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U.S. Founders and Presidents: Primary Sources: Constitutional Convention

Find the public and private papers of the U.S. Founders and Presidents, as well as some other writings and primary sources.

Selected Primary Sources Related to the Constitutional Convention

ConSource [the Constitutional Sources Project] 

The Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution, at Google Books

The Federalist Papers, at the University of Groningen

The Anti-Federalist Papers, at the University of Groningen

Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, at the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress 

Proceedings of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government, 1786 (Annapolis Convention)at the Yale Law School Avalon Project

Notes on the debates in the Federal Convention, 1787, as reported by James Madison, at the Yale Law School Avalon Project

Essays on the Constitution of the United States, published during its discussion by the people, 1787-1788, online from Google Books, or at the SHSU Library, 4th floor, JK171.F72

Empire and nation: Letters from a farmer in Pennsylvania, John Dickinson; Letters from the Federal farmer, Richard Henry Lee: Observations leading to a fair examination of the system of government proposed by the late convention; and to several essential and necessary alterations in it, in a number of letters - at the SHSU Library, 4th floor, E215.5.E4

The life and correspondence of Rufus King, comprising his letters, private and official, his public documents, and his speeches, 1755-1827 - at the SHSU Library, 4th floor, E302.K542 vol. 1-6

The papers of William Livingston, (vol. 1. June 11, 1774-June 30, 1777; vol. 2 July 1777-Dec 1778) - at the SHSU Library, 4th floor, E302.L63 1979 vol. 1-2 

Papers of James McHenry on the Federal Convention of 1787, at the Yale Law School Avalon Project

Notes of William Paterson in the Federal Convention of 1787, at the Yale Law School Avalon Project

Variant texts of the plan presented by William Paterson in the Federal Convention of 1787 - Text AText B, and Text C - at the Yale Law School Avalon Project

Selected political essays of James Wilson, 1774-1790 - in the SHSU Library, 4th floor, JK171.W73

Collected works of James Wilson, at The Online Library of Liberty (volume 1 and volume 2), or at the SHSU Library, 4th floor, JK171.W6 1896 

Franklin, Benjamin


  • The papers of Benjamin Franklin - E 302 .F82 vol. 1-39
  • Early American views on Negro slavery, from the letters and papers of the founders of the Republic (Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin) - E446.M47 1969
  • The works of Benjamin Franklin, including the private as well as the official and scientific correspondence - E302.F825 1904 vol. 1-12
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Hamilton, Alexander

In the SHSU Library:

  • The papers of Alexander Hamilton - E 302 .H247 vol. 1-22
  • The Federalist papers - JK154 1966
  • The Federalist - JK154.1961.A
  • Writings - E302 .H22 2001
  • Selected writings and speeches of Alexander Hamilton - E302 .H22 1985
  • Papers on public credit, commerce, and finance - HC105.H18 1957
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Madison, James

Washington, George


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