Unfortunately, one of the best known aspects of Alexander Hamilton’s (1755-1804) life is the manner in which he died, being shot and killed in a famous duel with Aaron Burr in 1804. But Hamilton became one of the most instrumental Founding Fathers of the United States in that time, not only in helping draft and gain support for the U.S. Constitution but in also leading the Federalist party and building the institutions of the young federal government as Washington’s Secretary of Treasury.
Hamilton is also well remembered for his authorship, along with John Jay and James Madison, of the Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers sought to rally support for the Constitution’s approval when those three anonymously wrote them, but for readers and scholars today they also help us get into the mindset of the Founding Fathers, including the “Father of the Constitution” himself. They also help demonstrate how men of vastly different political ideologies came to accept the same Constitution.
Hamilton was a prominent politician and a prolific writer who had his hand in everything from the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and President Washington’s speeches, as well as an influential voice in policy and the formation of initial political parties. His works were compiled into a giant 12 volume series by Henry Cabot, which included everything from his speeches to his private correspondence. This edition of Hamilton’s Works: Volume 10 includes his Private Correspondence from 1792-1804, discussing the politics of the day with other Founding Fathers. It also includes his Last Will and Epitaph.