THE MATERIALS for the history of the Confederation are enormous in extent. There are hundreds of volumes of printed records, laws, and letters, vast quantities of newspapers, and untold thousands of manuscripts. These are scattered in libraries throughout the United States. The best of the historical writing is to be found in such magazines as the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, The New England Quarterly, The American Historical Review, and in many of the old historical magazines published in the nineteenth century. The publications of such organizations as the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the New York Historical Society contain a wealth of printed sources and monographs all too little used by scholars. All such publications, as well as books and monographs, have been given full bibliographical citations in footnotes.
Perhaps the most fascinating of all the sources are the newspapers and magazines of the 1780's. The years immediately after the war saw a rapid increase in the number of newspapers and magazines, and the beginnings of the daily newspaper in the United States. There were perhaps a hundred newspapers in the United States by 1790. Several impressions are made as soon as one opens their yellowed pages, often printed with lovely type, and always on rag paper, so that even today they are more sturdy than yesterday's newspaper, and usually more beautiful typographically. The first impression that one gets is that Americans were very much a part of an "Atlantic Community." Virtually every newspaper gave more space to the seaports ringing the Atlantic from Newfoundland through the West Indies, to Africa,