Founders Online

Founders Online is a tool for seamless searching across the papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton. It is a fully searchable online database of over 165,000 documents, including thousands of documents that have not yet appeared in the published volumes. While the focus is on these founding fathers, their papers include the names and activities of many of the people they dealt with. You might find an ancestor listed in the database and, if so, the information might show what he or she did during the American Revolution.

Founders Online is an official website of the U.S. government, administered by the National Archives and Records Administration through the NHPRC, in partnership with the University of Virginia Press, which is hosting the website. You can access Founders Online at


I found the execution order by George Washington for one of my ancestors for conspiring in a mutiny. He was executed at West Point. He was 17 years old.


Thanks for calling this to our attention. It looks fascinating.


Thanks for this. I have been wanting to search all of these papers for quite some time. This was a very easy way to do them all at once. It was also great to find Franklin letters that I did not know about and to confirm that I had the rest of the letters. It was also good to be able to compare my translation of the texts to to the translations of the editors of the various papers. Thanks a lot. I would have never found this site.


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