Archive for History

Online Primary Sources for American History: Colonial Charters and Grants

While all these fundamental documents are found online, this site aggregates them all into a single file, making it easy to trace the development of government in individual colonies as well as comparing the various legal principles employed.

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Monumental History of England

The Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England published 41 volumes in an effort to inventory noteworthy structures in England and preserve them for posterity. The volumes are arranged by county and give both descriptions and sketches of the various monuments, ranging from statuary to churches. Each town profiled has their monuments grouped as “prehistoric” or “secular” or “ecclesiastical” along with their condition.

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Did the Lewis & Clark Expedition Have a Black Participant?

The Corps of Discovery did indeed have a black man as part of its travels – it was William Clark’s slave named York. We have no knowledge of his first name and scant biographical information. Much of what we know of him can be gleaned from the authoritatively edited Journals and glimpsed in the recently published Dear Brother: Letters of William Clark to Jonathan Clark. A summation of his activities on the exploration could read as the following: “He seems to have carried a gun and to have performed his full share of the duties with other members of the party; a body servant who could neither defend himself nor carry his share of the load would have been an unacceptable luxury on the expedition.” (Journals, volume 2, appendix A)

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Online Primary Sources for American History: The Dr Martin Luther King Jr Digital Archive Project

This archives contains one million online source documents ranging from speeches to oral histories. You can browse the archives by themes, type of document, or keyword. It calls itself a “dynamic” archives because more material is being added. In light of recent events, read letters to and from John Lewis. A goldmine of texts dealing with a tumultuous time in our history. May this always be preserved.

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FBI Files on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

The FBI maintained surveillance on Dr King and his colleagues for years. These files, in some cases heavily redacted, contain over 17,000 pages of documentation, including wiretaps.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: Wisconsin

Published in twenty volumes between 1855 and 1915, the Wisconsin Historical Collections are brimming with first-hand accounts, journals, recollections, and reminiscences of early Wisconsin. An index to the entire collection is also online. Since 1915, the Wisconsin Magazine of History is the vehicle for disseminating additional primary source material.

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Weekly Podcasts on United States History

NPR’s BackStory, hosted by three eminent historians, examines the historical roots of current topics. For instance, there were recent broadcasts on rigged elections, the 2016 election, and data gathering/surveillance. Many of these hour-length shows include guests and are supplemented by a “resources” section of both print and digital works as well as transcripts of the show. A worthwhile listen.

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