These sources are linked to an authoritative online source (.gov, university archive, academic press or a subscription database) whenever possible in order to promote ease of access.
If both Kresge and Hesburgh libraries have a print copy, the catalog record for Hesburgh library is linked (since it includes both libraries' copies).
Be sure to see the list of Primary Source Databases at the bottom of this page!
Annals of Congress (1791, 1793, 1794, 1799).
Anon., Concise View, in Jedediah Morse, Annals of the American Revolution (1824).
The Anti-Federalist Nos. 78–79.
Debate on the Constitution (Bailyn ed. 1993).
Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Elliot 2d ed. 1876).
Debates on the Federal Constitution (Elliot 2d ed. 1854).
Dickinson, John, Essay on the Constitutional Power of Great-Britain, in Pennsylvania Archives, 2d ser., III.
essay only: via Gale Primary Sources
Douglass, Frederick, Speech on the Dred Scott Decision (1857).
Ellsworth, Oliver, Debate in the Connecticut Convention (7 January 1788).
Farrand, M., Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (1937).
downloadable .PDF edition from Yale University Press (2009).
No. 7 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 10 (James Madison)
No. 11 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 15 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 17 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 22 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 27 (James Madison)
No. 28 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 32 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 33 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 34 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 36 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 39 (James Madison)
No. 42 (James Madison)
No. 44 (James Madison)
No. 45 (James Madison)
No. 46 (James Madison)
No. 48 (James Madison)
No. 51 (James Madison)
No. 73 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 78 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 80 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 81 (Alexander Hamilton)
No. 82 (Alexander Hamilton)
First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln (March 4, 1861).
George Mason in the Convention, Elliot’s Debates (1876).
Hamilton, Alexander, . See The Federalist (above).
reprinted in The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (Syrett & Cooke eds. 1962).
Letter to Robert Morris (Apr. 30, 1781).
reprinted in The Works of Alexander Hamilton (Lodge ed. 1904).
Opinion on the Constitutionality of the Bank (Feb. 23, 1791).
reprinted in The Founders’ Constitution (Kurland & Lerner eds. 1987).
Jefferson, Thomas, Letter to James Madison (Apr. 28, 1793).
reprinted in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Ford 3d. 1892-1899).
Letter to William Johnson (12 June 1823).
Lincoln, Abraham, Message to Congress in Special Session (July 4, 1861).
Madison, James, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention (June 20, 1788).
reprinted in (John P. Kaminski & Gaspare J. Saladino eds. 1993).
. See The Federalist (above).
Letter to Edmund Randolph (Apr. 8, 1787).
reprinted in Papers of James Madison (R. Rutland ed. 1975).
Letter to Edward Everett (28 August 1830).
Letter to N.P. Trist (Dec. 1831).
reprinted in Writings of James Madison (G. Hunt ed. 1910).
Letter to Thomas Jefferson (27 June 1823).
Letter to Thomas Jefferson (Oct. 24, 1787).
reprinted in Papers of James Madison (Rutland ed. 1977)
Letter to Thomas Jefferson (Jan. 18, 1800).
in The Writings of James Madison (Hunt ed. 1906).
Observations on Jefferson’s Draft of a Constitution for Virginia (15 October 1788).
Veto Message (Jan. 30, 1815).
reprinted in The Writings of James Madison (Hunt ed. 1908).
in The Writings of James Madison (Hunt ed. 1906)
Marshall, John, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention (June 20, 1788), in The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution (Kaminski & Saladino eds. 1993).
Debate in the Virginia Ratifying Convention (20 June 1788).
Papers of Alexander Hamilton (Syrett & Cooke eds. 1969).
“Philodemus” [Thomas Tudor Tucker], Conciliatory Hints (1784).
reprinted in American Political Writing During the Founding Era, 1760–1805 (1983).
Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (Farrand ed. 1911).
Storing, Herbert J., The Complete Anti-Federalist (1981).
Writings of James Madison (Hunt ed. 1901–1910).
The Articles of Confederation from the National Archives.
The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution via University of Virginia Press
The Constitution, page 1 from the National Archives
The Constitution, page 2 from the National Archives
The Constitution, page 3 from the National Archives
The Constitution, page 4 from the National Archives
Founders Online: Correspondence and Other Writings of Seven Major Shapers of the United States via Archives.gov
Douglass, Frederick, Speech on the Dred Scott Decision (1857)
GALE PRIMARY SOURCES Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive
These comprehensive online resources offer more than 150,000 early American books, pamphlets, broadsides and rare printed materials. Featuring extensive indexing and full bibliographic information, they together illuminate centuries of American history, literature, culture and daily life. Unique and authoritative, these fully searchable products enable researchers to browse and explore America’s past in unprecedented ways.
The Avalon Project will mount digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government. We do not intend to mount only static text but rather to add value to the text by linking to supporting documents expressly referred to in the body of the text.
The Library of Congress website contains a variety of digital materials related to the Federal Papers and the ratification of the United States Constitution, including manuscripts, books, and government documents.
The National Archives, through its National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), has entered into a cooperative agreement with The University of Virginia Press to create this site and make freely available online the historical papers of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.
Brings the thoughts, words, and actions of past centuries into the present for a comprehensive research experience. With authoritative content and powerful search technologies, this platform has been thoughtfully designed to help students and researchers examine literary, political, and social culture of the last 500 years and develop a more meaningful understanding of how history continues to impact the world today. All of the collections on the Gale Primary Sources platform are meticulously indexed to improve discovery, analysis, and workflow for every user who is looking to push past the traditional boundaries of research.
This landmark work in historical and legal scholarship draws upon thousands of sources to trace the Constitution’s progress through each of the thirteen states’ conventions. The digital edition allows users to search the complete contents by date, title, author, recipient, or state affiliation and preserves the copious annotations of the print edition.