1776: A Bibliography

MAY 13, 2022

One of A.R.T.’s core values is to lead with inquiry. This list features the production’s essential questions and some of the articles, books, and speeches that have inspired the cast and creative team in their work on this new production of 1776.

Production Essential Questions:

  • In creating the Declaration of Independence, what mattered?
  • How can we hold this history as a predicament, versus an affirming myth?
  • How is my story a part of American History?
  • How does an honest reckoning with our past help us move forward together?

18th Century Material Culture

  • Catherine Allgor, Couverture: The Word You Probably Don’t Know But Should” (National Women’s History Museum, 2012).
  • Elaine Forman Crane, ed., The Diary of Elizabeth Drinker: The Life Cycle of an Eighteenth-Century Woman (U Penn Press, 2010).
  • Jessica B. Harris, High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America (Bloomsbury, 2011).
  • Benjamin H. Irvin, Clothed in robes of sovereignty: the Continental Congress and the people out of doors(Oxford UP, 2011).
  • Clare Lyons, Sex Among the Rabble: An Intimate History of Gender & Power in the Age of Revolution, Philadelphia, 1730-1830 (UNC Press, 2008).
  • Peter Thompson, Rum Punch and Revolution: Taverngoing & Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia (U of Pennsylvania Press, 1999).
  • Michael Twitty, The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South (HarperCollins, 2018).
  • Worlds of Change: Colonial North America at Harvard Library (collection of primary sources on a wide range of colonial topics).

John and Abigail Adams

Enslavement and Abolition in the Atlantic World

  • The 1619 Project, Nicole Hannah-Jones
    • Articles (The New York Times, 2019)
    • The 1619 Podcast, by Nicole Hannah-Jones (2019)
    • Book: The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story (2019/2021)
  • Vincent Brown, Tacky’s Revolt (Harvard UP, 2020).
  • Vincent Brown, “A Vapor of Dread: Observations on Racial Terror and Vengeance in the Age of Revolution” (in Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn, Laurent Dubois, Richard Rabinowitz, Thomas H. Bender, Eds., D. Giles Ltd., 2011).
  • Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? (1852).
  • Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Macmillan, 2006).
  • Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America(Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997).
  • Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery Project
  • Zora Neale Hurston, Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” (2018, Amistad Press).
  • “The Importation and Sale of Enslaved People,” (Massachusetts Historical Society, ongoing).
  • Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South (Yale UP, 2019).
  • Andrew Kahn and Jamelle Bouie, The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes (Slate, 2021).
  • Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning (PublicAffairs, 2016).
  • Martha Washington as a Slaveowner, Mount Vernon (2020).
  • Gary B. Nash, The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution (Harvard UP, 2006).
  • Cassandra Pybus, Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and Their Global Quest for Liberty (Boston: Beacon Press, 2006).
  • Manisha Sinha, The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition (Yale UP, 2016).
  • Slavery, Abolition, Emancipation, and Freedom: Primary Sources from Houghton Library
  • Michael Twitty, Feeding the Nation: American Foodways and the History of Enslavement, (lecture at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute, March 24, 2022).
  • Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Random House, 2020).

The Declaration: Drafting and Legacy

  • Danielle Allen, Our Declaration (W. W. Norton, 2014).
  • Richard Beeman, Our Lives, Our Fortunes, and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 (Basic Books, 2013).
  • Harvard’s Declaration Resources Project
  • Woody Holton, Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution (Simon & Schuster, 2021).
  • Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 (Published by the Library of Congress, 1904-1937) [especially Volume 4 (January 1, 1776 to June 4, 1776) and Volume 5 (June 5, 1776 to October 8, 1776)]
  • Pauline Maier, American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (Alfred A. Knopf, 1997).
  • Jeffrey Ostler, “The Shameful Final Grievance of the Declaration of Independence” (The Atlantic, February 8, 2020).

John Dickinson

  • Jane Calvert, “Liberty without Tumult: Understanding the Politics of John Dickinson,” (The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 131:3, 2007).
  • Jane Calvert, “Myth-Making and Myth-Breaking in the Historiography on John Dickinson,” (Journal of the Early Republic 34:3, 2014).
  • The John Dickinson Writings Project (University of Kentucky).

Benjamin Franklin

Indigenous Nations and the American Revolution

  • Invasion of America (, ongoing)
  • Native Land Digital (ongoing)
  • Colin G. Calloway, The Indian World of George Washington (Oxford UP, 2018).
  • Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Penguin Random House, 2014).
  • Barbara Graymont, The Iroquois in the American Revolution (Syracuse UP, 1972).
  • Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, “Independence for Whom? Expansion and Conquest in the Northeast and Northwest,” in The World of the Revolutionary American Republic, ed. Andrew Shankman (Routledge, 2014)
  • Jeffrey Ostler, Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas (Yale UP, 2019).

LGBTQIA and Gender-Nonconforming Identities in the Revolutionary Period

Thomas Jefferson, Martha Jefferson, and the Hemings Family

Revolution-Era Primary Sources

Revolutionary War

  • Edward G. Gray and Jane Kamensky, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution (Oxford UP, 2012).
  • Jill Lepore, These Truths: A History of the United States (W. W. Norton, 2018).
  • David McCullough, 1776 (Simon & Schuster, 2005).
  • Andrew Jackson O’Shaugnessy, The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (Yale UP, 2013).
  • Alan Taylor, American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (Norton, 2016).
  • George Washington Papers (National Archives).

Bibliography edited by Robert Duffley, 1776 Dramaturg, and Emily Sneff, 1776 Research Consultant

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