If you’re anything like many Americans out there, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s historical musical Hamilton gave you a new interest in learning about one of the more forgotten founding fathers of the 18th century — Alexander Hamilton.
Now you can do more research than ever before as the Library of Congress has made all 12,000 of Hamilton’s letters and documents publicly available to read online.
— Library of Congress (@librarycongress) August 29, 2017
The documents feature family papers, speeches, legal forms and letters written to his family from nearly all aspects of Hamilton’s life. This includes writings he completed as a boy, when he was in the army, when working for George Washington and as a New York Lawyer, a letter he wrote to his wife the night before he died and, of course, the infamous Reynolds Pamphlet.
In an interview with NPR, Bill Kellum of the Library of Congress’ web division said “When you take the papers or the archives of a person and put them online, you get to see all of the things that are not famous, whether it’s their receipts, or their letters, or it’s correspondence that previous experts have thought unimportant, you get to see those … it really kind of humanizes a person.”
— Carla Hayden (@LibnOfCongress) August 29, 2017
Elizabeth Hamilton, Hamilton’s wife, had a large role to play in all this, despite having lived over 150 years ago. After Hamilton’s untimely death — having been killed in a duel with Aaron Burr — Eliza dedicated herself to collecting all of Hamilton’s many works in order to preserve his memory.
Now you can read them all here — at the Library of Congress website. To reference the final song, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” in Hamilton: Eliza, you’ve done enough.