Colonial America Documents Preview

Covering the period 1606-1822, CO 5 consists of the original correspondence between the Board of Trade and Secretaries of State and the English, later British, colonies in North America and the Caribbean. It is a vital resource for scholars of the early-modern Atlantic world.

Made up of letters, charters and commissions, instructions to officials, military documents (including war diaries), newspapers, printed pamphlets, public notices, maps and many other material types, the documents shed light on all aspects of life in colonial America – political, economic, military, cultural and social – covering such topics as:

  • The beginning and expansion of English settlement
  • The development of colonial institutions
  • Settlers’ relationships with Native Americans
  • English/British relations with the Dutch, French and Spanish
  • Trade and protectionism
  • War
  • Piracy and privateering
  • Religious matters
  • Tobacco, sugar and other commodities
  • Slavery and the slave trade


See documents list to Module 1: Early Settlement, Expansion and Rivalries