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See the pistols that killed Alexander Hamilton at the postal museum in D.C. It's not the room where it happened, but plenty of other stuff did

See the pistols that killed Alexander Hamilton at the postal museum in D.C. It's not the room where it happened, but plenty of other stuff did
The pistols used in the 1804 duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr are on display at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. (Smithsonian's National Postal Museum)

“Hamilton: An American Musical” opens next week at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. A museum show dedicated to Alexander Hamilton’s life of service to America serves as a good companion piece.

“Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Secretary, Icon” recently opened at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, which is opposite Union Station.

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The pistols used in the 1804 duel with Aaron Burr that ended Hamilton’s life at the age of 49 are displayed until June 24.

Burr issued the challenge because he blamed Hamilton for his losses in the U.S. presidential race in 1800 and the 1804 New York governor’s race.

It’s the first time the pistols, on loan from JPMorgan Chase & Co., have been on display in the D.C. area. By the way, Burr earlier created the Manhattan Co., a firm that’s the bank’s earliest predecessor.

As part of his Treasury duties, Hamilton oversaw the Post Office Department. Of course, there are stamps featured in this exhibit, including a 30-cent stamp featuring a bust of Hamilton, printed from 1870 to 1890; and a $5 stamp with his likeness that appeared in 1956.

Visitors also can see Hamilton’s signature on official correspondence between 1789 and 1794. As Treasury secretary, he could send governmental letters and documents by signing his name.

The pistols remain on display until June 24; the rest of the show continues through March 3.

Check for additional information plus a schedule of talks and tours about Hamilton at the museum’s website.

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