The Broadview Anthology of American Literature Volume A: Beginnings to 1820
  • Publication Date: June 17, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781554814640 / 1554814642
  • 1044 pages; 7¾" x 9⅜"

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The Broadview Anthology of American Literature Volume A: Beginnings to 1820

  • Publication Date: June 17, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781554814640 / 1554814642
  • 1044 pages; 7¾" x 9⅜"

About the Anthology

Covering American literature from its pre-contact Indigenous beginnings through the Reconstruction period, the first two volumes of The Broadview Anthology of American Literature represent a substantial reconceiving of the canon of early American literature. Guided by the latest scholarship in American literary studies, and deeply committed to inclusiveness, social responsibility, and rigorous contextualization, the anthology balances representation of widely agreed-upon major works with an emphasis on American literature’s diversity, variety, breadth, and connections with the rest of the Americas.

Volume B, which covers 1820 to Reconstruction, is available separately or packaged together with Volume A; a concise volume covering Beginnings to Reconstruction is also available. Volumes covering Reconstruction to the Present are in development.

Highlights of Volume A: Beginnings to 1820

  • • Complete texts of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative and Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette
  • • In-depth Contexts sections on such topics as “Slavery and Resistance,” “Rebellions and Revolutions,” and “Print Culture and Popular Literature”
  • • Broader and more extensive coverage of Indigenous oral and visual literature than in competing anthologies
  • • Full author sections in the anthology devoted not only to frequently anthologized figures but also to authors such as Anne Hutchinson, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Briton Hammon, and many others
  • • Extensive online component offers well over a thousand pages of additional readings and other resources

A concise volume covering Beginnings to Reconstruction is forthcoming in early 2023.


“The Broadview Anthology is, quite simply, a breakthrough. From reproducing essential canonical texts to recovering unjustly forgotten ones, the editors offer a remarkably panoramic collection of American literature…. Meticulously researched and expertly assembled, the Broadview should be the new gold standard for scholars and teachers alike.”
Michael D’Alessandro, Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of English and Theater Studies, Duke University

“This is a literary anthology for a new generation, one that meets students where they live: both on the printed page and online. … I will be teaching with this anthology, and am confident that my classes will be greatly enriched by its capacious vision.”
Hester Blum, Pennsylvania State University

“As Frederick Douglass’ experience teaches, an anthology, at its best, can be a point of entry into a world of literary expression, powerful and empowering. The Broadview Anthology of American Literature is exactly this. … What I like most about this anthology, though, is that it never forgets its most important audience: students. There is a wealth of material here that will help them imagine and reimagine what American literature could be.”
Michael C. Cohen, UCLA

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature sweeps impressively across vast early America…. The multiplicity of early American locations, languages, and genres is here on wondrous display.”
Jordan Alexander Stein, Fordham University

“I am eager to teach with this anthology! It aligns with cutting-edge research through its selections, its introductions, and explanatory notes, and the texts are supplemented with primary documents that encourage teachers and students to think critically and dynamically.”
Koritha Mitchell, The Ohio State University

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature breathes new life into the early American literature survey. Its selections present early American literature in all its rich, weird, inviting abundance. … So much thought has been put into every aspect…, from the selection of texts to their organization to their presentation on the page; it will be a gift to classrooms for years to come.”
Lara Langer Cohen, Swarthmore College

“… [M]y students LOVE The Broadview Anthology of American Literature. I am also so impressed with it—the emphasis on colonization/decolonization, the selections, the INTRODUCTIONS AND HEADNOTES!! It’s a superb anthology, and I'm looking forward to using it for many, many years. … The anthology is a triumph. It truly is.”
Rebecca Bravard, Florida Southern College

“Big and bold … an important new option for teachers and students of American literature.”
Maurice Lee, Boston University

“… Volumes A and B have wonderful choices, with the benefit of adding much more material through online links. The choices that the editors have made about popular culture and race are really welcome….”
Shirley Samuels, Cornell University

“Hemispheric, multi-generic, [and] vibrantly illustrated, … this anthology is dynamic. Its capaciousness and ample resource materials make for a text that is always … meeting its readers in new ways.”
Russ Castronovo, Tom Paine Professor of English and Dorothy Draheim Professor of American Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“These two anthologies are by far the best of their kind I have seen. The range and diversity of authors, the rich historical contextualizations, the important and well-curated thematic ‘Contexts’ sections, and the careful and capacious scholarly insight that clearly animates the entire project make the volumes a superior choice for courses….”
Mark Rifkin, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature promises to be a dynamic addition to the genre—I’m very much looking forward to teaching from it.”
Michael Borgstrom, San Diego State University

“I find myself taken aback by, and quite thrilled with, the way The Broadview Anthology of American Literature embodies the problematic possibilities of the canon.… Let us read and re-read [it] … for all the problems and possibilities it so brilliantly offers us.”
David Kazanjian, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania

“I’m very excited to teach from this new anthology!”
Megan Walsh, St. Bonaventure University

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature is an instructor’s dream for introducing students to the diversity and complexity of American literature. … This anthology is definitely a game changer in the study of American literature. I love it!”
Venetria K. Patton, Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and Professor of English and African American Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“[We have] stuck for years to the same basic format [for anthologies]: tiny print, crammed pages, and a weighty tome. The new Broadview, while still weighty, does not feel crammed. It uses double columns and wide pages to make the text seem almost inviting. I might pick this text over others on that basis alone, hoping it would lessen students’ dread when they start to read. But beyond a better feel, the double column [format] also enables comparisons of related texts and side-by-side translations… A change in format may seem small, but it makes a big difference.…
Several principles of selection [have been used]…: keeping the most-taught texts, adding space for once-popular authors…, and pushing forward some writers who [the editors] believe ‘deserve to be more widely taught’ or who ‘have been unjustly neglected.’ The end result is an extraordinary display of the well-known and the little-considered. To make space for so much material, the anthology includes a large website portion, edited like the physical text. Altogether, the anthology offers a remarkable collection with good online teaching aids, stunning visuals, and a powerful emphasis on the inclusion of voices from every part of America. …
[T]he history that comes to the fore in this anthology is the history most needed now….
… [I]f I teach from this anthology, as I think I will, I will be pulling a good deal from the online selections…. I will also want to use the online material about genre and form…. I will find myself with too much to teach and not enough time or space to do it. The new Broadview manages that difficulty by having a main emphasis to guide the printed selections, while making other points of focus available online.”
Abram Van Engen, Early American Literature

“Guided by an out-standing team of General Editors, the Broadview Anthology is, one might argue, not merely another compilation of selections from American literature. Rather, it is an anthology (supplemented by online readings, audio selections, and an interactive timeline) that allows teachers to guide students into the various roles that works of literature and expressive culture have played in the process of American cultural history. Richly illustrated, with deep attention to such concerns as race, gender, class, and sexual orientation, and expertly edited and annotated, this anthology stands out above all others for its ability to make the case not only that surveys of American literature are still worth teaching but also that teaching these surveys remains essential, productive, and meaningful educational work.”
John Earnest, University of Delaware, in American Periodicals

Readings highlighted in grey are included on the anthology’s companion website.



America and American Literature, Beginnings to 1820

  • Indigenous North American Cultures and Literatures
  • Contact, and the Literatures of Contact
  • Religion in Early America
  • Slavery and America: Beginnings to 1820
  • “Begin the World Over Again”: An Age of Rebellion and Revolution
  • The Shape of a People
  • “A State of Independency”: The Republic’s First Decades
  • Revolutionary Ideas, Enlightenment Thought
  • The Environment
  • Literary Genres, Beginnings to 1820
    • Poetry
    • Prose Fiction
    • Prose Non-fiction
    • Drama
  • Language in America, Beginnings to 1820

Texts and Contexts: A Chronological Chart

Indigenous Oral and Visual Literatures

  • Wampanoag
    • [Moshup Story]
    • [Moshup Story]
    • [Moshup Story]
  • Mi’kmaq
    • Petroglyph of Human Figure and Sun
    • Petroglyph Tracing
    • Page of a Mi’kmaq Prayer Book
  • Mohegan
    • Painted Wood-Splint Storage Basket
  • Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)
    • from [Creation Story]
    • from “The Creation”
    • Origin of Folk Stories
    • Thanksgiving Address
    • Iroquois or Confederacy of the Five Nations
    • Wampum Belts
      • Ha:yëwënta’ (Hiawatha) Belt
      • Two Row Wampum
      • In Context: Interpreting the Two-Row Wampum – video selection
  • Ojibwe
    • from “The Birth of Nenabozho”
    • Nanabush Eats the Artichokes
    • Nanabozho
    • [Nanabush Story] – audio selection
    • Ojibwe Pictographs
  • Cherokee
    • Why the Possum’s Tail Is Bare
    • Sequoyah, Cherokee Syllabary
    • [The Belt that Would Not Burn]
  • Maya
    • from the Dresden Codex
    • from the Popol Vuh
  • Navajo (Diné)
    • from the Creation Story
    • Tse’ Hone / Newspaper Rock
  • Coast Salish
    • Maiden of Deception Pass
      • [Samish version, translated into English]
      • [English version]
    • Tracy Powell, The Maiden of Deception Pass
    • Hul’q’umi’num House Post
    • Lummi House Post
    • Battle at Sea
    • Coyote and Rock – audio selection

Civilizations in Contact

  • Vinland
    • from Erik the Red’s Saga
    • from The Saga of the Greenlanders
  • The Caribbean
    • from Christopher Columbus with Bartolomé de las Casas, Journal of the First Voyage to America
    • Christopher Columbus, Letter of Columbus to Various Persons Describing the Results of His First Voyage and Written on the Return Journey
    • from Michele de Cuneo, letter [Concerning Columbus’s Second Voyage]
    • from Bartolomé de las Casas, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
  • Mexico
    • from Hernán Cortés, Second Letter to the Spanish Crown
    • from the anonymous manuscript of Tlatelolco
  • Florida and New Mexico
    • from Alonso Gregorio de Escobedo, La Florida
    • from Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, La Florida del Inca
    • from Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá, History of New Mexico
    • The Pueblo Revolt
      • Antonio de Otermín, letter on the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, 8 September 1680
      • How the Spaniards Came to Shung-Opovi, How They Built a Mission, and How the Hopi Destroyed the Mission
  • Northeastern Woodlands
    • Lenni Lenape (Delaware) Accounts of the Arrival of the Whites
      • The Coming of the Whites
      • Prediction of the Arrival of the White People
      • Indian Account of the First Arrival of the Dutch at New York Island
    • from Thomas Hariot, A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia
    • John White, Selected Watercolors
    • Caleb Cheeshateaumauk, letter to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, 1663
    • Mittark, Agreement of Mittark and His People Not to Sell Land to the English
    • Handsome Lake, “How the White Race Came to America and Why the Gai´wiio‘ Became a Necessity”
    • In Context: The Myth of Thanksgiving
      • from Edward Winslow, “A Letter Sent from New England to a Friend in These Parts,” Mourt’s Relation
      • from William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
      • Abraham Lincoln, A Proclamation, 3 October 1863
  • New France
    • from Samuel de Champlain, Voyages of Samuel Champlain
      • from Relation of the Discoveries and Voyages of Cavalier de La Salle from 1679 to 1681
      • from Chrestien LeClercq, New Relation of Gaspesia, with the Customs and Religion of the Gaspesian Indians
  • California
    • from Antonio de la Ascención, A Brief Report of the Discovery in the South Sea
    • from Pablo Tac, “Conversion of the San Luiseños of Alta California”
    • from Lorenzo Asisara with Thomas Savage, [Account of Mission Life]

Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

  • from The Relación of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
    • Chapter 4: How We Entered Inland
    • from Chapter 5: How the Governor Left the Ships
    • from Chapter 14: How Four Christians Departed
    • Chapter 15: Of What Happened to Us in the Villa of Malhado
    • from Chapter 17: How the Indians Came Forth and Brought with Them Andrés Dorantes and Castillo and Estevanico
    • Chapter 21: Of How We Cured Some Sick People Here
    • from Chapter 22: How They Brought Us Other Sick People the Next Day
    • from Chapter 26: Of the Nations and Languages
    • from Chapter 27: Of How We Moved on and Were Well Received
    • Chapter 33: How We Came upon the Track of Christians
    • Chapter 34: Of How I Sent for the Christians
    • from Chapter 36: Of How We Had Churches Built in That Land

John Smith

  • from The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles
    • from The Third Book
      • from Chapter 1
      • from Chapter 2: What Happened Till the First Supply
      • from Chapter 8: Captain Smith’s Journey to Pamunkey
    • from The Fourth Book
    • from The Sixth Book
      • from A Description of New England
  • In Context: Alternative Accounts of Wahunsonacock and Pocahontas

William Bradford

  • from Of Plymouth Plantation
    • from The First Book
      • from Chapter 1: [The Separatist Interpretation of the Reformation in England]
      • from Chapter 4: Showing the Reasons and Causes of Their Removal
      • Chapter 9: Of Their Voyage, and How They Passed the Sea; and of Their Safe Arrival at Cape Cod
      • from Chapter 10: Showing How They Sought Out a Place of Habitation; and What Befell Them Thereabout
    • from The Second Book
      • from Chapter 11: The Remainder of Anno 1620 [The Mayflower Compact] [The Starving Time] [Indian Relations]
      • from Chapter 12: Anno Domini 1621 [Mayflower Departs and Corn Planted] [Indian Diplomacy] [First Thanksgiving]
      • from Chapter 14: Anno Domini 1623 [End of the “Common Course and Condition”]
      • from Chapter 19: Anno Domini 1628 [A Visit from the Dutch] [Thomas Morton of Merrymount]
      • from Chapter 25: Anno Domini 1634 [Captain Stone, the Dutch, and the Connecticut Indians]
      • from Chapter 28: Anno Domini 1637 [The Pequot War]
      • from Chapter 32: Anno Domini 1642 [Wickedness Breaks Forth] [A Horrible Case of Bestiality]
      • from Chapter 34: Anno Domini 1644 [Proposal to Remove to Nauset]
  • from Of Plymouth Plantation [selections from Chapters 1, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 23, 28, 29, 32, 33, 34, and 35]
  • In Context: Mourt’s Relation
    • from Edward Winslow and William Bradford, A Relation or Journal of the Proceedings of the Plantation Settled at Plymouth in New England [Mourt’s Relation]
    • from Robert Cushman, Reasons and Considerations Touching the Lawfulness of Removing out of England into the Parts of America
  • In Context: Mapping Colonial Conflict
    • John Underhill, “The Figure of the Indians’ Fort or Palizado in New England and the Manner of Destroying It by Captain Underhill and Captain Mason,” News from America
    • John Tinker, Uncas, Wesawegun, Cassacinamon, Harry Wright, and Ninigret, “Plan of the Pequot Country and Testimony of Uncas, Cassacinamon, and Wesawegun”
    • William Hubbard, A Map of New-England

Thomas Morton

  • from The New English Canaan
    • The Author’s Prologue
    • from Book 1
      • from Chapter 1: Proving New England the Principal Part of All America
      • Chapter 2: Of the Original of the Natives
      • Chapter 4: Of Their Houses and Habitations
      • Chapter 7: Of Their Childbearing
      • Chapter 9: Of Their Pretty Conjuring Tricks
      • Chapter 13: Of Their Magazines or Storehouses
      • Chapter 16: Of Their Acknowledgement of the Creation, and Immortality of the Soul
      • Chapter 18: Of Their Custom in Burning the Country
      • Chapter 19: Of Their Inclination to Drunkenness
      • Chapter 20: That the Savages Live a Contented Life
    • from Book 3
      • Chapter 14: Of the Revels of New Canaan
      • Chapter 15: Of a Great Monster Supposed to Be at Ma-re-Mount; and the Preparation Made to Destroy It
      • Chapter 16: How the Nine Worthies Put Mine Host of Ma-re-Mount into the Enchanted Castle at Plymouth, and Terrified Him with the Monster Briareus

John Winthrop

  • A Model of Christian Charity
  • from The Journal of John Winthrop

Anne Hutchinson

  • The Examination of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newtown
  • In Context: John Winthrop’s Record of Anne Hutchinson’s Testimony

Roger Williams

  • from A Key into the Language of America
    • from Chapter 1: Of Salutation
    • from Chapter 21: Of Religion, the Soul, Etc.
    • from Chapter 29: Of Their War, Etc.
  • from The Bloody Tenet of Persecution
    • Syllabus of the Work
    • from [Address] to the Right Honourable Both Houses of the High Court of Parliament
    • from Chapter 1
    • from Chapter 2
    • from Chapter 9
    • from Chapter 16
    • from Chapter 39
    • from Chapter 138
  • Letter to the Town of Providence
  • from Hireling Ministry None of Christ’s

Anne Bradstreet

  • Prologue
  • from The Four Monarchies
  • An Elegy upon That Honourable and Renowned Knight, Sir Philip Sidney
  • In Honour of That High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth of Most Happy Memory
  • To the Memory of My Dear and Ever Honored Father Thomas Dudley Esq.
  • Contemplations
  • The Flesh and the Spirit
  • The Author to Her Book
  • Before the Birth of One of Her Children
  • To My Dear and Loving Husband
  • A Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment
  • Another [Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment I]
  • Another [Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment II]
  • To Her Father with Some Verses
  • In Reference to Her Children, 23 June 1659
  • In Memory of My Dear Grand-Child Elizabeth Bradstreet
  • In Memory of My Dear Grand-Child Anne Bradstreet
  • On My Dear Grand-Child Simon Bradstreet
  • For Deliverance from a Fever
  • Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666
  • As Weary Pilgrim
  • To My Dear Children
  • from Meditations Divine and Moral

Michael Wigglesworth

  • from The Diary of Michael Wigglesworth
  • from The Day of Doom Or, A Poetical Description of the Great and Last Judgment
  • from Meat Out of the Eater

Mary Rowlandson

  • The Sovereignty and Goodness of God
  • In Context: Editions of Rowlandson’s Narrative
  • In Context: Picturing Mary Rowlandson
  • In Context: Indigenous Experiences of Metacom’s War
    • from John Easton, letter to Josiah Winslow, 26 May 1675
    • James Quannapaquait with unnamed magistrates, The Examination and Relation of James Quannapaquait, alias James Rumny-Marsh
  • Massachusetts Council, order regarding Indigenous allies
  • Numphow and John Line, letter to Thomas Henchman, November 1675
  • James Printer
    • from Daniel Gookin, An Historical Account of the Doings and Sufferings of the Christian Indians in New England in the Years 1675, 1676, 1677
    • attributed to James Printer, note tacked to a tree, c. 1676
  • from Andrew Pittimee, Quanahpohkit, John Mague, and James Speen, petition to the Governor and Council of the Massachusetts Colony, June 1676
  • William Ahaton, petition to the Governor and Council of the Massachusetts Colony, July 1676
  • from William Wannukhow, Joseph Wannukhow, and John Appamatahqeen, petition to the Boston Court of Assistants, 5 September 1676

Edward Taylor

  • [Acrostic Love Poem to Elizabeth Fitch]
  • from God’s Determinations Touching His Elect
  • from Preparatory Meditations before My Approach to the Lord’s Supper
  • Upon a Spider Catching a Fly
  • Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold
  • Huswifery
  • Upon Wedlock, and Death of Children
  • The Ebb and Flow

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

  • 82: [Divina Lysi mía] / [My divine Lysis]
  • 92: [Silly, you men]
  • 92: [Hombres necios] / [Silly, you men]
  • 165: [Semblance of my elusive love, hold still—]
  • 165: [Detente, Sombra de mi bien Esquivo] / [Semblance of my elusive love, hold still—]
  • In Context: The Frontispieces to Sor Juana’s Published Works
  • from the Reply to Sor Philothea
  • In Context: Sor Philothea’s Letter to Sor Juana

Samuel Sewall

  • from Diary of Samuel Sewall
  • The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial
  • In Context: John Saffin’s Response to The Selling of Joseph

Cotton Mather

  • from The Wonders of the Invisible World
    • from Enchantments Encountered
    • from The Trial of Martha Carrier
  • In Context: The Salem Witch Trials


  • from Speech at Lancaster, 26 June 1744
  • from Speech at Lancaster, 4 July 1744
  • In Context: Indigenous–Settler Negotiations in the Mid-Eighteenth Century
    • from George Washington, The Journal of Major George Washington

Jonathan Edwards

  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
  • In Context: The Preaching of Jonathan Edwards
  • [Personal Narrative]
  • from A History of the Work of Redemption

James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw

  • A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, an African Prince, as Related by Himself

Elizabeth Ashbridge

  • Some Account of the Fore Part of the Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge
  • In Context: Quaker Conversion Narratives

Contexts: Immigration and Indentured Servitude

  • advertisement, The Pennsylvania Gazette (10 August 1738)
  • advertisement, The Pennsylvania Gazette (29 October 1766)
  • notice, New York Independent Journal (24 January 1784)
  • Elizabeth Sprigs, letter to John Sprigs, 22 September 1756
  • from Thomas Lloyd, letter to Edmond Hector, 10 October 1756
  • from Gottlieb Mittelberger, Gottlieb Mittelberger’s Journey to Pennsylvania in the Year 1750 and Return to Germany in the Year 1754

Lucy Terry

  • Bars Fight
  • In Context: Josiah Holland’s Account of the Bars Fight

John Marrant

  • A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, a Black


  • [Reply to the Missionary Jacob Cram]
  • [Reply to President Washington, 31 March 1792]

Benjamin Franklin

  • from The New-England Courant [The “Silence Dogood” Papers]
  • The Speech of Miss Polly Baker
  • The Way to Wealth: Preface to Poor Richard Improved
  • Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One
  • Drinking Song
  • Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America
  • On the Slave Trade
  • from The Autobiography
    • Part 1
    • Part 2
  • The Autobiography [full text]
  • The Autobiography [modernized text]
  • In Context: Portraits of Benjamin Franklin
  • In Context: Correspondence between William Franklin and Benjamin Franklin
  • In Context: Franklin’s Cultural and Literary Influences
  • In Context: France Mourns Benjamin Franklin

Samson Occom

  • [Autobiographical Narrative]
  • from A Sermon, Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul, an Indian
  • The Sufferings of Christ
  • The Most Remarkable and Strange State, Situation, and Appearance of Indian Tribes in This Great Continent
  • Elm Bark Box

Sarah Kemble Knight

  • The Journal of Madame Knight
  • In Context: Boston and New York in the Early Eighteenth Century

J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur

  • from Letters from an American Farmer
    • from Letter 2: On the Situation, Feelings, and Pleasures of an American Farmer
    • from Letter 3: What Is an American?
    • from Letter 4: Description of the Island of Nantucket
    • from Letter 9: Description of Charles-Town
    • from Letter 10: On Snakes; and on the Hummingbird
    • from Letter 12: Distresses of a Frontier Man
    • In Context: Nantucket and Charles-Town
    • In Context: Reactions to Letters from an American Farmer
    • In Context: Rationalizing Colonialism: Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and George Washington

John Adams and Abigail Adams

  • from Abigail Adams to John Adams, 19 August 1774
  • from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 16 September 1774
  • John Adams to Abigail Adams, 29 October 1775
  • Abigail Adams to John Adams, 27 November 1775
  • Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 March 1776
  • from John Adams to Abigail Adams, first letter of 3 July 1776
  • John Adams to Abigail Adams, second letter of 3 July 1776
  • John Adams to Abigail Adams, 7 February 1777
  • Abigail Adams to John Adams, 8 February 1777
  • John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 2 September 1813
  • Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 28 October 1813
  • John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 15 November 1813

Thomas Paine

  • from Common Sense
    • Introduction
    • from Of the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution
    • from Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession
    • Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs
  • In Context: A Response to Common Sense
    • from Charles Inglis, The Deceiver Unmasked
  • from The American Crisis
  • from Rights of Man, Part Two
  • from The Age of Reason

Thomas Jefferson

  • from The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson
    • A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America
  • In Context: British and American Reactions to the Declaration of Independence
  • from Notes on the State of Virginia
    • from Query 5: Its Cascades and Caverns?
    • from Query 6: A Notice of the Mines and Other Subterraneous Riches
    • from Query 8: The Number of its Inhabitants?
    • from Query 11: A Description of the Indians Established in That State?
    • from Query 14: The Administration of Justice and Description of the Laws?
    • from Query 17: The Different Religions Received into That State?
    • Query 18: The Particular Customs and Manners That May Happen to Be Received in That State?
    • from Query 19: The Present State of Manufactures, Commerce, Exterior and Interior Trade?
  • In Context: Responses to Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia
    • from review of “Observations sur la Virginie, par M.J., traduites de l’Anglais,” Mercure de France
    • from James McCune Smith, “On the Fourteenth Query of Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia,” The Anglo-African Magazine

The Federalist

  • from The Federalist
    • No. 1 [Alexander Hamilton]
    • No. 6 [Alexander Hamilton]
    • No. 9 [Alexander Hamilton]
    • No. 10 [James Madison]
    • No. 51 [James Madison]

Venture Smith

  • A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, A Native of Africa

Contexts: Slavery and Resistance

  • from King Alfonso I (Nzinga Mbemba) of Kongo, letter to King João III of Portugal, 18 October 1526
  • from Bartolomé de las Casas, History of the Indies
  • from Bernardino de Manzanedo, dispatch to King Charles I of Spain
  • from John Rolfe, letter to Sir Edwin Sandys, January 1620
  • from Edward Waterhouse, “A Declaration of the State of the Colony and Affairs in Virginia”
  • from Richard Ligon, A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados
  • from An Act for the Encouragement of the Importation of White Servants
  • John Saffin, “The Negroes Character”
  • anonymous, letter to the South Carolina Gazette, 14 October 1732
  • from the South Carolina Negro Act (1740)
  • from John Woolman, Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes
  • from James Grainger, The Sugar-Cane
  • Belinda Sutton, “The Petition of Belinda, an African”
  • Prince Hall, A Charge Delivered to the African Lodge, 24 June 1797
  • from George Lawrence, An Oration on the Abolition of the Slave Trade
  • from William Hamilton, An Address to the New York African Society for Mutual Relief
  • from “Old Elizabeth,” Memoir of Old Elizabeth, a Coloured Woman
  • from Jupiter Hammon, An Address to the Negroes in the State of New York
  • Benjamin Banneker, letter to Thomas Jefferson, 19 August 1791
  • from Peter Williams Jr., “An Oration on the Abolition of the Slave Trade,” 1 January 1808
  • from Boyrereau Brinch, The Blind African Slave, or Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch, Nick-named Jeffrey Brace

Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa

  • from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
    • from Chapter 1
    • Chapter 1 [full text]
    • Chapter 2
    • from Chapter 3
    • from Chapter 3 [additional selections]
    • from Chapter 4
    • from Chapter 5
    • Chapter 5 [full text]
    • from Chapter 6
    • from Chapter 7
    • Chapter 7 [full text]
    • from Chapter 8
    • from Chapter 9
    • from Chapter 9 [additional selections]
    • from Chapter 10
    • from Chapter 11
    • from Chapter 12
  • In Context: Equiano’s Narrative as a Philadelphia Abolitionist Pamphlet
  • In Context: Reactions to Olaudah Equiano’s Work
  • [Note to Instructors: The Interesting Narrative is among over 400 available editions from Broadview, any one of which may be packaged together with this anthology volume.]

Absalom Jones

  • The Petition of the People of Colour
  • from A Thanksgiving Sermon

Richard Allen and Absalom Jones

  • from A Narrative of the Proceedings of the Black People, During the Late Awful Calamity in Philadelphia

Richard Allen

  • from “Confession of John Joyce, Alias Davis, Who Was Executed on Monday, the 14th of March, 1808”

Herman Mann and Deborah Sampson

  • from The Female Review
  • In Context: Picturing Deborah Sampson

Contexts: Rebellions and Revolutions

  • “Pontiac’s War”
    • from anonymous [believed to be Robert Navarre], Journal of the Pontiac Conspiracy
    • from George III, The Royal Proclamation of 1763
    • The Paxton Boys’ Massacres
      • Benjamin Franklin, A Narrative of the Late Massacres, in Lancaster County, of a Number of Indians, Friends of This Province, By Persons Unknown. With Some Observations on the Same
      • from The Apology of the Paxton Volunteers, Adapted to the Candid and Impartial World
  • The Revolutionary War
    • Patrick Henry, Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions
    • from John Dickinson, Letters from a farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies
    • “Brutus,” To the Free and Loyal Inhabitants of the City and Colony of New York
    • Announcement of the Formation of the Association of the Sons of Liberty in New York
    • Proceedings of Farmington, Connecticut, on the Boston Port Act
    • from George III, Speech to Parliament, 30 November 1774
    • from Response of the House of Commons, 8 December 1774
    • from William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry
    • from Samuel Johnson, “Taxation No Tyranny: An Answer to the Resolutions and Address of the American Congress”
    • Benjamin Franklin
      • “What Would Satisfy the Americans?”
      • “Join, or Die”
    • Poems and Songs
      • anonymous (“A Son of Liberty”), “A New Song, Addressed to the Sons of Liberty, on the Continent of America; Particularly to the Illustrious, Glorious and Never to Be Forgotten Ninety-two of Boston”
      • anonymous (“A Young Woman of Virginia”), “Virginia Banishing Tea”
      • Philip Freneau, from American Liberty
      • from Lemuel Haynes, “The Battle of Lexington”
      • Ruth Bryant, “An Address to the Sons of Liberty”
      • Ruth Bryant, “The American Maid’s Choice”
      • Hannah Griffitts, “Upon Reading a Book Entitled Common Sense
      • Joseph Stansbury
        • “Verses to the Tories”
        • “The United States”
      • Francis Hopkinson, “A Camp Ballad”
      • Jonathan Odell, “The Old Year and the New: A Prophecy”
      • Margaretta Faugères, “A Salute to the Fourteenth Anniversary of American Independence”
    • from Dunmore’s Proclamation, 1775
    • from Edward Rutledge, letter to Ralph Izard, 8 December 1775
    • Declaration by the Representatives of the People of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, Assembled in General Convention, 14 December 1775
    • from Samuel Seabury, An Alarm to the Legislature of the Province of New York, Occasioned by the Present Political Disturbances in North America, Addressed to the Honourable Representatives in General Assembly Convened
    • from Reverend John Lindsay, letter to Dr. William Robertson, 6 August 1776
    • The Constitution of the United States
    • from Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution
    • from Mercy Otis Warren, History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution
    • from Joseph Plumb Martin, A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier
  • The French Revolution, and the Revolutionary Call for Women’s Rights
    • Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
    • from Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
    • from Olympe de Gouges, The Declaration of the Rights of Woman
    • “The Rights of Woman” in America
      • from Annis Boudinot Stockton, letter to her daughter [Julia Stockton Rush], 22 March 1793
      • from anonymous (“A Lady”), The Philadelphia Minerva
  • The Haitian Revolution
    • from Baron de Wimpffen, A Voyage to Saint Domingo, in the Years 1788, 1789, and 1790
    • Toussaint Louverture, Proclamation, 29 August 1793
    • Thomas Jefferson on the Haitian Revolution, Selected letters
    • The Haitian Revolution in American Newspapers
    • from Abraham Bishop, “The Rights of Black Men”
    • from Proclamation by Léger-Félicité Sonthonax, Civil Commissioner of the Republic, delegate to the French Islands of Leeward America, in order to restore order and public tranquility
    • Declaration of the Independence of the Blacks of St. Domingo
    • from Haitian Declaration of Independence
    • from Jean-Jacques Dessalines, “Liberty or Death. Proclamation. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Governor General, to the People of Hayti”
    • from Lenora Sansay, Secret History, Or, the Horrors of St. Domingo
    • from Charles Brockden Brown, “On the Consequences of Abolishing the Slave Trade to the West Indian Colonies”
    • J. Barlow, selected engravings
    • from Condy Raguet, “Account of the Massacre in St. Domingo in May 1806”
    • from William Wells Brown, St. Domingo: Its Revolutions and Its Patriots
    • from Baron de Vastey, The Colonial System Unveiled
  • Gabriel’s Rebellion and Other Rebellions by Enslaved Americans
    • Newspaper Reports
    • from Robert Sutcliff, Travels in Some Parts of North America in the Years 1804, 1805, and 1806
  • [Note to Instructors: Secret History is among over 400 available editions from Broadview, any one of which may be packaged together with this anthology volume.]

Judith Sargent Murray

  • “On the Equality of the Sexes”
  • from The Gleaner Contemplates the Future Prospects of Women in This “Enlightened Age”

Briton Hammon

  • A Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprising Deliverance of Briton Hammon, A Negro Man

Philip Freneau

  • from A Poem on the Rising Glory of America
  • from The Rising Glory of America
  • from Some Account of the Capture of the Ship Aurora
  • from The British Prison Ship
  • The Hurricane
  • The Wild Honey Suckle
  • The Indian Burying Ground
  • On Mr. Paine’s Rights of Man
  • To Sir Toby
  • In Context: Slavery in the Caribbean
  • On the Religion of Nature
  • Reflections on the Gradual Progress of Nations from Democratical States to Despotic Empires
  • On the Universality of Other Attributes of the God of Nature

Phillis Wheatley

  • To Maecenas
  • To the University of Cambridge, in New-England
  • To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty
  • On Being Brought from Africa to America
  • On Imagination
  • To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth
  • To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works
  • A Farewell to America. To Mrs. S.W.
  • To His Excellency General Washington
  • On the Death of General Wooster
  • On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield
  • Selected Letters
    • to Obour Tanner, 19 May 1772
    • to Selina Hastings, 27 June 1773
    • to Colonel David Wooster, 18 October 1773
    • to Obour Tanner, 30 October 1773
    • to Samson Occom, 11 February 1774
  • In Context: Preface to Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
  • In Context: Reactions to Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
  • On the Death of a Young Lady of Five Years of Age
  • On the Death of a Young Gentleman
  • An Hymn to the Morning
  • On Recollection

Lemuel Haynes

  • from Liberty Further Extended: Or Free Thoughts on the Illegality of Slave-Keeping
  • Universal Salvation: A Very Ancient Doctrine

Royall Tyler

  • The Contrast, A Comedy; In Five Acts
  • from The Algerine Captive

Susanna Haswell Rowson

  • Slaves in Algiers; or, A Struggle for Freedom
  • from Charlotte Temple

Hannah Webster Foster

  • The Coquette; or, The History of Eliza Wharton
  • In Context: Elizabeth Whitman
  • In Context: The Coquette and the Eighteenth-Century Seduction Novel
  • In Context: Eighteenth-Century Marriage Advice
  • from The Boarding-School; Lessons of a Preceptress to Her Pupils

Popular Literature and Print Culture

  • Bay Psalm Book
    • from the Preface
    • Psalm 23 [King James Version]
    • Psalm 23 [Bay Psalm Book]
  • Samuel Sewall, [“Verses upon a New Century”]
  • Henry Timberlake, “A Translation of the War-Song” [of the Cherokee]
  • from Benjamin Harris, The New England Primer
    • from The New England Primer [John Rogers’s poem to his children]


  • from Benjamin Franklin, The Printer to the Reader
  • anonymous (“A Lady”), “Woman’s Hard Fate”
  • anonymous, New England Bravery
  • Samuel Davies, from “The Duty of Christians to Propagate their Religion Among Heathens, Earnestly Recommended to the Masters of Negro Slaves in Virginia”
  • Samuel Davies, from “The Rule of Equity”
  • Mary Nelson, “Forty Shillings Reward”
  • In Context: Forty Shillings Reward
  • Mercy Otis Warren, “A Thought on the Inestimable Blessing of Reason”
  • Mercy Otis Warren, “On a Survey of the Heavens”
  • from James Revel, “The Poor, Unhappy, Transported Felon”
  • from William Bartram, Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws
  • from Philip Freneau, “The Country Printer”
  • from George Washington, Farewell Address
  • anonymous, “Every Man His Own Politician”
  • from The Philadelphia Repository and Weekly Register
  • L’Embonpoint
  • The Mother
  • from anonymous (“Volina”), “You Say We’re Fond of Fops—Why Not?”
  • Samuel Woodworth, “The Patriotic Diggers”
  • William Ellery Channing, sermons
    • from “The Moral Argument against Calvinism”
    • from “A Discourse on Some of the Distinguishing Opinions of Unitarians” [“The Baltimore Sermon”]

Charles Brockden Brown

  • from An Address to the Government of the US on the Cession of Louisiana to the French
  • Somnambulism: A Fragment
  • [Note to Instructors: Ormond and Edgar Huntly are among over 400 available editions from Broadview, any one of which may be packaged together with this anthology volume.]

David George

  • An Account of the Life of David George

Mary Jemison

  • from A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison
  • In Context: Illustrating Jemison’s Narrative


  • Speech to William Henry Harrison
  • Speech to the Osages

Washington Irving

  • from A History of New York
    • from Chapter 5
    • Chapter 5 [full chapter]
  • The Wife
  • Rip Van Winkle
  • In Context: Images of Rip Van Winkle
  • In Context: A German Source for “Rip Van Winkle”
  • English Writers on America
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Traits of Indian Character


  • Reading Poetry
  • [Note to Instructors and Students: See the anthology’s companion website for further supplemental resources, including a selection of historical maps and an interactive timeline.]
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Glossary of Poetic Terms
  • Maps
  • Permissions Acknowledgments
  • Index of Authors and Titles


Derrick R. Spires, Cornell University
Rachel Greenwald Smith, Saint Louis University
Christina Roberts, Seattle University
Joseph Rezek, Boston University
Justine S. Murison, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Laura L. Mielke, University of Kansas
Christopher Looby, UCLA
Rodrigo Lazo, UC Santa Cruz
Alisha Knight, Washington College
Hsuan L. Hsu, UC Davis
Michael Everton, Simon Fraser University
Christine Bold, University of Guelph

Features of The Broadview Anthology of American Literature

  • • Strong foundation in current scholarship, including particular attention to issues of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation.
  • • Illuminating contextual materials provided for key authors and works.
  • • Large trim-size, two-column format, allowing for side-by-side presentation of different versions of certain texts. (Several of Dickinson’s poems are presented in this way, as is the Declaration of Independence; several Spanish-language selections are presented in facing-column translation.)
  • • More visual and print-cultural materials than competing anthologies.
  • • More extensive and more helpful annotations than in competing anthologies.
  • • Comprehensive introductions to periods, including a wide range of historical as well as literary information.
  • • Full author introductions, providing not only biographical details and essential background, but also information on textual history, reception history, and the social impact of particular authors and works.
  • • Close attention paid to links between the United States and the rest of the Americas, especially Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • • Can be packaged with any of Broadview’s standalone editions for $5 per edition.
  • • Custom text options available (see “Custom Texts” tab)

Features of Volume A: Beginnings to 1820

  • • Major works presented in full include Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette, and Susanna Rowson’s Slaves in Algiers.
  • • Full author sections in the bound book devoted to often underrepresented figures, including Anne Hutchinson, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Briton Hammon, Venture Smith, Lucy Terry, Sagoyewatha (Red Jacket), Tecumseh, and Elizabeth Ashbridge.
  • • Frequently anthologized authors are looked at with fresh eyes: selections include excerpts from Bradstreet’s Meditations, Divine and Moral; Franklin’s “On the Slave Trade” and his drinking song “Fair Venus Calls, Her Voice Obey”; and Irving’s “The Wife.”
  • • Wide range of additional authors, works, and contextual materials provided as part of the anthology’s online component: selections include topics such as “Immigration and Indentured Servitude” and author entries on such writers as Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, John Marrant, Sarah Kemble Knight, and Mary Jemison.

Click the links below to access PDF samples of The Broadview Anthology of American Literature.

Preface to The Broadview Anthology of American Literature
Washington Irving
Olaudah Equiano
Sor Juana
William Bradford
Civilizations in Contact: The Caribbean

The Broadview Anthology of American Literature Online

The anthology’s website includes well over a thousand pages of additional readings and contextual materials. These are not “add-ons” meant to be accorded a subsidiary status, but an integral part of the anthology itself, presented in the same format, and edited and annotated according to the same principles as the material included in the bound book volumes.

Though our research has suggested that most of these online authors and works are likely to be taught somewhat less frequently than those in the bound book volumes, we expect that a majority of instructors will wish to teach at least some of the selections that are to be found on the website. Our aim is to provide instructors with the widest possible range of materials to choose from, prepared to a high editorial standard, and accompanied by the widest possible range of contextual materials.

In addition to the wealth of additional readings outlined above, the anthology’s website includes a range of companion materials. Included are audio materials, an introduction to poetry analysis, and a list of contents by theme and author background.

A website access code is included with all new copies of the anthology. If you purchased a used copy or are missing your passcode for this site, you may purchase a code online.

Instructor’s Guide

Located on a separate site, the Broadview Anthology of American Literature Instructor’s Guide is intended to provide support and inspiration for all instructors, from those teaching American literature for the first time to very experienced instructors looking to reinvigorate their courses. Site contents include the following:

  • Approaches to Teaching specific authors and “Contexts” sections, with an emphasis on the most commonly taught authors as well as a selection of less-canonical authors
  • Sample Syllabi offering examples of courses using The Broadview Anthology of American Literature
  • • Lists of the Contents by Theme to aid in course planning
  • • A very brief guide to Using The Broadview Anthology of American Literature, offering practical information about the companion site, eBooks, and custom texts

For an Instructor’s Guide access code, please contact your Broadview Representative or write to

Any of Broadview’s standalone editions can be packaged with our anthology at an additional cost of only $5 per edition!

Broadview’s list now includes more than 75 classic editions of American literature, from canonical works such as The Scarlet Letter and Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano to lesser-known classics such as Iola Leroy and Mrs. Spring Fragrance.

All of these works are thoroughly annotated and carefully edited. Student-oriented introductions are provided, and many of the editions include unique features such as chronologies and appendices of useful contextualizing materials. These volumes have been developed by a distinguished list of academics, including Janet Beer, Celeste-Marie Bernier, Mary Chapman, Russ Castronovo, Michael Colacurcio, Michael Drexler, Gregory Eiselein, Hsuan Hsu, Koritha Mitchell, James Nagel, Michael Nowlin, Siân Silyn Roberts, and Brian Yothers.

A complete list of available American literature editions is found here.

To order a package containing our anthology alongside one or more editions, please contact your Broadview representative or our customer service team (705-482-5915;

Broadview is happy to create a custom text including only your preferred readings, chosen from the bound book and website components of the anthology; you may also in most cases include works from other Broadview anthologies and editions. We offer an easy and intuitive Custom Text Builder, and our Custom Text Administrator welcomes inquiries.

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