Primary Source Learning: The Young Nation Primary Source Set

Battle of Lake Erie

Have students use the primary sources in this set to tell a story about the early years of the United States as a young, new nation. The story may be in digital or print form and could be nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or even a song. Click on each thumbnail image below to access the full size primary source. You may also use this primary set for a found poetry activity (click the previous link). Be sure to take a look at the New Nation lesson plans (see below). For more primary source sets and other teaching and learning resources by time period, access the U.S. History by Time Period themed link set.

"Evacuation day" and Washington's triumphal entry in New York City

“Evacuation day” Washington’s Triumphal Entry in New York City

A map of the United States of America agreeable to the peace of 1783

U.S. Map Agreeable to Peace of 1783

Franklin in the National Convention

Franklin in the National Convention

Washington's inauguration at Philadelphia

Washington’s inauguration at Philadelphia

Boston, Mass., Gov. John Hancock mansion with carriage drawn by six horses in foreground

John Hancock mansion with carriage drawn

Battle of Lake Erie

Battle of Lake Erie

Perry's victory on Lake Erie: fought Septr. 10th 1813

Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie: Sep. 10, 1813

The Battle of New Orleans

The Battle of New Orleans

The battle of New Orleans, fought Jany 8th 1814

The Battle of New Orleans, fought Jan. 8, 1814

The taking of the city of Washington in America

The Taking of the City of Washington in America

U.S. Capitol after burning by the British

U.S. Capitol after Burning by the British

Andrew Jackson with the Tennessee forces on the Hickory Ground

Andrew Jackson with Tennessee forces

Alexander Hamilton's notes for a speech proposing a plan of government at the Federal Convention, [18 June 1787].

Alexander Hamilton’s Speech Notes Proposing a Plan of Government 1787

Meriwether Lewis to Thomas Jefferson, September 23, 1806

Meriwether Lewis to Thomas Jefferson, 1806

Articles of a Treaty: U.S. & Shawanoe Nation

Articles of a Treaty: U.S. & Shawanoe Nation

Mrs. Mary Dewees's Journal from Philadelphia to Kentucky

Mrs. Mary Dewees’s Journal from Philadelphia to Kentucky

New nation lesson plans

The Bill of Rights: Debating the Amendments

The Constitution: Counter Revolution or National Salvation?

The Constitution: Drafting a More Perfect Union

Geography and Its Impact on Colonial Life

George Washington: First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen

Thomas Jefferson’sLibrary: Making the Case for a National Library

The U.S. Constitution: Continuity and Change in the Governing of the United States

Primary source sets by time period

Settlement primary source set

American Revolution primary source set

Expansion & Reform primary source set

Civil War & Reconstruction primary source set

Industrial America primary source set

Progressive Era primary source set

Great Depression & World War II primary source set

Primary Source Learning: Postwar United States (1945-1968) primary source set