Scope and arrangement
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.