The Rotunda Founders Early Access project makes available for the first time thousands of unpublished documents from our nation’s founders in a free online resource. Collected over many years by the Founders documentary editions, these letters and other papers penned by important figures such as James Madison, John Adams, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson offer Americans of all ages and interests a wider view of the early Republic. Conceived with the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities’ Documents Compass group, and the Papers of George Washington (PGW) editorial project, Early Access offers readers a backstage pass to a phase of the documentary editing process never before available. These documents are scheduled to appear in scholarly editions, both print and digital, but remain unpublished until they have entered the final steps of the process, professional scholarly editing and annotation. All documents in Early Access have undergone at least one initial proofreading, and in some cases further editorial work, by the Documents Compass or the PGW staff, but please keep in mind as you use this information that many elements of these transcriptions could change as they undergo further review. Once an Early Access document has been published and made available in Rotunda, it will be removed from this database, to be replaced by the fully edited version in the appropriate digital edition in the Rotunda American Founding Era collection.

We invite users to check back regularly for updates.

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