Book List for Founding Fathers Mysteries

More than you ever wanted to know – and then some!

Writing Patriots & Poisons and Secrets Worth Killing For involved a lot of research into late-eighteenth century Philadelphia, the early Federalist period, and other related subjects. If any aspect interests you to the point that you’d like to read more about it, here is a somewhat extensive but varied list of possible suggestions for further reading. Some of these books are unfortunately out of print, but may be found at the Historical Society of Philadelphia, The Library Company, and the American Philosophical Society, or via used-book sources like ABE Books.

The People

Alberts, Robert C., The Golden Voyage:  The Life and Times of William Bingham

Bendini, Silvio A., Thomas Jefferson, Statesman of Science

Binger, Carl, Revolutionary Doctor, Benjamin Rush (1746-1813),

Brodsky, Alyn, Benjamin Rush, Patriot and Physician

Carlyle, Edward Irving, William Cobbett: A Study of His Life as Shown by His Writings

Clarfield, Gerard H., Timothy Pickering & American Diplomacy

Clark, Mary Elizabeth, Peter Porcupine in America: the career of William Cobbett, 1792-1800

Conkin, Paul, “The Religious Pilgrimage of Thomas Jefferson,” in Jeffersonian Legacies, Peter S. Onuf, ed.

Corner, George W., ed.,  The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush

Holton, Woody, Abigail Adams, A Life

McCullough, David, John Adams

Malone, Dumas, Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty

Maxey, David W., A Portrait of Elizabeth Willing Powel

Mitchell, Stewart, New Letters of Abigail Adams 1788-1801

Rush, Benjamin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush

Smith, Edgar, James Woodhouse, a Pioneer in Chemistry

Smith, Page, John Adams

Tagg, James, Benjamin Franklin Bache and the Philadelphia Aurora

Wiencik, Henry, An Imperfect God:  George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America

The Politics

Baker, Richard Allen, The Senate of the United States:  A Bicentennial History

Dauer, Manning J., The Adams Federalists

De Conde, Alexander, The Quasi War, The Politics and Diplomacy of the Undeclared War with France, 1797-1801

Library of Congress, “A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation,”

Swandstrom, Roy, The United States Senate 1787-1801

White, Leonard, The Federalists, A Study in Administrative History 1789-1801

The Pirates

Baepler, Paul, White Slaves, African Masters, an Anthology of American Barbary Captivity Narratives

Fremont-Barnes, Gregory, The Wars of the Barbary Pirates

Kitzen, Michael, “Money Bags or Cannon Balls: The Origins of the Tripolitan War, 1795-1801,” in Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Winter, 1996), pp. 601-624

Lambert, Frank, The Barbary Wars – American Independence in the Atlantic World

Wilson, Gary E., “American Hostages in Moslem Nations, 1784-1796: The Public Response,Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 2, No.2 (Summer, 1982), pp. 123-141


Dillon, Clarissa, So Serve it Up:  Eighteenth-Century English Foodways in Philadelphia

Hines, Mary Anne, Marshall, Gordon & Weaver, William Woys, The Larder Invaded:  Reflections on Three Centuries of Philadelphia Food and Drink

Nash, Gary B, Forging Freedom, The Formation of Philadelphia’s Black Community, 1720-1840

Obertholtzer, Ellis Paxon, Philadelphia: a History of the City and Its People

Perkins, Bradford, “A Diplomat’s Wife in Philadelphia:  Letters of Henrietta Liston, 1796-1800,” 11 William and Mary Quarterly 592 (1959)

Pollock, TC, Philadelphia Theater in the 18th Century 

Roberts, Kenneth and Anna, trans. and eds., Moreau de St. Méry’s American Journey [1793-1798]

Scharf, J Thomas and Thomson Westcott, History of Philadelphia 1609-1884

Sherrill, Charles H., French Memories of Eighteenth Century America

Smith, Billy G., Life in Early Philadelphia – Documents from the Revolutionary and Early National Periods

Smith, Billy, The Lower Sort, Philadelphia’s Laboring People

Thompson, A Social History of Philadelphia’s Taverns

US Department of Interior, History of the City Tavern

Watson, John Fanning, Annals of Philadelphia




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