For all who love history - and not just history - but the history of how our great country began - this site is for you! Brave men and women took a stand over 230 years ago against tyranny and won! A nation of immigrants began its trek to becoming the greatest nation in the world.
What do we know about Alexander Hamilton beyond his picture
on the ten dollar bill?
He was born in the West Indies on the island of Nevis. His
parents were Scottish but his father lived in Scotland while his mother raised
him. When he was but ten years old his
mother moved to St. Croix. She died not
long afterwards. His mother’s friends
and relatives took him and taught him to read, write, and do numbers. Inspired by his words, his education was
sponsored in the colonies and he was sent to King’s College (which later
becomes Columbia University). He was but 17 years old when he arrived in the
As a young man, he wrote about American independence and the
rights of the American colonies. He defended the American congress and when the
Battle of Lexington and Concord occurred he pressed for others to hear his
words and support the colonies.
He joined the military in New York in 1776. He studied
artillery tactics and military maneuvers.
He served as a captain. “He not
only had to recruit and train his own men; he also had to see that they were
fed, clothed, and paid.” Just as his
compatriots did, he wrote to the leaders, asking for funds to provide for his
troops. George Washington admired the young Hamilton and thought of his as a
son in many respects. Hamilton’s victory at the Battle of Trenton was his
crowning glory. Many saw this victory as
a signal that the Patriots did stand a chance against the British. Because of
his victory, he was later assigned to be an aide de camps for General George
Washington so approved of the young Hamilton, that the man
was sent on an important mission – destroy a supply of flour and other supplies
so they do not fall in British hands.
Hamilton along with Henry Lee and 7 other cavalry men attempted to do
just that but were attacked by British dragoons. Hamilton and his men were splintered,
Hamilton himself forced to swim across the Schuykill River. He was then sent on a mission to go into
Philadelphia ahead of the British and gather shows, blankets, and clothing for
the Continental Army. He continued to carry out missions for Washington. He was
with Washington when they arrived at West Point and discovered Benedict Arnold’s
duplicity and turn to the British cause. After resigning as an aide-de-camp, he
was given his own command. As a matter
of fact, he was in charge of the capture of Redoubt #10 during the Battle of
Yorktown – the decisive battle of the revolution.
Hamilton is appointed to Congress where he worked with
fellow patriots to form the government we know today.
He married Elizabeth Schuyler who was a member of one of the
most distinguished families in New York. They had eight children. While not exactly
the match her father had hoped, he realized Hamilton’s ambition would take him
far and he finally approved of the match. He studied law and entered the bar in
1783. He founded the Bank of New York in
1784. At the Convention of Annapolis, he
served as one of three delegates from New York.
He would argue for a centralized government, even using Great Britain as
a model. He was present to sign the new Constitution of the United States. He published a letter urging all to sign the
Constitution and support the new government.
Along with John Jay, he wrote the Federalist.
Hamilton became the first Secretary of the Treasury. He established credit for the United States
and helped set up the means for the US to repay debt to foreign countries. He
was a leader of the Federalists, one of the first political parties in the
country. In 1795, he returned to
practicing law in New York. He remained
a friend and advisor to Washington throughout his life. He even wrote Washington’s farewell address
After Washington died, the Federalists became split – those who
followed Hamilton and those who followed Adams.
Unfortunately, Hamilton did not have the finesse of Adams. He was far too opinionated. He wrote
political attacks of the president and, though they were supposed to be private
letters, they were published by Aaron Burr. When Burr ran for president against
Thomas Jefferson, the votes were tied.
The final decision was sent to the House of Representatives. Hamilton used his influence with other
Federalists and the vote went to Jefferson.
Burr was furious by Hamilton’s interference and challenged
him to a duel. The duel was fought at
Weehawken, New Jersey. Hamilton was shot
and died the following day on July 12th, 1804. He was opposed to
dueling, since his own son had died in a duel, and he only wanted to fire the
shot into the air.