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Friday, March 31, 2023

Letter from long-missing Alexander Hamilton put on public display

BOSTON ( Associated Press) — A letter written by Alexander Hamilton in 1780 and believed to have been stolen from the Massachusetts State Archives decades earlier — though not exactly in the room where it took place.

The letter from the founding fathers will be featured in the Commonwealth Museum’s annual fourth exhibit, says the office of Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Galvin. The public is getting a chance to see it for the first time after returning to the state after a long court battle.

It will be featured with the original copy of the Massachusetts Declaration of Independence.

First Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton, who has been receiving renewed attention in recent years because of the hit Broadway musical of his name, wrote the letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat who served as a general in the Continental Army.

Dated July 21, 1780, it details an imminent British threat to the French army in Rhode Island.

“We have received advice from New York through various channels that the enemy is making an ascent with which they are endangering the French fleet and army,” Hamilton wrote. “Fifty transports are said to have gone up the Sound to pick up the troops and proceed directly to Rhode Island.”

It is signed “Year. Most Obedt, A Hamilton, Ed de Camp.”

Galvin’s office said the letter was sent by Massachusetts General William Heath to state leaders, along with a request for troops to support the French allies.

The letter is believed to have been stolen by a State Archives worker during World War II, then sold privately.

It reappeared several years ago when an auctioneer in Virginia obtained it from a family that wanted to sell it. The auction house determined it had been stolen and contacted the FBI. A federal appeals court ruled in October that it belonged to the state.

The Commonwealth Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays.

World Nation News Desk
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