135 results in English
His Excellency: George Washington Esq: L.L.D. Late Commander in Chief of the Armies of the U.S. of America and President of the Convention of 1787
In 1787, the confederation of the 13 American states was descending into disarray. The coffers were empty, New York and New Jersey were in a dispute over duties charged on goods crossing state lines, farmers in Massachusetts were rebelling, and Spain and Britain were encroaching on American territories in the west. The Federal Convention was called to address the problems of governing the young republic under the existing Articles of Confederation. The convention responded by framing the document that became the United States Constitution. The convention delegates elected George Washington ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Art of Making Mechanical Timepieces for Church Towers, Rooms, and Pockets
Manuel del Río was a Spanish Franciscan, said to have been a skilled watchmaker, who probably learned the trade in Oporto, Portugal, with Tomás Luis de Sáa. Del Río belonged to the Franciscan community in Santiago, where in 1759 he published Arte de los reloxes de ruedas (The art of making mechanical timepieces). The work was reissued in 1789 in Madrid by del Río’s disciple Ramón Durán. That edition is presented here. The prologue states that one of the reasons for writing the book was the lack of manuals ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Declaration of Independence. In Congress, July 4, 1776, a Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled.
This document is the first printed version of the American Declaration of Independence. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution urging Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, to declare independence from Great Britain. Four days later, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed as a committee to draft a declaration of independence. The committee’s draft was read in Congress on June 28. On July 4, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, containing a list of grievances against the British ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Topographical Notes on Notable Places Visited by Her Imperial Majesty in Belarusian Vicegerencies
This book, published in Saint Petersburg in 1780 by the Russian Imperial Academy of Science, is about the history of and conditions in the eastern Belarusian lands visited by the Empress Catherine (the Great) in May of that year. The work includes detailed information about localities in the Polotsk and Mogil'ov territory (namestnichestva), including the population and descriptions of castles, palaces, churches, and monasteries. Descriptions of places in Belarus start on page 38. The book also contains information about places along the route from Saint Petersburg to Belarus, such ...
The Precious Book on Noteworthy Dates
This short work, entitled Kitāb al-yawāqīt fī ma‘rifat al-mawāqīt, and copied by an anonymous scribe in Shawwāl in June-July 1775 (AH 1168), is attributed to Ḥusayn (or Ḥasan) b. Zayd b. ‘Alī al-Jaḥḥāf, who is said to have dedicated it to Abū ‘Alī Manṣūr al-Ḥākim bi Amr-Allāh, the sixth Fāṭimid ruler (died 996). The manuscript lists the 12 months of the year, each on one sheet, in the form of an almanac. The last page is a one-page guide to the interpretation of dreams, reportedly prepared at the behest ...
Map of Holland: According to Astronomical Observations, Measurements of Schnellius & c. and the Superiorly Redesigned Special Maps of F. L. Güssefeld
This map of the Netherlands coast is the work of Prussian cartographer Franz Ludwig Güssefeld (1744-1807). It was drawn based on the calculations of the renowned Dutch mathematician Willebrord Snellius (1580-1626), a professor of mathematics at the University of Leiden, who conceived the idea of measuring the earth using triangulation. Snellius’s discoveries helped to determine the radius of the earth as well as led to more accurate ways of measuring the distance between two cities.
Letters, Essays, and Sermons by Saint Gregory Nazianzus
This 18th-century manuscript is a collection of letters, essays, and sermons by Saint Gregory Nazianzus (died circa 389). The manuscript is thought to be the first Arabic translation from the original Greek and has not yet been edited or published. It is the second volume of a two-volume work. Gregory of Nazianzus, also known as Gregory the Theologian, is recognized as a Father of the Church in both the Eastern and Western traditions. He was born in Cappadocia (eastern Anatolia), where he spent much of his life. He was a ...
Extent and Location of the Governments of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Matogroso, Cuyaba, and Towns of Native Americans Called Chiquitos
This map shows the present-day Bolivian provinces of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Chiquitos, and the Brazilian state of Mata Grosso. The map indicates the settlements of native people, known at that time as Chiquitos. This area was a center of Jesuit activity and many of the settlements may have been the remnants of Jesuit centers, called reducciones (reductions or townships). The Jesuits began their missionary work in South America in 1609. At the height of their activity, they sponsored 40 communities that were home to more than 150 ...
Guide to Astronomy
This handwritten copy of Tian wen bei kao (Guide to astronomy) was made in 1790 by Pingbo, whose seals are on the cover of the first of the two juan. No other information on the copyist is available. Juan one is a collection of texts taken from Xing jing (Star manual) by Shi Shen (circa 350 BC), Tian wen xing zhan (Astronomic star observation) by Gan De (between 475 and 221 BC), Shi ji (The records of the grand historian), Tian wen zhi (Astronomy treatise) in Han shu (History of ...
Contributed by National Central Library
A Summary View of the Rights of British America: Set Forth in Some Resolutions Intended for the Inspection of the Present Delegates of the People of Virginia, Now in Convention / by a Native, and Member of the House of Burgesses
This pamphlet is Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of A Summary View of the Rights of British America, which he originally drafted in July 1774 as a set of instructions for the Virginia delegates to the first Continental Congress. Jefferson argued that the British Parliament had no rights to govern the colonies, which he claimed had been independent since their founding. He also described the usurpations of power and deviations from law committed by King George III and Parliament. Jefferson was not present in the Virginia House when his draft ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Macedonian Landscape
Franz Johann Joseph von Reilly (1766−1820) was an Austrian writer and poet, geographer, bookseller, and art dealer. His cartographic works included a world atlas, published in 1794−96, an atlas of Germany (1803), and his Allgemeiner Postatlas (General postal atlas), a work of 1799 with 40 maps showing postal routes, the first such atlas published anywhere in the world. Shown here is von Reilly’s map of Macedonia, which includes parts of present-day Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Bordered on the north by Serbia and ...
Album of Appreciation of the Fragrance of Spring
Takuhanga is a printing technique in which a cloth-covered cotton ball containing black ink is patted on wet paper placed on an intaglio-engraved woodblock. The technique derives from takuhon, the art of rubbing found in Chinese copybooks printed from the works of old masters of calligraphy. This late-18th-century takuhanga album includes poems in the Chinese style celebrating the spring scenery of Kyoto written by learned men from the city who were students of Chinese literature, including Iwagaki Ryūkei (1741−1808). The drawings are by prominent Kyoto artists from the time ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
The Insect Book
Ehon mushi-erami (The insect book) is by the ukiyo-e painter Kitagawa Utamaro (circa 1753−1806). It was created by him before he produced the bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women) for which he is famous. Each double page of the book contains a painted illustration of a plant and two species of insects, along with two kyōka (a poem style originating from waka, literally, Japanese poems). The kyōka are ostensibly insect-themed love poems. In all, 15 colored wood-block prints are included. The work demonstrates Utamaro’s skill at drawing, as well ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Edict Prohibiting Traveling Shows Throughout Tuscany
This edict, dated February 1, 1780, was promulgated by Domenico Brichieri Colombi, fiscal auditor of the city of Florence, in execution of orders issued by Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany (reigned 1765−90). It prohibited public performances by traveling entertainers so as not to give to the people “opportunities to dissipate themselves vainly.” The edict applied to “Charlatans, Cantimbanchi [street singers], Storytellers, Puppeteers, Peddlers, Jugglers, and all those who carry on freak shows, exhibit Machines, Animals, or who sell secrets, and to any other foreigner who goes ...
Map of the New Discoveries in the Eastern Ocean
This Russian map of 1781 depicts parts of eastern Siberia and the northwestern part of the North American continent, including places reached by the Russians Mikhail Gvozdev and Ivan Sind, the English explorer Captain James Cook, and others. In 1732, the expedition led by Gvozdev and the navigator Ivan Fedorov crossed the Bering Strait between Asia and America, discovered the Diomede Islands, and approached Alaska in the vicinity of Cape Prince of Wales. The expedition landed on the shore of the North American mainland, marked on the map as the ...
Map Presenting the Discoveries of Russian Navigators in the Pacific Ocean, as Well as Those of Captain Cook
This 1787 map shows the voyages of the leading Russian explorers of the North Pacific: Bering, Chirikov, Krenitsyn, Shpanberg, Walton, Shel'ting, and Petushkov. It also shows the 1778-79 voyage of British Captain James Cook. The route of each voyage is depicted in great detail, with ship locations plotted by the day. Other details on the map include administrative borders, population centers, Chukchi dwellings, and impassable ice. The inset map is of Kodiak Island, Alaska, denoted here by its Russian name of Kykhtak.
A Map of Saint Petersburg Province and County
The complete title of this 1792 watercolor manuscript map is “A map of Saint Petersburg province and county including parts of other counties belonging to the province, such as Shlisselburg, Sofeisk, Оranienbaum and Rozhdestveno with Saint Petersburg as the administrative center from which it radiates for 40 versts.” The text goes on to explain that part “of this province, previously called Ingria, was conquered from Sweden in 1702 and according to the Treaty of Nystad, in 1721 Ingria was formally ceded to Russia by Sweden. On May 16, 1703 Saint ...
Painting of the Gathering at the Orchid Pavilion during the Spring Purification Festival
This rubbing scroll combines two works: Lanting xu tie (Calligraphy of the preface to the poems composed at the Orchid Pavilion) by Wang Xizhi (321−79), and Liu shang tu (The floating goblets), originally a painting, by the Song artist Li Gonglin (1049−1106). Emperor Qianlong (reigned 1736−95) commissioned this scroll, which was reprinted from the Song rubbing with the missing parts added, based on the fragment of Lanting tu (Illustrations of Lanting) by Zhu Yiyin (1536−1603), Prince Yi of the Ming dynasty. The missing part of the ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Dream of the Red Chamber in 120 Chapters
Xin jian quan bu xiu xiang Hong lou meng (Newly printed complete illustrated edition of the Dream of the red chamber) is also known as the Cheng-A edition. It is the first printed edition of the classic novel written by Cao Xueqin (circa 1715−63), one of China’s greatest novelists. Included here are the preface and comments by Zhang Ruzhi at the tops of the pages, the table of contents, and three chapters. The book was in the collection of Zheng Zhenduo (1898–1958) before entering the collections of ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Explaining and Analyzing Characters, in 15 Juan
Shuo wen jie zi (Explaining and analyzing characters), often abridged as Shuo wen, was compiled by Xu Shen (circa 58−circa 147), a Confucian scholar and linguist of the Eastern Han dynasty. This is the first Chinese dictionary to use the principle of organization by sections with shared components, called bu shou (radicals), and to analyze the form, meaning, and pronunciation of each character, using the liu shu (six categories of Chinese characters) theory, to give the rationale behind them, as well as their interrelation. It is the forerunner of ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Palestine, Tribes, and Jerusalem
Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697-1782) was one of the most important French geographers of the 18th century. He worked during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. D’Anville’s approach to geography was geometric; he believed that man’s presence was worthy of acknowledgement only insofar as it helped the cartographer to establish the boundaries of a place. He focused on fidelity to what was documented about the territory in question using knowledge gleaned from travel journals, historical accounts, old maps, poems, and more. D’Anville was ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Facilitator of Utility on Medicine and Wisdom
This manuscript copy is a 15th-century work by a Yemeni author, Ibrāhīm ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Abū Bakr al-Azraq, or Azraqī. It is a book of remedies dealing with medicinal uses of seeds, grains, and other foods and their nutritional value. The material is based in part on two earlier works: Shifā’ al-ajsām (The curing of bodies) by Muḥammad ibn Abū al-Ghayth al-Kamarānī, and Kitāb al-raḥmah (The book of mercy) by Ṣubunrī. Included at the end is yet another work, Burʼ al-sāʻah (Speedy recovery), a short treatise by the renowned ...
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-77) was a publisher of maps in Augsburg, Germany. He inherited the family mapmaking business from his father-in-law, Matthias Seutter. Lotter published atlases and numerous sheet maps, including this 1770 Latin map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At the height of its power in the 14th-16th centuries, the Grand Duchy comprised the territories of present-day Lithuania, Belarus, and western Ukraine. In the late 16th century, Lithuania came under the increasing influence of Poland. In 1569 the two countries united to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. As shown ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen Adopted by the National Assembly during its Sessions on August 20, 21, 25 and 26, 1789, and Approved by the King
On June 17, 1789, the members of Third Estate (those members of the pre-revolutionary French parliament, the Estates-General, who were not from the First Estate, the nobility, or the Second Estate, the clergy) gathered and declared themselves the National Assembly of France. Alarmed at this radical development, King Louis XVI (1754−93) decided to end their deliberations and barred access to the room in Versailles where they had been meeting. Over the next several days, most members of the clergy in the Estates-General and a significant number of the nobility ...
Map of the Empire of Germany: Including All the States Comprehended Under that Name with the Kingdom of Prussia
Produced on the eve of the Industrial and French revolutions, this 1782 map by Louis Delarochette represents the German Empire nearly a century before Otto von Bismarck’s unification of the country. It is part of Thomas Kitchen’s General Atlas, originally created by Louis Stanislas d'Arcy Delarochette and purportedly designed to show the entire universe. Kitchen, whose name was also frequently spelled “Kitchin,” was a London-based cartographer and engraver of maps of England, greater Europe, and parts of the British Empire who was employed as a senior hydrographer ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Complete Map of the Mountains and Oceans of the World
Sankai yochi zenzu (A complete map of the mountains and oceans of the world) is a Japanese map of the world, created around 1785 by Sekisui Nagakubo (1717−1801). The map is based on the 1602 edition of Matteo Ricci’s Great Universal Geographic Map in Chinese, first produced in 1584. It is a hand-colored wood-block print, showing the world’s continents and seas, with relief shown pictorially. An alternative title, Chikyū bankoku sankai yochi zenzusetsu (A complete illustration of the globe, all the countries, and the mountains and oceans ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Bay of Concepción of Chile
This pen-and-ink and watercolor map of the Bahía de Concepción is based on an original prepared by Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa in 1744 during one of their scientific expeditions to South America, with extensive additions and revisions made in the early 1780s. It shows the location of the old city of Concepción and its new location further from the sea after the city was rebuilt following the devastating earthquake of 1751. The map is oriented with north at the lower left. Latitude and the longitude are set in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Uruguay River from Yapeyu to the Farm of Sn. Gregorio
This Spanish map of the Río Uruguay from Estancia San Gregorio to Yapeyu was prepared by Joseph Varela y Ulloa (1739-94), the commander of the Spanish party of the joint Spanish-Portuguese boundary commission that surveyed the Uruguay and Paraguay river basins between 1784 and 1788. The survey took place after the signing, in October 1777, of the First Treaty of San Ildefonso between Spain and Portugal, which settled the outstanding border disputes between the two empires in the region of the Rio de la Plata. The map shows the route ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Chart of the Gulf Stream
This map, from the Peter Force Map Collection at the Library of Congress, was created by the Philadelphia engraver James Poupard. It was the third in a series featuring a chart of the Gulf Stream. The latter was well known to Spanish ship captains, who relied on it to sail from the Americas to the Iberian Peninsula, but there were no universal charts or maps due to Spanish secrecy. This map originally was sketched by Timothy Folger, a Nantucket fisherman and a cousin of Benjamin Franklin, who conceived the map ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Journal of Captain Cook's Last Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, and in Quest of a North-West Passage Between Asia & America, Performed in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, and 1779
The American explorer and adventurer John Ledyard was born in Groton, Connecticut, in 1751. After studying briefly at Dartmouth College, he went to sea as a common sailor. He was forced to join the British Navy, and from June 1776 to October 1780 was a marine on Captain James Cook’s third voyage to the Pacific. This book recounts his observations of Alaska, Kamchatka, southern China, and the islands of the South Pacific. Ledyard later conceived of a plan to cross Russia, continue across the Bering Strait to Alaska, and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A New Map of Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton Island: With the Adjacent Parts of New England and Canada, Composed from a Great Number of Actual Surveys; and Other Materials Regulated by Many New Astronomical Observations of the Longitude as Well as Latitude; by Thomas Jefferys, Geographer to the King.
Thomas Jefferys (1710-71) was a royal geographer to King George III and a London publisher of maps. He is well known for his maps of North America, produced to meet commercial demand, but also to support British territorial claims against the French. The period from 1748-63 saw fierce global competition between England and France, culminating in the Seven Years' War, which produced a high demand for maps of the contested territories. This map presents Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island in the wake of the “great upheaval,” when the British ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Austrian Circle
The Holy Roman Empire (962-1806) was organized, beginning in the early 1500s, into ten Imperial Circles, each of which had its own diet or parliament, and which had certain responsibilities with regard to defense, tax collection, and other functions. (Some territories of the empire, for example, Bohemia and parts of Italy, were not grouped in circles.) This late-18th century French map shows the Austrian Circle, which largely coincided with those lands ruled by the House of Habsburg from Vienna. In addition to Austria proper, the Austrian Circle included parts of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Diploma
This ijazah, or diploma of competency in Arabic calligraphy, was written by 'Ali Ra'if Efendi in 1791 (1206 AH). The top and middle panels contain a saying (hadith) attributed to the Prophet Muhammad. It reads: "Secret charity quenches the wrath of the Lord. / The best of you is the best for his family. / The best of the followers is Uways." In the two lowermost panels are the signed and dated approvals of two master calligraphers, Mustafa al-Halimi and Husayn Hamid. Each section of writing appears on a separate piece ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Plan of the Rosalij Compy. Estates, the Property of His Excelly. Charles O'Harra, the Honble. Leiut. Gov. Will. Stuart, James Clarke & Rob. & Phill.
France and Britain vied for control of Dominica for many years. In 1763, the British gained possession of the island. This detailed map shows British-owned estates and a plantation on the Atlantic side of the island. Details on the map include individual buildings and structures, roads, sections of the plantation identified by number, administrative divisions of the estates identified by letters, streams, pictorial representations of vegetation and relief, the coastline and coastal features, and a vignette of ships in the harbor. The map also includes a keyed legend listing the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Guide for the Good
This Muslim prayer book is a 1785 copy of an original 15th-century manuscript. The work includes a panorama of Mecca and Medina, the holy cities of Islam in Saudi Arabia. Mecca, where the Prophet Muhammad was born and lived for the first 50 years of his life, is the most sacred city in Islam. It is also where the Ka`bah is found, the holiest sanctuary in Islam and called the "house of God" (Bayt Allah). Muslims throughout the world pray facing in the direction of Mecca and the Ka ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Memoirs and Travels of Mauritius Augustus Count de Benyowsky: Consisting of His Military Operations in Poland, His Exile into Kamchatka, His Escape and Voyage from that Peninsula through the Northern Pacific Ocean, Touching at Japan and Formosa, to Canton in China, with an Account of the French Settlement He Was Appointed to Form upon the Island of Madagascar
Maurice Benyowsky (1741 or 1746-1786) was born near Trnava in present-day Slovakia, at the time part of Hungary and the Austrian Empire. After service in the Austrian Army, he joined a Polish nationalist movement fighting for freedom against Russia. He was arrested and exiled to Kamchatka in the Russian Far East. He escaped captivity and undertook an expedition to explore Kamchatka and the North Pacific. In 1772, he made his way to France, where he secured permission from King Louis XV to establish trading posts on Madagascar. In Paris, he ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
History of Armenia
Mik’ayel Ch’amch’yants’ was born in Istanbul in 1738. After training and working as a jeweler in his native city, in 1762 he joined the Armenian Catholic Mekhitarist order at the St. Lazar Monastery in Venice. Founded by Abbott Mekhitar (1676–1749) in 1700, the Mekhitarists were dedicated to the religious, cultural, and literary revival of Armenia, which at the time was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Ch’amch’yants’ was appointed instructor in the Armenian language at St. Lazar in 1774, and in 1784 he ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A New, Authentic, and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World: Undertaken and Performed by Royal Authority, Containing a New, Authentic, Entertaining, Instructive, Full, and Complete Historical Account of Captain Cook's First, Second, Third, and Last Voyages, Undertaken by Order of His Present Majesty
This compilation of British navigators' accounts of their voyages around the world covers the famous voyages of Sir Francis Drake and Captain James Cook, as well as expeditions by George Anson, John Byron, Samuel Wallis and Philip Carteret, and Constantine Phipps (Lord Mulgrave). In 1740-44, Anson led a three-year-and-nine-month mission that raided Spanish commerce off the coast of Peru before returning to England via the Cape of Good Hope. Byron made a voyage in 1764-65, during which he discovered the Islands of Disappointment (in present-day French Polynesia) and several smaller ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Bill of Rights
During the debates on the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, its opponents charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolutionary War, so they demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions, in their formal ratification of the Constitution, asked for such amendments. Others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would ...
Engrossed Declaration of Independence
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, in which the American colonies set forth a list of grievances against the British Crown and declared that they were breaking from British rule to form free and independent states. On July 19, 1776, Congress resolved that the Declaration passed on the 4th be "fairly engrossed on parchment with the title and stile [sic]: 'The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America'...and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress ...
Constitution of the United States
The Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of Confederation. Because the delegations from only two states were present initially, the members adjourned from one day to the next until a quorum of seven states was obtained on May 25. Through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the existing Articles of Confederation, the convention would draft an entirely new framework for the government. All through the summer, the delegates debated, drafted, and ...
Treaty of Paris
This treaty, sent to Congress by the American negotiators John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, formally ended the Revolutionary War. It was one of the most advantageous treaties ever negotiated for the United States. Two crucial provisions were British recognition of U.S. independence and the delineation of boundaries that would allow for American expansion westward to the Mississippi River. Two duplicate originals of the treaty exist in the American Original file of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. They are most easily distinguished from each other ...