An Open Letter to Alexander Hamilton

Dearest Colo. Hamilton,


As I did last year, I am writing you on your birthday. I understand how this could be seen as an exercise in futility, as you have been dead for over two hundred years, but I believe spending a few moments out of the year to vocalize and take down the specific reason I dedicate time to the task is worth the endeavor itself.

In the time since the last letter, a great deal has occurred in my life. This includes getting the date July 11th, 1804 tattooed on my left shoulder. This, being the date of the due between you and Aaron Burr, was important to me as I see it as the day you gave your life entirely to the cause for which you lived.

Perhaps I am mistaken in using the word ‘dedication’ when describing your entire life. The mistake rising from your infidelity. Albeit brief, it is certainly your worst mistake. Although I have not fallen prey to the same temptations that ruined your political career and marred your personal life, I understand them. Perhaps one day I will write you and delve into the specifics, but for now I will remain silent.

If there is one thing I think you would want for me, dearest sir, it would be that I endure in my life as a better and happier man than you. I do not say this lightly or vainly. I say this because I believe that is what any good man would want. For his successor, spiritually and not in the literal political sense, to be a far more capable and joyous person.

The issue is simple though. Am I enough to be your successor? If I am to believe what those around me say about me in front of me or away from me, yes. If I am to believe myself is a different matter however. I am in a rare mood of clarity at the present moment. I just wasted away a day due to medical issues that plagued my mind and, even though that lingers, I do believe I have the conviction. I might even have the drive, if the wind carries fair and the stars are not misaligned.

Yes, dearest friend, I do have the temerity to believe in myself. Something you did as well. I would even go so far to say that if you still walked the Earth in this day and age and saw what I have done and knew what I was to do…Well, I would say that even you would be proud of me.

For that, among everything, is why I thank you. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for helping me believe in myself.

Your obedient servant,

J. Fiene


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