Historian to talk Hamilton in Idaho Falls

Freeman Yale University

An eminent Yale University historian will give a lecture on Alexander Hamilton on Wednesday night, the 214th anniversary of his duel with Aaron Burr, which ultimately proved fatal for the founding father.

Professor Joanne Freeman will give the lecture at 7 p.m. in the Bennion Student Union at University Place. The event is being put on by the Idaho Falls City Club and the Alturas Institute, where Freeman serves as a board member.

“She’s widely regarded as the leading Hamilton scholar in the nation,” said institute president David Adler, noting that her work was cited as a major influence by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of a Broadway hit about Hamilton’s life. “She’s a great historian.”

Adler said Freeman will address Hamilton’s life, his importance in the founding of the American republic and the duel that ultimately took his life.

Hamilton has written a number of books focused on different aspects of early American history, including works focused on the role of honor and dueling in early politics, the outbreak of physical violence on the floor of Congress ahead of the Civil War and collections of Hamilton’s writings.

Adler, an expert on the U.S. Constitution, said an understanding of Hamilton’s life and ideas is vital to understanding the nation’s founding and essential doctrines and documents.

“We’re very happy to have her here,” Alder said of Freeman.

Before the lecture, there will be a reception beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 for City Club members, and $30 for nonmembers.

Reporter Bryan Clark can be reached at 208-542-6751.