Alexander Hamilton Papers

Oath of Allegiance, [12 May 1778]

Oath of Allegiance1

[Valley Forge, May 12, 1778]

I Alexander Hamilton Lieutenant Colonel and Aide De Camp to His Excellency The commander in Chief do acknowledge the United States of America, to be Free, Independent and Sovereign States, and declare that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience to George the Third, King of Great-Britain; and I renounce, refuse and objure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do swear that I will to the utmost of my power, support, maintain and defend the said United States, against the said King George the Third, his heirs and successors and his or their abettors, assistants and adherents, and will serve the said United States in the office of Aide De Camp which I now hold, with fidelity, according to the best of my skill and understanding.2

Alex Hamilton

Sworn, before me, Camp Valley Forge May 12th 1778 Stirling3 Major Genl.

DS, RG 93, Oaths of Allegiance, vol. 165, National Archives; copy, Long Island Historical Society, Brooklyn, New York.

1This document is a printed form with the exception of the signature of William Alexander, Lord Stirling, and the italicized words which are in H’s writing.

2The oath was taken as a result of a congressional resolve of February 3, 1778, which read: “Resolved, That all officers of the army shall take and subscribe the foregoing oath or affirmation before the commander in chief, or any major general or brigadier general” (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , X, 115).

3William Alexander, Lord Stirling.

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