Virginia auction house finds stolen Hamilton letter in estate set for sale

This is an undated photo of an etching of Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton fought in the Revolutionary War and he became one of six aides-de-camp, secretaries, in 1777 and became the first Secretary of the Treasury in 1789. As a member of Congress he played a key role in the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and was the only New York delegate to sign the document. He died in 1804 in a duel with Aaron Burr. (AP Photo)
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BOSTON (AP) -- A 1780 letter from Alexander Hamilton to the Marquis de Lafayette stolen from the Massachusetts Archives decades ago has been found and now an effort is underway to get it back.

The U.S. attorney's office in Boston this week filed a forfeiture complaint in federal court asking a judge to order the letter returned to the state.

The letter, along with original papers of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere and others, was stolen by an archives employee sometime between 1937 and 1945.

The letter resurfaced in November when an auction house in Virginia received it from a South Carolina family that wanted to sell it. The letter was part of a deceased relative's estate.

The auction house determined it had been stolen and contacted the FBI.



 
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