A primary source is usually a record made at the time of an event by participants or by firsthand observers. Examples include:
These resources can help you discover primary sources for the New Nation, but also remember that because historians cite their primary sources, look at their bibliographies to locate sources for your own paper.
Also see http://explorehistory.ou.edu/1483-primary-source-collections for a list of primary sources available on the web.
Secondary sources are materials written by historians using primary sources. Examples include:
These resources can help you find secondary sources for your paper: