- Alternative Titles
Covering the period 1606 to 1822, CO 5 constitutes the original correspondence between the British government and the governments of the American colonies. In particular, the collection includes correspondence of the colonial governments with the Board of Trade, the Secretary of State for the Southern Department and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, together holding responsibility for the British possessions in mainland North America and the Caribbean.
The Colonial America collection will become available in 5 thematic modules, listed below. The Library's current access is for Module 1 only.
Module 1: Frontier Life, Early Expansion and Rivalries (2015)
The first module of Colonial America documents the early history of the colonies, and includes founding charters, material on the effects of 1688’s Glorious Revolution in North America, records of piracy and seaborne rivalry with the French and Spanish, and copious military material from the French and Indian War of 1756-63.
Module 2: Towards Revolution (scheduled 2016)
This module focuses on the 1760s and 1770s and the social and political protest that led to the Declaration of Independence, including legal materials covering the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party. It is also particularly rich in material relating to military affairs and Native Americans.
Module 3: The American Revolution (scheduled 2017)
This module charts the upheavals of the 1770s and 1780s which saw the throwing off of British rule in the Thirteen Colonies. Contents include volumes of intercepted letters between colonists, the military correspondence of the British commanders in the field and material produced by the Ordnance Office and the office of the Secretary at War, as well as two copies of the ‘Dunlap’ edition of the Declaration of Independence printed on the night of the 4th-5th July 1776.
Module 4: Legislation and Politics in the Colonies (scheduled 2018)
The material in this module consists mostly of the text of acts of assembly and the minutes of assembly and council sessions, building up to a comprehensive picture of the colonies’ legislative and political evolution.
Module 5: Growth, Trade and Development (scheduled 2019)
The preponderant part of this module consists of correspondence with the Board of Trade. There are also details of land grants, shipping returns and financial accounts, as well as George Vancouver’s despatches to London from his 1791 expedition to the Pacific Northwest.
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