Magazine article USA TODAY

Forget the Musical, Hamilton's Now Online

Magazine article USA TODAY

Forget the Musical, Hamilton's Now Online

Article excerpt

The Library of Congress has put the papers of Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804)--in their original format--online for the first time. The Library holds the world's largest collection of Hamilton papers--approximately 12,000 items concentrated from 1777 until Hamilton's death in 1804, including letters, legal papers, and drafts of speeches and writings, among other items. Now, for the first time, these original documents--many in Hamilton's own hand--will be available for researchers, students, or the generally curious anywhere in the world to explore.

"[We are] home to millions of one-of-a-kind manuscripts that reveal America's history directly from the minds of the individuals who helped shape it," says Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress. "Alexander Hamilton is certainly having his moment, and I am so thrilled that people can learn more about him--actually read his descriptions of Revolutionary War battles, read letters to his wife, see the cross-outs in his draft of George Washington's farewell address, and so many other things. Sharing this history is what the Library is all about."

Items in the collection include a letter written when Hamilton was 12 or 13 to his friend Edward Stevens describing his wish to raise his station in life; the outline of Hamilton's speech at the Constitutional Convention; Hamilton's draft of the infamous Reynolds pamphlet; and a letter to his wife, Eliza, written shortly before his fatal duel with Aaron Burr.

In addition, the Library recently acquired 55 items, previously privately held--mostly letters from Hamilton's powerful father-in-law, Gen. …

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