By Zoe Sottile, CNN
A letter written by Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers, thought lost for decades is finally going on display at the Commonwealth Museum in Massachusetts.
Written by Hamilton in 1780 to the Marquis de Lafayette, the letter is believed to have been stolen from the Massachusetts State Archive during World War II, according to a news release from William Francis Galvin, secretary of the Commonwealth.
Hamilton, who was then the captain of a New York artillery company, sent the letter during the end of the Revolutionary War. Lafayette, a French aristocrat, was aiding Americans in the fight against the British. In the letter, Hamilton warned Lafayette of “enemy” forces coming to Rhode Island and endangering French troops.
An archive employee who stole the letter was arrested in 1950 and found to have sold it, alongside other documents from America’s founding fathers, to rare books dealers, according to Massachusetts court filings.
In November 2018, the letter emerged at an auction house in Alexandria, Virginia, before coming into the custody of the FBI the following year.
The Commonwealth Museum’s July 4th exhibit is the first opportunity the public will have to see the letter since it was returned to Massachusetts, the news release said.
The exhibit also includes other original documents from the 18th century, like a letter from John Hancock to the Massachusetts Assembly announcing independence from Great Britain and a letter from George Washington to the Massachusetts General Court with a copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Hamilton has gained renewed attention in recent years as a pop culture icon due to the massive popularity of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical depicting the founder’s life.
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