City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Elizabeth Hamilton: Letters of Grief
In the weeks after her husband's death, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton wrote letters to friends and three of her own letters and others written about her survive in the Society Library's Manuscripts Collections today. As Adam Gopnik recently described, in one "heartbreaking letter" after the next she politely asked her friends the General Matthew Clarkson and Richard Harison (Hamilton's partner in law, and the first US Attorney for the District of New York) to help her not only to secure employment for her son, Alexander, but also that these men to provide him with some paternal care and guidance after the death of the boy's father. What's more, letters in the Society Library's collections show that she was well looked after. One letter from Rufus King to Clarkson, King describes Mrs. Hamilton's situation and informs his friend of progress made on behalf of the grieving family. A second letter from King to Clarkson also reveals another dimension of the Burr-Hamilton duel: gossip and rumors.
We're excited to share these letters with the public for the first time ever with City Readers. Explore them all below!