There’s no better way to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend than spending a little time with Founders Online, a collaboration between the National Archives and the University of Virginia Press, featuring posts from six of our most popular founding fathers – Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison.
The National Historical Publication and Records Commission (within the Archives) decided to liberate everyone from trekking to libraries by putting all of the diary posts, letters, and day-to-day chronicles of the Founders online.
You can go right to the earliest drafts of Tom J’s Declaration, and read young Washington’s journal entries on his first trip over the mountains of western Virgina in 1747.
The site, still in beta, currently has over 119,000 searchable documents – who wrote to whom and what the daily buzz was about in the colonial times. You can search by person, sender, recipient, concept, or era.
Jump in and see what Franklin’s or Hamilton’s revolutionary days were like, or ramble through the early White House years. It will be like scanning 18th century Twitter feeds or FB timelines of your favorite founders.
(And speaking of beta, check out Tom J’s copy of his unedited Declaration in the new NYPL Digital Collection.)