Primary Documents in American History

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The Declaration of Independence: The Full Text in English…. and Spanish

After considerable debate and alteration, the Articles of Confederation were adopted by the Continental Congress on November 15, 1777. This document served as the United States’ first constitution, and was in force from March 1, 1781, until 1789 when the present day Constitution went into effect.

On June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed three committees in response to the Lee Resolution. One of these committees, created to determine the form of a confederation of the colonies, was composed of one representative from each colony with John Dickinson, a delegate from Delaware, as the principal writer.

The Dickinson Draft of the Articles of Confederation named the Confederation “the United States of America,” provided for a Congress with representation based on population, and gave to the national government all powers not designated to the states. After considerable debate and alteration, the Articles of Confederation were adopted by Congress on November 15, 1777. In this “first constitution of the United States” each state retained “every Power…which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States,” and each state had one vote in Congress. Instead of forming a strong national government, the states entered into “…a firm league of friendship with each other…”

Ratification by all 13 states was necessary to set the Confederation into motion. Because of disputes over representation, voting, and the western lands claimed by some states, ratification was delayed until Maryland ratified on March 1, 1781, and the Congress of the Confederation came into being.

This document is the engrossed and corrected version that was adopted on November 15, 1777.

The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, 1777
https://uscode.house.gov/static/confederation.pdf

Northwest Ordinance


An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio, 1787.
New York: s.n., 1787.
Rare Book and Special
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The Northwest Ordinance, officially titled “An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States North West of the River Ohio,” was adopted by the Confederation Congress on July 13, 1787. Also known as the Ordinance of 1787, the Northwest Ordinance established a government for the Northwest Territory, outlined the process for admitting a new state to the Union, and guaranteed that newly created states would be equal to the original thirteen states. Considered one of the most important legislative acts of the Confederation Congress, the Northwest Ordinance also protected civil liberties and outlawed slavery in the new territories.

An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States, North-west of the river Ohio.
VIRTUAL DISPLAYS: THE NORTHWEST ORDINANCE

The Constitution of the United States

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section. 2.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section. 4.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6.

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section. 7.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9.

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section. 10.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Section. 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III.

Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;— between a State and Citizens of another State,—between Citizens of different States,—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section. 3.

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, “the,” being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, The Word “Thirty” being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words “is tried” being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word “the” being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary

done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independance of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

G°. Washington
Presidt and deputy from Virginia

Delaware

Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom

Maryland

James McHenry
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl. Carroll

Virginia

John Blair
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina

Wm. Blount
Richd. Dobbs Spaight
Hu Williamson

South Carolina

J. Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler

Georgia

William Few
Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire

John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts

Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King

Connecticut

Wm. Saml. Johnson
Roger Sherman

New York

Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey

Wil: Livingston
David Brearley
Wm. Paterson
Jona: Dayton

Pennsylvania

B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robt. Morris
Geo. Clymer
Thos. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv Morris

Full Text of The Federalist Papers

The Federalist, commonly referred to as the Federalist Papers, is a series of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison between October 1787 and May 1788. The essays were published anonymously, under the pen name “Publius,” in various New York state newspapers of the time.

The Federalist Papers were written and published to urge New Yorkers to ratify the proposed United States Constitution, which was drafted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. In lobbying for adoption of the Constitution over the existing Articles of Confederation, the essays explain particular provisions of the Constitution in detail. For this reason, and because Hamilton and Madison were each members of the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers are often used today to help interpret the intentions of those drafting the Constitution.

The Federalist Papers were published primarily in two New York state newspapers: The New York Packet and The Independent Journal. They were reprinted in other newspapers in New York state and in several cities in other states. A bound edition, with revisions and corrections by Hamilton, was published in 1788 by printers J. and A. McLean. An edition published by printer Jacob Gideon in 1818, with revisions and corrections by Madison, was the first to identify each essay by its author’s name. Because of its publishing history, the assignment of authorship, numbering, and exact wording may vary with different editions of The Federalist.

The electronic text of The Federalist used here was compiled for Project Gutenberg by scholars who drew on many available versions of the papers.

One printed edition of the text is The Federalist, edited by Jacob E. Cooke (Middletown, Conn., Wesleyan University Press, 1961). Cooke’s introduction provides background information on the printing history of The Federalist; the information provided above comes in part from his work.

This web-friendly presentation of the original text of the Federalist Papers (also known as The Federalist) was obtained from the e-text archives of Project Gutenberg. Any irregularities with regard to grammar, syntax, spelling, or punctuation are as they exist in the original e-text archives.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

No.TitleAuthorPublicationDate
1.General IntroductionHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
2.Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and InfluenceJayFor the Independent Journal
3.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and InfluenceJayFor the Independent Journal
4.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and InfluenceJayFor the Independent Journal
5.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and InfluenceJayFor the Independent Journal
6.Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the StatesHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
7.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the StatesHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
8.The Consequences of Hostilities Between the StatesHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, November 20, 1787
9.The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and InsurrectionHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
10.The Same Subject Continued: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and InsurrectionMadisonFrm the New York PacketFriday, November 27, 1787
11.The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a NavyHamiltonFor the Independent Journal 
12.The Utility of the Union in Respect to RevenueHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, November 27, 1787
13.Advantage of the Union in Respect to Economy in GovernmentHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
14.Objections to the Proposed Constitution from Extent of Territory AnsweredMadisonFrom the New York PacketFriday, November 30, 1787
15. The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the UnionHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
16.The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the UnionHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, December 4, 1787
17. The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the UnionHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
18.The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the UnionHamilton and MadisonFor the Independent Journal
19.The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the UnionHamilton and MadisonFor the Independent Journal
20.The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the UnionHamilton and MadisonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, December 11, 1787
21.Other Defects of the Present ConfederationHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
22.The Same Subject Continued: Other Defects of the Present ConfederationHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, December 14, 1787
23.The Necessity of a Government as Energetic as the One Proposed to the Preservation of the UnionHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, December 17, 1787
24.The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further ConsideredHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
25.The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further ConsideredHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, December 21, 1787
26.The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense ConsideredHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
27.The Same Subject Continued: The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense ConsideredHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, December 25, 1787
28. The Same Subject Continued: The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense ConsideredHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
29.Concerning the MilitiaHamiltonFrom the Daily AdvertiserThursday, January 10, 1788
30.Concerning the General Power of TaxationHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, December 28, 1787
31.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of TaxationHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, January 1, 1788
32.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of TaxationHamiltonFrom the Daily AdvertiserThursday, January 3, 1788
33.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of TaxationHamiltonFrom the Daily AdvertiserThursday, January 3, 1788
34.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of TaxationHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, January 4, 1788
35.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of TaxationHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
36.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of TaxationHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, January 8, 1788
37.Concerning the Difficulties of the Convention in Devising a Proper Form of GovernmentMadisonFrom the Daily AdvertiserFriday, January 11, 1788
38. Incoherence of the Objections to the New Plan ExposedMadisonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, January 15, 1788
39. Conformity of the Plan to Republican PrinciplesMadisonFor the Independent Journal
40.The Powers of the Convention to Form a Mixed Government Examined and SustainedMadisonFrom the New York PacketFriday, January 18, 1788
41.General View of the Powers Conferred by the ConstitutionMadisonFor the Independent Journal
42.The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further ConsideredMadisonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, January 22, 1788
43.The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further ConsideredMadisonFor the Independent Journal
44.Restrictions on the Authority of the Several StatesMadisonFrom the New York PacketFriday, January 25, 1788
45.The Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments ConsideredMadisonFor the Independent Journal
46. The Influence of the State and Federal Governments ComparedMadisonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, January 29, 1788
47.The Particular Structure of the New Government and Distribution of Power Among Its Different PartsMadisonFrom the New York PacketFriday, February 1, 1788
48.These Departments Should Not Be So Far Separated as to Have No Constitutional Control Over Each OtherMadisonFrom the New York PacketFriday, February 1, 1788
49.Method of Guarding Against the Encroachments of Any One Department of Government by Appealing to the People Through a ConventionHamilton or MadisonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, February 5, 1788
50.Periodic Appeals to the People ConsideredHamilton or MadisonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, February 5, 1788
51.The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different DepartmentsHamilton or MadisonFrom the New York PacketFriday, February 8, 1788
52. The House of RepresentativesHamilton or MadisonFrom the New York PacketFriday, February 8, 1788
53.The Same Subject Continued: The House of RepresentativesHamilton or MadisonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, February 12, 1788
54.The Apportionment of Members Among StatesHamilton or MadisonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, February 12, 1788
55. The Total Number of the House of RepresentativesHamilton or MadisonFrom the New York PacketFriday, February 15, 1788
56.The Same Subject Continued: The Total Number of the House of RepresentativesHamilton or MadisonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, February 19, 1788
57.The Alleged Tendency of the Plan to Elevate the Few at the Expense of the Many Considered in Connection with Representation Hamilton or MadisonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, February 19, 1788
58.Objection that the Number of Members Will Not Be Augmented as the Progress of Population Demands ConsideredMadison
59.Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of MembersHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, February 22, 1788
60.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of MembersHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, February 26, 1788
61.The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of MembersHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, February 26, 1788
62. The SenateHamilton or MadisonFor the Independent Journal
63.The Senate ContinuedHamilton or MadisonFor the Independent Journal
64.The Powers of the SenateJayFrom the New York PacketFriday, March 7, 1788
65.The Powers of the Senate ContinuedHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, March 7, 1788
66. Objections to the Power of the Senate To Set as a Court for Impeachments Further ConsideredHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, March 11, 1788
67. The Executive Department HamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, March 11, 1788
68.The Mode of Electing the PresidentHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, March 14, 1788
69. The Real Character of the ExecutiveHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, March 14, 1788
70. The Executive Department Further Considered HamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, March 14, 1788
71.The Duration in Office of the ExecutiveHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, March 18, 1788
72. The Same Subject Continued, and Re-Eligibility of the Executive ConsideredHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, March 21, 1788
73. The Provision for Support of the Executive, and the Veto PowerHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, March 21, 1788
74. The Command of the Military and Naval Forces, and the Pardoning Power of the ExecutiveHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, March 25, 1788
75.The Treaty Making Power of the ExecutiveHamiltonFor the Independent Journal
76.The Appointing Power of the ExecutiveHamiltonFrom the New York PacketTuesday, April 1, 1788
77.The Appointing Power Continued and Other Powers of the Executive ConsideredHamiltonFrom the New York PacketFriday, April 4, 1788
78.The Judiciary DepartmentHamiltonFrom McLEAN’s Edition, New York
79.The Judiciary ContinuedHamiltonFrom McLEAN’s Edition, New York
80.The Powers of the JudiciaryHamiltonFrom McLEAN’s Edition, New York
81.The Judiciary Continued, and the Distribution of Judicial AuthorityHamiltonFrom McLEAN’s Edition
82.The Judiciary ContinuedHamiltonFrom McLEAN’s Edition
83.The Judiciary Continued in Relation to Trial by JuryHamiltonFrom McLEAN’s Edition
84.Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution Considered and AnsweredHamiltonFrom McLEAN’s Edition
85.Concluding RemarksHamiltonFrom McLEAN’s Edition

\\][//

9 thoughts on “Primary Documents in American History

    1. Abigail Adams leads rhetorical charge against Britain

      Upon hearing of England’s rejection of the so-called Olive Branch Petition on November 12, 1775, Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John, “Let us separate, they are unworthy to be our Brethren. Let us renounce them and instead of supplications as formerly for their prosperity and happiness, Let us beseech the almighty to blast their councils and bring to Nought all their devices.”

      The previous July, Congress had adopted the Olive Branch Petition, written by John Dickinson, which appealed directly to King George III and expressed hope for reconciliation between the colonies and Great Britain. Dickinson, who hoped desperately to avoid a final break with Britain, phrased colonial opposition to British policy as follows:

      “Your Majesty’s Ministers, persevering in their measures, and proceeding to open hostilities for enforcing them, have compelled us to arm in our own defence, and have engaged us in a controversy so peculiarly abhorrent to the affections of your still faithful Colonists, that when we consider whom we must oppose in this contest, and if it continues, what may be the consequences, our own particular misfortunes are accounted by us only as parts of our distress.”

      By phrasing their discontent this way, Congress attempted to notify the king that American colonists were unhappy with ministerial policy, not his own. They concluded their plea with a final statement of fidelity to the crown. “That your Majesty may enjoy long and prosperous reign, and that your descendants may govern your Dominions with honour to themselves and happiness to their subjects, is our sincere prayer.”

      By July 1776, though, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed something very different: “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

      Congress’ language is critical to understanding the seismic shift that had occurred in American thought in just 12 months. The militia that had fired upon British Redcoats at Lexington and Concord in April 1775 had been angry with Parliament, not the king, who they still trusted to desire only good for all of his subjects around the globe. This belief changed after King George refused to so much as receive the Olive Branch Petition. The fundamental grounds upon which Americans were taking up arms had changed.

      Abigail Adams’ response was a particularly articulate expression of many colonists’ thoughts: Patriots had hoped that Parliament had curtailed colonial rights without the king’s full knowledge, and that the petition would cause him to come to his subjects’ defense. When George III refused to read the petition, Patriots like Adams realized that Parliament was acting with royal knowledge and support. Americans’ patriotic rage was intensified with the January 1776 publication by English-born radical Thomas Paine of Common Sense, an influential pamphlet that attacked the monarchy, which Paine claimed had allowed “crowned ruffians” to “impoverish the nation and set it together by the ears.”

      https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/abigail-adams-leads-rhetorical-charge-against-britain
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  1. Sherman’s March to the Sea

    From November 15 until December 21, 1864, Union General William T. Sherman led some 60,000 soldiers on a 285-mile march from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. The purpose of Sherman’s March to the Sea was to frighten Georgia’s civilian population into abandoning the Confederate cause. Sherman’s soldiers did not destroy any of the towns in their path, but they stole food and livestock and burned the houses and barns of people who tried to fight back. The Yankees were “not only fighting hostile armies, but a hostile people,” Sherman explained; as a result, they needed to “make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.”

    The Fall of Atlanta
    General Sherman’s troops captured Atlanta on September 2, 1864. This was an important triumph, because Atlanta was a railroad hub and the industrial center of the Confederacy: It had munitions factories, foundries and warehouses that kept the Confederate army supplied with food, weapons and other goods. It stood between the Union Army and two of its most prized targets: the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Charleston to the East. It was also a symbol of Confederate pride and strength, and its fall made even the most loyal Southerners doubt that they could win the war. (“Since Atlanta,” South Carolinian Mary Boykin Chestnut wrote in her diary, “I have felt as if…we are going to be wiped off the earth.”)

    March to the Sea
    After they lost Atlanta, the Confederate army headed west into Tennessee and Alabama, attacking Union supply lines as they went. Sherman was reluctant to set off on a wild goose chase across the South, however, and so he split his troops into two groups. Major General George Thomas took some 60,000 men to meet the Confederates in Nashville, while Sherman took the remaining 62,000 on an offensive march through Georgia to Savannah, “smashing things” (he wrote) “ to the sea.”

    “Make Georgia Howl”
    Sherman believed that the Confederacy derived its strength not from its fighting forces but from the material and moral support of sympathetic Southern whites. Factories, farms and railroads provided Confederate troops with the things they needed, he reasoned; and if he could destroy those things, the Confederate war effort would collapse. Meanwhile, his troops could undermine Southern morale by making life so unpleasant for Georgia’s civilians that they would demand an end to the war.

    To that end, Sherman’s troops marched south toward Savannah in two wings, about 30 miles apart. On November 22, 3,500 Confederate cavalry started a skirmish with the Union soldiers at Griswoldville, but that ended so badly–650 Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded, compared to 62 Yankee casualties–that Southern troops initiated no more battles. Instead, they fled South ahead of Sherman’s troops, wreaking their own havoc as they went: They wrecked bridges, chopped down trees and burned barns filled with provisions before the Union army could reach them.

    The Union soldiers were just as unsparing. They raided farms and plantations, stealing and slaughtering cows, chickens, turkeys, sheep and hogs and taking as much other food–especially bread and potatoes–as they could carry. (These groups of foraging soldiers were nicknamed “bummers,” and they burned whatever they could not carry.) The marauding Yankees needed the supplies, but they also wanted to teach Georgians a lesson: “it isn’t so sweet to secede,” one soldier wrote in a letter home, “as [they] thought it would be.”

    Sherman’s troops arrived in Savannah on December 21, 1864, about three weeks after they left Atlanta. The city was undefended when they got there. (The 10,000 Confederates who were supposed to be guarding it had already fled.) Sherman presented the city of Savannah and its 25,000 bales of cotton to President Lincoln as a Christmas gift.Early in 1865, Sherman and his men left Savannah and pillaged and burned their way through South Carolina to Charleston. In April, the Confederacy surrendered and the war was over.

    Total War
    Sherman’s “total war” in Georgia was brutal and destructive, but it did just what it was supposed to do: it hurt Southern morale, made it impossible for the Confederates to fight at full capacity and likely hastened the end of the war. “This Union and its Government must be sustained, at any and every cost,” explained one of Sherman’s subordinates. “To sustain it, we must war upon and destroy the organized rebel forces,–must cut off their supplies, destroy their communications…and produce among the people of Georgia a thorough conviction of the personal misery which attends war, and the utter helplessness and inability of their ‘rulers’ to protect them…If that terror and grief and even want shall help to paralyze their husbands and fathers who are fighting us…it is mercy in the end.”

    In the years after the Civil War, fighting forces around the world have made use of Sherman’s “total war” strategy.

    https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/shermans-march
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  2. 1776 November 14
    English newspaper announces Benjamin Franklin has joined rebellion in America
    On November 14, 1776, the St. James Chronicle of London carries an item announcing “The very identical Dr. Franklyn [Benjamin Franklin], whom Lord Chatham [former leading parliamentarian and colonial supporter William Pitt] so much caressed, and used to say he was proud in calling his friend, is now at the head of the rebellion in North America.”

    Benjamin Franklin, joint postmaster general of the colonies (1753-1774), and his son William traveled to London together in 1757. There, for the next five years, William studied law, and Franklin studied social climbing. They had remarkable success for a candle-maker’s son and his illegitimate progeny. By the end of their sojourn, William had become an attorney and received an honorary Master of Arts from Oxford University, while his father reveled in honorary doctorates from Oxford and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The elder Franklin’s plans for his son’s advancement succeeded, and his son won the choicest of appointments, a royal governorship, in 1762.

    Franklin then accompanied his son from London to Pennsylvania, only to return to London as Pennsylvania’s agent in 1764, where he lobbied for the placement of the colony under direct royal control. He soon added Georgia, New Jersey and Massachusetts to the list of colonies for which he served as spokesperson in Parliament.

    In 1775, Franklin returned to America as the American Revolution approached; he served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and, in 1776, signed the Declaration of Independence. Ironically, his son William came out on the side of the British during the War of Independence and was imprisoned while serving as the Loyalist governor of New Jersey.

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/benjamin-franklin-takes-sides
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    1. Sherlock Holmes Inspired by Real Person

      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective with the knack for solving crimes through observation and reason was modeled after Dr. Joseph Bell, one of Conan Doyle’s medical school professors.

      A fellow Scotsman born in 1837, the charismatic Bell dazzled his students with demonstrations in which he was able to determine a patient’s occupation and other personal details just by studying his appearance and mannerisms. In addition to taking class with Bell, Conan Doyle served for a time as his clerk at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where he got a further look at the older man’s diagnostic methods. Years later, Conan Doyle wrote to Bell: “It is most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes and though in the stories I have the advantage of being able to place him in all sorts of dramatic positions, I do not think that his analytical work is in the least an exaggeration of some effects which I have seen you produce in the outpatient ward.”

      The success of the initial Sherlock Holmes stories enabled Conan Doyle to give up his medical practice in 1891 and devote himself to writing; however, the author grew tired of his creation and killed him off in 1893’s “The Final Problem.” Following a public outcry, Conan Doyle resurrected Holmes and continued to publish stories about the detective until 1927. Conan Doyle, who was knighted in 1902 for penning a lengthy pamphlet defending Britain’s participation in the Boer War, died in England in 1930 (19 years after Bell’s passing). Sherlock Holmes lives on as one of the best-known literary characters in the English language.

      https://www.history.com/news/was-sherlock-holmes-based-on-a-real-person
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  3. Citizenship emerged more than 2,500 years ago in the ancient Greek city-state. Government by the consent of a free citizenry is rare in human history and on the decline today throughout the constitutional republics of the West.

    Victor Davis Hanson — Hillsdale College

    https://online.hillsdale.edu/courses/american-citizenship-and-its-decline
    ___________________________________________________________

    Why The Left Always Projects

    Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness November 15, 2021

    The slurs and smears levelled by the elites are all the more toxic because they have always known these sins firsthand as their own.

    The Left is addicted to projection—the psycho-political syndrome of attributing all of one’s own sins to one’s opponents. The woke apparently do this out of some Freudian effort to square the circle of their own guilt or sense of privilege, by fobbing off their own fearful realities onto others. It is the atheist version of confession or medieval penance. In addition, in the spirit of “always being on the offense,” wokists know that those who slander do so most successfully when they lodge exactly those charges most familiar and applicable to themselves.

    The Privileged Damn Privilege

    Take for example, the worn-out charge of “privilege,” as in the phrase “check your privilege.” This trope originates exclusively from the Left. Purportedly, it signifies a rigged system in which white males have gained, unfairly and undeservedly, “privilege” to exercise cultural, economic, political, and social control over the “other”—occasionally defined as women, more often “people of color,” and most frequently African Americans.

    The most elite and wealthy institutions in America are predominantly liberal bastions: Silicon Valley, entertainment, universities, professional sports, Wall Street, the mainstream media, and foundations. Most “people of color,” who are the loudest about focusing on the evils of privilege and lack of equity, are themselves multimillionaires or multibillionaires, such as the Obamas, Oprah Winfrey, LeBron James, Jay-Z, or Meghan Markle.

    Accusing an entire group—white people, or conservatives, or Trump supporters—of being privileged deflects the apparent shame of elitism away from oneself on the cheap. After all, accusing some part-time lecturer or Trump deplorable of “white privilege” is a lot easier, both psychologically and materially, than giving up a nanny, trading in the gas-guzzling big Mercedes, or just saying no to private jets.

    The elite accuser knows especially how to level such charges given his own intimacy with what wealth, power, and influence bring. Worse still, the projectionist feels he is making the greatest sacrifice of all by his empty confessions—even as he is a beneficiary of the rigged system that he demands be ended.
    [……]
    Remember, it was Team Hillary, after the 2016 election, that rounded up celebrities to cut commercials urging the electors not to honor their states’ popular votes. Then we went to the surrogate Jill Stein’s lawsuits challenging voting machine counting. And finally, during the transition and Trump presidency, Hillary bragged of the new maquis “Resistance” that spread her fake Steele-Clinton dossier throughout the State Department, FBI, CIA, and Justice Department. There is a slight chance that John Durham may eventually work his way up to this largely illegal effort—from Hillary’s minions to those in her inner circle.
    [……]
    We can see the radical changes in the Democrats’ utter abandonment of the white working classes in the red state interior. In their place grew a romantic leftist infatuation with billionaires who can make things happen with big money, bypassing old-time penny-ante fund-raising. That’s why the Left loves and has enlisted the likes of Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Tom Steyer, and Mark Zuckerberg along with the Google, Apple, and Twitter fortunes. They find it cute that their own capitalists are using their capitalist-created fortunes to push anti-capitalist and left-wing cultural agendas.

    In the ancient days, what Mark Zuckerberg did in the 2020 election (channel over $400 million to appropriate the duties of state polling officers in key swing precincts) or the vast left-wing effort of the rich to warp the election—as boasted about in a now-infamous Time essay by a preening Molly Ball—would have created screaming headlines of “dark money.”

    https://amgreatness.com/2021/11/14/why-the-left-always-projects/

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  4. The Badge
    True and Terrifying Crime Stories That Could Not Be Presented on TV, from the Creator and Star of Dragnet
    by Jack Webb
    Introduction by James Ellroy

    “This is the city, Los Angeles, California. I work here, I carry a badge. The story you are about to see is true…”

    Before Charlie’s Angels, Miami Vice, or NYPD Blue, there was Dragnet. From 1951 to 1959, Jack Webb starred as Sergeant Joe Friday in the most successful police drama in television history. Webb (“Just the facts, ma’am”) was also the creator of Dragnet, and what made the show so revolutionary was its documentary-style format and the fact that each episode was “ripped” from the files of the LAPD.

    But 1950s television censors deemed many of the stories in the LAPD’s files too violent or sensational for the airwaves. The Badge is Webb’s collection of stories that could not be presented on TV: untold, behind-the-scenes accounts of the Black Dahlia murder, the Brenda Allen confessions, Stephen Nash’s “thrill murders,” and Donald Bashor’s “sleeping lady murders,” to name just a few. Case by case, The Badge takes readers on a spine chilling police tour through the dark, shadowy world of Los Angeles crime.

    “Some books influence a writer. Books rarely shape a writer’s curiosity whole. I’m anomalous that way. I got lucky at the get-go. It was one-stop imaginative shopping. I found all my stuff in one book.” — James Ellroy on The Badge
    \\][//

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