Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)



First Advisor

Dr. John Fea


Amidst the great political change of eighteenth-century America, the concepts of gender and sexuality were brought into new conversation surrounding the Revolution and the new nation. The shifting understandings of gender and sexuality, especially masculinity and male sexuality, were integral to society in both the public and private sphere. One of the unique facets within these sociocultural changes was the "heroic friendship," an intimate friendship between two young men built upon the values of the early American public sphere--civic virtue, intellect, and status, to name a few. The debate lies in if the "heroic friendship" should be included as a valid category in the history of homosexuality; using the relationship of Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens, a case can be made that the "heroic friendship" blurs the lines of platonic male love and therefore should be considered an important element in the history of same-sex sexuality.


Completed in Spring 2022 as an honors thesis submitted to the department of History, Politics, And International Relations, Messiah University in partial fulfillment of the requirements of a departmental honors project.