"Hamilton" -- Highlights of Newberry Library Holdings | Newberry

"Hamilton" -- Highlights of Newberry Library Holdings

The Newberry has rich holdings related to the Colonial, Revolutionary, Constitutional, and Jeffersonian eras in the United States, including a great deal of material about and by Alexander Hamilton. This is not an exhaustive list of material on Hamilton held at the Newberry, but rather a selection of key primary sources for his life and work, and particularly those related to the events dramatized in the musical “Hamilton.” For additional resources, search the online catalog for “Hamilton, Alexander” as an author and a subject, or contact a librarian for assistance. 

Published Writings by Alexander Hamilton

A Full Vindication of the Measures of the Congress… New York: James Rivington, 1774. Call #: Vault Ruggles 150 OR Case F 4241 .658. Hamilton’s first publication. For the pamphlet to which Hamilton’s pamphlet responds, see Case J 5456 .802, and for other entries in the pamphlet debate see Case F 4241 .658 and Case J 5456 .8025.

[Scrapbook of newspaper clippings : the Federalist nos. 1-33.] Call #: Vault Ruggles 114. Newspaper appearances of these Federalist numbers from New York newspapers, compiled by William Cushing. Hamilton wrote nos. 1, 6–9, 11–13, 15–17, 21–36, 59–61, and 65–85 and collaborated with Madison on 18-20.

The Federalist… New-York : J. and A. M’Lean, 1788. Call #: Vault Ruggles 116. The Newberry holds eight copies of the first book edition of The Federalist; Ruggles 116 was owned by Thomas Jefferson. His initials “T” and “J” are added in both volumes on pages 97 and 217 respectively.

Observations on certain documents contained in no. V & VI of “The history of the United States for the year 1796”… Philadelphia: John Fenno, 1797. Call #: Case E 5 .H1804. The so-called “Reynolds Pamphlet,” in which Hamilton responds to the revelation of adultery with Maria Reynolds, wife of James Reynolds, in Callender’s History of the United States for 1796.

Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams… New York: John Lang, 1800. Call #: Case E322 .H2 1800. The notorious attack on Adams which contributed to Jefferson’s victory in the 1800 election and the downfall of the Federalist party. The Newberry holds three different 1800 editions; this copy has contemporary manuscript annotations by an early reader, probably one Thomas Jackson.

Manuscripts and Correspondence by and about Alexander Hamilton

Autograph manuscript by Hamilton on the public debt. In: Irving, Washington. The Life of George Washington. New York: Putnam’s, 1889. Call #: Vault Case fE 5 .W27441 Vol. 4. This lavishly extra-illustrated 10-volume set also features letters and manuscripts by Washington, Jefferson, and many other founding fathers.

Autograph letter, signed, to John Taylor, February 13, 1792. Call #: Vault Ayer MS 3095. Hamilton introduces his friend and advisee Charles Williamson, agent for a group of British land speculators, to an influential New York politician.

Autograph letter, signed, to John Kean, March 30, 1793. Call #: Case MS 6A 82, No. 1. A piece of Bank of United States business to the Cashier of the Bank.

Autograph letter, signed, to James McHenry, June 25 1799. Call #: Case MS 6A 82, No. 2. A significant letter to the Secretary of War on the need to raise military troops and recommending James Wilkinson for promotion in the Army.

Autograph letter, signed, from James Madison to Noah Webster, October 12, 1804. Call #: Vault Ruggles 238. Madison responds to Webster’s request for details on the writing of the U.S. Constitution, specifically mentioning Hamilton’s important role in the process.

Autograph letter, signed, from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, July 7, 1805. Call #: VAULT Case MS 6A 81, No. 12. John Adams refers to “that Scottish Creole Alexander Hamilton” as one of the leaders of party politics in the early republic.

Published Writings About Alexander Hamilton

Pasquin, Anthony. The Hamiltoniad… Boston: [Adams and Rhoades, 1804?] Call #: Case Y 285 .W669. Anthony Pasquin is a pseudonym for John Williams. Probably the first separately published artistic interpretation of Hamilton’s life and work; it is an anti-Hamilton screed in verse with extensive interpretive notes.

Report of the Committee of Claims on the Petition of Elizabeth Hamilton. Washington: A. and G. Way, 1810. Call #: Case 4A 762 no. 1. Eliza Hamilton’s first petition to Congress regarding pay owed to Alexander. For later petitions Eliza made regarding Hamilton’s governmental service and publication of his papers, see Case 4A 762 no. 2 and the Serial Set for the 29th Congress, 1st Session, 1846.

Hamilton, John. The Life of Alexander Hamilton. New York: Halsted and Voorhies, 1834. Call #: E 5 .H1814. The first book-length biography of Hamilton, by his son John. A two-volume edition was issued in 1840, see E 5 .H18142.

The Burr-Hamilton Duel and Dueling Practices

Coleman, William. A Collection of the Facts and Documents, Relative to the Death of Major-General Alexander Hamilton… New York: I. Riley and Co., 1804. Call #: Case 4A 1428. The most thorough contemporary compilation of documents on the duel as well as eulogies, memorial orations, etc.  Originally published in five parts; for an individual part, see E 5 .9 Ham-Hem. The Newberry also holds many separately published memorial sermons and orations.

Stanton, Samuel. The Principles of Duelling… London: T. Hookham, 1790. Call #: F 057 .841. Influential guide to the “code of honor” that provoked duels and the rules for conducting them. The Newberry copy has manuscript annotations and inserted newspaper clippings.

Ladd, William. A Letter to Aaron Burr, Vice-President of the United States of America, on the Barbarous Origin, the Criminal Nature and the Baneful Effects of Duels… New York: Printed for the Author, 1804. Call #: Case F 057 .472. Influential example of anti-dueling responses to the duel; harsh on Burr’s role. For a later, illustrated example, see Weems, God’s Revenge Against Duelling, Case F 057 .964.

Aaron Burr and the Burr-Wilkinson Conspiracy

Autograph letter unsigned, largely in cypher, from Aaron Burr to James Wilkinson, July 22, [1806]. Call #: Vault folio Graff 502. After Burr’s disgrace due to the duel with Hamilton, he was accused of conspiring to take land by force from either the United States or Spain to form a new country under his rule. This letter was one of the key pieces of evidence in his trial for treason, in which he was acquitted. The Newberry holds a large collection of manuscript and printed materials related to the Conspiracy; see Vault folio Graff 503, Vault folio Graff 4668, Vault box Ayer MS 982, Graff 506.