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United States Labor History

Selected Primary Sources

Revolutionary Era

The Account Book of John Head, Joiner, Philadelphia Cabinetmaking and Commerce, 1718-1753:  

Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations, 1776

American Revolution, British Library

Boston Massacre Trials 1770

Great Britain : Parliament The Boston Port Act : March 31, 1774

Boston Tea Party – Read complete books and articles

[The Boston Gazette] Announcement of the Boston Tea Party, December 20, 1773

Circular Letter of the Boston Committee of Correspondence; May 13, 1774

Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Hedgehog’s Herald: Taxation Without Representation is Tyranny 1763-1766

Library of Congress American Memory

Sentence of Indenture, 1775
Like Austalia, many American colonists who came here came here as a sentence. Here is an example of how Laurence Kennedy had… [Cumberland Landing, Va. Group of “contrabands” at Foller’s house]

“The Sentiments of a Labourer”
William Manning Inquires in the Key of Liberty, 1798

"Boston tea-party." Three cargoes of tea destroyed. Dec. 16, 1773"

"Boston tea-party." Three cargoes of tea destroyed. Dec. 16, 1773"
(courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA) 


A Shoemaker and the Tea Party
by George Robert Twelve Hewes

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860

The Stono Rebellion

Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the...)

“We Are All Equally Free”:
New York City Workingmen Demand A Voice in the Revolutionary Struggle

William Manning, “A Laborer,” Explains Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts:“In as Plain a Manner as I Am Capable”