June 19, 2019

Library of Congress: Alexander Hamilton Papers Now Available Online in their Original Format

From the Library of Congress:

The Library of Congress has put the papers of Alexander Hamilton online for the first time in their original format.

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.

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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, zoom in and read.

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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 George Washington’s farewell address;
  • His draft of the infamous Reynolds pamphlet;
  • 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, General Philip Schuyler, to him and his wife—that have also been digitized and made available for the first time. Most of these have never been published.

Congress appropriated $20,000 in 1848 to buy the papers of Alexander Hamilton from his family, including his widow, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. The papers were originally housed at the U.S. Department of State and came to the Library in 1904, along with all the department’s historical papers, at the direction of President Theodore Roosevelt.

The Library supplemented the collection over time with additional gifts and purchases. The papers cover almost every aspect of Hamilton’s career and private life: growing up in St. Croix, as George Washington’s aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War, New York delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the first U.S. treasury secretary, New York lawyer, and more.

Direct to Alexander Hamilton Papers Online

See Also: Alexander Hamilton Collection Finding Aid

See Also: I Saved Every Letter You Wrote Me: The Library of Congress Digitizes Hamilton (via NPR)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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