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Early Republic

Jefferson's Empire
The Language of American Nationhood Peter S. Onuf

Thomas Jefferson believed that the American revolution was a transformative moment in the history of political civilization. He hoped that his own efforts as a founding statesman and theorist would help construct a progressive and enlightened order for the new American nation that would be a model... More

The Papers of George Washington
Revolutionary War Series, vol. 10June-August 1777 George Washington. Edited by Philander D. Chase

Volume 10 of the Revolutionary War Series opens with Washington headquartered at the Continental army's encampment at Middlebrook, New Jersey, about seven miles northeast of New Brunswick, the location of the main British force under General William Howe. From this strategic vantage point in the... More

The Papers of James Madison
5 November 1811-9 July 1812 James Madison. Edited by J. C. A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, Jewel L. Spangler, Ellen J. Barber, Martha J. King, Anne Mandeville Colony, and Susan Holbrook Perdue

Edited by J.C.A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, Jewel L. Spangler, Ellen J. Barber, Martha J. King, Anne Mandeville Colony, and Susan Holbrook PerdueThis fourth volume covers events in James Madison's first administration between 5 November 1811 and 9 July 1812, corresponding almost exactly with the... More

Native Americans and the Early Republic
Frederick E. Hoxie, et al., eds.

At the 1795 treaty council that sealed Anthony Wayne's victory at Fallen Timbers in northwest Ohio, the Wyandot leader Tarhe spoke for the assembled Native leaders when he admonished the American emissaries: "Take care of your little ones; an impartial father equally regards all his children."... More

Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson
History, Memory, and Civic Culture Jan Ellen Lewis and Peter S. Onuf, eds.

The publication of DNA test results showing that Thomas Jefferson was probably the father of one of his slave Sally Hemings's children has sparked a broad but often superficial debate. The editors of this volume have assembled some of the most distinguished American historians, including three... More

The Papers of George Washington
September 1798-April 1799 George Washington. Edited by W. W. Abbot and Edward G. Lengel

In the fall of 1798, Washington was immersed in the business of creating a military force to deal with the threat of an all-out war with France. A clash over Alexander Hamilton's rank in the army led Washington to contemplate resignation of his own post as commander in chief of the army, and the... More

The Papers of George Washington
April-December 1799 George Washington. Edited by W. W. Abbot

In the spring of 1799, the relaxation of tensions between France and the United States allowed Washington to redirect his attention to his personal affairs. He drew up a new will that summer and made arrangements for the breakup of the estate he had amassed in the course of his life; but he also... More

George Washington's Diaries
An Abridgment George Washington. Edited by Dorothy Twohig

CULLED FROM the six volumes of The Diaries of George Washington completed in 1979, this selection of entries chosen by retired Washington Papers editor Dorothy Twohig reveals the lifelong preoccupations of the public and private man.Washington was rarely isolated from the world during his eventful... More

Hidden Lives
The Archaeology of Slave Life at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest Barbara J. Heath

LIKE MONTICELLO, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest offers a significant archaeological view of slave life at the turn of the nineteenth century in rural Virginia. In Hidden Lives, Barbara J. Heath re-creates the daily life of slaves at Jefferson's second home from 1773, the year he inherited the... More

A Republic for the Ages
The United States Capitol and the Political Culture of the Early Republic Donald R. Kennon, ed.

THIS VOLUME in the United States Capitol Historical Society's Perspectives on the American Revolution series explores how the architecture of the Capitol is imbued with the political culture of its time. Editor Donald R. Kennon writes, "Just as the constitutional framework for the new nation... More

George and Martha Washington
Portraits from the Presidential Years Ellen G. Miles. Preface by Edmund S. Morgan

RESPONDING TO a near-constant flow of requests, George and Martha Washington sat for about two dozen portraits from 1789 to 1797, collected here in this elegantly illustrated volume. From miniatures executed on ivory for family and friends to a historical portrait that depicts Washington during the... More

George Washington
The Man behind the Myths William S. Rasmussen and Robert S. Tilton

TWO HUNDRED YEARS after Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee's funeral oration for George Washington, the eloquence of his words "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen" has caused most Americans to forget the clause that followed in which Lee located Washington's character... More

The Papers of George Washington
Revolutionary War Series, vol. 9March-June 1777 George Washington. Edited by Dorothy Twohig

Volume 9 covers the spring of 1777, a period when Washington's resourcefulness and perseverance were tested as much as at any time during the war. Instead of opening the new campaign by taking the field with a reinvigorated Continental army as planned, Washington was obliged to spend much of his... More

The Invention of George Washington
Paul K. Longmore

BY TRACING George Washington's deliberate development from colonial planter and soldier to republican icon, Paul Longmore answers the riddle of Washington's simultaneous fame and aloofness, arriving at a portrait of Washington as a self-fashioning representative of his turbulent time. As a young... More

The Jefferson Image in the American Mind
Merrill D. Peterson

Since its publication in 1960, The Jefferson Image in the American Mind has become a classic of historical scholarship. In it Merrill D. Peterson charts Thomas Jefferson's influence upon American thought and imagination since his death in 1826. Peterson's focus is "not primarily with the truth or... More

The Papers of George Washington
March-September 1791 George Washington. Edited by Dorothy Twohig

n the period covered by volume 8 of the Presidential Series, the spring and summer of 1791, Washington completed a tour of the southern states, traveling almost 2,000 miles through Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. During his journey the heads of executive departments regularly reported to him... More

The Papers of George Washington
Revolutionary War Series, vol. 8January-March 1777 George Washington. Edited by Dorothy Twohig

Volume 8 documents Washington's first winter at Morristown. Situated in the hills of north central New Jersey, Morristown offered protection against the British army headquarters in New York City yet enabled Washington to annoy the principal enemy outposts at Newark, Perth Amboy, and New Brunswick... More

Necessary Virtue
The Pragmatic Origins of Religious Liberty in New England Charles P. Hanson

Virulent anti-Catholicism was a hallmark of New England society from the first Puritan settlements to the eve of the American Revolution and beyond. Thus America's tactical decision during the Revolution to form alliances with Catholics in Canada and France ignited an awkward debate. The paradox... More

The Papers of George Washington
January-September 1798 George Washington. Edited by W. W. Abbot

In the early months of 1798, Washington's correspondence relates mostly to such private concerns as the management of his Mount Vernon estate, his tenants in Virginia, his lands in the West and in Pennsylvania, and the education of Washington Parke Custis and the marriage of Nelly Custis, but he... More

The Papers of George Washington
December 1790-March 1791 George Washington. Edited by Dorothy Twohig

Volume 7 of the series presents documents written during the final sessions of the First Congress, a period of intense activity for Washington and his administration. Between December 1790 and March 1791, Congress passed legislation that established a national bank and a dederal excise, incresed... More

The Papers of George Washington
March-December 1797 George Washington. Edited by W. W. Abbot

During the first ten months of Washington's retirement, Washington was, as he said, busier than ever before, breaking in a new farm manager, repairing and refurbishing long-neglected buildings, hiring new overseers and a new gardener from Britain, and most difficult, and perhaps most important of... More

The Papers of James Madison
Secretary of State Series, vol. 48 October 1802-15 May 1803 James Madison. Edited by Mary A. Hackett, J. C. A. Stagg, Jeanne Kerr Cross, Susan Holbrook Perdue, and Ellen J. Barber

The Papers of James Madison project, housed at the University of Virginia, was established in 1956 to publish annotated volumes of the correspondence and writings of James Madison, the Virginia statesman most often remembered for his public service as "Father of the Constitution" and as fourth... More

The Bill of Rights
Government Proscribed Ronald Hoffman and Peter J. Albert, eds.

The essays in this collection set the Bill of Rights in context by tracing its historical lineages and establishing the political context for its adoption by the states. They point out the differences between Federalist fears of anarchy and Antifederalist fears of tyranny, as eventually... More

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
An American Controversy Annette Gordon-Reed

When Annette Gordon-Reed's groundbreaking study was first published, rumors of Thomas Jefferson's sexual involvement with his slave Sally Hemings had circulated for two centuries. Among all aspects of Jefferson's renowned life, it was perhaps the most hotly contested topic. The publication of... More

Running on the Record
Civil War-Era Politics in New Hampshire Lex Renda

In this valuable study, Lex Renda uses retrospective voting theory—a quantitative political science model for assessing political allegiances—to explore the connections between voters’ judgments and public policy in New Hampshire before, during, and after the Civil War. According to this theory,... More