Tag: 1800s

John L. O’Sullivan on Manifest Destiny

Triplett's March of Destiny

John L. O’Sullivan on Manifest Destiny New York, NY November 1839 In 1839, John L. O’Sullivan, editor of the Democratic Review, referred in his magazine to America’s “manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.” During O’Sullivan’s day, aggressive nationalists invoked manifest destiny to justify

Louisiana Purchase Treaty

First map illustrating the Louisiana Territory, 1804

The Louisiana Purchase Treaty Paris, France 30 April 1803 The Louisiana Purchase has been described as the greatest real estate deal in history. In 1803 the United States paid France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory—some 828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River. The lands acquired stretched from the Mississippi River to

Thomas Jefferson: Instructions for Meriwether Lewis

Thomas Jefferson

Even before consummating the Louisiana Purchase with France, President Jefferson laid plans to explore the region. In June 1803, he sent a letter to his personal secretary, Meriwether Lewis, who had recruited to lead the mission. The message lists many objectives for the expedition, but stresses economic, geopolitical, and scientific matters. Note in particular that the President

Abraham Lincoln: Gettysburg Address

Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg

There are five known copies of the Gettysburg Address written in Lincoln’s own handwriting. Each version has slightly different text, and are named for the people who first received them: Nicolay, Hay, Everett, Bancroft and Bliss. Two copies apparently were written before delivering the speech; one of these was probably was the reading copy. Below, we

Abigail Adams: Letter to Her Daughter from the New White House

White House, 1790s

Abigail Adams wrote this letter to her daughter, Abigail Smith, in November 1800, shortly after moving into their new home, the “President’s House.” The correspondence provides a fascinating glimpse of rustic life in the executive mansion and America’s new capital city, Washington D.C. Abigail Adams: Letter to Her Daughter from the New White House by Abigail