American Public Discourse

American Public Discourse


Abolition: The Slavery Controversy
American Public Trials
Founding Documents: Rhetorical Resources
The Rhetorical Eugene Debs
The Rhetorical Frederick Douglass
The Rhetorical Franklin
Rhetoric of Law
The Rhetorical Lincoln
Political Eulogies and Public Funerals
Political Rhetoric and Debates
Presidential Rhetoric
The Rhetorical Ronald Reagan
Religion in American Public Discourse
Secession Speeches and Documents
Women in Politics


Slavery and Compromise: A Rhetorical History
Timeline of Emancipation Discourse to 1870
Timeline of Emancipation Discourse from 1865

Web Resources

American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States
Library of Congress Digital Collections
Voices of Democracy: The U. S. Oratory Project


American Presidents A to Z
Civil Rights
Federalists and Anti-Federalists
Feminist Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
Musical Rhetoric (includes protest music)
Political Advertising
Political Debates (non-Presidential)
Political Rhetoric
Presidential Debates
Presidential Rhetoric: General and Comparative Sources
Prophetic Mode
Sources on the Rhetorical Reagan
Womans Rights to 1920

Primary Texts in American Public Discourse

Many subtopics on the site have their own page and the texts are listed there. Texts that do belong in American Public Discourse but not to an already defined topic are listed here. This wiki is most complete on emancipation discourses. Topic areas are open to additions. Where a speech can be defined as belonging to multiple topics, the link is duplicated. Please see the Index of Primary Texts for a complete alphabetical listing by author/title.

Abolition of Slavery

See The Slavery Controversy

Civil Rights

Dubois, W. E. B. Niagara Movement Address.
King, Martin Luther. "I Have a Dream".
Washington, Booker T. Atlanta Exposition Address.

Feminism (Second Wave)

LeGuin, Ursula. "She Unnames Them."
Sarachild, Kathie. A Program for Feminist "Consciousness Raising".
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Position Paper on Women in the Movement.

Founding Documents, Federalists and Antifederalists

Amendments to the Constitution.
Constitution of the United States.
Franklin, Benjamin. On the Constitution.
Henry, Patrick. Speech at the Virginia Ratification Debate.
Suffrage Amendments to the Constitution.


See The Discourse of Labor.

War and Peace

DuBois, W. E. B. "Close Ranks". The Crisis July 1918.
Garrison, William Lloyd. Peace Declaration.
Mott, Lucretia. "The Law of Progress".


Kennedy, Edward M. Chappaquiddick Address.
Lincoln, Abraham. Cooper Union Address.
Lincoln, Abraham. "A House Divided".
Nixon, Richard M. "Checkers" Speech.
Reagan, Ronald. "A Time for Choosing".
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano. First Inaugural Address.
Obama, Barack. A More Perfect Union, 18 March 2008.


See Presidential Rhetoric

Womans Rights (19th century)

Anthony, Susan B. "Is It a Crime for a U. S. Citizen to Vote?"
Douglass, Frederick. On Woman Suffrage
Grimke, Angelina. Speech in Pennsylvania Hall.
Grimke, Sarah. Response to the Pastoral Letter.
Mott, Lucretia. "The Law of Progress".
Pastoral Letter of the General Association of Massachusetts (Congregational).
Seneca Falls Declaration
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. "The Solitude of Self".

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