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Don’t Throw Away Your Shot to See the Library of Congress’ HAMILTON Archives

Who knew that the 20-teens would see such an interest in America’s Founding Fathers—one in particular? Since its debut a few years ago at the Public Theater in Manhattan, Hamilton has familiarized millions of people worldwide with the life of Alexander Hamilton, albeit a version proficient in the art of busting a rhyme. Recognizing that uptick in Hamilton’s popularity, the Library of Congress digitized their collection of Hamilton’s documents, according to NPR.

Roughly 12,000 documents—proof that Hamilton, as the lyric goes, wrote like he was running out of time—are now available on the Library of Congress’ site. If you’ve heard the soundtrack or paid close attention to your history books or seen that one Got Milk? ad, you already know that Hamilton’s time on earth is short. It was something he recognized in his goodbye letter to his wife Eliza, written on the eve of the infamous Hamilton/Burr duel. The letter highlights Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s loyalty to his source material as Hamilton describes Eliza as the “best of wives and best of women” (a lyric that’ll be familiar to anyone who’s reached that song and immediately stopped listening afterward for fear of sobbing at the ending all over again).

The letters date back to Hamilton’s early life, some going as far back as his tween years, when he was already clerking in the Virgin Islands. (Library of Congress curator Julie Miller noted to NPR that this particular letter features Hamilton’s “fantastically good handwriting.”) Hamilton fans may be digging deep for the juicier parts of the archives—perhaps for whiffs of his purported relationship with John Laurens?—but, given the sheer volume of documents on file, they could be sleuthing their way through for some time. Fortunately, given that it’s the Library of Congress, this collection isn’t going anywhere, and it’s available now, so you don’t have to wait for it. (Sorry.)

Whose historical letters do you want to snoop through? Let us know in the comments!

Images: Library of Congress, New York Times

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