American Public Discourse

American Public Discourse


Founding Documents: Rhetorical Resources
The Rhetorical Eugene Debs
The Rhetorical Frederick Douglass
The Rhetorical Franklin
The Rhetorical Lincoln
Political Rhetoric and Debates
Presidential Rhetoric
The Rhetorical Ronald Reagan
Religion in American Public Discourse


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


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

On this page the texts are loosely grouped topically by the American public discourse of which they were a part. 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 it is duplicated. Please see the Index of Primary Texts for a complete alphabetical listing by author/title.

Abolition of Slavery

American Anti-Slavery Society, Constitution.
American Anti-Slavery Society, Declaration of Sentiments.
Clay, Henry. Report of a Speech to the American Colonization Society.
Douglass, Frederick. "We Have Decided to Stay"
Douglass, Frederick. "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?"
Grimke, Angelina. Speech in Pennsylvania Hall.
Jefferson, Thomas. Letter to Demeunier.
Jefferson, Thomas. Letter to John Holmes.
Mott, Lucretia. "The Law of Progress".
Phillips, Wendell. Speech in Faneuil Hall.

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.


Debs, Eugene. Canton, Ohio Address.
Debs, Eugene. Statement to the Court.
Spies, Albert. Address to the Court.


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".


See Presidential Rhetoric

Womans Rights (19th century)

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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