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    AC Benus
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

The Great Mirror of Same-Sex Love - Prose - 19. Alexander Hamilton “Love à la française”

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"Love à la française"

 

Historically, Gay men and women have married for various reasons, mainly due to offspring and money matters. In addition, the concept of marrying ‘for love’ was a 19th century invention; in truth, most matches, even after the invention of ‘Romance,’ were made between strangers who expected to continue receiving their main love and support through their same-sex love relationships. The correspondent below married late and reluctantly, and told the man he loved that his new wife sent him her affection à l’américaine and not à la française, no doubt meaning that the French form the men shared was passionate and fully reciprocal in the way lovers should express that love physically.[i]

 

Cold in my professions – warm in 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.

 

[Hamilton forwards some letters from the man’s wife, leading Hamilton to the subject of heiress-hunting for himself.]

 

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. […] But as to fortune, the larger stock of that the better. […]

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 – presumably in praise of his penis – have been mutilated in the manuscript – note, Rictor Norton].

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 folie [meaning, "gambling fever," or better yet, "Russian roulette"]. 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[ii] now in my power with my friend. Adieu.

—Alexander Hamilton,[iii]

private letter to John Laurens,

April 1779

 

 

 

 

 

 


[i] “à l’américaine” Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens, private letter of September 16th, 1780. The full quote is: “My Mistress is a good girl and already loves you because I have told her you are a clever fellow and my friend; but mind, she loves you a l’americaine and not a la françoise [sic].” Katz (New York 1976), p. 685.

[ii] “intercourse” Katz (New York 1976), p. 976, notes this is a sexual pun.

[iii] “Love à la française” Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens My Dear Boy: Gay love letters through the centuries [Rictor Norton, Editor] (San Francisco 1998), ps. 105-106.

https://archive.org/details/mydearboy00rict/page/104/mode/2up

It should be noted Norton’s text and commentary is lifted uncredited from Jonathan Katz’s Gay American History (New York 1976), ps. 680-686 [ps. 452-456 in the 1992 reprint linked below]. Readers are referred there for a fuller picture of the depth and scope of Hamilton and Laurens’ love.

https://archive.org/details/gayamericanhisto00katz_0/page/452/mode/2up

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Copyright © 2021 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.
  • Love 3
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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27 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

My goodness; I shall have to think anew about Alexander Hamilton. 

Katz published the men's love letters in 1976; the straights do not want to listen, and they will not teach history right to LGBT&Questioning youth unless they are forced. They do not accept facts where Gay people are concerned

Edited by AC Benus
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On 10/4/2021 at 2:04 PM, Parker Owens said:

These were not what I saw of Alexander Hamilton in high school. 

@Parker Owens-- since you originally read this entry, I know you've picked up a Hamilton biography. It's nice to know the love of the Founding Father's life was not entirely ignored in that book, although -- as you relayed it -- much more space was given over to his relationship with his married-for-money wife. Well, I guess we can only seek improvements from majority Gay-erasure step by step, huh 

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