History for the Rest of Us

The Treaty of Paris

The Treaty of Paris brought an end to the American Revolutionary War. Signed September 3, 1783, the United States was represented by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay while David Hartley, a member of the British Parliament represented King George III. The document was signed in Paris at the Hotel d’York (presently 56 Rue Jacob). Great Britian...

The Mayflower Compact

The Mayflower Compact

Mar 17, 2014

The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was signed on November 11, 1620 (based on the Julian calendar used by the colonists – November 21 based on the Gregorian calendar) by 41 of the 101 passengers on board the ship. It was written by Separatists who were fleeing religious persecution by King James of England. When...

Declaration of Independence – Rough Draft

Declaration of Independence – Rough Draft

Oct 31, 2012

The following is Thomas Jefferson’s “original rough draft” of the Declaration of Independence, before being revised by the other members of the Committee of Five and Congress: A Declaration of the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled. When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a people...

Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

Sep 24, 2012

January 1, 1863 By the President of the United States of America: A Proclamation. Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit: “That on the first day of January, in the...

George Washington’s Farewell Address

George Washington’s Farewell Address

Sep 19, 2012

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS: 1 The period for a new election of a citizen, to administer the executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more...

Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights

Aug 17, 2012

The United States Bill of Rights. The Ten Original Amendments to the Constitution of the United States Passed by Congress September 25, 1789 Ratified December 15, 1791 I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people...