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Alexander Hamilton: Writings
     

Alexander Hamilton: Writings

by Alexander Hamilton, Joanne Freeman (Editor)
 

Alexander Hamilton, the subject of Lin-Manuel Miranda's smash hit Broadway musical, comes to life in his own words in this critically acclaimed collection, which also includes conflicting eyewitness accounts of the duel with Aaron Burr that led to his death. One of the most vivid, influential, and controversial figures of the founding of America, Hamilton was an

Overview

Alexander Hamilton, the subject of Lin-Manuel Miranda's smash hit Broadway musical, comes to life in his own words in this critically acclaimed collection, which also includes conflicting eyewitness accounts of the duel with Aaron Burr that led to his death. One of the most vivid, influential, and controversial figures of the founding of America, Hamilton was an unusually prolific and vigorous writer. As a military aide to George Washington, critic of the Articles of Confederation, proponent of ratification of the Constitution, first Secretary of the Treasury, and leader of the Federalist Party, Hamilton devoted himself to the creation of a militarily and economically powerful American nation guided by a strong, energetic republican government. His public and private writings demonstrate the perceptive intelligence, confident advocacy, driving ambition, and profound concern for honor and reputation that contributed both to his astonishing rise to fame and to his tragic early death.

Arranged chronologically, this volume contains more than 170 letters, speeches, pamphlets, essays, reports, and memoranda written between 1769 and 1804. Included are all fifty-one of Hamilton’s contributions to The Federalist, as well as subsequent writings calling for a broad construction of federal power; his famous speech to the Constitutional Convention, which gave rise to accusations that he favored monarchy; and early writings supporting the Revolutionary cause and a stronger central government. His detailed reports as Secretary of the Treasury on the public credit, a national bank, and the encouragement of manufactures present a forward-looking vision of a country transformed by the power of financial markets, centralized banking, and industrial development.
Hamilton’s sometimes flawed political judgment is revealed in the “Reynolds Pamphlet,” in which he confessed to adultery in order to defend himself against accusations of corrupt conduct, as well as in his self-destructive pamphlet attack on John Adams during the 1800 presidential campaign. An extensive selection of private letters illuminates Hamilton’s complex relationship with George Washington, his deep affection for his wife and children, his mounting fears during the 1790s regarding the Jeffersonian opposition and the French Revolution, and his profound distrust of Aaron Burr.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Remarkably comprehensive. . . . Perhaps we ought to revise our estimate of who precisely deserves the title of 'father of the Constitution.'"
— Gordon S. Wood, The New Republic

"Selected with sense and savvy. . . . Firmly establishes Hamilton's place in the American pantheon." 
— Joseph J. Ellis, The New Yorker

"A generous and intelligent anthology of Hamilton's writings." 
— Caleb Crain, The New York Times Book Review

"Anyone interested in politics, finance, diplomacy, history, or the fascination of a strange all-American life will want to have this Library of America volume."
— Los Angeles Times

Publishers Weekly
Whether lamenting the paucity of power in revolutionary-era Congress or asking a friend to find him a wife in Carolina, founding father Alexander Hamilton was earnest, passionate and articulate. In Hamilton: Writings, Joanne B. Freeman (Affairs of Honor), assistant history professor at Yale, has assembled 170 letters, essays, reports and speeches from 1769 to 1804. Describing himself as "[c]old in my professions, warm in my friendships," Hamilton indeed exhibits a range of expression, emotion and restraint. Extensive wartime correspondence, 51 contributions to The Federalist, the famous speech to the Constitutional Convention, courtship letters and many more items will interest all fans of American history. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The latest in the Library of America series arranges Hamilton's writings in chronological order. The text consists of more than 170 letters, speeches, essays, reports, and memoranda written between 1769 and 1804, including all of Hamilton's material presented in The Federalist. This additionally sports several conflicting eyewitness accounts of Hamilton's lethal duel with Aaron Burr. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781931082044
Publisher:
Library of America
Publication date:
10/28/2001
Series:
Library of America Series
Pages:
1108
Sales rank:
97,916
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.32(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


"MY AMBITION IS PREVALENT"

To Edward Stevens


St Croix Novemr. 11th 1769
Dear Edward

    This just serves to acknowledge receipt of yours per Cap Lowndes which was delivered me Yesterday. The truth of Cap Lightbourn & Lowndes information is now verifyd by the Presence of your Father and Sister for whose safe arrival I Pray, and that they may, convey that Satisfaction to your Soul that must naturally flow from the sight of Absent Friends in health, and shall for news this way refer you to them. As to what you say respecting your having soon the happiness of seeing us all, I wish, for an accomplishment of your hopes provided they are Concomitant with your welfare, otherwise not, tho doubt whether I shall be Present or not for to confess my weakness, Ned, my Ambition is prevalent that I contemn the grov'ling and condition of a Clerk or the like, to which my Fortune &c. condemns me and would willingly risk my life tho' not my Character to exalt my Station. Im confident, Ned that my Youth excludes me from any hopes of immediate Preferment nor do I desire it, but I mean to prepare the way for futurity. Im no Philosopher you see and may be jusly said to Build Castles in the Air. My Folly makes mc ashamd and beg youll Conceal it, yet Neddy we have seen such Schemes successfull when the Projector is Constant I shall Conclude saying I wish there was a War.

    I am Dr Edward Yours Alex Hamilton


PS I this moment receivd yours by William Smith and am pleasd to see you Give such Close Application to Study.


Excerpted from Alexander Hamilton by Alexander Hamilton. Copyright © 2001 by Literary Classics of the United States, Inc.. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Joanne B. Freeman, volume editor, is professor of history at Yale University and the author of Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic, and has appeared in the PBS American Experience documentary “The Duel.”

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