Colonial Charters and Early Documents


The Colonial Period as described by an 1784 Map of the Original Thirteen Colonies by F. L. Guffefeld.

The Colonial Period prior to the establishment of the United States of America included a number of important charters and documents which receive limited attention in the education of most elementary and secondary students. Here is an opportunity for you to personally review these documents and educate young patriots. Find links below concerning the privileged and prerogatives granted to Christopher Columbus, the compact signed by the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, as well as the charters of several of the 13 Colonies. Be sure to visit often as more documents will be added.

Please review the following documents in their entirety:

Privileges and Prerogatives Granted by Their Catholic Majesties to Christopher Columbus

Mayflower Compact

Charter of Connecticut

Charter of Delaware

Charter of Georgia

Grant of the Province of Maine

Charter of Maryland

The Charter of New England

The Act of Surrender of the Great Charter of New England to His Majesty

The Charter of Massachusetts Bay (1629, 1691, and 1725)

Maynesborough Charter (of New Hampshire)

The Charter or Fundamental Laws of West New Jersey

Notification of the Purchase of Manhattan by the Dutch (New York)

Charter of North Carolina

Charter for the Province of Pennsylvania

Penn’s Charter of Libertie

Charter of Privileges Granted by William Penn, Esq. to the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Territories

Frame of Government of Pennsylvania

Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 

Charter of Virginia