Extremely rare artifacts that belonged to Alexander Hamilton have been loaned to the Museum of the American Revolution by the Founding Father’s fifth-great-grandson.
A member of George Washington’s staff during the Revolutionary War, Hamilton helped ratify the U.S. Constitution and became the first Secretary of the Treasury. He was mortally wounded in a duel by Vice President Aaron Burr in 1804. His remarkable life is the subject of the wildly popular Broadway show, “Hamilton.”
The artifacts, which have gone on display at the Philadelphia museum, include a Society of the Cincinnati Eagle insignia owned and worn by the Founding Father and a gold mourning ring worn by his widow, Elizabeth Hamilton. The ring contains a lock of Hamilton’s hair.
The Society of the Cincinnati was founded by Continental Army officers at the end of the Revolutionary War and takes its name from Cincinnatus, the general credited with saving the Roman republic. Hamilton was a founding member of the Society, which is the nation’s oldest patriotic organization and aims to preserve the memory of the American Revolution.
Two items that have never been displayed before – a handkerchief that belonged to Elizabeth embroidered with her name and a baby dress are undergoing conservation and will go on display early next year. The dress is accompanied by a note explaining that it was made by Elizabeth.
“For me and my family, the Eagle insignia represents Hamilton’s service to his country,” said Douglas Hamilton, in a statement. “The Society of the Cincinnati was created after the Revolutionary War so that people didn’t forget this ‘vast event’ – the war that was just fought against the empire of Great Britain. Putting the badge and other family treasures on display at a museum devoted to the American Revolution is a perfect match, and we’re very excited that the Museum is committed to helping us remember what they achieved.”
The displays form part of the Museum’s “Year of Hamilton” exhibit that runs through March 17, 2019. Approximately 30 artifacts related to Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton will be on display in the core exhibition, according to the Museum of the American Revolution.
Revolutionary War artifacts offer a fascinating glimpse into the events that shaped America. Items in the Museum of the American Revolution’s collection include George Washington’s tent and his headquarters flag.
A young American sailor’s journal detailing his harrowing experiences during the Revolutionary War was recently donated to the Museum.
In August 2017, a Revolutionary War-era knife was unearthed during an archaeological dig at Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, Michigan, the latest in a series of amazing finds at the site.
The following month, archaeologists in Boston discovered a centuries-old outhouse that may be linked to the family of Patriot Paul Revere.
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