Happy Birthday, Alexander Hamilton!

Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11—in 1755 or 1757—in Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean. Hamilton left an immense legacy as the first secretary of the treasury and architect of the American financial system. But what of Hamilton the man?

Hamilton’s amorous side is revealed in an intimate letter to his fiancée, Elizabeth Schuyler.

Alexander Hamilton to Elizabeth Schuyler, October 5, 1780 (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Writing in the midst of the American Revolution, while serving as George Washington’s aide, Hamilton declares, "I meet you in every dream . . . ’Tis a pretty story indeed that I am to be thus monopolized, by a little nut-brown maid like you and from a statesman and a soldier metamorphosed into a puny lover."

The two were married on December 14, 1780. With this marriage, Hamilton joined one of the wealthiest, most socially prominent families in New York, and Elizabeth Schuyler became to wife of a man widely recognized as a brilliant and patriotic rising star.

Read the full transcript of the letter here.

You can explore other Gilder Lehrman resources on Alexander Hamilton here.