CHICAGO - A new exhibit has opened at the Newberry Library in Chicago which focuses on Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
Hamilton has inspired a recent popular Broadway musical, but some of the artifacts of his life and times have been at the Newberry for more than a century.
The exhibit is called "Hamilton: The history behind the musical." The exhibit is free and open until March 9.
"Most of these items have not been on display in a public exhibition like this before to my knowledge. Hamilton hasn't been a hot topic until recently. We'll see everything from the first publications that Alexander Hamilton wrote & published in New York before the Revolutionary War up through materials about his famous duel with Aaron Burr and the end of his life," said Will Hansen, Newberry curator.
Many people are fascinated that many of the things in the musical are based in reality. Hamilton died in a dual with rival Aaron Burr.
He's a bigger influence now than he was in his era.
"He has a sentence in the letter "Half confidence is always bad" and Hamilton was a very bold and confidant figure throughout his life, for good and for bad. It's amazing to see it in his original handwriting, you know his hand was on that page and writing those words," Hansen said.
"Hamilton" cast members are expected to visit the Newberry in honor of President's Day -- maybe set the relics to music.
"I can imagine them singing their hearts out in the lobby to one of the numbers in the musical, I'm hopeful there will be some singing, we love singing," Hansen said.