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

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A Delegate to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention Fears for the Little People

The ratification of the United States Constitution was the subject of intense discussion, debate, and dissent during the period 1787-1789. Though ultimately ratified by all thirteen states, the decision was by no means unanimous, and ratification [...]

A Virginia Patriot Speaks Out Against Ratification of the Constitution

Patrick Henry was a Virginia patriot best known for his "Give me liberty or give me death!" speech on the eve of the Revolutionary War. He was also known as one of the most radical advocates of republican government. In this speech before the [...]

A Virginian Argues for a Bill of Rights at the Ratification Convention

Patrick Henry, the Virginia patriot best known for his "Give me liberty or give me death!" speech, was also one of the leading Anti-Federalists. In this excerpt from a speech before the Virginia Ratification Convention, he makes the case for an [...]

A Revolutionary Veteran Describes African-American Soldiers

A white veteran of the Revolutionary War, known only as "Dr. Harris," delivered this speech before the Congregational and Presbyterian Anti-Slavery Society in New Hampshire in 1842.

A Massachusetts Farmer Favors the New Constitution

The ratification of the United States Constitution was the subject of intense discussion, debate, and dissent between 1787 and 1789. Though ultimately ratified by all thirteen states, the decision was contentious and ratification faced considerable [...]

A Radical Patriot Urges "Common Sense and a Plain Understanding" in the Pennsylvania Constitution (with text supports)

In 1776 Pennsylvania organized a convention to write a new state constitution. James Cannon, a radical patriot leader, advised Pennsylvania militia members to be sure to select delegates to this convention who would respect the rights and authority [...]

An Ex-Slave Petitions the Pennsylvania Legislature to Remain Free

Cato, a slave newly freed with his children, wrote this letter to Freeman's Journal, an African-American newspaper, when the Pennsylvania legislature was debating whether to repeal a recently passed law that gradually emancipated all slaves in the [...]

A White Woman Describes the American Revolution from a Seneca Perspective

Mary Jemison, a white woman captured by Indians on the Pennsylvania frontier during the Seven Years' War and adopted into the Seneca tribe, recounts her experience of the American War for Independence from a Native American perspective. The Senecas, [...]

A Shoemaker Describes His Role in the Boston Tea Party

In 1773, the British parliament passed the Tea Act, which gave the British East India Company a monopoly on tea imports into the colonies. Angry colonists responded by refusing to allow ships carrying the tea to land or unload their cargo. In [...]

Portrait of Abigail Smith Babcock (Mrs. Adam Babcock)

Born in Boston in 1738, John Singleton Copley became America's first major portrait artist. He painted numerous people in both the colonies and London, including the notable patriots John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and John Adams. The subject of this [...]

Item Type: Painting