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Alexander Hamilton & John Laurens

andrew potter
Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was so close to George Washington, rumors circulated that they were father and son. In fact, the charming and handsome Hamilton was very close to a lot of men, particularly a soldier named John Laurens (October 28, 1754 – August 27, 1782), formerly Washington’s aide-de-camp. Their correspondence reveals the intensity of their passion for each other in terms not commonly used even in their effusive times. Hamilton’s letters are filled with "I love you," promises to avoid other ‘*particular attachments," and expressions of hope that he has been able to "steal into your affections." In one letter Hamilton wrote: "I wish, Dear Laurens, it might be in my power, by action rather than words, to convince you that I love you." An early biographer noted that "I must not publish the whole of this." Hamilton and Laurens are depicted together on the "Surrender of Cornwallis" commemorative US postage stamp released in October of 1981. (Picture: Oil on canvas portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, 1806)

In spring 1779 Hamilton gave Laurens the assignment of finding a wife for him (Picture: A 1780 miniature portrait of Laurens, by Charles Willson Peale):
She must be young—handsome (I lay most stress upon a good shape), sensible (a little learning will do)—well bred . . . chaste and tender (I am an enthusiast in my notions of fidelity and fondness); of some good nature—a great deal of generosity (she must neither love money nor scolding, for I dislike equally a termagant and an economist)—In politics, I am indifferent what side she may be of—I think I have arguments that will safely convert her to mine—As to religion a moderate stock will satisfy me—She must believe in god and hate a saint. But as to fortune, the larger stock of that the better.
When Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler in 1780, he assured Laurens that the marriage would not alter his affection: "as if after matrimony I was to be less devoted [to you] than I am now." The marriage did, however, put a chill in Hamilton’s relationship with a disappointed George Washington. Hamilton was one of many apparently gay or bisexual men who surrounded General Washington, whose childless marriage to Martha may have been a marriage of convenience.


Alexander Hamilton was so close to George Washington. But the charming and handsome Hamilton was close to a lot of men, particularly a soldier named John Laurens, formerly Washington’s aide-de-camp. Their correspondence reveals the intensity of their passion in terms not commonly used even in their effusive times. Hamilton’s letters are filled with "I love you," promises to avoid other ‘*particular attachments," and expressions of hope that he has been able to "steal into your affections."

Hamilton’s intimate relations with other men can be traced back to his youth in the West Indies, where his friend Edward Stevens wrote of "those Vows of eternal Friendship . . . so often mutually exchanged." When he moved to New York before the war, Hamilton lived with a thirty-two-year-old bachelor haberdasher, Hercules Mulligan. According to Hamilton’s grandson, Allen McLane Hamilton, many of Alexander Hamilton’s male friends were attracted to him because of his "humorous and almost feminine traits."

Source: Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals by Keith Stern

Further Readings:

Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals by Keith Stern
Publisher BenBella Books (September 1, 2009)
Language English
ISBN-10 1933771879
ISBN-13 978-1933771878
Amazon: Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals
Amazon Kindle: Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals

Queers in History is the first comprehensive biographical compendium of important historical and contemporary figures who were/are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. From Egyptian pharaohs, Catholic popes, and Abraham Lincoln to Bishop Gene Robinson, Neil Patrick Harris, and Angelina Jolie, Queers in History brings these figures, from their work to their sexuality, to life.

The hundreds of people whose stories appear in this book are some of the most intriguing personalities of their times: actors and actresses, writers and musicians, businessmen and politicians, scientists and soldiers. But this irresistibly readable encyclopedia intended for gays and straights alike doesn’t just report those details that get left out of the standard biographies; it reveals a fascinating picture of queer society and culture throughout recorded history, from the homosexual traditions practiced by samurai in Japan to the modern struggles for equal rights in America. Sir Ian McKellen offers a foreword.

More LGBT Couples at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
hpstrangelove
Jul. 9th, 2013 11:35 am (UTC)
This looks like a very interesting book - thanks for reviewing it.
elisa_rolle
Jul. 9th, 2013 11:40 am (UTC)
I loved it, and I took many inspiration from the stories in it. It's also very easy to approach.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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