Featured Primary Sources

Hamilton

Nothing can enrich and enliven our understanding of the nation’s past, or dispel apathy about it, more powerfully than primary sources. The primary sources below open up a variety of viewpoints and have been chosen by master teachers specifically for use in the classroom. In addition, you may want to search the Gilder Lehrman Collection itself for other resources to enrich your lessons.

Aaron Burr to Joseph Alston, July 20, 1804 (GLC01523)

Aaron Burr, fugitive and traitor, 1804

Creator: Aaron Burr Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Alexander Hamilton, by Charles Willson Peale, ca. 1790 (Independence NHP)

Alexander Hamilton’s “gloomy” view of the American Revolution, 1780

Creator: Alexander Hamilton Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
Alexander Hamilton, John Trumbull Copy after: Giuseppe Ceracchi 1806

Hamilton’s Report on the Subject of Manufactures, 1791

Creator: Alexander Hamilton Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels:
Angelica Schuyler Church to Philip Schuyler, July 11, 1804. (Gilder Lehrman

The duel: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, 1804

Creator: Angelica Schuyler Church Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Alexander Hamilton to Governor Thomas Mifflin, September 20, 1794. (GLC07920)

The Whiskey Rebellion, 1794

Creator: Alexander Hamilton Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels:

Primary Sources from Other Sub-Eras

Daniel Shays and Job Shattuck, Unknown artist, 1787 (National Portrait Gallery)

George Washington discusses Shays’ Rebellion and the upcoming Constitutional Convention, 1787

Creator: George Washington Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
"Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge," based on a painting by John Ward Dun

George Washington from Valley Forge on the urgent need for men and supplies, 1777

Creator: George Washington Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Henry Knox, by Charles Willson Peale, from life, 1784 (Independence National His

Henry Knox on the British invasion of New York, 1776

Creator: Henry Knox Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
The Passage of the Delaware, by Thomas Sully, 1819 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,

Henry Knox’s Order of March to Trenton, 1776

Creator: Henry Knox Curriculum Subjects: Geography, Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
US Constitution printed in Albany, New York, 1788. (GLC07866)

Ratification of the US Constitution in New York, 1788

Creator: George Washington and the Constitutional Convention Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
Charles Cornwallis, Articles of capitulation settled at Yorktown, October 19, 17

Surrender of the British General Cornwallis to the Americans, October 19, 1781

Creator: Lord Cornwallis Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
The Articles of Confederation, 1777 (GLC04759)

The Articles of Confederation, 1777

Creator: Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Constitution [printing of first draft] [Committee of Detail], August 6, 1787.

Two versions of the Preamble to the Constitution, 1787

Creator: Constitutional Convention Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+