMENT AND REGULATION OF SEAMEN (1st Federal labor law)

1790 – ACT PROVIDING FOR MORE EFFECTIVE COLLECTION OF DUTIES (Hamilton creates the Coast Guard)

1790 – THE TREATY OF NEW YORK (the 1st treaty by the federal government)

1791 – WHISKEY TAX of 1791 (1st Internal Revenue tax)

1792 – MILITIA ACT of 1792 and Emergency Presidential powers

1792 – COINAGE ACT of 1792 (creating the U.S. Mint)

1793 – FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT OF 1793

1794 – CARRIAGE ACT OF 1794 (1st case appealed to the Supreme Court challenging an act of Congress)

1795 – JAY’S TREATY – Part 1 (background, controversy & treaty terms)

1795 – JAY’S TREATY – Part 2 (presidential leadership, the bitter ratification battle & the origin of executive privilege)

1795 – JAY’S TREATY – Part 3 (Hamilton’s Camillus essays defending the treaty)

1795 – FIRST SENATE REJECTION OF A SUPREME COURT NOMINEE (CHIEF JUSTICE RUTLEDGE’S SHORT RECESS APPOINTMENT)

1796 – THE INDIAN NON-INTERCOURSE ACT OF 1796

1796 – WASHINGTON’S FAREWELL ADDRESS

1796 – ACT RELATIVE TO QUARANTINE (1st federal quarantine law and the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793)

1798 – ALIEN & SEDITION ACTS

1798 – ACT ESTABLISHING THE NAVY DEPARTMENT

1798 – MARINE CORP ACT of 1798

1798 –  ACT FOR RELIEF OF SICK AND DISABLED SEAMEN (first Federal health insurance program)

1799 – LOGAN ACT

1801 – JUDICIARY ACT OF 1801 (Adams’ “Midnight judges” and Judicial Review)

1803 – ACT EXTENDING THE EXTERNAL COMMERCE OF THE US (Congress secretly authorizes funds for the Lewis and Clark Expedition)

1803 – THE TWELFTH AMENDMENT (and the Election of 1800)

1806 – CUMBERLAND ROAD (1st national highway)

1807 – INSURRECTION ACT OF 1807

1807 – ACT PROHIBITING THE IMPORTATION OF SLAVES

1813 – ACT TO ENCOURAGE VACCINATION

1828 – TARIFF OF ABOMINATIONS

1830 – INDIAN REMOVAL ACT  (Trail of Tears 1832-1838)

1833 – FORCE ACT & SOUTH CAROLINA NULLIFICATION CRISIS

1834 – HOUSE GAG RULE , ANTI-SLAVERY PETITIONS, AND “OLD MAN ELOQUENT”

1845 – THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION DATE ACT

1861 – REVENUE ACT (1st Federal Income Tax)

1862 – NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD ACT (Transcontinental Railroad)

1862 – MORRILL LAND GRANT COLLEGE ACT

1862 – THE MILITIA ACT OF 1862 (and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment)

1863 – CONSCRIPTION ACT of 1863 (1st wartime draft)

1863 – SUSPENSION OF HABEAS CORPUS

1861 – 1863 LINCOLN’S 37th CONGRESS

1866 – CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1866 (1st Federal civil rights law)

1866 – 14th AMENDMENT

1867 – PEONAGE ACT (an attempt to outlaw debt servitude)

1867  – TENURE IN OFFICE ACT (Johnson impeachment)

1872 – YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK PROTECTION ACT (first national park)(coming soon)

1882 – CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT

1883 – PENDLETON CIVIL SERVICE REFORM ACT

1887 – ELECTORAL COUNT ACT (and the election of 1876)

1887 – INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION (first independent agency)(coming soon)

1917 – U.S. ENTERS WORLD WAR I (Joint Declaration of War and the Acts of the 65th Congress):

Laws adopted during World War I: The Espionage Act, Trading with the Enemy Act, Selective Service Act, Liberty Loan Act, and the Overman Act

1919 – 19th AMENDMENT  (WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE)

1958 – NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ACT

1964 – THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964

1965 – THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965

MISCELLANEOUS

Alexander Hamilton

WHO WAS ALEXANDER HAMILTON? (a brief overview)

ALEXANDER HAMILTON’S EXTRAORDINARY LEGAL LEGACY (PowerPoint presentation)

HAMILTON’S REPRESENTATION OF LOYALISTS, PROPERTY CONFISCATION ACTS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW (the case of Rutgers v. Waddington)

HAMILTON AND THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN NEW YORK

HAMILTON CREATES THE COAST GUARD 

HAMILTON CREATES THE U.S. MINT

HAMILTON’S FIRST REPORT ON THE PUBLIC CREDIT

HAMILTON’S REPORT ON MANUFACTURES, INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS AND CLAY’S AMERICAN SYSTEM

HAMILTON’S REPORT ON MARINE HOSPITALS AND THE YELLOW FEVER EPIDEMIC OF THE 1790’s

HAMILTON’S WHISKEY TAX, THE FIRST INTERNAL REVENUE TAX

HAMILTON’S GRAND COMPROMISE, THE RESIDENCE ACT

HAMILTON SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS THE CARRIAGE ACT BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT IN HYLTON v. U.S.

THE PEOPLE v. LEVI WEEKS (HAMILTON AND BURR FOR THE DEFENSE) (Part 1)

THE PEOPLE v. LEVI WEEKS (THE TRIAL) (Part 2)

THE PEOPLE v. LEVI WEEKS (THE AFTERMATH) (Part 3)

HAMILTON’S DEFENSE OF JAY’S TREATY (the Camillus essays)

HAMILTON’S CO-DRAFTING OF WASHINGTON’S FAREWELL ADDRESS

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION: DID ALEXANDER HAMILTON DRAFT THE CONSTITUTION’S COVER LETTER ?

Thomas Jefferson

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE – WHEN DID THE COLONIES BECOME A NATION? 

LOUISIANA PURCHASE AND LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION

CUMBERLAND ROAD – JEFFERSON AND THE FIRST FEDERAL HIGWAY

ACT PREVENTING THE IMPORTATION OF SLAVES

THE ELECTION OF 1800 (and the 12th Amendment)

THE INSURRECTION ACT OF 1807 (and the Burr Conspiracy)

John Adams

THE PROHIBITORY ACT OF 1775 & THE OLIVE BRANCH PETITION

MASSACHUSETTS CONSTITUTION OF 1780 – JOHN ADAMS’ BLUEPRINT FOR THE U.S. CONSTITUTION 

ALIEN AND SEDITION ACTS – INFAMOUS ASSAULT ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT

JUDICIARY ACT OF 1801 – ADAMS’ MIDNIGHT JUDGES AND JUDICIAL REVIEW

ACT FOR RELIEF OF SICK AND DISABLED SEAMEN – FIRST FEDERAL HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM

James Madison

FATHER OF THE CONSTITUTION AND DRAFTER OF THE VIRGINIA PLAN

OVERVIEW OF THE FIRST CONGRESS – MADISON BREATHES LIFE INTO THE CONSTITUTION

THE BILL OF RIGHTS: PART I

THE BILL OF RIGHTS – PART 2

George Washington

THE BATTLE OF YORKTOWN

JAY’S TREATY – PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP, THE BITTER RATIFICATION BATTLE AND THE ORIGIN OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE

GEORGE WASHINGTON’S PERSONAL COPY OF THE CONSTITUTION AND ACTS OF THE FIRST CONGRESS

THE TREATY OF NEW YORK (the 1st treaty by the federal government)

MILITIA ACT of 1792 and EMERGENCY PRESIDENTIAL POWERS

WASHINGTON LEADS TROOPS TO QUELL THE WHISKEY REBELLION

THE “FIRST” THANKSGIVING AND WASHINGTON’S THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATIONS

TALE OF TWO GEORGES: A TOUR OF THE ROYAL COLLECTION IN LONDON

WASHINGTON’S FAREWELL ADDRESS

LINCOLN

REVENUE ACT of 1861 (1st Federal Income Tax)

NORTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD ACT (Transcontinental Railroad)

MORRILL LAND GRANT COLLEGE ACT

CONSCRIPTION ACT of 1863 (1st wartime draft)

SUSPENSION OF HABEAS CORPUS

1861 – 1863 LINCOLN’S 37th CONGRESS

Other stories

PATRIOT PUBLISHER ISAIAH THOMAS  AND THE MASSACHUSETTS SPY

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM (Mathew Carey’s literary magazine that chronicled the adoption of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the First Congress)

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE AND THEIR MANUALS – LAW BOOKS TRAVEL BY SADDLE BAG

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (“OLD MAN ELOQUENT”) – THE HOUSE GAG RULE AND ANTI-SLAVERY PETITIONS

THE FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, JOHN LOCKE AND THE SLAVE CODE OF 1740

PERSONAL LIBERTY LAWS – examples of Northern resistance to the FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW

THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN NEW YORK

FIRST AMERICAN COLONIAL PENSIONS

REVOLUTIONARY WAR PENSIONS – Federal assumption of state pensions

FEDERAL MILITARY PENSIONS 

ELIZA HAMILTON’S PENSION

MARTIN LUTHER KING’S LEGAL LEGACY AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACTS OF 1964, 1965 and 1968

JOHN LEWIS AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964

JOHN LEWIS AND THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965

JUNETEENTH – AMERICA’S SECOND INDEPENDENCE DAY

THE “FIRST” THANKSGIVING AND WASHINGTON’S THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATIONS

LINCOLN’S THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION

VETERANS DAY AND THE LAWS CREATING THE US MILITARY

THE STORY OF THE FIRST CODIFICATION OF STATE LAW – The 1829 Revised Laws of the State of New York

 NOTRE-DAME & THE FOUNDING GENERATION: Part 1

TALE OF TWO GEORGES: A TOUR OF THE ROYAL COLLECTION IN LONDON

THE PEOPLE v. LEVI WEEKS (HAMILTON AND BURR FOR THE DEFENSE) (Part 1)

THE PEOPLE v. LEVI WEEKS (THE TRIAL) (Part 2)

THE PEOPLE v. LEVI WEEKS (THE AFTERMATH) (Part 3)

HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN FLORIDA

FIRST SENATE REJECTION OF A SUPREME COURT NOMINEE (CHIEF JUSTICE RUTLEDGE’S SHORT RECESS APPOINTMENT)

HOLIDAYS

PRESIDENTS DAY AND OUR EXPERIMENT IN DEMOCRACY 

MARTIN LUTHER KING’S LEGAL LEGACY AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACTS OF 1964, 1965 and 1968

JUNETEENTH – AMERICA’S SECOND INDEPENDENCE DAY

THE “FIRST” THANKSGIVING AND WASHINGTON’S THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATIONS

LINCOLN’S THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION

VETERANS DAY AND THE LAWS CREATING THE US MILITARY

ANTIQUARIAN LEGAL TEXTS FOR COLLECTORS

First American law books after independence

1781 – THE CONSTITUTIONS OF THE SEVERAL INDEPENDENT STATES OF AMERICA; THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION (published by Francis Bailey, by order of Congress)

1787-1792: THE AMERICAN MUSEUM (the literary magazine that chronicled the adoption of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the First Congress)

1788 – THE PERPETUAL LAWS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS (Isaiah Thomas) – Including the Massachusetts Constitutions (the world’s oldest functioning constitution)

1795 – A SYSTEM OF THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT (Zephaniah Swift) – the first American treatise

1795 – THE NEW VIRGINIA JUSTICE (William Waller Hening) – early handbook and forms for justices of the peace under new American law 

1795 – THE MASSACHUSETTS JUSTICE: Being a Collection of the Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts relative to the Power and Duty of Justices of the Peace – early handbook for justice of the peace under new American law (Samuel Freeman, printed by Isaiah Thomas and Ebenezer Andrews)(coming soon)

1809 – A COLLECTION OF THE LAWS OF VIRGINIA (William Waller Hening) the first official compilation of the laws of Virginia, derived in part from Thomas Jefferson’s personal library

1830’s – THE STATUTES AT LARGE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, edited under the Authority of the Legislature (Thomas Cooper)

1810 – A DIGEST OF THE LAW OF EVIDENCE, IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES, AND A TREATISE ON BILLS OF EXCHANGE, AND PROMISSORY NOTES (Zephaniah Swift) – the first American treatise on evidence   

1829 – THE REVISED STATUTES OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK (John Duer, ‎Benjamin Franklin Butler, John C. Spencer) – the first official statutory codification of state law

1834 – THE DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS IN THE FIRST CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES WITH APPENDIX – Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and all the laws of a Public Nature with a Copious Index, in two volumes (published by Gales and Seaton, 1834)

First compilations of the Laws of the United States

1789 – GEORGE WASHINGTON’S PERSONAL COPY OF THE CONSTITUTION AND ACTS OF THE FIRST CONGRESS

1796 – LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES in three volumes through the Fourth Congress, Published with Authority (compiled by Zephaniah Swift and published by Richard Folwell, Philadelphia) 

1797 – LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, Published with Authority (printed by William Ross, Philadelphia) – coming soon

1789 – ACTS PASSED AT A CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA published with authority (Francis Childs and John Swaine, Philadelphia)