DC -- Library of Congress -- Exhibit (Agile): Letter to Lyrics (Hamilton):
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LOCL2L_180613_017.JPG: Letter to Lyrics A
A Last Letter before the Duel with Aaron Burr
Hamilton wrote this letter to his wife before the duel with Aaron Burr at Weehawken, New Jersey, on July 11, 1804, that took his life. "This letter, my very dear Eliza, will not be delivered to you, unless I shall first have terminated my earthly career... Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Embrace all my darling Children for me."
Song: "Best of Wives and Best of Women"
Alexander Hamilton to Elizabeth Hamilton, July 4, 1804.
LOCL2L_180613_029.JPG: Hamilton's Tomb
This fanciful, neoclassical image of Hamilton's tomb is set on the heights of Weehawken, New Jersey, opposite New York City -- site of his fatal duel with Aaron Burr.
Song: "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story"
LOCL2L_180613_032.JPG: Letters to Lyrics
Alexander Hamilton at the Library of Congress
The largest collection of Alexander Hamilton's papers is here at the Library of Congress. These selections document Hamilton's Caribbean boyhood, his service in the American Revolution, his marriage, his contribution to the crafting of the federal Constitution, his critical role as the first treasury secretary of the United States, and the duel that took his life. The letters on display provided inspiration for the award-winning musical, Hamilton: An American Musical.
LOCL2L_180613_040.JPG: Treasury Secretary
Appointment to the US First Presidential Cabinet
In 1789 Alexander Hamilton joined George Washington's cabinet as the first treasury secretary of the United States. He remained in the position until 1795.
LOCL2L_180613_047.JPG: Hamilton's Report on Manufactures
A Young Alexander Hamilton, 1769
As a twelve-year-old importer's clerk in St. Croix, Alexander Hamilton wrote his friend Edward Stevens that he would "willingly risk my life tho' not my Character to exalt my Station." He ended the letter with: "I wish there was a war."
Song: "Right Hand Man"
Alexander Hamilton to Edward Stevens, November 11, 1769.
LOCL2L_180613_075.JPG: Officer in the Revolutionary War
Hamilton fulfilled his boyhood wish when he became an officer in the Revolutionary War. In this letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, he reports on a joint French and American attack on British forces at Yorktown, Virginia. The Battle of Yorktown, where the British capitulated, was the last battle of the Revolutionary War.
Song: "Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)"
Alexander Hamilton to the Marquis de Lafayette, October 15, 1781
LOCL2L_180613_093.JPG: "I have the honor to render you an account of the corps under my command in your attack of last night, upon the redoubt on the left of the enemy's lines... Inclosed is a return of the prisoners. The killed and wounded of the enemy did not exceed eight. Incapable of imitating examples of barbarity, and forgetting recent provocations, the soldiery spared every man, who ceased to fight."
LOCL2L_180613_105.JPG: The Schuyler Sisters
Hamilton's Fiancee Elizabeth Schuyler
"Pardon me my love for talking politics to you> What have we to do with any thing but love?" Hamilton wrote this letter to Elizabeth Schuyler just two months before their marriage. The Hamiltons' son, John Church Hamilton, who published his father's papers between 1850 and 1851, is probably responsible for crossing out the fourteen lines in the letter's second paragraph. The Library of Congress recently succeed in largely deciphering the crossed-out text using a process called hyperspectral imaging.
Alexander Hamilton to Elizabeth Schuyler, September 6, 1780.
LOCL2L_180613_109.JPG: The fourteen crossed-out lines in the second paragraph of this letter have been partially deciphered using hyperspectral imaging.
"Do you know my sensations when I see the sweet characters from your hand? Yes you do, by comparing [them] with your [own] for my Betsey [loves] me and is [acquainted] with all the joys of fondness. [Would] you [exchange] them my dear for any other worthy blessings? Is there any thing you would put in competition[,] with one glowing [kiss] of [unreadable], anticipate the delights we [unreadable] in the unrestrained intercourses of wedded love, and bet your heart joins mine in [fervent] [wishes] to heaven that [all obstacles] and [interruptions] May [be] speedily [removed]."
LOCL2L_180613_120.JPG: Hamilton's Sister-in-Law Angelica Schuyler Church
Hamilton had a warm, even flirtatious relationship with his wife's sister, Angelica Schuyler Church. In 1790 Church and her husband were living in London. She closes this letter to her brother-in-law:
"Adieu my dear Brother, remember me affectionately to Eliza. I have this moment received her letter, and have received three from you. I accept this attention on your part as I ought, and if in return I cannot give you any agreeable information, I can at least give you the History of my Mind, which is at present very much occupied by a very great, and very amiable personage. Adieu my dear friend."
Song: "Take a Break"
Angelica Schuyler Church to Alexander Hamilton, February 4, 1790.
LOCL2L_180613_138.JPG: The Constitution
Outline for Speech at the Constitutional Convention
On June 18, 1787, Hamilton delivered a speech at the Constitutional Convention that began by enumerating the flaws of the Articles of Confederation, the document that united and governed the United States before the Federal Constitution. There is no transcript of the speech, which lasted about six hours, but it survives in the notes of fellow delegates and in this outline that Hamilton drafted.
Alexander Hamilton. Outline for speech delivered at the Constitutional Convention, June 18, 1787.
LOCL2L_180613_142.JPG: "1 Objections to the present confederation
I Entrusts the great interests of the nation to hands incapable of managing them --
All matters in which foreigners are concerned --
The care of the public peace: DEBTS
Power of treaty without power of execution
Common defence without power to raise troops -- have a fleet -- raise money
Power to contract debts without the power to pay --
These great interests of the state must be well managed or the public prosperity must be the victim -- "
LOCL2L_180613_146.JPG: The Federalist: A Collection of Essays
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