Featured Document Display: Behind the Musical—Alexander Hamilton Documents

Thu, 6/7/2018 - Wed, 9/19/2018
East Rotunda Gallery

Can't get tickets to Hamilton? Come see the original documents from the Founding Father whose life and legacy inspired the musical. To mark the the run of Hamilton: An American Musical at The Kennedy Center, a collection of rare Alexander Hamilton documents related to lyrics from the hip-hop musical sensation will be on display. These historic records relate to Hamilton's service at the Battle of Yorktown, participation in the Constitutional Convention, appointment as first Secretary of the Treasury, fatal duel with Aaron Burr, and his wife Eliza Hamilton's efforts to preserve his papers after his death.

Copy of Alexander Hamilton’s letter to Marquis de Lafayette describing his actions at the Battle of Yorktown, October 15, 1781
Copy of Alexander Hamilton’s letter to Marquis de Lafayette describing his actions at the Battle of Yorktown, October 15, 1781

Alexander Hamilton served as Gen. George Washington’s aide-de-camp for much of the American Revolution. After pressuring Washington, he finally gained a field command in July 1781. This copy of Hamilton’s report to the Marquis de Lafayette from October 15, 1781, details his unit’s successful assault and capture of Redoubt 10 during the Siege of Yorktown. The British Army’s loss of this defensive stronghold contributed to General Cornwallis's surrender, which brought an end of the Revolutionary War.