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Free Access to the History of America in 50 Documents

February 25, 2015

Adam Matthew

Adam Matthew to release extract of major American History collection

(Marlborough, UK – 25th February, 2015) From 1st-31st March, Adam Matthew will enable free access to ‘American History in 50 Documents’: fifty hand-picked documents and associated analysis of their importance from the first module of American History, 1493-1945, sourced exclusively from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York.

These primary source documents illustrate some of the key themes of American History during the period covered in Module 1 (1493-1859) - African-American History, Women’s History, Native American Indian History, Military History, Religion, Reform Movements, Migration and more – enabling users to uncover key moments in the lives of the characters.

By visiting during March visitors may explore examples such as:

  • Pierce Butler’s annotated copy of the first draft of the United States Constitution; one of two drafts contained within the first module of the collection
  • Correspondence between George Washington and Henry Knox, including Washington expressing his reluctance to accept the role of President of the United States; part of the Henry Knox Papers of over 10,000 items relating to the Bostonian’s journey through the Revolutionary and New Nation eras
  • A letter written by Harriet Beecher Stowe to England’s Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, accompanying a first edition of her controversial abolitionist novel ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’, published in 1852; forming part of many of the original manuscript letters within the collection

Spanning from 1493 until the mid-twentieth century, and particularly strong on the Revolutionary and Civil War periods, American History, 1493-1945 includes over 50,000 letters, diaries, maps, pamphlets, printed books, newspapers and photographs.

The free access period March 1st to 31st provides a great starting point for anyone interested in the study of American history and also serves as a great teaching aid for the AP US History course.

Module I: Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform, 1493-1859 is available now.

Module II: Civil War, Reconstruction and the Modern Era, 1860-1945 is due for release in Summer 2015.


Adam Matthew, an imprint of SAGE, is an award winning publisher of digital primary source collections for the humanities and social sciences. Sourced from leading libraries and archives around the world, their unique research and teaching collections cover a wide range of subject areas from medieval family life to 20th century history, literature and culture.

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For inquiries regarding SAGE's corporate and public affairs contact: Louise Coady.

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