The Private Life of Alexander Hamilton
In this Google Expedition, students consider the question of whether a historic figure’s private life should be judged when evaluating his or her legacy. The primary source on which the lesson is based is a letter from Alexander Hamilton to his fiancée, Elizabeth Schuyler, written two months before their marriage. Some of the content reveals the personal relationship between the two and provides insight into Hamilton’s private thoughts and feelings. Students will explore the question based on their own personal experience, secondary source commentary on past figures, and Hamilton’s personal letter. Their understanding of the documents will be assessed through written responses and class discussion.

Students will be able to
Discuss differences between private and public knowledge and discourse
Read and understand primary sources
Annotate and analyze primary sources



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  • Expeditions-Lesson-Private-Life-of-Alexander-Hamilton.pdf
  • GilderLehrman.PrivateLife.LoveLetter.pdf
  • DBQs---The-Private-Life-of-Alexander-Hamilton.pdf

About this resource


Created: May 31, 2017

Updated: Feb 22, 2018

Lesson Plan

pdf, 156 KB


Lesson Plan

pdf, 162 KB


Lesson Plan

pdf, 684 KB


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Creative Commons "Sharealike"

Creative Commons "Sharealike"