Alexander Hamilton papers

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Collection Data

Description
Alexander Hamilton (1754-1804) was a Founding Father, soldier, lawyer and statesman. He served as the first United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1789 to 1795. The Alexander Hamilton papers, dated 1775-1804, primarily consist of letters and documents either written or signed by Alexander Hamilton, and pertain to his career as a soldier, lawyer, statesman and United States Secretary of the Treasury. Autograph letters, drafts and copies of letters sent by Hamilton concern his Revolutionary War service, chiefly as an aide-de-camp to General George Washington; his legal practice in New York; and financial and political matters. Notable items include Hamilton’s letters to President Washington, dated 1796, concerning the writing of Washington’s Farewell Address to the nation, with a draft of the Address written by Hamilton for Washington’s consideration. Documents include his 1782 appointment as Receiver of Continental Taxes in New York, legal documents relating to his law practice and personal estate, and legal notes and other items in his hand. Treasury Department letters are chiefly manuscript or printed circular letters which are not in Hamilton’s handwriting but bear his autograph signature.
Names
Hamilton, Alexander, 1757-1804 (Creator)
Hamilton, Elizabeth Schuyler, 1757-1854 (Correspondent)
Huntington, Jedediah, 1743-1818 (Correspondent)
Jay, John, 1745-1829 (Correspondent)
Washington, George, 1732-1799 (Correspondent)
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Office of the Secretary (Creator)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1775 - 1804
Library locations
Manuscripts and Archives Division
Shelf locator: MssCol 1297
Topics
Hamilton, Alexander, 1757-1804
Customs administration -- United States
Finance, Public -- United States
Lawyers
Soldiers
Statesmen
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783
United States -- Politics and government -- 1789-1815
Washington, George, 1732-1799. Farewell address
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Office of the Secretary
Genres
Correspondence
legal documents
Notes
Biographical/historical: Alexander Hamilton (1754-1804) was a Founding Father, soldier, lawyer and statesman. He served as the first United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1789 to 1795. Born in the West Indies, Hamilton came to the American colonies to attend school, graduating from King’s College (Columbia University) in 1774. He fought as an American military officer during the Revolutionary War and was General George Washington’s aide-de-camp prior to his resignation from the Army in 1782. In that same year he established his law practice in New York City and was appointed Receiver of Continental Taxes for the State of New York. Hamilton represented the State at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and played a key role in supporting the adoption of the United States Constitution as co-author of The Federalist Papers with John Jay and James Madison. Hamilton was also instrumental in shaping the country’s financial system. In 1789, President Washington appointed Hamilton as the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. He resigned in 1795, returning to his law practice in New York. In 1780 he married Elizabeth Schuyler (1757-1854), daughter of General Philip Schuyler. Hamilton was mortally wounded in a duel with Aaron Burr on July 11, 1804.
Content: The Alexander Hamilton papers, dated 1775-1804, primarily consist of letters and documents either written or signed by Alexander Hamilton, and pertain to his career as a soldier, lawyer, statesman and United States Secretary of the Treasury. It is a synthetic collection of largely autograph material, combining gifts and purchases from various sources. Autograph letters, drafts and copies of letters sent by Hamilton concern his Revolutionary War service, chiefly as an aide-de-camp to General George Washington; his law practice in New York; and financial and political matters. Notable items include Hamilton’s letters to President Washington, dated 1796, concerning the writing of Washington’s Farewell Address to the nation. His letter of 1796 August 10 encloses a draft of the Address, written by Hamilton for Washington’s consideration. One personal letter to his wife Elizabeth Hamilton dated 1803 gives instructions for property improvements at their home, The Grange. Documents include his 1782 appointment as Receiver of Continental Taxes in New York, legal documents relating to his law practice and personal estate, and legal notes and other items in his hand. Treasury Department letters are chiefly manuscript or printed circular letters which are not in Hamilton’s handwriting but bear his autograph signature. Most are addressed to Collectors of Customs and concern customs and shipping regulations, the apportionment or collection of federal monies, and banking matters. Many are addressed to Jedediah Huntington, Collector of Customs at New London, Connecticut. Also included are a few signed receipts for drafts from Customs officers, a signed decision on a Customs case, and a clipped signature.
Funding: Digitization was made possible by a lead gift from The Polonsky Foundation.
Physical Description
Extent: .25 linear feet 1 box
Type of Resource
Text
Identifiers
MSS Unit ID: 1297
Barcode: 33433087858829
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b12361313
Archives collections id: archives_collections_1297
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 13d90ed0-e2c6-0132-ff9f-58d385a7b928
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