The years from 1607 to 1783 constitute the founding era of what became the United States. In the early years of this era, in these American colonies, the penalty for sodomy was death, and a number of executions are documented. Sodomy was usually conceived of then as anal intercourse between men. But why was sodomy thought of as treason against the state and punished so harshly? And what do we know of sexual and intimate relationships between women in these years, and the laws and responses to such intimacies? This feature presents or references the original documents that Jonathan Ned Katz collected in his books Gay American History (1976)and Gay/Lesbian Almanac (1983), along with evidence that others subsequently discovered. Published originally on OutHistory in 2012.