Great Lakes Region History

Free Online Books, Articles,
Maps & more

Great Seal of the United States of AmericaThree Flags of the Northwest Territory

Site Map for
the Great Lakes Region

Each page below contains links to free
online resources for the history of the
Great Lakes Region until about 1860.

To see similar pages for the history of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, or Wisconsin, use the menu at the top of every page.

Biographies and Memoirs

Accounts of the lives of famous Americans, political leaders, heroes, pioneers and outlaws.

First-person accounts of everyday life and historic events.

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Cultural History

Literature, education, theater, fine arts, recreation, and architecture.

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Documents & Collections

Legislative acts, letters, official papers, treaties, and state constitutions.

Collections of government documents, manuscripts, portraits, private papers, county court records, books, and newspapers.

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Economic History

River and canal transport, railroads, roads, agriculture, land sales, the press, commerce, manufacturing, banking, medicine, mining and logging.

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Explorers & Travelers

Accounts of overland journeys, and river or lake voyages, by explorers, missionaries and travelers.

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Novels, and some short stories and poetry. Stories by early 19th century local authors set in their own times. Historical fiction.

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General History

Books and articles covering the history of a state or region.

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Maps & Gazetteers

Maps from the 1600s through the 1800s, including maps made by explorers and soldiers. Regional, state and local.

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Native Americans

American Indian culture, customs, and conflict. Interaction with settlers, and with U.S. and state governments.

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Shipping and Navigation on the Great Lakes, and on the rivers of the Great Lakes states.

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History journals, popular magazines, and newspapers.

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Politics & Government

Territorial, state and local government, political parties, state constitutions, and legislation.

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Denominations and churches, missionary efforts among Native Americans, and religious activities.

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Settlers Guides

Hand-books and guides for prospective settlers, “Emigrants’ Guides”, and geographical descriptions.

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Social History

Everyday life, women’s history, crime, ethnic groups, slavery, abolitionists, utopian communities, workers, and social issues.

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War & Military

French & Indian war, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian Campaigns.

Forts and posts, military operations, and military life.

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Your comments and feedback are welcome!