50 Core American Documents ~ Free eBook

An oldie but a goodie that is still available at no cost! The Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio has compiled a list of 50 Core Documents that they believe is a starting point to understanding American history.

When covering history, the natural progression is to start our children off with interesting biographies. Then once we have their interest and attention, move on to a history spine while incorporating historical fiction and primary source documents. If you are looking for a source of not-to-be-missed primary source documents, look no further!

The 50 documents include:

  • Declaration of Independence.
  • Constitution of the United States.
  • Federalist Papers.
  • Bill of Rights.
  • Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Gettysburg Address.
  • Famous congressional speeches.
  • Inaugural addresses.
  • Supreme Court decisions.
  • Party platforms.
  • Famous presidential speeches.
  • Letters.
  • And more!

Documents were chosen based on the following criteria:

This list is meant to affirm the value and usefulness of reading original documents (as opposed to textbook summaries of major issues), and to introduce readers to America’s story as it has unfolded from the American Founding into the Twentieth Century.

We chose these documents not necessarily because they have some official status (some are considered official, but many are private letters), or because they are the most widely read. Rather, each document tells us something important about the “American mind,” to borrow a term from Thomas Jefferson’s 1825 letter to Henry Lee; in other words, they reveal a certain turn of each author’s thought about the basic principles of economic, religious, or political liberty.

The book is available at no cost on Kindle. No Kindle? No problem.

Great addition to the homeschool handy-mom toolbox!

Free eBook
Additional Resources

10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #6 History
Suggestions for covering history along with resources.

American Historical Documents {Free eBook}
Similar public domain title that ends in 1904.

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