In Search of Tocqueville's Democracy in America The Bibliography

Documents - Legal and Political | Other Documents and Statistics | Legal Commentary | Description Native Americans | History | Miscellaneous

After spending nine months in the U.S., Tocqueville returned to France and began working on Democracy in America. He soon realized he needed someone to help him work his way through all of the American documents he had acquired, so he turned to Theodore Sedgwick III, whom he had met in Stockbridge, Mass. Sedgwick was staying in Paris for a while, and he and Tocqueville became good friends.

Tocqueville also enlisted the help of a 22-year-old Brown University graduate, Francis J. Lippitt, who was able to speak and read French fluently. His job was to read the American pamphlets and summarize them in French. Tocqueville wanted Lippitt to remain unbiased, so he never told him that he was working on a book about America.

The list of Tocqueville's sources was compiled from the footnotes of Democracy in America and Tocqueville's manuscripts. Those which Tocqueville found most valuable are starred.

source: George Pierson, Tocqueville and Beaumont in America, p.728-730

Documents - Legal and Political

U.S. Constitution

Articles of Confederation

U.S. Congress, Senate and House Documents, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd Congresses

Washington's Farewell Address

A Collection of the Laws of the United States

Jackson's Message on Internal Improvements (procured from Edward Livingston)

Annual Reports of Secretary of Treasury, 1823-1832

I.G. Worcester, The Town Officer, 1827

Massachusetts, "Historical Collection of State Papers"

General Law of Massachusetss, 3 vols., 1823

Connecticut, "Constitution of 1638"

Connecticut, "Code of 1650"

Revised Statutes of New York

Rules and Orders (NY State) 1832

Other Documents and Statistics

Williams, New York Annual Register, 1831, 1832

American Almanac, 1831, 1832, 1834

National Calendar, 1833

Companion to the Almanac, London, 1834

Emerson (?), Medical Statistics

Niles' Weekly Register

Elliot's Pocket Almanac of the Federal Government, 1832

Legal Commentary



J.L. de Lolme, The Constitution of England

* J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 3 vols., 1833

* J. Kent, Commentaries on American Law, 4 vols.

* The Federalist

* L.P. Conseil (ed.), Melanges Politiques et Philosophiques Extraits des Memoires de Thomas Jefferson, Precedes d'un Essai Sur Les Principes de L'Ecole Americain et d'une Traduction de la Constitution des Etats-Unis, Avec un Commentaire Tire, Pour la Plus Grande Partie, de L'ouvarage Publiee, sur Cette Constitution, Par William Rawle ll.d, 2 vols., Paris, 1833

Th. Sergeant, Constitutional Law, Being a View of the Practice and Jurisdiction of the Courts of the United States, etc.

W.A. Duer, Outlines of the Constitutional Jurisprudence of the United States, 1833

Annual Law Register of the United States, 2 vols., 1821-1822

W. Sullivan, Political Class Book

Traite sur Les Regles des Actions Civiles, New Orleans, 1830


W. Darby, View of the United States, historical, geographical, and statistical, etc., 1828

D.B. Warden, Description statistique, historique et politiquedes Etats-Unis, etc., 5 vols., Paris, 1820

Major S.H. Long, Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains, etc., 2 vols., 1823

Major S.H. Long, Narrative of an Expedition to the Source of St. Peter's River, etc., 2 vols., 1824

C. Malte-Brun, Annales de Voyages

M.E. Descourtilz, Voyages d'un naturaliste, 3 vols.

Volney, Tableau du Climat et du Sol des Etats-Unis

La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, Voyage dans les Etats-Unis d'Amerique fait en 1795, 1796, et 1797, Paris, 8 vols.

Native Americans

A. von Humboldt, (title uncertain)

Fisher, Conjecture sur l'origine des Americans (?)

J. Adair, History of the American Indians

Heckewelder and Duponceau Correspondence, in Transactions of the Historical and Literary Committee of the American Philosophical Society, 3 vols.

* Jefferson, Notes sur la Virginie
a summary and excerpts of Jefferson's famous "Notes on Virginia")

Le Page du Pratz, Histoire de la Louisiane

Charlevoix, Historie et description generale de la Nouvelle France

Gookin on Indians, in Collections of Mass. Historical Society, ed. of 1806

John Tanner, Narrative of Captivity and Adventures, 1831 (bought [?] by Tocqueville from author)

Schoolcraft, Travels in the Central Portion of the Mississippi Valley

J.H. McCulloch, Jr., Researches ... Concerning the Aboriginal History of America, 1829

U.S. Congress, Legislative Documents, 20th, 21st, 22nd Congresses


E. Hazard, Historical Collections, etc.

T. Pitkin, A Political and Civil History of the United States, 2 vols., 1828

A. Scheffer, Historie des Etats-Unis de l'Amerique septentrioale, Paris, 1825

Capt. John Smith, General History of Virginia and New England

William Stith, History ... of Virginia

Beverly, History of Virginia

John Lawson, History of (Description of?) North Carolina

* N. Morton, New England's Memorial, ed. of 1826

* C. Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana

T. Hutchinson, History of Colony of Massachusetts Bay

B. Trumbull, Complete History of Connecticut, etc. 2 vols. 1818

Jeremy Belknap, History of New Hampshire

S. Williams, Natural and Civil History of Vermont

William Smith, History of the Late Province of New-York, from its Discovery to 1762

R. Proud, History of Pennsylvania, etc. 2 vols., 1797-1798

* John Marshall, Vie de Washington, 5 vols., 1807

D. Hosack, Memoir of De Witt Clinton

R. Vaux, Memoirs of Life of Anthony Benezet

Joseph Blunt, Historical Sketch of the Formation of the Confederacy, etc. 1825

Works of William Penn

Works of Benjamin Franklin


M. Carey, Letters on the Colonization Society, 1833

Encyclopedia Americana, 7 vols.

W.E. Channing, Discourses, Reviews and Miscellanies, 1830

Morrison's Mental Diseases

J.F. Cooper, The Traveling Bachelor

The Fashionable Tour

E. Bates, The Doctrine of Friends

D. Hosack, Essays on Various Subjects of Medical Science, 3 vols.

The American Medical and Philosophical Register

Fisher's Pauperism and Crime