In this article, we will learn about Alexander Hamilton biography. Alexander Hamilton was an American statesman, writer, soldier, lawyer, politician, economist, and one of the nation’s Founding Fathers. As a result of his work, the United States’ financial system owes a lot to him. He also helped to create the Federalist Party and the United States Coast Guard.
Alexander also founded the New York Post newspaper, which has become a national institution. Today, his legacy is celebrated around the world. Find out more about Alexander Hamilton biography, facts, birth, death, and children in this article.
- Alexander Hamilton Biography
- Alexander Hamilton Biography: Early Life
- Alexander Hamilton Biography: Education
- Alexander Hamilton Biography: Children
- Alexander Hamilton Accomplishments
- Alexander Hamilton Controversies and Death
- Alexander Hamilton Close Friends and Siblings
- How Did Alexander Hamilton Die?
- Where Is Alexander Hamilton Buried?
- When Was Alexander Hamilton President?
- For What Is Alexander Hamilton Best Known?
- What Happened To Alexander’s Kids?
- Alexander Hamilton Notable Pamphlets and Essays
- Books to Read About Alexander Hamilton
- Bottom Line
- Also, Read
Alexander Hamilton Biography
Let’s explore the Alexander Hamilton biography right away. The life and work of Alexander Hamilton is a fascinating tale that’s well worth exploring. He served as the first U.S. Mint director and founded the Revenue Cutter Service, which ultimately became the U.S. Coast Guard.
The earliest Hamilton family photo is of Hamilton’s eldest son, Phillip, who was fatally shot during a duel with Aaron Burr in 1801. But Hamilton’s legacy goes beyond this one remarkable event.
Aside from being a founding father, Hamilton also contributed to the development of American economic institutions. He was an illegitimate son of a Scot and raised in the Caribbean. He went on to attend college in New York. In 1775, he enlisted in the Continental Army.
He later became an aide de camp to General George Washington and took part in the Battle of Yorktown. He was later appointed president of the United States and became a member of the Council of Thirty.
In the summer of 1775, Hamilton joined a volunteer militia company, known as the Hearts of Oak. His uniforms bore the words “Liberty or Death” in French. Despite the fact that he was a private citizen, he remained loyal to the cause of the cause.
His political connections helped him enter the military full-time in March 1776. He was appointed captain of the New York Provincial Company of Artillery, which was responsible for protecting Manhattan Island.
In 1774, Hamilton was hired as a clerk by a trading company in St. Croix, where he lived and worked until his twenties. His eloquent letter to the locals about a hurricane on the island drew attention and the locals raised funds for Hamilton’s studies in America.
At the time, the colonies were preparing for war with Great Britain. Fortunately, the young Hamilton managed to survive the storm and become president of the United States.
After leaving the cabinet, Hamilton continued to be active on the political scene. In 1796, he helped to draft Washington’s Farewell Address. In 1798, war with France was looming. When the war began, Washington called Hamilton back into service as second in command of the Provisional Army.
The president noted that there were few capable candidates for the position. By the time of his death, Hamilton was a senior officer in the army and had many political responsibilities.
Alexander Hamilton Biography: Early Life
Hamilton was born out of wedlock in January 1755 or 1757 on the Caribbean Island Nevis. After fleeing from a difficult marriage, his mother Rachel Faucette Lavien (the daughter of a French Huguenot doctor) met his father James Hamilton, a Scottish trader.
Alexander’s parents finally settled down and had their two children. Unfortunately, much heartache followed for Alexander and his older brother. James Hamilton had left the family by 1766. His wife died two years later. The two sons were left without a parent before they were even teenagers.
Alexander started his career as a clerk in a local trading firm run by two New York merchants when he was only 13. He was soon promoted to manager.
Alexander Hamilton Biography: Education
Hamilton arrived in New York in 1773 and enrolled at King’s College, later renamed Columbia University. He became well-known for his anonymous pamphlets on Anglo-American trade relations while he was there. One of them was even attributed to John Jay and John Adams, two prominent American propagandists.
Hamilton’s national pride led to him abandoning his studies. Hamilton wanted to be a part of the Revolutionary War against the British that had started by 1775.
Alexander Hamilton Biography: Children
Hamilton’s parents never got married. Hamilton was prohibited from going to school because of this. Hamilton was educated privately and he consulted his family’s library of classics. After his orphanage, he continued to be a keen reader and writer.
Alexander and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton had their first child, Philip, on January 22nd, 1782. He was smart, quick-tempered, and fiercely loyal. After several heated arguments with George Eacker (a well-known lawyer who had insulted Alexander during a speech), Philip, then 19, challenged him to a duel.
Eacker’s bullet struck Philip in the hip and he died the following day. Just one year after the tragedy, the Hamiltons’ eighth child and youngest was born. They named him Philip to honor the brother they had never known.
Apart from their eldest son, the other Alexander Hamilton children all lived a very good and long life.
- Philip Hamilton (1782-1801)
- Angelica Hamilton (1784-1857)
- Alexander Hamilton Jr. (1786-1875)
- James Alexander Hamilton (1788-1878)
- John Church Hamilton (1792-1882)
- William Stephen Hamilton (1797-1850)
- Eliza Hamilton Holly (1799-1859)
- Philip Hamilton (1802-1884)
Alexander Hamilton Accomplishments
Hamilton’s next adventure took him to the heart of the American Revolution. Hamilton was a founding father of the nation that grew from it, and the creator of the current economic system.
He was a lawyer, a delegate at the Constitutional Convention, and the nation’s first Treasury secretary after the war. Here’s a brief sketch of his most notable achievements.
1. A Military Hero
Hamilton was a member of the New York Provincial Artillery Company when the Revolutionary War started. He got to experience life on the battlefield. His bravery and tactical skills impressed George Washington.
Washington made Hamilton his aide de camp and promoted him to lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army. Hamilton spent the following years writing for the general.
2. Work on the U.S. Constitution and the Federalist Papers
Hamilton saw how divided America’s colonies were and concluded that the Articles of Confederation were responsible for the lack of unity within the country. Hamilton would tell his fellows that America needed a strong central government, funded by reliable and consistent revenue sources. He became vocal in support of the Constitution’s creation.
3. The first secretary of the Treasury
George Washington was elected as the first president of the United States and Hamilton was appointed secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton was a student of financial history, and he developed an admiration for it.
How the British government managed their economy and large national debt. He understood that the new nation could only survive and prosper if it had its finances under control and that it was up to the national government to ensure that this was the case.
Alexander Hamilton Controversies and Death
Hamilton’s outspoken nature, polarizing views, and sometimes impeded his political career. His time in the White House was effectively ended by quarrels and a major scandal.
Hamilton was Treasury Secretary when he had an affair. He was also accused of sexual harassment. Although he kept it quiet for several years, the truth eventually became public.
Hamilton, who had a bad reputation, returned to the military. Hamilton didn’t remain silent, however. Alexander defeated Aaron Burr’s attempts to become U.S. president in 1800. Hamilton was defeated in New York’s governorship election. Alexander was then challenged by Burr to a duel at the exact spot Hamilton had died while protecting his father’s honor.
He apparently wasted his chance by shooting into the air. Burr was not so generous. Hamilton was killed by Burr’s shot. Hamilton is survived by his wife, and seven of their children.
Alexander Hamilton Close Friends and Siblings
Hamilton was close friends with Angelica Schuyler Church, his older sister. Angelica and Hamilton exchanged many flirtatious and affectionate letters. Angelica even suggested that Eliza have a relationship.
Although rumors circulated at the time about a relationship between the two, there is no evidence that it was. Angelica was married to John Church when Hamilton met her.
How Did Alexander Hamilton Die?
Aaron Burr, Hamilton’s political opponent, killed him in a duel. Burr, tired of hearing rumors about Hamilton’s badmouthing, said he didn’t have any principles and was trying to sabotage Hamilton’s career. He proposed a duel using pistols to settle the matter.
They met in the exact spot Hamilton’s son had been killed three years prior, on July 11, 1804. Legend has it that Hamilton was reluctant to fire on Burr after he was devastated by the death of his son. Burr was not affected by such feelings and his shot proved fatal.
Where Is Alexander Hamilton Buried?
Hamilton is buried in Trinity Church Cemetery in downtown Manhattan. Also, his wife Eliza Schuyler Hamilton is buried next to him, who outlived him by 50 years.
When Was Alexander Hamilton President?
Hamilton was not the president of the United States. However, he was a close aide to George Washington and an advisor to him. He also helped shape John Adams’ policies.
For What Is Alexander Hamilton Best Known?
Hamilton achieved a lot during his short life. His achievements are most well-known. These include his efforts to secure America’s independence, get the Constitution signed and revolutionize the country’s financial systems.
He also founded the Federalist Party which was the first voting-based political party in America. He also established the United States Coast Guard as well as the New York Post newspaper.
What Happened To Alexander’s Kids?
Louis, his oldest son, was a soldier under George Custer. He died in the Battle of Washita River, 1868. Little Phil died 16 years later, at the age of 82. Hamilton is a great drama, but it leaves out much about Alexander’s family.
Alexander Hamilton Notable Pamphlets and Essays
- The Continentalist (1781)
- The Federalist Papers (1787-1788)
- The Reynolds Pamphlet (1797)
- A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress (1774)
- The Farmer Refuted (1775)
- The Remarks on the Quebec Bill (1775)
Books to Read About Alexander Hamilton
- Alexander Hamilton: A Life by Willard Sterne Randall (2000)
- Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider by Jean Fritz (2011)
- Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (2004)
- Government by Michael W. Simmons (2016)
- Alexander Hamilton: Founding Father by Mark Steinberg
- War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel that Stunned the Nation by John Sedgwick (2016)
- Alexander Hamilton: First Architect of the American
- Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis (2000)
Alexander Hamilton’s remarkable story is not only because of what he accomplished but also because of all the obstacles that he had to overcome in order to get there. Americans owe a huge debt to Hamilton, who achieved so much from humble beginnings. I hope, you have liked Alexander Hamilton Biography.