Nineteenth Century Documents Project

[Early National Politics] [Slavery/Sectionalism] [Nebraska Bill] [Sumner Caning] [Dred Scott Decision] [John Brown/Harper's Ferry] [1850s Statistical Almanac] [1860 Election] [Secession/War] [Post Civil War] [Text Analysis Tools] [Related Sites]

About the Project:

When completed this collection will include accurate transcriptions of many important and representative primary texts from nineteenth century American history, with special emphasis on those sources that shed light on sectional conflict and transformations in regional identity. Because of our location in South Carolina and the salient role of its natives in the era's history there will also be a number of materials relevant to South Carolina or South Carolinians. Almost all of the documents have been transcribed from originals by myself or by Furman students. The originals are in the public domain. These electronic versions may be copied freely as long as proper attribution is given. To maintain a balance between accuracy and quick production we have decided to post some documents before the final round of proofreading has taken place. Versions that have been reverse-order proofed against the original texts are indicated with a * as they are re-posted. All un-starred documents should be used with the awareness that minor errors may exist in them.

Portions of this project have been funded through a stipend from the Mellon Foundation and grants from the Furman University Research and Professional Growth and Faculty Development Committees. For an interim description of these activities see the Mellon Foundation Advanced Course Development Report. Several of the longer documents have been indexed and can be searched for words, phrases, and other patterns. There is also an experimental frames version of this menu available.

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Please send e-mail to lloyd.benson@furman.edu.




Early National Politics


Slavery and Sectionalism


The Kansas-Nebraska Bill (1854)

For the updated version of this section, see Secession Era Editorials.

The Caning of Sumner (May 1856)

For newspaper reactions to this incident, see Secession Era Editorials.

The Dred Scott Case (1857)

For the updated version of this section, see Secession Era Editorials.


The Raid on Harper's Ferry (1859)

For the updated version of this section, see Secession Era Editorials.

1850s Statistical Almanac


The Election of 1860


War Begins


Post-Civil War Documents


Recently Transcribed Editorials

These are recently entered editorials that have been neither proofread nor cataloged.

Other Tools and Documents

Text Search with WordNet Thesaurus
Sample Editorial Collection (TEI format) (Requires SGML compatible browser such as Softquad's Panorama Viewer for Windows)
Comparison of grammatical components in the Sample Collection (HTML format)
Compare word frequencies of two texts.

Related Sites

Lloyd Benson's Past Connections
Furman University Home Page
Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (U.Va.)
Valley of the Shadow Project (U.Va.)
Causes of the Civil War (Jim Epperson, UAH)
Douglass: Archives of American Public Address (NWU)
Historical Documents of the United States of North America (U. of Kansas)
Historical Text Archive (Mississippi State)
The U.S. Civil War Center
The Young-Sanders Center for the Study of the War Between the States in Louisiana
TACTweb Text Analysis Software
Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1830-1930 (SUNY Binghamton)