Abstract

This essay reads the famous exchange of anonymously written pamphlets between the American loyalist Samuel Seabury and the patriot Alexander Hamilton as an episode in transatlantic literary history. Reading the political pamphlet as a genre in which literary and cultural debates over taste and style simultaneously were taking place, this essay argues that for both patriot and loyalist writers, demonstrating British cultural literacy was crucial to establishing political authorship in America. The subsequent debates between Seabury and Hamilton over such subjects as wit and classical expression testify to the ongoing importance of this literacy as well as the larger dissonance between the political and cultural dimensions of the American Revolution.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 383-403
Launched on MUSE
2008-03-19
Open Access
No
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