Starting a Search

The following are a selection of suggested research starting points:

General Reference:

  • Boatner, Mark M., III, ed. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. New York: David McKay Co., 1966.
    Written by a veteran and military historian. Comprehensive reference book with maps and detailed information on major campaigns and individuals.
  • Cappon, Lester J., ed. Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume 1607–1896. Chicago, IL: A. N. Marquis Co., 1963.
    If you ever wondered about a famous person, there’s a good chance their biography is in this book! Similar to Who’s Who books.
  • Historical Marker Database. Accessed June 2014.
    Short descriptions of historical markers and other signs. Includes many user-contributed pictures and links.
  • Homberger, Eric. The Historical Atlas of New York City: a Visual Celebration of Nearly 400 Years of New York City’s History. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1994.
    Replete with maps and concise summaries of New York City history. An updated edition was published in 2005.
  • Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. The Encyclopedia of New York City. New York: Yale University Press, 1995.
    Indispensable reference book with essays contributed by leading New York City scholars, historians, journalists, etc. A new edition was published in 2010.
  • Nebenzahl, Kenneth, and Don Higginbotham, eds. Atlas of the American Revolution. Chicago: Rand McNally & Company, 1974.
    Published near the Bicentennial, notations reflect a hint of Cold War and anti-British bias, but the book is informative, overall.


  • McCullough, David. 1776. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.
    My favorite. I read the section on the Battle of Long Island every summer. Comprehensive nonfiction at its best.
  • Burrows, Edwin G., and Mike Wallace. Gotham: a History of New york City to 1898. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
    Dense, but good. Endnotes leave a little to be desired, but an essential reference on NYC history before Consolidation. Not for the researching faint of heart.

See also this site’s Bibliography.