Document Type

Class Paper

Publication Date



Alexander Hamilton, one of the original founding fathers, has been under scrutiny by historians for several years over his belief on the issue of slavery. Hamilton was one of the most influential people in the framing of the Constitution. He wrote many letters back and forth to James Madison while they wrote the Federalist Papers. Hamilton’s opinion on the issue of slavery, unlike Madison’s, is somewhat of a mystery. Some historians argue he was against slavery in principle and the presence of it in the United States, others say he supported slavery in its entirety.

Evidences for both sides of the argument are present, but the most recent scholarly arguments, which have come within the last decade, argue that Hamilton personally opposed slavery. However, he chose to follow the law on things such as returning a slave to their owner.

When asking a non-historian, “Who was Alexander Hamilton?” Most people are going to say either “The guy on the ten-dollar bill” or “The guy who got shot by the other guy in a duel.” Though he is known for these two things (being on the ten-dollar bill and his death from a duel with Aaron Burr), Alexander Hamilton was much more than these two things. He was a man of many talents. During the American Revolution, he was, through his many political connections in New York, an aide for generals Nathaniel Greene, Henry Knox, and his favorite, General George Washington. Much like Marquis De Lafayette, Hamilton was thought of as a son that George Washington never had.


Research Seminar

Included in

History Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.