Alexander Hamilton/John Laurens

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Portrait of Alexander Hamilton from the $10 bill
Reminder: Terms such as homosexual and bisexual were not in use during the 18th century and people of that era had different understandings of sexuality and sexual attraction, making attempts to label historical figures with modern terms somewhat complicated and unreliable.

Alexander Hamilton/John Laurens, known popularly as "Lams," can refer to a Real Person Slash ship involving the historical figures Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens, a slash ship involving the characters Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens from the musical Hamilton, or both.

Historical Relationship Between Hamilton and Laurens

Some historians have speculated that Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary War hero, primary author of The Federalist Papers, and first United States Secretary of the Treasury, might have had a homosexual relationship with his friend John Laurens.

Although it was common at that time for even platonic same-sex friends to be much more effusive and emotional in expressing their feelings towards each other than would be typical today, Hamilton's letters to Laurens are considered unusually so, even for the time. For example, this letter from April 1779

Cold in my professions – warm in my friendships – I wish, my Dear Laurens, it were in my power, by actions rather than words, to convince you that I love you. I shall only tell you that 'till you bade us Adieu, I hardly knew the value you had taught my heart to set upon you. Indeed, my friend, it was not well done. You know the opinion I entertain of mankind, and how much it is my desire to preserve myself free from particular attachments, and to keep my happiness independent of the caprice of others. You should not have taken advantage of my sensibility, to steal into my affections without my consent. But as you have done it, and as we are generally indulgent to those we love, I shall not scruple to pardon the fraud you have committed, on one condition; that for my sake, if not for your own, you will always continue to merit the partiality, which you have so artfully instilled into me. . . .

And Now my Dear as we are upon the subject of wife, I empower and command you to get me one in Carolina. Such a wife as I want will, I know, be difficult to be found, but if you succeed, it will be the stronger proof of your zeal and dexterity. . . .

A 1780 miniature portrait of Laurens, by Charles Willson Peale

If you should not readily meet with a lady that you think answers my description you can only advertise in the public papers and doubtless you will hear of many . . . who will be glad to become candidates for such a prize as I am. To excite their emulation, it will be necessary for you to give an account of the lover – his size, make, quality of mind and body, achievements, expectations, fortune, &c. In drawing my picture, you will no doubt be civil to your friend; mind you do justice to the length of my nose and don't forget, that I [about five words here have been mutilated in the manuscript]. After reviewing what I have written, I am ready to ask myself what could have put it into my head to hazard this Jeu de follie. Do I want a wife? No – I have plagues enough without desiring to add to the number that greatest of all; and if I were silly enough to do it, I should take care how I employ a proxy. Did I mean to show my wit? If I did, I am sure I have missed my aim. Did I only intend to [frisk]? In this I have succeeded, but I have done more. I have gratified my feelings, by lengthening out the only kind of intercourse now in my power with my friend. Adieu Yours.

A Hamilton

Five words of this letter were cut out by Hamilton's son John Church Hamilton when compiling his father's letters, and at the top of the page, he wrote, "I must not publish the whole of this."

Relationship Between Hamilton and Laurens in the Broadway Musical Hamilton

The possible romantic and/or sexual relationship between Hamilton and Laurens has attracted renewed attention as a result of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The musical depicts the pair as close friends but Miranda has confirmed via Twitter that Hamilton's line "Laurens, I like you a lot" in the song "My Shot" is a reference to the possibility that the two men were more than friends[1]. When asked on Twitter if he thought the real Hamilton "could've maybe been bi," Miranda responded "Yeah. Read those letters man."[2]

Hamilton/Laurens is currently the most popular ship in the Hamilton fandom on fanfiction archive An Archive of Our Own, with more than 900 works tagged with the pairing.

Related Links

References

  1. https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/646419967852847108
  2. https://twitter.com/lin_manuel/status/602979552806187008


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