March 27, 2018

Focus is on Alexander Hamilton's rivalries in new National Constitution Center exhibit

James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Aaron Burr were his foes

Exhibits History
National Constitution Center G. Widman/Visit Philadelphia™

At the National Constitution Center, visitors of all ages discover the impact of the U.S. Constitution on their lives through multimedia exhibitions, sculpture, film, artifacts and interactive displays.

Before you see Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop musical "Hamilton" in Philly – we finally know when it's coming to town – brush up on your history of the Founding Father. A new Alexander Hamilton exhibit recently opened at the National Constitution Center.

"Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes That Shaped a Nation" explores Hamilton's rivalries with James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Aaron Burr.


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Attendees will dive into the drama by reading rare letters and documents. Below are a few of the National Constitution Center exhibit's highlights:

• An anonymously published essay in the National Gazette in which James Madison, without mentioning Hamilton by name, directs criticism at the treasury secretary (American Philosophical Society Library, 1792)  

• The Reynold’s Pamphlet: Hamilton’s 95-page refutation of public corruption charges, in which he admitted to adultery (American Philosophical Society Library, 1797)

• A letter published by Hamilton in 1800, in which he questions John Adams’s competence to be president (The Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

• Handwritten regulations for the duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr (New-York Historical Society, 1804)

There will be four sections in the exhibit, each dedicated to Hamilton's relationship with one his opponents. In the Burr section, attendees can walk the paces taken during the infamous duel.

"Examining the personalities and constitutional debates that shaped America ... the exhibit provides an intimate look into Hamilton’s enduring role in the constitutional and political arguments that continue to create sparks to this day," states the National Constitution Center.

"Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes That Shaped a Nation" will be open through the end of December.

In addition to the new exhibit, the National Constitution Center offers lots more related to the Founding Father, like daily trivia. Participants will be tested on everything from Hamilton's bio to the hit musical.


"Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes That Shaped a Nation"

Through Monday, Dec. 31
$11-$14.50 per person
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 409-6600