The Romantic Hamilton

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some of my favorite snippets of Hamilton’s writing to/about his wife Elizabeth.  Of course, Hamilton wasn’t always the perfect husband- he was away from his family often at the peak of his political career, and he had a much-publicized affair with Maria Reynolds, but :

From a July 2, 1780 letter:

“I love you more and more every hour.  The sweet softness and delicacy of your mind and manners, the elevation of your sentiments, the real goodness of your heart- it’s tenderness to me- the beauties of your face and person- your unpretending good sense and that innocent symplicity and frankness which pervade your actions, all these appear to me with increasing amiableness, and place you in my estimation above all the rest of your sex.”

From an October 1780 letter

“I have told you, and I told you truly that I love you too much. You engross my thoughts too intirely to allow me to think of any thing else. You not only employ my mind all day; but you intrude upon my sleep. I meet you in every dream—and when I wake I cannot close my eyes again for ruminating on your sweetnesses. ‘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. I believe in my soul you are an inchantress; but I have tried in vain, if not to break, at least, to weaken the charms—you maintain your empire in spite of all my efforts—and after every new one, I make to withdraw myself from my allegiance my partial heart still returns and clings to you with increased attachment.

Among other causes of uneasiness, I dread lest you should imagine, I yield too easily to the barrs, that keep us asunder; but if you have such an idea you ought to banish it and reproach yourself with injustice. A spirit entering into bliss, heaven opening upon all its faculties, cannot long more ardently for the enjoyment, than I do my darling Betsey, to taste the heaven that awaits me in your bosom. Is my language too strong? it is a feeble picture of my feeling:?no words can tell you how much I love and how much I long—you will only know it when wrapt in each others arms we give and take those delicious caresses which love inspires and marriage sanctifies….”

Excerpts from a November 1798 letter:

Indeed, my Betsey, you need never fear a want of anxious attention to you, for you are now dearer than ever to me.  Your happiness is the first and sweetest object of my wishes and cares.  How can it be otherwise?  You are all that is charming in my estimation and the more I see of your sex the more I become convinced of the judiciousness of my choice.

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