Public Has First Chance to See a Founding Father’s 1780 Letter Stolen During World War II

Alexander Hamilton letter to the Marquis de Lafayette.

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In observance of Independence Day, the public has an opportunity to view a 1780 letter from founding father and U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton that was stolen from the state during World War II.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin said the Hamilton letter was stolen from the Massachusetts Archives during World War II and resurfaced at an auction house in 2018. It was returned to the people of Massachusetts after a lengthy court battle.

The letter, sent by Hamilton to the Marquis de Lafayette regarding Revolutionary War troop movements, made its first public appearance since being recovered on Friday. It is among historical documents on display for the Commonwealth Museum’s annual Independence Day exhibit. Others include letters from John Hancock and George Washington announcing independence and the Commonwealth’s original copy of the Declaration of Independence, signed by John Hancock.

The July 4th exhibit is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 4, at Commonwealth Museum, 220 Morrissey Boulevard, in Dorchester. Admission and parking are free for visitors.

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