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  • Historical Eras > Revolution and New Nation (1751-1815) (x)

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John Ordway Describes Crossing the Rocky Mountains

These selections from John Ordway's journal describe the crossing of the Rocky Mountains, a particularly hazardous stretch of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In 1804 President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to lead [...]

Joseph Whitehouse Describes Crossing the Rocky Mountains

These selections from Joseph Whitehouse's journal describe the crossing of the Rocky Mountains, a particularly hazardous stretch of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In 1804 President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark [...]

A British Diplomat Reveals the Origins of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

This letter from English diplomat Edward Thornton to British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord Hawkesbury reveals the secretive origins of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Thornton reveals President Jefferson's plans to launch a western [...]

A French Diplomat Grants Lewis and Clark a Passport

This letter to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs describes the circumstances under which Louis Andre Pichon, a French diplomat, granted President Jefferson's request for a passport to expedite the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the North [...]

Thomas Jefferson Writes to Meriwether Lewis

This letter from Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis suggests the secretive atmosphere under which diplomatic preparations for the Lewis and Clark Expedition were made. As the letter indicates, initial information about the expedition was intended [...]

The Spanish Ambassador Attempts to Dissuade Jefferson's Western Expedition

This letter from the Spanish Ambassador to the Spanish Foreign Minister expresses the Spanish government's disapproval of the planned Lewis and Clark Expedition. In response to Jefferson's question, Ambassador Yrujo replies that the Expedition would [...]

James Madison Considers the Problems of a New Democracy

The United States Constitution, though ultimately ratified unanimously by all thirteen states, was the subject of intense discussion, debate, and dissent during the period 1787-1789. James Madison, a Virginia patriot and later the fourth president [...]

A New York Farmer Outlines His Opposition to the Constitution

The ratification of the United States Constitution was the subject of intense discussion, debate, and dissent during the period 1787-1789. Among those opposed to ratification were many small farmers in the North. As this letter written by "A [...]

Abigail Adams Reminds John Adams to "Remember the Ladies" (with text supports)

In this famous letter, Abigail Adams, already planning for the war's successful conclusion, admonishes her husband John Adams to consider inequality between men and women when developing laws for a newly independent nation.

A Virginia Delegate Lists His Objections to the Constitution

The United States Constitution, though eventually ratified by all thirteen states, was the subject of intense discussion, debate, and dissent during the period 1787-1789. Inherent flaws in the Articles of Confederation, which had served to bind the [...]