|Birth Day:||January 11, 1755|
|Death Date:||Jul 12, 1804 (age 49)|
|Country:||Saint Kitts And Nevis|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
First Secretary of the Treasury and aide to George Washington who was famously killed in a duel to the death by Vice President Aaron Burr. He was an active participant in the Philadelphia Convention, which produced the U.S. Constitution, and he wrote 51 of the 85 installments of the Federalist Papers, which supported the Constitution.
As per our current Database, Alexander Hamilton died on Jul 12, 1804 (age 49).
He was effectively orphaned after his father left the family and his mother died of fever.
It is not certain whether Hamilton's birth was in 1755 or 1757. Most historical evidence, after Hamilton's arrival in North America, supports the idea that he was born in 1757, including Hamilton's own writings. Hamilton listed his birth year as 1757 when he first arrived in the Thirteen Colonies, and celebrated his birthday on January 11. In later life, he tended to give his age only in round figures. Historians accepted 1757 as his birth year until about 1930, when additional documentation of his early life in the Caribbean was published, initially in Danish. A probate paper from St. Croix in 1768, drafted after the death of Hamilton's mother, listed him as 13 years old, which has caused some historians since the 1930s to favor a birth year of 1755.
In 1764, King George III had ruled in favor of New York in a dispute between New York and New Hampshire over the region that later became the state of Vermont. New York then refused to recognize claims to property derived from grants by New Hampshire governor Benning Wentworth during the preceding 15 years when the territory had been governed as a de facto part of New Hampshire. Consequently, the people of the disputed territory, called the New Hampshire Grants, resisted the enforcement of New York's laws within the grants. Ethan Allen's militia called the Green Mountain Boys, noted for successes in the war against the British in 1775, was originally formed for the purpose of resisting the colonial government of New York. In 1777, the statesmen of the grants declared it a separate state to be called Vermont, and by early 1778, had erected a state government.
James Hamilton later abandoned Rachael Fawcett and their two sons, James Jr. and Alexander, allegedly to "spar[e] [her] a charge of bigamy... after finding out that her first husband intend[ed] to divorce her under Danish law on grounds of adultery and desertion." Thereafter, Rachael moved with her two children to St. Croix, where she supported them by keeping a small store in Christiansted. She contracted yellow fever and died on February 19, 1768, at 1:02 am, leaving Hamilton orphaned. This may have had severe emotional consequences for him, even by the standards of an 18th-century childhood. In probate court, Faucette's "first husband seized her estate" and obtained the few valuables that she had owned, including some household silver. Many items were auctioned off, but a friend purchased the family's books and returned them to Hamilton.
Hamilton became a clerk at Beekman and Cruger, a local import-export firm that traded with New York and New England. He and James Jr. were briefly taken in by their cousin Peter Lytton; however, Lytton took his own life in July 1769, leaving his property to his mistress and their son, and the Hamilton brothers were subsequently separated. James apprenticed with a local carpenter, while Alexander was given a home by Nevis merchant Thomas Stevens. Some clues have led to speculation that Stevens was Alexander Hamilton's biological father: his son Edward Stevens became a close friend of Hamilton, the two boys were described as looking much alike, both were fluent in French and shared similar interests. However, this allegation, mostly based on the comments of Timothy Pickering on the resemblance between the two men, has always been vague and unsupported. Rachael Fawcett had been living on St. Kitts and Nevis for years at the time when Alexander was conceived, while Thomas Stevens lived on Antigua and St. Croix; also, James Hamilton never disclaimed paternity, and even in later years, signed his letters to Hamilton with "Your very Affectionate Father."
Hamilton proved capable enough as a trader to be left in charge of the firm for five months in 1771 while the owner was at sea. He remained an avid reader and later developed an interest in writing. He began to desire a life outside the island where he lived. He wrote a letter to his father that was a detailed account of a hurricane which had devastated Christiansted on August 30, 1772. Hugh Knox, a minister and journalist, published the letter in the Royal Danish-American Gazette. The biographer Ron Chernow found the letter astounding for two reasons; first, that "for all its bombastic excesses, it does seem wondrous [that a] self-educated clerk could write with such verve and gusto," and second, that a teenage boy produced an apocalyptic "fire-and-brimstone sermon" viewing the hurricane as a "divine rebuke to human vanity and pomposity." The essay impressed community leaders, who collected a fund to send Hamilton to the North American colonies for his education.
In October 1772, he arrived by ship in Boston, and proceeded from there to New York City, where he took lodgings with Hercules Mulligan, the brother of a trader who assisted Hamilton in selling cargo that was to pay for his education and support. In 1773, in preparation for college work, Hamilton began to fill gaps in his education at the Elizabethtown Academy, a preparatory school run by Francis Barber in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He came under the influence of William Livingston, a leading intellectual and revolutionary, with whom he lived for a time.
Historians are uncertain whether in 1773 Hamilton fathered a boy with a free black woman. The boy William Hamilton (1773–1836) became a leading activist agitating for antislavery and black education, and was long rumored to be Hamilton's son, just like it was (rumored) his mother was half black.
Hamilton entered King's College (now Columbia) in New York City in the autumn of 1773 "as a private student", and officially matriculated in May 1774. His college roommate and lifelong friend Robert Troup spoke glowingly of Hamilton's clarity in concisely explaining the patriots' case against the British in what is credited as Hamilton's first public appearance, on July 6, 1774, at the Liberty Pole at King's College. Hamilton, Troup, and four other undergraduates formed an unnamed literary society that is regarded as a precursor of the Philolexian Society.
Church of England clergyman Samuel Seabury published a series of pamphlets promoting the Loyalist cause in 1774, to which Hamilton responded anonymously with his first political writings, A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress and The Farmer Refuted. Seabury essentially tried to provoke fear in the colonies, and his main objective was to stop the potential union among the colonies. Hamilton published two additional pieces attacking the Quebec Act, and may have also authored the fifteen anonymous installments of "The Monitor" for Holt's New York Journal. Hamilton was a supporter of the Revolutionary cause at this pre-war stage, although he did not approve of mob reprisals against Loyalists. On May 10, 1775, Hamilton won credit for saving his college president Myles Cooper, a Loyalist, from an angry mob by speaking to the crowd long enough for Cooper to escape.
In 1775, after the first engagement of American troops with the British at Lexington and Concord, Hamilton and other King's College students joined a New York volunteer militia company called the Corsicans, later renamed or reformed as the Hearts of Oak.
Through his connections with influential New York patriots such as Alexander McDougall and John Jay, Hamilton raised the New York Provincial Company of Artillery of 60 men in 1776, and was elected captain. The company took part in the campaign of 1776 around New York City, particularly at the Battle of White Plains. At the Battle of Trenton, it was stationed at the high point of town, the meeting of the present Warren and Broad streets, to keep the Hessians pinned in the Trenton Barracks.
Hamilton participated in the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. After an initial setback, Washington rallied the American troops and led them in a successful charge against the British forces. After making a brief stand, the British fell back, some leaving Princeton, and others taking up refuge in Nassau Hall. Hamilton brought three cannons up and had them fire upon the building. Then some Americans rushed the front door, and broke it down. The British subsequently put a white flag outside one of the windows; 194 British soldiers walked out of the building and laid down their arms, thus ending the battle in an American victory.
While Hamilton was in Congress, discontented soldiers began to pose a danger to the young United States. Most of the army was then posted at Newburgh, New York. Those in the army were funding much of their own supplies, and they had not been paid in eight months. Furthermore, after Valley Forge, the Continental officers had been promised in May 1778 a pension of half their pay when they were discharged. By the early 1780s, due to the structure of the government under the Articles of Confederation, it had no power to tax to either raise revenue or pay its soldiers. In 1782 after several months without pay, a group of officers organized to send a delegation to lobby Congress, led by Capt. Alexander McDougall. The officers had three demands: the Army's pay, their own pensions, and commutation of those pensions into a lump-sum payment if Congress were unable to afford the half-salary pensions for life. Congress rejected the proposal.
While Hamilton was stationed in Morristown, New Jersey, in the winter of December 1779 – March 1780, he met Elizabeth Schuyler, a daughter of General Philip Schuyler and Catherine Van Rensselaer. The two were married on December 14, 1780, at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany, New York.
Hamilton was also close to Elizabeth's sisters. During his lifetime he was even rumored to have had an affair with his wife's older sister, Angelica, who, three years before Hamilton's marriage to Elizabeth, had eloped with John Barker Church, an Englishman who made a fortune in North America during the Revolution and later returned to Europe with his wife and children between 1783 and 1797. Even though the style of their correspondence during Angelica's fourteen-year residence in Europe was flirtatious, modern historians like Chernow and Fielding agree that despite contemporary gossip there is no conclusive evidence that Hamilton's relationship with Angelica was ever physical or went beyond a strong affinity between in-laws. Hamilton also maintained a correspondence with Elizabeth's younger sister Margarita, nicknamed Peggy, who was the recipient of his first letters praising her sister Elizabeth at the time of his courtship in early 1780.
While on Washington's staff, Hamilton long sought command and a return to active combat. As the war drew nearer to an end, he knew that opportunities for military glory were diminishing. On February 15, 1781, Hamilton was reprimanded by Washington after a minor misunderstanding. Although Washington quickly tried to mend their relationship, Hamilton insisted on leaving his staff. He officially left in March and settled with Eliza close to Washington's headquarters. He repeatedly asked Washington and others for a field command. Washington demurred, citing the need to appoint men of higher rank. This continued until early July 1781, when Hamilton submitted a letter to Washington with his commission enclosed, "thus tacitly threatening to resign if he didn't get his desired command."
An amendment to the Articles had been proposed by Thomas Burke, in February 1781, to give Congress the power to collect a 5% impost, or duty on all imports, but this required ratification by all states; securing its passage as law proved impossible after it was rejected by Rhode Island in November 1782. James Madison joined Hamilton in influencing Congress to send a delegation to persuade Rhode Island to change its mind. Their report recommending the delegation argued the national government needed not just some level of financial autonomy, but also the ability to make laws that superseded those of the individual states. Hamilton transmitted a letter arguing that Congress already had the power to tax, since it had the power to fix the sums due from the several states; but Virginia's rescission of its own ratification ended the Rhode Island negotiations.
However, a dissenting view to the above was offered by historian Jessie Serfilippi, employed by the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site in Albany, N.Y. - a mansion which was owned by Hamilton's in-laws and where no less then forty slaves were kept. In a paper titled “‘As Odious and Immoral a Thing’: Alexander Hamilton’s Hidden History as an Enslaver,” based on detailed research into notations in Hamilton's cash books and family letters, Serfilippi concluded that not only did Hamilton marry into a slave-owning family, but he was himself a slave owner at different times of his life. For example, in May 1781, six months after his marriage to Elizabeth, Hamilton wrote to George Clinton, mentioning waiting for a sum of money “to pay the value of the woman Mrs. H[amilton] had of Mrs. Clinton.” In March 1796, Hamilton’s cash books record a payment of $250 to Schuyler for “2 Negro servants purchased by him for me.” And a piece of paper included near the end of the cash book, giving an inventory of Hamilton’s property apparently made after his death in the duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804, lists his house (valued at 2,200 pounds), his furniture and books (300 pounds) - and “servants,” valued at 400 pounds. Serfilippi argues that Hamilton's well-known involvement in the New-York Manumission Society does not preclude his having been a slave owner, as the society advocated a gradual abolition and a call on slave owners to voluntarily free the enslaved, rather than a complete and immediate freeing of all slaves. Indeed, Hamilton's father in law Philip Schuyler, a known owner of multiple slaves, was also a member of the same society. The evidence amassed by Serfilippi would indicate that Alexander Hamilton was a relatively enlightened slave-owner, by the standards of his time and class, rather than an abolitionist.
Hamilton was forced to discontinue his studies before graduating when the college closed its doors during British occupation of the city. When the war ended, after some months of self study, by July 1782 Hamilton passed the bar exam and in October 1782 was licensed to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
After Yorktown, Hamilton returned to New York and resigned his commission in March 1782. He passed the bar in July after six months of self-directed education. He also accepted an offer from Robert Morris to become receiver of continental taxes for the State of New York. Hamilton was appointed in July 1782 to the Congress of the Confederation as a New York representative for the term beginning in November 1782. Before his appointment to Congress in 1782, Hamilton was already sharing his criticisms of Congress. He expressed these criticisms in his letter to James Duane dated September 3, 1780. In this letter he wrote, "The fundamental defect is a want of power in Congress...the confederation itself is defective and requires to be altered; it is neither fit for war, nor peace."
On March 15, Washington defused the Newburgh situation by addressing the officers personally. Congress ordered the Army officially disbanded in April 1783. In the same month, Congress passed a new measure for a 25-year impost—which Hamilton voted against—that again required the consent of all the states; it also approved a commutation of the officers' pensions to five years of full pay. Rhode Island again opposed these provisions, and Hamilton's robust assertions of national prerogatives in his previous letter were widely held to be excessive.
In June 1783, a different group of disgruntled soldiers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, sent Congress a petition demanding their back pay. When they began to march toward Philadelphia, Congress charged Hamilton and two others with intercepting the mob. Hamilton requested militia from Pennsylvania's Supreme Executive Council, but was turned down. Hamilton instructed Assistant Secretary of War William Jackson to intercept the men. Jackson was unsuccessful. The mob arrived in Philadelphia, and the soldiers proceeded to harangue Congress for their pay. The president of the Continental Congress, John Dickinson, feared that the Pennsylvania state militia was unreliable, and refused its help. Hamilton argued that Congress ought to adjourn to Princeton, New Jersey. Congress agreed, and relocated there. Frustrated with the weakness of the central government, Hamilton while in Princeton drafted a call to revise the Articles of Confederation. This resolution contained many features of the future U.S. Constitution, including a strong federal government with the ability to collect taxes and raise an army. It also included the separation of powers into the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
Hamilton resigned from Congress in 1783. When the British left New York in 1783, he practiced there in partnership with Richard Harison. He specialized in defending Tories and British subjects, as in Rutgers v. Waddington, in which he defeated a claim for damages done to a brewery by the Englishmen who held it during the military occupation of New York. He pleaded for the Mayor's Court to interpret state law consistent with the 1783 Treaty of Paris which had ended the Revolutionary War.
Hamilton proposed that the U.S. dollar should have fractional coins using decimals, rather than eighths like the Spanish coinage. This innovation was originally suggested by Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris, with whom Hamilton corresponded after examining one of Morris's Nova Constellatio coins in 1783. He also desired the minting of small value coins, such as silver ten-cent and copper cent and half-cent pieces, for reducing the cost of living for the poor. One of his main objectives was for the general public to become accustomed to handling money on a frequent basis.
In 1784, he founded the Bank of New York, one of the oldest still-existing banks in America. Hamilton was one of the men who restored King's College as Columbia College, which had been suspended since 1776 and severely damaged during the war. Long dissatisfied with the weak Articles of Confederation, he played a major leadership role at the Annapolis Convention in 1786. He drafted its resolution for a constitutional convention, and in doing so brought one step closer to reality his longtime desire to have a more powerful, more financially independent federal government.
During 1777–1785, Vermont was repeatedly denied representation in the Continental Congress, largely because New York insisted that Vermont was legally a part of New York. Vermont took the position that because its petitions for admission to the Union were denied, it was not a part of the United States, not subject to Congress, and at liberty to negotiate separately with the British. The latter Haldimand negotiations led to some exchanges of prisoners of war. The peace treaty of 1783 that ended the war included Vermont within the boundaries of the United States. On March 2, 1784, Governor George Clinton of New York asked Congress to declare war for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Vermont, but Congress made no decision.
By the time of Hamilton's early participation in the American Revolution, his abolitionist sensibilities had become evident. Hamilton was active during the Revolution in trying to raise black troops for the army, with the promise of freedom. In the 1780s and 1790s, he generally opposed pro-slavery southern interests, which he saw as hypocritical to the values of the American Revolution. In 1785, he joined his close associate John Jay in founding the New-York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and Protecting Such of Them as Have Been, or May be Liberated, the main anti-slavery organization in New York. The society successfully promoted the abolition of the international slave trade in New York City and passed a state law to end slavery in New York through a decades-long process of emancipation, with a final end to slavery in the state on July 4, 1827.
In 1787, Hamilton served as assemblyman from New York County in the New York State Legislature and was chosen as a delegate for the Constitutional Convention by his father-in-law Philip Schuyler. Even though Hamilton had been a leader in calling for a new Constitutional Convention, his direct influence at the Convention itself was quite limited. Governor George Clinton's faction in the New York legislature had chosen New York's other two delegates, John Lansing Jr. and Robert Yates, and both of them opposed Hamilton's goal of a strong national government. Thus, whenever the other two members of the New York delegation were present, they decided New York's vote, to ensure that there were no major alterations to the Articles of Confederation.
Hamilton recruited John Jay and James Madison to write a series of essays defending the proposed Constitution, now known as The Federalist Papers, and made the largest contribution to that effort, writing 51 of the 85 essays published (Madison wrote 29, and Jay wrote the other five). Hamilton supervised the entire project, enlisted the participants, wrote the majority of the essays, and oversaw the publication. During the project, each person was responsible for their areas of expertise. Jay covered foreign relations. Madison covered the history of republics and confederacies, along with the anatomy of the new government. Hamilton covered the branches of government most pertinent to him: the executive and judicial branches, with some aspects of the Senate, as well as covering military matters and taxation. The papers first appeared in The Independent Journal on October 27, 1787.
By 1787, the government of New York had almost entirely given up plans to subjugate Vermont, but still claimed jurisdiction. As a member of the legislature of New York, Hamilton argued forcefully and at length in favor of a bill to recognize the sovereignty of the State of Vermont, against numerous objections to its constitutionality and policy. Consideration of the bill was deferred to a later date. In 1787 through 1789, Hamilton exchanged letters with Nathaniel Chipman, a lawyer representing Vermont. In 1788, the new Constitution of the United States went into effect, with its plan to replace the unicameral Continental Congress with a new Congress consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Hamilton wrote:
Stories were circulated that Hamilton had made two quips about God at the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. During the French Revolution, he displayed a utilitarian approach to using religion for political ends, such as by maligning Jefferson as "the atheist," and insisting that Christianity and Jeffersonian democracy were incompatible. After 1801, Hamilton further attested his belief in Christianity, proposing a Christian Constitutional Society in 1802 to take hold of "some strong feeling of the mind" to elect "fit men" to office, and advocating "Christian welfare societies" for the poor. After being shot, Hamilton spoke of his belief in God's mercy.
At the end of the convention, Hamilton was still not content with the final Constitution, but signed it anyway as a vast improvement over the Articles of Confederation, and urged his fellow delegates to do so also. Since the other two members of the New York delegation, Lansing and Yates, had already withdrawn, Hamilton was the only New York signer to the United States Constitution. He then took a highly active part in the successful campaign for the document's ratification in New York in 1788, which was a crucial step in its national ratification. He first used the popularity of the Constitution by the masses to compel George Clinton to sign, but was unsuccessful. The state convention in Poughkeepsie in June 1788 pitted Hamilton, Jay, James Duane, Robert Livingston, and Richard Morris against the Clintonian faction led by Melancton Smith, Lansing, Yates, and Gilbert Livingston.
Members of Hamilton's faction were against any conditional ratification, under the impression that New York would not be accepted into the Union, while Clinton's faction wanted to amend the Constitution, while maintaining the state's right to secede if their attempts failed. During the state convention, New Hampshire and Virginia becoming the ninth and tenth states to ratify the Constitution, respectively, had ensured any adjournment would not happen and a compromise would have to be reached. Hamilton's arguments used for the ratifications were largely iterations of work from The Federalist Papers, and Smith eventually went for ratification, though it was more out of necessity than Hamilton's rhetoric. The vote in the state convention was ratified 30 to 27, on July 26, 1788.
In 1788, Hamilton served a second term in what proved to be the last session of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation.
President George Washington appointed Hamilton as the first United States secretary of the treasury on September 11, 1789. He left office on the last day of January 1795. Much of the structure of the government of the United States was worked out in those five years, beginning with the structure and function of the cabinet itself. Biographer Forrest McDonald argues that Hamilton saw his office, like that of the British first lord of the treasury, as the equivalent of a prime minister. Hamilton oversaw his colleagues under the elective reign of George Washington. Washington requested Hamilton's advice and assistance on matters outside the purview of the Treasury Department. In 1791, while secretary, Hamilton was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Hamilton submitted various financial reports to Congress. Among these are the First Report on the Public Credit, Operations of the Act Laying Duties on Imports, Report on a National Bank, On the Establishment of a Mint, Report on Manufactures, and the Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit. So, the great enterprise in Hamilton's project of an administrative republic is the establishment of stability.
Before the adjournment of the House in September 1789, they requested Hamilton to make a report on suggestions to improve the public credit by January 1790. Hamilton had written to Robert Morris as early as 1781, that fixing the public credit will win their objective of independence. The sources that Hamilton used ranged from Frenchmen such as Jacques Necker and Montesquieu to British writers such as Hume, Hobbes, and Malachy Postlethwayt. While writing the report he also sought out suggestions from contemporaries such as John Witherspoon and Madison. Although they agreed on additional taxes such as distilleries and duties on imported liquors and land taxes, Madison feared that the securities from the government debt would fall into foreign hands.
In 1790, the New York legislature decided to give up New York's claim to Vermont if Congress decided to admit Vermont to the Union and if negotiations between New York and Vermont on the boundary between the two states were successfully concluded. In 1790, negotiators discussed not only the boundary, but also financial compensation of New York land-grantees whose grants Vermont refused to recognize because they conflicted with earlier grants from New Hampshire. Compensation in the amount of 30,000 Spanish dollars was agreed to, and Vermont was admitted to the Union in 1791.
Another issue in which Hamilton played a role was the temporary location of the capital from New York City. Tench Coxe was sent to speak to Maclay to bargain about the capital being temporarily located to Philadelphia, as a single vote in the Senate was needed and five in the House for the bill to pass. Thomas Jefferson wrote years afterward that Hamilton had a discussion with him, around this time period, about the capital of the United States being relocated to Virginia by mean of a "pill" that "would be peculiarly bitter to the Southern States, and that some concomitant measure should be adopted to sweeten it a little to them". The bill passed in the Senate on July 21 and in the House 34 votes to 28 on July 26, 1790.
Concerning some of the details of the "System of Cutters", Hamilton wanted the first ten cutters in different areas in the United States, from New England to Georgia. Each of those cutters was to be armed with ten muskets and bayonets, twenty pistols, two chisels, one broad-ax and two lanterns. The fabric of the sails was to be domestically manufactured; and provisions were made for the employees' food supply and etiquette when boarding ships. Congress established the Revenue Cutter Service on August 4, 1790, which is viewed as the birth of the United States Coast Guard.
One of the principal sources of revenue Hamilton prevailed upon Congress to approve was an excise tax on whiskey. In his first Tariff Bill in January 1790, Hamilton proposed to raise the three million dollars needed to pay for government operating expenses and interest on domestic and foreign debts by means of an increase on duties on imported wines, distilled spirits, tea, coffee, and domestic spirits. It failed, with Congress complying with most recommendations excluding the excise tax on whiskey (Madison's tariff of the same year was a modification of Hamilton's that involved only imported duties and was passed in September).
In response of diversifying revenues, as three-fourths of revenue gathered was from commerce with Great Britain, Hamilton attempted once again during his Report on Public Credit when presenting it in 1790 to implement an excise tax on both imported and domestic spirits. The taxation rate was graduated in proportion to the whiskey proof, and Hamilton intended to equalize the tax burden on imported spirits with imported and domestic liquor. In lieu of the excise on production citizens could pay 60 cents by the gallon of dispensing capacity, along with an exemption on small stills used exclusively for domestic consumption. He realized the loathing that the tax would receive in rural areas, but thought of the taxing of spirits more reasonable than land taxes.
Hamilton's next report was his Report on Manufactures. Although he was requested by Congress on January 15, 1790, for a report for manufacturing that would expand the United States' independence, the report was not submitted until December 5, 1791. In the report, Hamilton quoted from Wealth of Nations and used the French physiocrats as an example for rejecting agrarianism and the physiocratic theory; respectively. Hamilton also refuted Smith's ideas of government noninterference, as it would have been detrimental for trade with other countries. Hamilton also thought of the United States being a primarily agrarian country would be at a disadvantage in dealing with Europe. In response to the agrarian detractors, Hamilton stated that the agriculturists' interest would be advanced by manufactures, and that agriculture was just as productive as manufacturing.
Madison warned the Pennsylvania congress members that he would attack the bill as unconstitutional in the House, and followed up on his threat. Madison argued his case of where the power of a bank could be established within the Constitution, but he failed to sway members of the House, and his authority on the constitution was questioned by a few members. The bill eventually passed in an overwhelming fashion 39 to 20, on February 8, 1791.
In 1791, Hamilton submitted the Report on the Establishment of a Mint to the House of Representatives. Many of Hamilton's ideas for this report were from European economists, resolutions from Continental Congress meetings from 1785 and 1786, and from people such as Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris and Thomas Jefferson.
In 1791, Hamilton, along with Coxe and several entrepreneurs from New York and Philadelphia formed the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures, a private industrial corporation. In May 1792, the directors decided to scope out The Passaic Falls. On July 4, 1792, the society directors met Philip Schuyler at Abraham Godwin's hotel on the Passaic River, where they would lead a tour prospecting the area for the national manufactory. It was originally suggested that they dig mile long trenches and build the factories away from the falls, but Hamilton argued that it would be too costly and laborious.
By 1792, Hamilton's principles were adopted by Congress, resulting in the Coinage Act of 1792, and the creation of the United States Mint. There was to be a ten-dollar Gold Eagle coin, a silver dollar, and fractional money ranging from one-half to fifty cents. The coining of silver and gold was issued by 1795.
In November 1792, James Reynolds and his associate Jacob Clingman were arrested for counterfeiting and speculating in Revolutionary War veterans' unpaid back wages. Clingman was released on bail and relayed information to James Monroe that Reynolds had evidence that would incriminate Hamilton. Monroe consulted with congressmen Muhlenberg and Venable on what actions to take and the congressmen confronted Hamilton on December 15, 1792. Hamilton refuted the suspicions of speculation by exposing his affair with Maria and producing as evidence the letters by both Reynoldses, proving that his payments to James Reynolds related to blackmail over his adultery, and not to treasury misconduct. The trio were to keep the documents privately with the utmost confidence.
When France and Britain went to war in early 1793, all four members of the Cabinet were consulted on what to do. They and Washington unanimously agreed to remain neutral, and to send Genêt home. However, in 1794 policy toward Britain became a major point of contention between the two parties. Hamilton and the Federalists wished for more trade with Britain, the largest trading partner of the newly formed United States. The Republicans saw monarchist Britain as the main threat to republicanism and proposed instead to start a trade war.
Strong opposition to the whiskey tax by cottage producers in remote, rural regions erupted into the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794; in Western Pennsylvania and western Virginia, whiskey was the basic export product and was fundamental to the local economy. In response to the rebellion, believing compliance with the laws was vital to the establishment of federal authority, Hamilton accompanied to the rebellion's site President Washington, General Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, and more federal troops than were ever assembled in one place during the Revolution. This overwhelming display of force intimidated the leaders of the insurrection, ending the rebellion virtually without bloodshed.
Hamilton tendered his resignation from office on December 1, 1794, giving Washington two months' notice, in the wake of his wife Eliza's miscarriage while he was absent during his armed repression of the Whiskey Rebellion. Before leaving his post on January 31, 1795, Hamilton submitted a Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit to Congress to curb the debt problem. Hamilton grew dissatisfied with what he viewed as a lack of a comprehensive plan to fix the public debt. He wished to have new taxes passed with older ones made permanent and stated that any surplus from the excise tax on liquor would be pledged to lower public debt. His proposals were included into a bill by Congress within slightly over a month after his departure as treasury secretary. Some months later Hamilton resumed his law practice in New York to remain closer to his family.
To avoid war, Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate with the British; Hamilton largely wrote Jay's instructions. The result was Jay's Treaty. It was denounced by the Republicans, but Hamilton mobilized support throughout the land. The Jay Treaty passed the Senate in 1795 by exactly the required two-thirds majority. The Treaty resolved issues remaining from the Revolution, averted war, and made possible ten years of peaceful trade between the United States and Britain. Historian George Herring notes the "remarkable and fortuitous economic and diplomatic gains" produced by the Treaty.
Hamilton's resignation as Secretary of the Treasury in 1795 did not remove him from public life. With the resumption of his law practice, he remained close to Washington as an advisor and friend. Hamilton influenced Washington in the composition of his farewell address by writing drafts for Washington to compare with the latter's draft, although when Washington contemplated retirement in 1792, he had consulted James Madison for a draft that was used in a similar manner to Hamilton's.
In the summer of 1797, however, when "notoriously scurrilous journalist" James T. Callender published A History of the United States for the Year 1796, it contained accusations of James Reynolds being an agent of Hamilton, using documents from the confrontation of December 15, 1792. On July 5, 1797, Hamilton wrote to Monroe, Muhlenberg and Venable asking them to confirm that there was nothing that would damage the perception of his integrity while Secretary of Treasury. All complied with Hamilton's request but Monroe. Hamilton then published a 100-page booklet, later usually referred to as the Reynolds Pamphlet, and discussed the affair in exquisite detail. Hamilton's wife Elizabeth eventually forgave him, but not Monroe. Although he faced ridicule from the Democratic-Republican faction, he maintained his availability for public service.
To fund this army, Hamilton wrote regularly to Oliver Wolcott Jr., his successor at the treasury; William Loughton Smith, of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Senator Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts. He directed them to pass a direct tax to fund the war. Smith resigned in July 1797, as Hamilton scolded him for slowness, and told Wolcott to tax houses instead of land. The eventual program included a Stamp Act like that of the British before the Revolution and other taxes on land, houses, and slaves, calculated at different rates in different states, and requiring difficult and intricate assessment of houses. This provoked resistance in southeastern Pennsylvania, led primarily by men such as John Fries who had marched with Washington against the Whiskey Rebellion.
Hamilton aided in all areas of the army's development, and after Washington's death he was by default the senior officer of the United States Army from December 14, 1799, to June 15, 1800. The army was to guard against invasion from France. Adams, however, derailed all plans for war by opening negotiations with France that led to peace. There was no longer a need for the army Hamilton was running. Adams discovered that key members of his cabinet, namely Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and Secretary of War James McHenry, were more loyal to Hamilton rather than himself; Adams fired them in May 1800.
In the 1800 election, Hamilton worked to defeat not only the rival Democratic-Republican candidates, but also his party's own nominee, John Adams. In November 1799, the Alien and Sedition Acts had left one Democratic-Republican newspaper functioning in New York City; when the last, the New Daily Advertiser, reprinted an article saying that Hamilton had attempted to purchase the Philadelphia Aurora and close it down, Hamilton had the publisher prosecuted for seditious libel, and the prosecution compelled the owner to close the paper.
The Jeffersonian Republicans opposed banks and cities, and favored France. They built their own national coalition to oppose the Federalists. Both sides gained the support of local political factions, and each side developed its own partisan newspapers. Noah Webster, John Fenno, and William Cobbett were energetic editors for the Federalists; Benjamin Franklin Bache and Philip Freneau were fiery Republican editors. All of their newspapers were characterized by intense personal attacks, major exaggerations, and invented claims. In 1801, Hamilton established a daily newspaper that is still published, the New York Evening Post (now the New York Post), and brought in William Coleman as its editor.
The Grange is the only home Alexander Hamilton ever owned. It is a Federal style mansion designed by John McComb Jr.. It was built on Hamilton's 32-acre country estate in Hamilton Heights in upper Manhattan, and was completed in 1802. Hamilton named the house "The Grange" after the estate of his grandfather Alexander in Ayrshire, Scotland. The house remained in the family until 1833, when his widow Eliza sold it to Thomas E. Davis, a British-born real estate developer, for $25,000. Part of the proceeds were used by Eliza to purchase a new townhouse from Davis in Greenwich Village (now known as the Hamilton-Holly House, where Eliza lived until 1843 with her grown children Alexander and Eliza, and their spouses).
Hamilton wrote an exceeding number of letters to friends in Congress to convince the members to see otherwise. The Federalists rejected Hamilton's diatribe as reasons to not vote for Burr. Nevertheless, Burr would become Vice President of the United States. When it became clear that Jefferson had developed his own concerns about Burr and would not support his return to the vice presidency, Burr sought the New York governorship in 1804 with Federalist support, against the Jeffersonian Morgan Lewis, but was defeated by forces including Hamilton.
Burr, sensing an attack on his honor, and recovering from his defeat, demanded an apology in letter form. Hamilton wrote a letter in response and ultimately refused because he could not recall the instance of insulting Burr. Hamilton would also have been accused of recanting Cooper's letter out of cowardice. After a series of attempts to reconcile were to no avail, a duel was arranged through liaisons on June 27, 1804.
The duel began at dawn on July 11, 1804, along the west bank of the Hudson River on a rocky ledge in Weehawken, New Jersey. Coincidentally, the duel took place relatively close to the location of the duel that had ended the life of Hamilton's eldest son, Philip, three years earlier. After the seconds had measured the paces, Hamilton, according to both William P. Van Ness and Burr, raised his pistol "as if to try the light" and had to wear his glasses to prevent his vision from being obscured. Hamilton also refused the hairspring set of dueling pistols (needing less trigger pressure) offered by Nathaniel Pendleton.
After Hamilton's death in 1804, Elizabeth endeavored to preserve his legacy. She re-organized all of Alexander's letters, papers, and writings with the help of her son, John Church Hamilton, and persevered through many setbacks in getting his biography published. She was so devoted to Alexander's memory that she wore a small package around her neck containing the pieces of a sonnet which Alexander wrote for her during the early days of their courtship.
At a time when most white leaders doubted the capacity of blacks, Hamilton believed slavery was morally wrong and wrote that "their natural faculties are as good as ours." Unlike contemporaries such as Jefferson, who considered the removal of freed slaves (to a western territory, the West Indies, or Africa) to be essential to any plan for emancipation, Hamilton pressed for emancipation with no such provisions. Hamilton and other Federalists supported Toussaint Louverture's revolution against France in Haiti, which had originated as a slave revolt. Hamilton's suggestions helped shape the Haitian constitution. In 1804 when Haiti became the Western Hemisphere's first independent state with a majority of the population being black, Hamilton urged closer economic and diplomatic ties.
Hamilton served as one of the first trustees of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy in Clinton, New York, which was renamed Hamilton College in 1812, after receiving a college charter.
The first postage stamp to honor Hamilton was issued by the U.S. Post Office in 1870. The portrayals on the 1870 and 1888 issues are from the same engraved die, which was modeled after a bust of Hamilton by Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi. The Hamilton 1870 issue was the first U.S. postage stamp to honor a Secretary of the Treasury. The three-cent red commemorative issue, which was released on the 200th anniversary of Hamilton's birth in 1957, includes a rendition of the Federal Hall building, located in New York City. On March 19, 1956, the United States Postal Service issued the $5 Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Hamilton.
In 1880, Hamilton's son John Church Hamilton commissioned Carl Conrads to sculpt a granite statue, now located in Central Park, New York City.
The Grange was first moved from its original location in 1889, and was moved again in 2008 to a spot in St. Nicholas Park in Hamilton Heights, on land that was once part of the Hamilton estate. The historic structure, now designated as the Hamilton Grange National Memorial, was restored to its original 1802 appearance in 2011, and is maintained by the National Park Service.
In Washington, D.C., the south terrace of the Treasury Building features a statue of Hamilton by James Earle Fraser, which was dedicated on May 17, 1923.
In Chicago, a thirteen-foot tall statue of Hamilton by sculptor John Angel was cast in 1939. It was not installed at Lincoln Park until 1952, due to problems with a controversial 78-foot tall columned shelter designed for it and later demolished in 1993. The statue has remained on public display, and was restored and regilded in 2016.
In 1990, the U.S. Custom House in New York City was renamed after Hamilton.
A bronze sculpture of Hamilton titled The American Cape, by Kristen Visbal, was unveiled at Journal Square in downtown Hamilton, Ohio, in October 2004.
Hamilton's portrait has been featured on the front of the U.S. $10 bill since 1928. The source of the engraving is John Trumbull's 1805 portrait of Hamilton, in the portrait collection of New York City Hall. In June 2015, the U.S. Treasury announced a decision to replace the engraving of Hamilton with that of a woman. Before the bill was actually redesigned, the decision was changed due to the unanticipated popular success of the 2015 Broadway musical Hamilton.
Alexander married Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton in December 1780. Alexander had eight children.
|#1||Eliza Hamilton Holly||Daughter||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#3||Schuyler Hamilton Jr.||Great-grandson||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#4||Rachel Faucette Buck||Mother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#5||James A. Hamilton||Parents||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#6||James Alexander Hamilton||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#7||Alexander Hamilton Jr.||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#8||John Church Hamilton||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#9||William S. Hamilton||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#10||Philip Hamilton||Son||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||19||Celebrity Family Member|
|#11||Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton||Spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Currently, Alexander Hamilton is 267 years, 10 months and 23 days old. Alexander Hamilton will celebrate 268th birthday on a Wednesday 11th of January 2023. Below we countdown to Alexander Hamilton upcoming birthday.
Happy 263rd Birthday Alexander Hamilton
Today is the 263rd of a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, a founding father and the subject with one of the most successful Broadway musicals: NAME: Alexander Hamilton OCCUPATION: Pol…