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The American Founders Online: An Annotated Guide to Their Papers and Publications

Compiled by Jurretta Jordan Heckscher, Digital Reference Specialist

A summary view of the rights of British America
Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826.
A summary view of the rights of British America: set forth in some.../ Williamsburg Va.: Printed by Clementina Rind, [1774].
Rare Book & Special Collections Division

. . . let us save what remains: not by vaults and locks which fence them from the public eye and use, . . . but by such a multiplication of copies, as shall place them beyond the reach of accident.
Thomas Jefferson to Ebenezer Hazard, February 18, 1791

The digital resources described in this guide provide online access, in varying degrees, to the personal papers and/or publications of the major founders of the American Republic—that is, those men who served in roles of national political leadership between 1765 and 1815—and members of their families. In some cases, official compilations of government documents are also included because of the prominence of a particular founder in the recorded activities of the governing body in question.

Please note that these links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Library of Congress of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. The Library of Congress bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site, or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

Some materials are available by subscription only, and are so designated. Most such resources can be consulted onsite at the Library of Congress.

This guide will be updated and expanded as additional resources become available.

John Adams | Samuel Adams | Benjamin Franklin | Alexander Hamilton | John Jay | Thomas Jefferson | James Madison | John Marshall | George Mason | James Otis | Thomas Paine | George Washington | James Wilson | Founders’ Family Members

Link disclaimerJohn Adams

Samuel Adams

Benjamin Franklin

Alexander Hamilton

John Jay

  • The Federalist
    An 1898 edition. Search for other editions using Google Books’ Advanced Search feature.
  • The Federalist
    Text of The Federalist, from the Digital Collections of the University of Virginia Library.
  • The Papers of John Jay
    An online archive from Columbia University, available as facsimile page images and document summaries.

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

John Marshall

George Mason

James Otis

Thomas Paine

George Washington

James Wilson

Founders’ Family Members

Papers of family members archived with those of a founder are included in the online compilations noted in the other sections of this guide. The materials listed below are separate online compendia organized around the papers of a founder’s family member or members rather than—or, in the case of the Adamses, in addition to—those of the founder himself.

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  January 8, 2013
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