The idea of social networks is not new, nor is their range of importance—from shared intimacy, to commercial nicety, to revolutionary provocation. At no time do we see more of their range, variety, and importance than in the letters of Colonial and Revolutionary America. Letters connected families and friends, facilitated commerce and legal disputes, and turned all of these into a porridge of political transformation. Not only can we read history as part of everyday life, but we can see it expressed in language of considerable beauty, grace, and virtue.
Read some of these letters by exploring the free links in the interactive image below.
Image Credit: “Surrender of Lord Cornwallis” by John Trumbull. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.