Alexander Hamilton

by Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)

Oil on canvas; H 24 in. x W 20 in.

by Charles Willson Peale (1741—1827)

Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, New York, NY.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas. Jointly shared by The Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas; 76.2 x 60.5 cm (30 x 23 13/16 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas; 30 3/4 x 24 3/4 in. (78.1 x 62.9 cm.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas; 30 1/2 x 25 1/2 in. (77.5 x 64.8 cm). New-York Historical Society, New York, NY.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas. City Hall Portrait Collection, New York, NY.

by John Trumbull (1756—1843)

Oil on canvas. 77.79 x 62.55 cm • 30 5/8 x 24 5/8 in. National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian), Washington, DC.

by Giuseppe Ceracchi (1751—1801)

White marble; 9 1/4 x 19 1/2 x 13 in., 87 lb. (23.5 x 49.5 x 33 cm, 39.5 kg). New-York Historical Society, New York, NY.

by James Sharples (c. 1751—1811)

Pastel on paper. Independence National Historical Park, Portrait Collection (Second Bank of the United States), Philadelphia, PA.

But Adams did not just read books. He battled them. The casual presumption that there is some kind of rough correlation between the books in the library of any prominent historical figure and the person’s cast of mind would encounter catastrophe with Adams, because he tended to buy and read book with which he profoundly disagreed. Then, as he read, he recorded in the margins and at the bottom of the pages his usually hostile opinions of the arguments and authors.... [T]he Adams marginalia constitute evidence more revealing of his convictions about political theory than any of his official publications.

Joseph J. Ellis
Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams (1993)