The causes of hostility among nations are innumerable.
~ Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers No. 6
Use the Big Red Box
from the library's homepage to find books.
Books will give you the background and overview that will help you put primary documents within historical context.
Primary Sources are readily found online, as more institutions fund projects to scan their documents and make them available to the public. Your best sources for primary documents from the American colonial era are The Library of Congress and the National Archive. For other online resources, stick to web site from:
These institutions have the expertise to make copies according to archival standard and to organize them in a meaningful way.
John Trumbull (American, Lebanon, Connecticut 1756–1843 New York),1804, Oil on canvas,
Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1881, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York.
You can use the following words in your search to try to coax out the primary documents: