Alexander Hamilton in Wilson Library

Signature from Alexander Hamilton letter, 15 October 1792.

Everyone around here is excited about Hamilton, now playing at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Did you know that you could also find Hamilton in Wilson Library? 

The Wilson Library special collections include a handful of original materials from Alexander Hamilton. These include correspondence in the William Graham Papers, a financial document in the Stephen Lee Papers, and a first edition of the Federalist Papers. 

But by far the most interesting item we have come across is a letter from Hamilton to John Steele, dated 15 October 1792. In the letter, Hamilton speculates on the upcoming federal elections, offering his opinions on possible Vice-Presidential candidates, including John Adams, George Clinton, Aaron Burr, and Thomas Jefferson. 

One line in particular stood out: “My opinion of Mr. Burr is yet to form.” 

Detail from Alexander Hamilton letter, 15 October 1792,

The letter is part of the William Gaston Papers in the Southern Historical Collection. Gaston acquired the letter as part of his effort to assist Hamilton’s son, John C. Hamilton, who was writing a biography of his father.

To learn more, read the full letter or a transcript. 

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