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AmericanHeritage, American Voices: Colonies and Revolution



AmericanHeritage, American Voices: Colonies and Revolution

David C. King

ISBN: 978-0-471-46335-1 February 2003 144 Pages


Find out what life was like in colonial America from the people who lived it!

This first book in the American Heritage American Voices series will give you a rare glimpse into the day-to-day experiences of early Americans. You'll learn from fourteen-year-old George Washington about his Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour (such as "Do not laugh too much or too loud in public."); you'll read the testimony of an accused witch from the Salem witch trials; and you'll hear about the terrible conditions African slaves suffered when they were brought to America, from one of the slaves who survived. You'll also find out about what led up to the Boston Tea Party, what happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the daring mission of the first submarine (in 1776!).

From Columbus's letter describing his first voyage to America to the Constitution of the United States, Colonies and Revolution presents a wealth of period documents, including diaries, letters, articles, advertisements, speeches, and more, from both famous figures and ordinary citizens. Find out how all of these American voices working together helped to make this country what it is today.

Introduction to the American Heritage American Voices Series vii

Introduction to Colonies and Revolution ix

PART I: Colonizing a New World 1

Christopher Columbus Signs a Contract 2

From an Agreement between Christopher Columbus and the Rulers of Spain, April 17, 1492 3

Columbus Describes His Voyage 3

From Christopher Columbus's Letter to Lord Raphael Sanchez, March 14, 1493 4

The Mystery of Roanoke 4

From John White's Journals, 1590 5

The Legend of Pocahontas 7

From John Smith's The General History of Virginia, 1624 8

The First Settlements in New England 9

From William Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation, "The Mayflower Compact," 1620–1647 10

The Survival of Plymouth Plantation 10

From William Bradford's History of Plymouth Plantation, 1620–1647 11

A Difficult Voyage 13

From a German Immigrant's Letter Home, 1750 13

Keeping a Sense of Humor 14

Forefathers' Song, c. 1630 15

Indenture: Encouraging Newcomers 16

Aulkey Hubertse's Indenture Contract, 1710 16

Pennsylvania: Drawing Colonists from the Continent 18

From William Penn's Some Further Account of the Province of

Pennsylvania in America, 1683 18

PART II: Daily Life in Colonial America 21

All in a Day's Work 22

From a Girl's Diary, 1775 22

Life in Williamsburg 23

From Andrew Burnaby's Travels . . . , 1759 23

Education and Morals 24

From The New England Primer, c. 1680 25

Washington's Rules for Civil Behavior 26

From George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour, 1747 27

Clothing in the Age of Homespun 27

From Reverend John Schuyler's Journal, c. 1805 28

Wealth and Fashion 29

A Description of Dress, 1710 29

The Salem Witch Trials 30

From the Transcript of the Trial of Sarah Good, 1692 31

Judge Sewall's Apology 32

From Judge Samuel Sewall's Diary, 1696 and 1697 32

Anne Bradstreet: America's First Poet 33

Anne Bradstreet's "To My Dear and Loving Husband," 1678 33

Eliza's Gift to South Carolina 34

From a Letter by Eliza Lucas, 1740 35

Advice on Choosing a Husband 36

From the Royal American Magazine, 1774 36

Advice on Being Feminine 36

From John Winthrop's History of New England, 1645 37

Living Well 37

From the Diary of John Adams, 1775 38

A Girl's Life in Boston 38

From Anna Green Winslow's Diary, 1772 39

Benjamin Franklin: The First American 40

From The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, 1793 41

"What Then Is the American?" 43

From J. Hector St. Jean de Crèvecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer, c. 1782 43

PART III: Many People, Many Voices 45

Slavery on a Virginia Plantation 46

From Philip Vickers Fithian's Journal, 1773 47

A Traveler's View 48

From J. Hector St. Jean de Crevecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer, c. 1782 48

The Nightmare Atlantic Crossing 49

From Equiano's Travels, 1789 49

Growing Opposition to Slavery 50

A Slave's Epitaph, 1773 51

Thomas Jefferson's Dilemma 51

Jefferson's Ad for the Return of a Runaway, 1769 52

From Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, 1784 52

From Jefferson's Letter to Frances Epps, 1787 53

First Encounters with Native Americans 53

From John White's Journals, 1585 54

The Story of a "White Indian" 55

From A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison, 1824 55

Defending Diversity: Freedom of the Press and Speech 57

From Andrew Hamilton's Speech in the Trial of John Peter Zenger, 1735 59

PART IV: Prelude to Revolution 61

Patriots Protest a New Tax 62

From the Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser, October 31, 1765 64

The Stamp Act Congress 65

From The Proceedings of the Congress, October 1765 65

The Beginning of a National Identity 66

From John Dickinson's Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer, 1768 66

The Boston Massacre 67

From John Tudor's Diary, 1770 68

From Captain Thomas Preston's Letter to a Friend, 1770 68

The Boston Tea Party 71

From a Letter by John Andrews, 1773 71

From John Adams's Diary, 1773 72

"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" 72

From Patrick Henry's Speech to the Virginia Assembly, 1775 73

PART V: The American Revolution 75

"One If by Land, Two If by Sea" 76

From Paul Revere's Letter to Dr. Jeremy Belknap, 1798 77

The Battle of Lexington 78

From Ebenezer Munroe's Diary, 1775 78

The Battle of Concord 79

From Thomas Thorp's Journal, 1775 80

Washington Takes Charge 81

From the Military Journal of Dr. James Thacher, 1775 82

From George Washington's Letter to Martha Washington (Patsy), 1775 83

Letter from a Patriot 84

From Elizabeth Bartlett's Letter to a British Officer 84

A Patriot Marching Song 85

From "Yankee Doodle" 85

Deborah Champion's Ride 86

From Deborah Champion's Letter to a Friend, 1775 87

A Black Poet Writes of Freedom 88

From Phillis Wheatley's "To the Earl of Dartmouth . . . ," 1773 89

Declaring Independence 90

From Thomas Paine's Common Sense, 1776 90

Thirteen United States Declare Independence 92

From the Declaration of Independence, 1776 93

"We Must All Hang Together . . ." 95

From Dr. Benjamin Rush's Letter to John Adams, 1811 96

"Remember the Ladies" 97

From Abigail Adams's Letter to John Adams, March 31, 1776 98

From John Adams's Reply, April 14, 1776 99

The American Army and Militia 99

From Private Joseph Martin's Journal, 1776 100

Sergeant Smith's Turkey Prisoners 101

From Sergeant John Smith's Diary, 1776 101

The American Turtle 102

From Sergeant Ezra Lee's Letter to David Humphrey, 1776 102

"The Times That Try Men's Souls" 104

From Thomas Paine's The American Crisis, 1776 104

Washington's Christmas Surprise 105

From Colonel John Fitzgerald's Diary, 1776 105

Winter at Valley Forge 107

From the Diary of Dr. Albigence Waldo, 1777–1778 108

Benedict Arnold: "Treason of the Blackest Dye" 108

From General Nathaniel Greene's Announcement to the Continental Army, September 16, 1780 110

The Turn toward Victory 111

From James Collins's Journal, 1780 111

The Victory at Yorktown 113

From James Thacher's Journal, 1781 114

PART VI: Creating a National Government 115

What Form of Government? 116

From Abigail Adams's Letter to John Adams, 1776 116

Shays' Rebellion 117

From a Farmers' Petition to the State Government, Summer 1786 118

From an Interview in the Massachusetts Centinal, October 25, 1786 118

The Meeting of the Constitutional Convention 119

From Major William Pierce's Notes, 1787 119

Surviving Philadelphia's Summer 121

A French Visitor's Description of Philadelphia in Summer, 1787 122

The Constitution 122

From the Constitution, 1788 123

The Bill of Rights 126

The Bill of Rights, Amendments 1–10, 1791 127

Sources 129

Index 133