Documents & Speeches

American History is better understood when you have the opportunity to examine the original documents and speeches as written and spoken by the people who put the words on paper, or gave the speeches in front of dozens or even thousands. Back in the era when these documents were written, they became primary sources, not only for the people of that time, but for us as well!

From Fredrick Douglas's The Hypocrisy of American Slavery speech, to Lincoln's Letter to the Widow Bixby, CivilWarTalk has many of the most often requested documents available for free as part of our Resources!

Top resources

1852 - What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? CivilWarTalk
"...With brave men there is always a remedy for oppression..."
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1858 - A House Divided CivilWarTalk
"...I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free..."
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1859 - John Brown's Trial Sentencing, and Final Speech of his Life CivilWarTalk
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1859 - Lee's Report on the Attack at Harper's Ferry CivilWarTalk
"...I made preparations to attack the insurgents at daylight..."
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1860 - Constitution of the United States of America CivilWarTalk
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1860 - South Carolina Ordnance & Declaration of Secession CivilWarTalk
An Ordinance To dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina....
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1860 - The Crittenden Compromise CivilWarTalk
"...serious and alarming dissensions have arisen between the Northern and Southern States..."
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1861 - Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address CivilWarTalk
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies."
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1861 - Abraham Lincoln's July 4th War Message CivilWarTalk
“...to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life.”
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1861 - Alabama Ordinance of Secession & Additional Constitutional Framework CivilWarTalk
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1861 - Correspondence Preceding Bombardment and Evacuation of Fort Sumter CivilWarTalk
"...to avert the calamities of war, would voluntarily evacuate..."
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1861 - Florida's Ordinance of Secession CivilWarTalk
"...the State of Florida is hereby declared a Sovereign and Independent Nation..."
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1861 - Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard's Official Report of Operations against Fort Sumter CivilWarTalk
"...at every discharge from the fort, cheered the garrison for its pluck and gallantry..."
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1861 - Georgia's Ordinance of Secession & Causes Which Have Led to the Separation CivilWarTalk
"...having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States..."
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1861 - Jefferson Davis' First Inaugural Address CivilWarTalk
"...we may hopefully look forward to success, to peace, and to prosperity..."
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1861 - Louisiana's Ordinance of Secession CivilWarTalk
"AN ORDINANCE to dissolve the union between the State of Louisiana and other States..."
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1861 - Mississippi Secession Ordinance & Declaration of Causes CivilWarTalk
"...to dissolve the union between the State of Mississippi and other States...."
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1861 - Proposed Constitutional Amendments of the Peace Conference CivilWarTalk
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1861 - Report of Brigadier General Irvin McDowell  on the Battle of Bull Run CivilWarTalk
"...The hottest part of the contest was for the possession of this hill with a house on it...."
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1861 - Robert E. Lee's Resignation from the U.S. Army CivilWarTalk
"I therefore tender my resignation, which I request you will recommend for acceptance."
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