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A “Crisis of the American Spirit”  

Jimmy Carter

After eleven days of dialogue and contemplation at the presidential retreat Camp David, President Jimmy Carter addressed the nation on television the evening of July 15, 1979. With unusual ... More

“A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality”  

Jean Jaques Rosseau

François-Marie Arouet (who published under the pen name Voltaire) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were two of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Both somewhat cynical about the ... More

“A Jewish Palestine”  

Henry Sacher

In this excerpt from an article in The Atlantic Monthly (July 1919), the British Zionist Harry Sacher (1882–1971) explains to an American audience why the issue of a Jewish homeland is such ... More

“A Model of Christian Charity”  

John Winthrop

In 1630, Puritan dissidents, believing England under the Stuarts to be too wicked for good Christians to endure, began to migrate to settlements along the shores of Massachusetts Bay. John ... More

“A Procession of Artisans at Istanbul”  

Evliya Çelebi

Born on the Golden Horn and raised in the Sultan’s palace in Istanbul, Çelebi traveled throughout Ottoman domains between 1640 and 1680. He published an account of his travels and ... More

“A Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge Among the British Plantation in America”  

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin tirelessly promoted the growth of civic sphere in his native Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, and worked to create a colony-wide society (akin to the Royal Society of ... More

“A Summary View of the Rights of British America”  

Thomas Jefferson

Shortly after Great Britain imposed the Intolerable Acts Thomas Jefferson wrote this pamphlet to provide guidance for the Virginian delegates to the Continental Congress in 1774. Jefferson ... More

Abd al-Rahman al-Saadi on the Scholars of Timbuktu  

Abd al-Rahman al-Saadi

Born in Timbuktu in 1596, Abd al-Rahman al-Saadi wrote, in Arabic, a chronicle entitled Tarikh al-Sudan (History of the Sudan). The document addresses the political, cultural, and religious ... More

Abolition of Serfdom  

Alexander II

The defeat of Russia in the Crimean War (1853–1856) convinced the newly enthroned Alexander II (r. 1855–1881) of the need for fundamental reforms in his country. The first institution he ... More

Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address  

Abraham Lincoln

On March 4, 1865, at the start of his second term, President Lincoln gave what remains the shortest inaugural address in history. In it, he strove to explain how a merciful God could have ... More

Acceptance Speech  

Ronald Reagan

In 1964, actor and television personality Roland Reagan (1911–2004) presented “A Time for Choosing,” a televised speech in support of Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for president ... More

Acceptance Speech at the Republican National Convention  

Barry Goldwater

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson was a formidable candidate for reelection. Few national Republican leaders were willing to risk their careers in a futile effort to unseat a popular ... More

“Account of the Boston Massacre”  

Thomas Preston

Thomas Preston was a British military officer present at the Boston Massacre in 1770. John Adams represented Preston during his trial in a Boston court for his alleged role in the Boston ... More

An Account of the Paxton Boys’ Murder of the Conestoga Indians  

Benjamin Franklin

The fullest account we have of the Paxton Boys’ attacks on the Conestoga Indians comes from Benjamin Franklin, who joined with other civic leaders to persuade a force of 250 boys to turn ... More

Account of the Rus  

Ibn Fadlan

Ibn Fadlan was a tenth-century Arab chronicler. In 921 C.E., the Caliph of Baghdad sent Ibn Fadlan on an embassy to the King of the Bulgars of the Middle Volga (present-day Russia). Ibn ... More

Account of the Stono Rebellion  

The Stono Rebellion - the largest slave revolt in the American colonies before the American Revolution—took place on September 9, 1739 near the Stono River in St. Paul’s Parish, South ... More

“Acres of Diamonds”  

Russell H. Conwell

A Baptist pastor from Philadelphia, Russell H. Conwell’s most widely-known work was his sermon “Acres of Diamonds,” first prepared in 1861 when he was eighteen, and added to and improved ... More

Address at Osawatomie  

Theodore Roosevelt

When Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) left the White House in 1909, he hoped his successor, William Howard Taft, would continue his reform and conservation policies. While Taft continued to ... More

Address at the University of Michigan  

Lyndon Johnson

On May 22, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered the commencement address at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in place of the late President John F. Kennedy, who had been ... More

“Address in the Haymarket Trial”  

On May 4, 1886, as protestors and police faced off against each other in Chicago, an unknown person threw a bomb, killing seven policemen and wounding others. The police fired on the crowd, ... More