Books on Colonial America – Early American History Books

Select Charters and other Documents Illustrative of American History, 1606-1775 – Early American History Books

Macdonald, William, ed.
Macmillan 1904 Dewey Dec. 973.2

Contains the text of 80 documents.

Contents: First Charter of Virginia — Second Charter of Virginia — Third Charter of Virginia — Patent of the Council for New England — Mayflower Compact — Ordinance for Virginia — Grant of Maine to Gorges and Mason — First Charter of Massachusetts — Charter of Privileges to Patroons — Grant of New Hampshire — Plymouth Patent — Charter of Maryland — Grant of New Hampshire and Massonia — Fundamental Orders of Connecticut — Grant of the Province of Maine — Fundamental Articles of New Haven — Massachusetts Body of Liberties — Patent of Providence Plantations — New England Confederation — Government of New Haven — Maryland Toleration Act — Navigation Act — First Navigation Act — Charter of Connecticut — Explanatory Navigation Act — First Charter of Carolina — Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations — Second Navigation Act — Grant to the Duke of York — Grant of New Jersey to Berkeley and Carteret — New Jersey Concession and Agreement — Second Charter of Carolina — Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina — Third Navigation Act — Grant of New Jersey to Carteret. Quintipartite Deed — Concessions and Agreements of West New Jersey — Charter of Pennsylvania — Grant of East New Jersey — Frame of Government of Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania and Delaware Frame — Second Charter of Massachusetts — Navigation Act — Pennsylvania Frame of Government — Treaty of Ryswick — Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges — Treaty of Utrecht — Explanatory Charter of Massachusetts — Charter of Georgia — Molasses Act — Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle — Albany Plan of Union — Writ of Assistance — Treaty of Paris — Royal Proclamation Concerning America — Sugar Act — Stamp Act — Quartering Act — Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress — Declaratory act — Act Suspending the New York Assembly — Townshend Acts — Act Establishing Customs Commissioners — Revenue Act — Tea Act — Massachusetts Circular Letter — Virginia Resolutions — Boston Port Act. Massachusetts Government Act — Administration of Justice Act — Quartering Act — Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress — The Association — Lord North’s Conciliatory Resolution — New England Restraining Act — Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms — Petition to the King — Report on Lord North’s Conciliatory Resolution — Proclamation of Rebellion — Act Prohibiting Trade and Intercourse with America.

A History of the Colonies Planted by the English on the Continent of North America … – Early American History Books

from their Settlement to the Commencement of that War which Terminated in their Independence

Marshall, John
Philadelphia: Small 1824 Dewey Dec. 973.2

The author was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835, and is still considered one of the most influential Supreme Court justices in U.S. history. He was a veteran of the Revolutionary war, and prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court was a Federalist leader in the House of Representatives. As the Supreme Court met for only three months per year, Marshall apparently found ample time for researching and writing history. In addition to this volume, he was the author of a 5-volume ‘Life of George Washington’.

Travels in the American Colonies – Early American History Books

Mereness, Newton D.
Macmillan Company 1916 Dewey Dec. 973.91

Collected original documents.

Contents: Cuthbert Potter’s journal of a journey from Virginia to New England, 1690.–Journal of Diron d’Artaguiette, inspector general of Louisiana, 1722-1723.–Journal of Colonel George Chicken’s mission from Charleston, S.C., to the Cherokees, 1726.–Journal of Captain Tobias Fitch’s mission from Charleston to the Creeks, 1726.–A ranger’s report of travels with General Oglethorpe in Georgia and Florida, 1739-1742.–Journal of Antoine Bonnefoy’s captivity among the Cherokee Indians, 1741-1742.–Journal of Beauchamp’s journey from Mobile to the Choctaws, 1746.–Journal of Captain Phineas Stevens’ journey from Charlestown, N.H., to Canada, 1752.–Diary of a journey of Moravians from Bethlehem, Pa., to Bethabara, N.C., 1753.–Minutes from the journal of Mr. Hamburgh’s travels in the Michigan and Illinois country, 1763.–Journal of an officer’s travels in America and the West Indies, 1764-1765 — Journal of Captain Harry Gordon’s journey from Pittsburg down the Ohio and the Mississippi to New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola, 1766.–David Taitt’s journal of a journey through the Creek country, 1772.–Dr. John Berkenhout’sjournal of an excursion from New York to Philadelphia, 1778.–Travel diary of Bishop Reichel, Mrs. Reichel, and their company from Lititz, Pa., to Salem, N.C., 1780.–Extracts from the travel diary of Bishop Reichel, Mrs. Reichel, and Christian Heckewelder from Salem to Lititz, 1780.–Colonel William Fleming’s journal of travels in Kentucky, 1779-1780.–Colonel William Fleming’s journal of travels in Kentucky, 1783.

La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West – Early American History Books

Parkman, Francis
1879 Dewey Dec. 973.2

Francis Parkman was possibly America’s most influential and widely read historian in the late 19th century. His reputation for research and interpretation has suffered in the 20th century, but his ability to tell a story has aged well. “In his inimitable style Parkman describes the exploration of the Mississippi and the Great Lakes, and the adventures of Joliet, Marquette and Father Hennepin, grouping all these events about La Salle.”
(La Salle. Robert Cavelier, sieur de, 1643-1687) – A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Contents: 1. 1643-1669 Cavelier de la Salle 2. 1669-1671 La Salle and the Sulpitians 3. 1670-1672 The Jesuits on the Lakes 4. 1667-1672 France takes Possession of the West 5. 1672-1675 The Discovery of the Mississippi 6. 1673-1678 La Salle and Frontenac 7. 1678 Party Strife 8. 1677, 1678 The Grand Enterprise 9. 1678-1679 La Salle at Niagara 10. 1679 The Launch of the “Griffin” 11. 1679 La Salle on the Upper Lakes 12. 1679, 1680 La Salle on the Illinois 13. 1680 Fort Crevecoeur 14. 1680 Hardihood of La Salle 15. 1680 Indian Conquerors 16. 1680 Tonty and the Iroquois 17. 1680 The Adventures of Hennepin 18. 1680, 1681 Hennepin among the Sioux 19. 1681 La Salle begins Anew 20. 1681-1682 Success of La Salle 21. 1682, 1683 St. Louis of the Illinois 22. 1680-1683 La Salle Painted by Himself 23. 1684 A New Enterprise 24. 1684, 1685 The Voyage 25. 1685 La Salle in Texas 26. 1685-1687 St. Louis of Texas 27. 1687 Assassination of La Salle 28. 1687, 1688 The Innocent and the Guilty 29. 1688-1689 Fate of the Texan Colony

See our free books on the history of Europe 1500-1700

Montcalm and Wolfe – Early American History Books

– Volume 2 – Early American History Books

Parkman, Francis
1884 Dewey Dec. 973.2

The story of the downfall of France in America, culminating in the battle on the Heights of Abraham.

Contents: Volume 1: 1. 1745-1755 The Combatants 2. 1749-1752 Celoron de Bienville 3. 1749-1753 Conflict for the West 4. 1710-1754 Conflict for Acadia 5. 1753, 1754 Washington 6. 1754, 1755 The Signal of Battle 7. 1755 Braddock 8. 1755 Removal of the Acadians 9. 1755 Dieskau 10. 1755, 1756 Shirley. Border War 11. 1712-1756 Montcalm 12. 1756 Oswego 13. 1756, 1757 Partisan War 14. 1757 Montcalm and Vaudreuil 15. 1757 Fort William Henry
Volume 2: 16. 1757, 1758 A Winter of Discontent 17. 1753-1760 Bigot 18. 1757, 1758 Pitt 19. 1758 Louisbourg 20. 1758 Ticonderoga 21. 1758 Fort Frontenac 22. 1758 Fort Duquesne 23. 1758, 1759 The Brink of Ruin 24. 1758, 1759 Wolfe 25. 1759 Wolfe at Quebec 26. 1759 Amherst. Niagara 27. 1759 The Heights of Abraham 28. 1759 Fall of Quebec 29. 1759, 1760 Sainte-Foy 30. 1760 Fall of Canada 31. 1758-1763 The Peace of Paris 32. 1763-1884 Conclusion

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War – Early American History Books

Philbrick, Nathaniel
Viking 2006 Dewey Dec. 973.2

From the perilous ocean crossing to the shared bounty of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrim settlement of New England has become enshrined as our most sacred national myth. Yet, as bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick reveals in his spellbinding new book, the true story of the Pilgrims is much more than the well-known tale of piety and sacrifice; it is a fifty-five-year epic that is at once tragic, heroic, exhilarating, and profound.
The Mayflower’s religious refugees arrived in Plymouth Harbor during a period of crisis for Native Americans as disease spread by European fishermen devastated their populations. Initially the two groups—the Wampanoags, under the charismatic and calculating chief Massasoit, and the Pilgrims, whose pugnacious military officer Miles Standish was barely five feet tall—maintained a fragile working relationship. But within decades, New England would erupt into King Philip’s War, a savagely bloody conflict that nearly wiped out English colonists and natives alike and forever altered the face of the fledgling colonies and the country that would grow from them.
With towering figures like William Bradford and the distinctly American hero Benjamin Church at the center of his narrative, Philbrick has fashioned a fresh and compelling portrait of the dawn of American history—a history dominated right from the start by issues of race, violence, and religion.

Memoir upon the Late War in North America between the French and English, 1755-60 … – Early American History Books

followed by observations upon the theatre of actual war, and by new details concerning the manners and customs of the Indians; with topographical maps

– Volume 2 – Books on Colonial America

Pouchot, Pierre
Roxbury, Mass:1866 Dewey Dec. 973.2

Pierre Pouchot (1712-1769) was an officer and engineer in the French army. During the French and Indian War he was in charge of construction and defense of Forts Niagara and Levis, among other assignments. This memoir, written in 1768, draws upon his wartime experience in Canada as well as his knowledge of French military strategy and operations. It is the only history of that war on this webpage written by a French military participant.

Colonial America to 1763 – Books on Colonial America

Purvis, Thomas L.
Facts on File 1999 Dewey Dec. 973.2

A volume in the series ‘Almanacs of American Life’. “Each volume is an almanac-format compilation of information in statistical and tabular form, with connective text describing the detail of life during the period. Each book is enhanced by about 100 illustrations… and contains an extensive bibliography.” They provide info on climate, natural history, geography, dates of events, the economy, the population, diet and health, religion, politics & government, cities, education, arts & letters, science and technology, popular culture, crime etc.” -Book cover.

See our links to historic illustration collections

War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America’s First Frontier – Books on Colonial America

Ross, John F.
Bantam 2009 Dewey Dec. 973.2

Often hailed as the godfather of today’s elite special forces, Robert Rogers trained and led an unorthodox unit of green provincials, raw woodsmen, farmers, and Indian scouts on “impossible” missions in colonial America that are still the stuff of soldiers’ legend. The child of marginalized Scots-Irish immigrants, Rogers learned to survive in New England’s dark and deadly forests, grasping, as did few others, that a new world required new forms of warfare. John F. Ross not only re-creates Rogers’s life and his spectacular battles with breathtaking immediacy and meticulous accuracy, but brings a new and provocative perspective on Rogers’s unique vision of a unified continent, one that would influence Thomas Jefferson and inspire the Lewis and Clark expedition. Rogers’s principles of unconventional war-making would lay the groundwork for the colonial strategy later used in the War of Independence—and prove so compelling that army rangers still study them today. Robert Rogers, a backwoods founding father, was heroic, admirable, brutal, canny, ambitious, duplicitous, visionary, and much more—like America itself.

The First American Revolution – Books on Colonial America

Rossiter, Clinton
Harcourt, Brace 1984 Dewey Dec. 973.2

“From his monumental study of the political ideas that sustained the rise of liberty in Colonial and Revolutionary America, ‘Seedtime of the Republic’, Clinton Rossiter has culled the present volume. The First American Revolution is a selective account Of the government, religion, social structure, and intellectual life of the thirteen colonies. “What I have tried to do,” Mr. Rossiter states, “is to describe the total environment as one extremely favorable to the rise of liberty, and to single out those facets which seemed most influential in creating this environment.”” -Book cover

England in the wilderness: the colonists and their world — Soil, sea, and forest: the economy of the colonies — Self-government before democracy: the pattern of colonial politics — Better sort, middling sort, meaner sort: the structure of colonial society — The golden age succeeds the iron: the colonial mind — The second American revolution succeeds the first

King Philip’s War: The History and Legacy of America’s Forgotten Conflict – Books on Colonial America

Schultz, Eric B. and Tougias, Michael J.
Countryman 1999 Dewey Dec. 973.2

King Philip’s War–one of America’s first and costliest wars–began in 1675 as an Indian raid on several farms in Plymouth Colony, but quickly escalated into a full-scale war engulfing all of southern New England.
At once an in-depth history of this pivotal war and a guide to the historical sites where the ambushes, raids, and battles took place, King Philip’s War expands our understanding of American history and provides insight into the nature of colonial and ethnic wars in general. Through a careful reconstruction of events, first-person accounts, period illustrations, and maps, and by providing information on the exact locations of more than fifty battles, King Philip’s War is useful as well as informative. Students of history, colonial war buffs, those interested in Native American history, and anyone who is curious about how this war affected a particular New England town, will find important insights into one of the most seminal events to shape the American mind and continent.

A General History of the United States of America from the discovery in 1492: (vol 1) – Books on Colonial America

or, sketches of the divine agency, in their settlement, growth, and protection; and especially in the late memorable Revolution, exhibiting a general view of the principal events, from the discovery of North America to the year 1765

Trumbull, Benjamin
NY: Williams & Whiting 1810 Dewey Dec. 973.2

This history should be in 3 volumes, but only the first volume was found online.

The author, Benjamin Trumbull (1735-1820), was a Connecticut minister educated in divinity at Yale. He wrote in the Preface that, “after the revolutionary war, it was the desire of many pious men , that the remarkable deliverances, which the United States of America had experienced, might be fully exhibited to the public, as a tribute of praise to their great Deliverer, and for the instruction of posterity.” He wrote that he agreed to a request from the General Association of the State of Connecticut to write such a history, but decided to expand the theme to start with the discovery of America and take the story through to the establishment of the U.S. Trumbull believed that this was the first published history of the United States.

Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606-1625 – Books on Colonial America

Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, ed.
Scribner’s Sons 1907 Dewey Dec. 973.2

A volume in the series “Original Narratives of Early American History”.

Contents: Observations by Master George Percy, 1607.–A true relation, by Captain John Smith, 1608.–Description of Virginia and proceedings of the colonie.–The relation of the Lord De-La-Ware, 1611.–Letter of Don Diego de Molina, 1613.–Letter of Father Pierre Biard, 1614.–Letter of John Rolfe, 1614.–Proceedings of the Virginia Assembly, 1619.–Letter of John Pory, 1619.–Generall historie of Virginia by Captain John Smith, 1624; the fourth booke.–The Virginia planters’ answer to Captain Butler, 1623.–The tragical relation of the Virginia Assembly, 1624.–The discourse of the old company 1625.

French Policy Defeated, being an account of all the hostile proceedings of the French, against the inhabitants of the British Colonies in North America, for the last seven years – Books on Colonial America

London: 1755 Dewey Dec. 973.2

[Continued from the title page] “Also, the vigorous measures pursued both in England and America, to vindicate the rights of the British subjects, and the honour of the Crown, from the insults and invasions of the perfidious enemies. With an authentic account of the naval engagement off Newfoundland, and the taking of the forts in the Bay of Fundy. Embellished with two curious maps, describing all the coasts, bays, lakes, rivers, soundings, principal towns and forts, confining on the British plantations in America.”

The Golden Age of Colonial Culture – Books on Colonial America

Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Annapolis, Williamsburg, Charleston

Wertenbaker, Thomas J.
Cornel University 1975 Dewey Dec. 973.2

The eighteenth century, the Age of Enlightenment “produced a great flowering of American culture, since England was to colonial America as Greece was to Rome. Like Rome, the colonies borrowed their cultural beginnings and then transformed them into something peculiarly their own. Thomas Wertenbaker here examines the cultural development of six colonial centers – Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Annapolis, Williamsburg, and Charleston. He synthesizes a wide range of source materials to provide a lively picture of the particular culture of each city and the diverse influences and traditions which shaped it.” -Book cover

Contents: Crucibles of culture — The Puritan begins to play Boston — Father Knickerbocker becomes aesthetic New York — Culture with a thee and a thou Philadelphia — Intellectual life around the punch bowl Annapolis — The mind of the tobacco aristocrat Williamsburg — Rice, indigo, and elegance Charleston — Conclusion

See our links to free collections of historical North American maps

Dutch Explorers, Traders and Settlers in the Delaware Valley, 1609-1664 – Books on Colonial America

Weslager, Clinton A.
University of Pennsylvania 1961 Dewey Dec. 973.91

Contents: Henry Hudson – First expedition – Island in the Delaware – Swanendael tragedy – Indians-and the building of Fort Nassau – Intruders, forts and beaver trade – Secret instructions for Peter Minuit – Building activities and architecture – Dutch maps and geographical names – End of the Dutch era

The Mississippi Basin: The Struggle in America between England and France 1697-1763, with full cartographical illustrations from contemporary sources – Books on Colonial America

Winsor, Justin
Boston: Houghton, Mifflin 1895 Dewey Dec. 973.2

Contents: The Mississippi Basin at the end of the 17th C – Iberville’s expedition 1697-1700 – Throughout the Valley 1700-1709 – Crozat and trade 1710-1719 – The Mississippi Bubble 1714-1720 – The barriers of Louisiana 1710-1720 – Charlevoix and his observations 1720-1729 – Along the Appalachians 1720-1727 – The Rivalries of France, England, and Spain 1730-1740 – The Search for the sea of the West 1727-1753 – War and Truce 1741-1748 – The portals of the Ohio Valley 1740-1749 – Louisiana and its Indians 1743-1757 – Undeclared war 1750-1754 – The rival claimants for North America 1497-1755 – The anxieties and plans of 1754 – The Alleghany portals 1755 – Two dismal years 1756, 1757 – The Ohio and St. Lawrence won 1758-1759 – The transition from war to war 1760-1762 – The treaty of peace 1762-1763 – The effect upon the Indians 1763-1765 – Occupation completed 1764, 1765

The Origins of American Slavery: Freedom and Bondage in the English Colonies – Books on Colonial America

Wood, Betty
Hill and Wang 1997 Dewey Dec. 973.2

Though the English did not begin their colonization of the New World with the intention of enslaving anyone, by the end of the seventeenth century chattel slavery existed in each of England’s American colonies. Why? And why did the English enslave West Africans rather than native Americans or Europeans? Historians have usually stressed either racial ideology or determining economic and demographic factors, but Betty Wood suggests that a more complex rationale was at work. In this important new analysis, Wood begins by exploring the meanings of freedom and bondage in sixteenth-century English thought and the ideas that men and women of Tudor England had about Africans and native Americans. She studies their prejudices against non-Christians, their responses to models of slavery in the Spanish and French colonies, and their assessment of their own labor shortages, and in the light of these various factors interprets the decision of the English to resort to slave labor in the colonies. She then follows the spread of slavery through the seventeenth century, from the Caribbean and the Carolinas to Virginia tobacco country and finally among the Puritans and Quakers farther north.

Contents: Freedom and bondage in English thought – “Beastly Lyvynge”: Images of West Africans and Native Americans – The First American slaves: the Caribbean and Carolina – Tobacco slaves: the Chesapeake colonies – “Godly Society”: slavery among Puritans and Quakers

A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways who rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare’s The Tempest – Books on Colonial America

Woodward, Hobson
Viking 2009 Dewey Dec. 973.2

Merging maritime adventure and early colonial history, A Brave Vessel charts a little-known chapter of the past that offers a window on the inspiration for one of Shakespeare’s greatest works. In 1609, aspiring writer William Strachey set sail for the New World aboard the Sea Venture, only to wreck on the shores of Bermuda. Strachey’s meticulous account of the tragedy, the castaways’ time in Bermuda, and their arrival in a devastated Jamestown, remains among the most vivid writings of the early colonial period. Though Strachey had literary aspirations, only in the hands of another William would his tale make history as The Tempest-a fascinating connection across time and literature that Hobson Woodward brings vividly to life.

Contents: Poet of London — Aboard for Jamestown — Ocean bound — Hurricane — Rogue wave — Devil’s land — Angel’s garden — New life — Rebellion — Away to Virginia — Relief from home — Forest people — Blood in the snow — Poison — Bound for England — Blackfriars surprise — Bermuda ghosts — After the storm

A General History of the British Empire in America Containing an Historical, Political, and Commercial View of the English Settlements; … – Books on Colonial America

Including all the Countries in North-America, and the West-Indies, Ceded by the Peace of Paris

– Volume 2

Wynne, John Huddlestone
London: Richardson and Urquhart 1770 Dewey Dec. 973.2

John Huddlestone Wynne (1743-1788) lived in Southampton, England and wrote on a variety of topics, including essays, poetry, an annotated edition of the New Testament, and history. His works of history don’t appear to have gained much respect within the profession. In this work, the second volume is almost entirely about the war of 1754-1760 between Britain and France.

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