February 14 1815: American History

“If American History, is ever to be understood <, Start deletion,any, End,> or related with Truth, two Characters must be explained. Their Portraits must be drawn, at Full Length. Their Birth, their Education, their Services, their Marriages their Religion their Morals, their manners their political Principles and Connections, their Lives and their deaths, must be narrated by an Historian under the Oath of the President de Thou “Pro verilate, historiarum mearum Deum ipsum obtestor.” I myself, could write a Volume of Biography for each of them, if I had clear Eyes and Steady hands. But if I Should Spend Years in Writing them, I know they would not be read by any Party: and after all I Should not dare to take the Oath of Thuanus. These Characters, are Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.”

—  John Adams writes to James Lloyd, 14 February 1815

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