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U.S. History: Beginnings to 1877 - HIST201 - Primary Sources

Primary sources available in the library or on the Internet relevant to U.S. History before 1877.

Resources in Library Catalog

eBooks on this list are only available to RVCC students, faculty, and staff and require a login with your G# and password.

War and politics

The causes of the Civil War : with revisions

Juxtaposing articles and speeches by men who lived through the struggle with the interpretations of post-Civil War historians, Kenneth M. Stampp brings face to face spokesmen for the major schools of thought. Was slavery the determinig cause? Can the blame be laid either to 'Black Republican' agitation or to the ruthless machinations of a 'Slave Power' conspiracy? Was the war an 'irrepressible conflict' between an agrarian South and an industrialized North?

The collected works of Abraham Lincoln

In 1953, the Abraham Lincoln Association published The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, a multi-volume set of Lincoln's correspondence, speeches, and other writings.

Diary

Diary of United States Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. v. 1. 1861-March 30, 1864.--v. 2. April 1, 1864-December 31, 1866.--v. 3. January 1, 1867-June 6, 1869

A disquisition on government : and A discourse on the Constitution and government of the United States

Written in response to what Calhoun saw as the growing subjugation of the Southern United States by the more populous North, this political treatise was written by U.S. Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and published posthumously in 1851.

Don't hurry me down to Hades : the Civil War in the words of those who lived it

Drawing on diaries and letters of both the famous and ordinary, this book presents a collection of personal narratives on the Civil War, from the early failures of Union commanders to the assassination of President Lincoln at Ford's Theater

Fear was not in him : the Civil War letters of Major General Francis C. Barlow, U.S.A.

Francis C. Barlow's letters not only illuminate the life of a talented battlefield commander; they also fill a gap in Civil War scholarship by providing a valuable window into Northern intellectual responses to the War (eBook).

A Grand army of Black men : letters from African-American soldiers in the Union Army, 1861-1865

The 176 letters in this collection were written by black soldiers in the Union army during the Civil War to black and abolitionist newspapers. They provide a unique expression of the black voice that was meant for a public forum. The letters tell of the men's experiences, their fears and their hopes.

In Vinculis : Or the Prisoner of War

This book is Anthony Keiley's extraordinary story of his experiences as a captive confederate soldier while in two federal prisons during the Civil War (eBook).

Keep all my letters : the Civil War letters of Richard Henry Brooks, 51st Georgia Infantry

In May 1862, Richard Henry Brooks of Blakely, Georgia, enlisted in the Confederate Army for the duration of the war. He wrote his wife Telitha regularly and told her repeatedly to save all his letters, which she did, and they are published in this book.

The most fearful ordeal : original coverage of the Civil War

Collects the "New York Times" articles that documented the Civil War as it was transmitted by the era's recently developed telegraph, in a volume that includes coverage of key events and issues and is complemented by period photography and maps.

The New York Times complete Civil War, 1861-1865

The New York Times, established in 1851, was one of the few newspapers with correspondents on the front lines throughout the Civil War. This book collects every article written about the war from 1861 to 1865, plus select pieces before and after the war and is filled with the action, politics, and personal stories of this monumental event.

One of Lee's Best Men : the Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender

The Civil War letters of Confederate officer William Dorsey Perder to his wife provide a valuable portrait of the most distinguished North Carolina commander (eBook).

A Palmetto boy : Civil War-era diaries and letters of James Adams Tillman

An insightful view of major Civil War battles from a representation of one of South Carolina's most influential families (eBook).

A perfect picture of hell : eyewitness accounts by Civil War prisoners from the 12th Iowa

This book contains a collection of harrowing narratives by soldiers from the 12th Iowa Infantry who survived imprisonment in the South during the Civil War.

A Prussian observes the American Civil War : the military studies of Justus Scheibert

Justus Scheibert, an officer in the Royal Prussian Engineers, was sent to the United States for seven months to observe the Civil War and report the effects of artillery on fortifications (eBook).

Southern sons, northern soldiers : the Civil War letters of the Remley brothers, 22nd Iowa Infantry

Answering the call of their president and their consciences,George and Lycurgus Remley enlisted to serve God and country. This poignant collection of their letters to and from home sharply portrays the human costs of the Civil War.

A surgeon's Civil War : the letters and diary of Daniel M. Holt, M.D.

The educated and articulate Holt, 42 when he was commissioned in 1862, describes camp life, army politics and military medicine up to Oct. 1864.

Tejanos in gray : Civil War letters of Captains Joseph Rafael de La Garza and Manuel Yturri

Forty-one letters and letter fragments written by two Mexican Texans, Captains Manuel Yturri and Joseph Rafael de la Garza, reveal the relationships that characterized the lives of Texan citizens of Mexican descent in the years leading up to and including the Civil War (eBook).

Testament : a soldier's story of the Civil War

Through his letters, Benjamin Webb Baker chronicles the firsthand experiences of a young Union Army soldier in the Civil War during which he struggled to survive harsh weather, food rationing, battle wounds, and the death of his brother.

True Jersey Blues : the Civil War Letters of Lucien A. Voorhees and William McKenzie Thompson, 15th Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers

Lucien A. Voorhees and William Mackenzie Thompson left Flemington, New Jersey, in high spirits in September 1862 as enlisted men in the 15th New Jersey Regiment to join the fight for the Union. Their letters cover the period from the muster of the 15th Regiment at Flemington (August 1862) through the combat deaths of both writers at Spotsylvania (May 1864) (eBook).

The war outside my window : the Civil War diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865

LeRoy Wiley Gresham of Macon, Georgia kept a series of seven journals between 1860 and 1865 that documents the entirety of the Civil War. Starting at the age of 12, his writing covers not only the changes in Macon, but the socio-economic impact of the conflict on his wealthy family, which owns two plantations about 40 miles southeast of Macon. His journals also trace his internal struggles with his health, giving us a very unique glimpse into the course of his struggle against tuberculosis, a disease which killed thousands each year during the 19th century, and claimed his own life at age 17.

Slavery; social and economic issues

American antislavery writings : colonial beginnings to emancipation

"Published to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this anthology charts America's long, heroic confrontation with its most poisonous evil.

The Antebellum era : primary documents on events from 1820 to 1860

Firsthand accounts offer a look at how America's press covered important national issues and events of the day, from the passage of the Missouri Compromise through John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. Using editorials, letters, essays, and news reports that appeared throughout the country, Copeland reveals how editors, politicians, and other Americans used the press to influence opinion.
These are the primary documents that displayed the pulse of the nation.

Back to Africa : Benjamin Coates and the colonization movement in America, 1848-1880

Benjamin Coates was one of the best-known white supporters of African colonization in nineteenth-century America. A Quaker businessman from Philadelphia, and a sometime officer of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, he was committed to helping Black Americans relocate to West Africa. At the heart of the volume is a collection of over 150 recently recovered letters, either written by Coates or addressed to him between 1848 and 1880, the years when Coates was most active in racial reform.

The causes of the Civil War : with revisions

Juxtaposing articles and speeches by men who lived through the struggle with the interpretations of post-Civil War historians, Kenneth M. Stampp brings face to face spokesmen for the major schools of thought. Was slavery the determinig cause? Can the blame be laid either to 'Black Republican' agitation or to the ruthless machinations of a 'Slave Power' conspiracy? Was the war an 'irrepressible conflict' between an agrarian South and an industrialized North?

Food in the Civil War era : the North

In this fascinating historical compilation, excerpts from five Civil War era cookbooks present a compelling portrait of cooking and eating in the urban north of the 1860s United States (eBook).

Frederick Douglass in Brooklyn

A fascinating collection of Frederick Douglass's always-controversial speeches in Brooklyn, New York (eBook).

Free at last : a documentary history of slavery, freedom, and the Civil War

Gathers first hand accounts of slavery and the efforts of Black Americans to transform the Civil War into a war to end slavery.

A Grand army of Black men : letters from African-American soldiers in the Union Army, 1861-1865

The 176 letters in this collection were written by black soldiers in the Union army during the Civil War to black and abolitionist newspapers. They provide a unique expression of the black voice that was meant for a public forum. The letters tell of the men's experiences, their fears and their hopes.

The great South

This book is a record of the extensive tour of observation through the states of the South and South-west during the whole of 1873, and the Spring and Summer of 1874 during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. The journey was undertaken at the instance of the publishers of Scribner's Monthly, who desired to present to the public an account of the material resources, and the present social and political condition, of the people in the Southern States

Memphis riots and massacres

Originally published as Report no. 101 of the House of Representatives, 39th Congress, 1st session in 1866. Report submitted by E.B. Washburne, chairman.

The Reconstruction era : primary documents on events from 1865 to 1877

Primary documents, including editorials, letters, essays, and news reports, demonstrate how editors, politicians, and other Americans used the press to influence opinion during the Reconstruction era, from 1865 to 1877 (eBook).

Remembering slavery : African Americans talk about their personal experiences of slavery and emancipation

This book includes chapters on aspects of slave life, including relationships with owners, work, family culture, the Civil War, and Emancipation; complete transcript of live recordings and dramatic readings of interviews with former slaves; and little-known period photographs.

The rise of aggressive abolitionism : addresses to the slaves

In the early 1840s three leading abolitionists presented provocative speeches that, for the first time, addressed the slaves directly rather than aiming rebukes at white owners. This book includes the full text of each address, as well as related documents, and presents a detailed study of their historical context, the reactions they provoked, and their lasting impact on U.S. history - primary documents can be found at the end of the book (eBook).

Slavery

Seventeen primary documents reflect various aspects of slavery, especially concerning the slave trade, foreign perspectives on America's peculiar institution, the slave's experience, slave resistance, and abolitionism. Offering the perspectives of Southern gentlemen, foreign visitors (including soldiers and revolutionaries), abolitionists, and especially the slaves themselves, particular chapters discuss slave auctions, plantation life, the status of women, punishment, religion, rebellion, escape, the economic role of slavery, the comparison to wage-slavery in the north, and abolitionist strategies.

Slave testimony : two centuries of letters, speeches, interviews, and autobiographies

Written and oral testimony to the conditions and experiences of slavery reveal the everyday lives and extraordinary culture of black slaves.

The South: a tour of its battlefields and ruined cities

From the cover page: "A journey through the desolated states, and talks with the people. Being a description of the present state of the country - its agriculture, railroads, business and finances." Originally published in 1866.

Southern unionist pamphlets and the Civil War

The southern unionist leaders used their oral and written communication skills to proclaim their opposition to the Confederacy, often producing pamphlets that circulated in the North, in the border states, and in the heart of the Confederacy itself. Jon L. Wakelyn unites the voices of these southern unionists in the first comprehensive collection of their written arguments - Southern Unionist Pamphlets and the Civil War (eBook).

Ten years on a Georgia plantation since the war

Frances Butler Leigh was born in Philadelphia in 1838 to Pierce Mease Butler, a slave-holding Georgia planter, and Frances Ann Kemble, a British actress and anti-slavery writer. In this book, Leigh provides an account of plantation life on the Georgia sea islands during Reconstruction.

Women and slavery in America : a documentary history

Women and Slavery offers readers an opportunity to examine the establishment, growth, and evolution of slavery in the United States as it impacted women-enslaved and free, African American and white, wealthy and poor, northern and southern. The primary documents-including newspaper articles, broadsides, cartoons, pamphlets, speeches, photographs, memoirs, and editorials-are organized thematically and represent cultural, political, religious, economic, and social perspectives on this dark and complex period in American history (eBook).

Resources in Library Databases

Off campus, these resources are available only to RVCC students, staff, and faculty and require a login with your G# and password.

Perform a keyword search, then select Primary Sources from the tabbed results.

Primary sources

To browse, select Primary Sources and then American Civil War or The Civil War and Reconstruction: 1860-1876

Primary Sources       Civil War

Resources on the Internet