American Literature


Photo, George Bernard ShawDrama and Film

by Susan Glaspell


by Mankiewisc, Herman J. and Orson Welles

Citizen Kane (third revised final script, with edits, deletions, and additions)

by George Bernard Shaw (headnote available)

Mrs. Warren's Profession


by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

"The Piazza of St. Mark at Midnight"

by Joel Barlow (headnote available)

from The Columbiad

by Gwendolyn Bennett


by Louise Bennett

"Colonization in Reverse"

by William Cullen Bryant (headnote available)

"A Forest Hymn"
"The Prairies"
"To Cole, the Painter, Departing for Europe"
"To a Waterfowl"

by Bliss Carman (headnote available)

"A More Ancient Mariner"
"Low Tide on Grand Pré"
"By the Aurelian Wall"

by Christopher Pearse Cranch

"The Death of Shelley" (Contemporary Response)

by Emily Dickinson

"341: After great pain, a formal feeling comes—"
"712: Because I could not stop for Death—"
"1545: The Bible is an antique Volume—"
"970: Color—Caste—Denomination—"
"84: Her breast is fit for pearls"
"518: Her sweet Weight on my Heart a Night"
"280: I felt a Funeral, in my Brain"
"465: I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—"
"569: I reckon—When I count at all—"
"443: I tie my Hat—I crease my Shawl—"
"435: Much Madness is divinest Sense"
"754: My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun—"
"986: A narrow Fellow in the Grass"
"668: 'Nature' is what we see—"
"790: Nature—the Gentlest Mother is"
"709: Publication—is the Auction"
"216: Safe in their Alabaster Chambers [1; version B]"
"216: Safe in their Alabaster Chambers [1; version E]"
"303: The Soul selects her own Society—"
"1249: The Stars are old, that stood for me—"
"1129: Tell all the truth but tell it slant—"
"1593: There came a Wind like a Bugle—"
"613: They shut me up in prose—"
"441: This is my letter to the World"
"249: Wild nights—Wild nights!"

by Timothy Dwight

from "Greenfield Hill" (Contemporary Response)

by Philip Morin Freneau (headnote available)

"The Indian Burying Ground"
"Literary Importation"
"On Mr. Paine's Rights of Man"
"On the Emigration to America and Peopling the Western Country"
"On the Religion of Nature"
"On the Uniformity and Perfection of Nature"
"On the Universality and Other Attributes of the God of Nature"
"The Wild Honey Suckle"

by Fitz-greene Halleck

from "Burns" (Contemporary Response)
from "Fanny" (Contemporary Response)

Frances Harper

by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (headnote available)

"An Appeal to My Country Women"
"Free Labor"
"Learning to Read"
"The Slave Mother"

by James Weldon Johnson

"Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing"
"Saint Peter Relates an Incident of the Ressurection Day"

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (headnote available)

"The Arsenal at Springfield"
"Burial of the Minnisink"
"A Psalm of Life"
"The Slave's Dream"
"To the Driving Cloud"
"The Village Blacksmith"

by Claude McKay

"The Harlem Dancer"

by Milcah Martha Moore (headnote available)

"The Female Patriots"

by Judith Sargent Murray (headnote available)

"On the Equality of the Sexes"

by Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney (headnote available)

"Grasmere and Rydal Water"
"Felicia Hemans"
"The Indian's Welcome to the Pilgrim Fathers"
"Science and Religion"

by Henry David Thoreau (headnote available)

"Any fool can make a rule"
"I am the little Irish boy"
"I have seen some frozenfaced connecticut"
"In the busy streets, domains of trade"
"Ive seen ye, sisters, on the mountain-side"
"The Inward Morning"
"Sic Vita"
"Wait not till slaves pronounce the word"

by Phillis Wheatley (headnote available)

"A Farewell to America. To Mrs. S. W."
"Liberty and Peace"
"On Being Brought from Africa to America"
"On Imagination"
"On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770."
"Thoughts on the Works of Providence"
"To a Lady on Her Coming to North America with Her Son, for the Recovery of Her Health"
"To His Excellency General Washington"
"To S.M. A Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works"
"To the Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth"

by Walt Whitman

"O Captain! My captain"
"Song of Myself"

by John Greenleaf Whittier (headnote available)

"The Fisherman"
"The Hunters of Men"
"The Lumberman"
"Massachusetts to Virginia"


by Selim Aga/Agha

Africa Considered in Its Social and Political Condition
"A Trip Up the Congo or Zaire River"
"My Parentage and Early Career as a Slave"

by Rev. W.T. Andrews

A Waif

by Anon.

The Woman of Color, A Tale

by William Apess

"An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man"

by William Parsons Atkinson

Letter to Wordsworth

by William Stanley Braithwaite

"The Negro in American Literature"

by William Ellery Channing

from "Likeness to God"
from "Self-Culture"

by Charles W. Chesnutt

The Marrow of Tradition

by Kate Chopin

"A Pair of Silk Stockings"
"Beyond the Bayou"
"The Story of an Hour"
The Awakening

by James Fenimore Cooper (headnote available)

from The Pioneers, or the Sources of the Susquehanna

by Susan Fenimore Cooper (headnote available)

"Otsego Leaves. Birds Then and Now"

by Michel Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur (headnote available)

from "Letters from an American Farmer"

by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano (headnote available)

from "from Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species"

by Frederick Douglass (headnote available)

"The Heroic Slave"
"Letter to the Editor of The Times"
"The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro: Speech at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852"

by WEB Dubois, photographW.E.B. Dubois

The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches

by Ralph Waldo Emerson (headnote available)

"The American Scholar"

by Rudolph Fisher

"The City of Refuge"

by Benjamin Franklin (headnote available)

"Information to Those Who Would Remove to America"
"Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America"
"Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One"

by Margaret Fuller (headnote available)

"The Great Lawsuit. Man versus Men. Woman versus Women."
from Summer on the Lakes, in 1843
"Things and Thoughts in Europe, No. XVIII"

by William Lloyd Garrison (headnote available)

"To the Public"

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

"The Yellow Wall-Paper"

by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted

by Nathaniel Hawthorne (headnote available)

"The Birth-mark"
"My Kinsman, Major Molineux"
"P's Correspondence"

by Frederic Hedge

from "Coleridge" (Contemporary Response)

by Clemence Housman

The Were Wolf

by Isaac Hunt (headnote availale)

"The Political Family"

Thomas Jefferson, painting

by Zora Neale Hurston

"Characteristics of Negro Expression"

by Washington Irving (headnote available)

" English Writers on America"
"Rip Van Winkle"

by Andrew Jackson (headnote availale)

"Message of the President of the United States to Both Houses of Congress at the Commencement of the Second Session of the Twenty-First Congress, December 7, 1830"

by Harriet Jacobs

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself

by Thomas Jefferson (headnote availale)

"from Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson (Declaration of Independence)"
from "Notes on the State of Virginia"

by James Weldon Johnson

"Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing"

by Elizabeth Keckley

Behind the Scenes, or Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House

by Fanny Kemble

from Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838–1839

by Nella Larsen


by Alain Locke

"Negro Youth Speaks"
"The New Negro"

by James Madison (headnote availale)

"The Federalist. Number 10"

by George Perkins Marsh (headnote availale)

from Man and Nature; or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action

by John Marrant (headnote availale)

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

by Harriet Martineau (headnote availale)

from Society in America

by Thomas d'Arcy McGee (headnote availale)

"The Mental Outfit of the New Dominion"

by Herman Melville

“Bartleby, the Scrivener”

by Charles King Newcomb (headnote availale)

"The Two Dolons"

by Andrews Norton (headnote availale)

from "Discourse on the Latest Form of Infidelity"

by Samson Occom (headnote availale)

"S. Occom's Account of Himself Written Sept. 17, 1768"

by Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (headnote availale)

from "Letter to Wordsworth"
from A Glimpse of Christ's Idea of Society

by Edgar Allen Poe

"Annabel Lee"
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
"The Man of the Crowd"
"The Raven"
"Sonnet—To Science"
"Ulalume—a Ballad"

by Mary Prince

The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave Related by Herself
The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave Related by Herself, excerpt

by Henry Reed (headnote availale)

from "Lectures on the British Poets"

by Sophia Ripley (headnote availale)


by Susanna Rowson (headnote availale)

from "Charlotte: A Tale of Truth"

by Catharine Maria Sedgwick (headnote availale)

from Hope Leslie: or, Early Times in the Massachusetts

by Sharpe's London Journal (headnote availale)

"Emerson's Representative Men" (Contemporary Response)

by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (headnote available)

"Declaration of Sentiments"

by Henry David Thoreau (headnote available)

"Resistance to Civil Government"

The Times, published in

Editorial and Letters to the Editor (Contemporary Response re: Frederick Douglass)

by Jean Toomer

"Carma," from Cane

by Sojourner Truth (headnote available)

"Speech at the American Equal Rights Association", May 9–10, 1867

by David Walker (headnote available)

"An Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World"

by Eric Walrond

Tropic Death

by Phillis Wheatley (headnote available)

"Letter to Rev. Samson Occom, New London, Connecticut"
"Letter from Phillis Wheatley to David Wooster, 18 October 1773"