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Primary Sources

The Federalist Papers | Letters | Report on Manufactures | Other writings and speeches by Hamilton | Writings by others

The Founders Constitution online version of the book edited by Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner. Perhaps the best part of the book goes article-by-article, section-by-section through the Constitution, giving early opinions on what the text meant to the Founders. Hamilton's contributions to The Federalist are collected here. A full index to Hamilton's writings in the book is available. Scroll down to Hamilton.

The Federalist Papers

Library of Congress (Thomas) Version. Simple but complete and easy-to-use.

Amazon. The Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Madison and Jay, edited by Clinton Rossiter and Charles R. Kesler. Also includes the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.

Amazon. Bantam Classic of The Federalist Papers introduced by Garry Wills.

Project Gutenburg e-text (ASCII text, very user-unfriendly)

Our Documents: "Federalist Papers, No. 10 & No. 51" (1787-1788). Federalist 10, by Madison, is about "faction" and republican government. Federalist 51, by Hamilton or Madison, is about checks and balances.

"A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. This policy of supplying, by opposite and rival interests, the defect of better motives, might be traced through the whole system of human affairs, private as well as public."
If you don't know it, Our Documents, from the National Archives, is a wonderful collection of 100 "milestone" documents in American history. Each document gets the royal treatment—high-res scrollable images, transcripts (take that Library of Congress!), PDF version. In addition to their chronologically-ordered list they also solicit The People's Vote, reordering the list. Federalist 10/51 is currently holding as the 20th most important document.

Edition from "Left-Justified." The frames don't work right for me, but they may for you. (It appears not to have been updated since 1997.) Includes a short biography.


Letter by 15 year-old Hamilton.

"I'm no Philosopher you see and may be justly said to Build Castles in the Air, my Folly makes me ashamed and beg youll conceal it, yet Neddy we have seen such schemes successful when the Projector is Constant. I shall Conclude saying I wish there was a war."

Eleven letters to Angelica Schuyler Church. by Alexander Hamilton (and occasionally Elizabeth) from the Electronic Text Center. Not a particularly stirring set of letters.

Letter, Washington to Hamilton, November 10, 1787. Washington thanks Hamilton for sending him copies of the essays by "Publius" (Hamilton himself). From American Memory (Library of Congress).

Letter, Washington to Hamilton, August 28, 1788. Washington praises the Federalist Papers.

"As the perusal of the political papers under the signature of Publius has afforded me great satisfaction, I shall certainly consider them as claiming a most distinguished place in my Library. I have read every performance which has been printed on one side and the other of the great question lately agitated (so far as I have been able to obtain them) and, without an unmeaning compliment, I will say, that I have seen no other so well calculated (in my judgment) to produce conviction on an unbiased Mind, as the Production of your triumvirate. When the transient circumstances and fugitive performances which attended this Crisis shall have disappeared, That Work will merit the Notice of Posterity; because in it are candidly and ably discussed the principles of freedom and the topics of government, which will be always interesting to mankind so long as they shall be connected in Civil Society."
From American Memory (Library of Congress).

Alexander Hamilton to James Duane on Deficiencies of the Confederation, September 3 1780. From The Founder's Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton to George Washington, May 5, 1789. Hamilton argues for strict rules over the President's appearances. From The Founder's Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton to Gov. George Clinton on the deficiencies of the Confederation. February 13, 1778. From The Founder's Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton to Gouverneur Morris in support of the 12th Amendment. March 4, 1802. From The Founder's Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton to William Loughton Smith on constitutional limits on the legislature. March 10, 1796. From The Founder's Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton to George Washington, essentially on executive privilege. March 7, 1796. From The Founder's Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton to James Wilson on the Constitution, George Washington and the presidential election. January 25, 1789.

Very "Jaunty" 1777 letter to an unidentified woman, with some comments on politics.

Two letters to Eliza Hamilton, written shortly before the duel. Hamilton expresses his determination "to expose my own life to any extent rather than subject myself to the guilt of taking the life of another." From The Rise and Fall of Alexander Hamilton . One of the letters is also available here.

A Comparison of letters from Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson to Angelica Schuyler Church from the UVA library. Load plug-in to view.

Report on Manufactures

Web Archive: Substantial excerpts from the Report on Manufactures (December 1791) from "The Industrial Revolution in America," a course taught by Gary J. Kornblith at Oberlin College.

Excerpt from "Report on the Manufactures" from The Rise and Fall of Alexander Hamilton .

Five selections from the "Report on Manufactures" from The Founder's Constitution.

Web Archive: Student discussion of the "Report" from an Economics 17 (Prof. Doug Klein, Union College)

Other writings and speeches by Hamilton

Notes of Alexander Hamilton in the Federal Convention of 1787. Fascinating notes taken by Hamilton.

Alexander Hamilton's notes for a speech proposing a plan of government at the Federal Convention (18 June 1787). Includes description and image, but no transcript.

Web Archive: Alexander Hamilton: "For the Bank" (Feb 23 1791) from Ernie Alston's Hamilton page. Argues for the constitutionality of the National Bank of the United States.

Address to the Federal Convention, June 18, 1787, advocating senators for life, governors appointed by the president and so forth. From The Founder's Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton, "Remarks on Act Repealing Laws Inconsistent with Treaty of Peace" delivered in the New York Assembly, April 17, 1787. Hamilton argues that New York state repeal laws in conflict with Federal action. From The Founder's Constitution.

Address to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 21 1788. From The Founder's Constitution.

"Report on Public Credit" January 9, 1790. From The Founder's Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton, Continental Congress Report on a Military Peace Establishment, 18 June 1783. From The Founder's Constitution.

"Draft of a Resolution for the Legislature of New York for the Amendment of the Constitution of the United States." Concerns the 12th amendment. January 29 1802. From The Founder's Constitution.

"Remarks on an Act for Regulating Elections, New York Assembly" February 6, 1787. From The Founder's Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton, New York Ratifying Convention on bicameralism. 25 June 1788. From The Founder's Constitution.

Writings by others

Information on The Papers of Aaron Burr, 1756-1836 from University Microfilm.

James Madison Debates the Constitutionality of a National Bank. Madison argues against Hamilton's Bank.

Library of Congress, George Washington Papers has numerous documents by or to Alexander Hamilton, but the text images seem broken.

The Act of Congress Establishing the Department of the Treasury, September 2, 1789. From the Treasury Department's History Vault .

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

If you enjoy this site you may like these other sites by me:

Andrew Jackson on the Web. Everything about "Old Hickory," President Andrew Jackson. new

Duels and Dueling on the Web. Comprehensive guide to sword and pistol dueling in Europe and the Americas.

D-Day on the Web. Everything about the Normandy landings.