OTD: Alexander Hamilton was born

hamilton

On this day in 1755, Founding Father Alexander Hamilton was born in Nevis, British West Indies.  US Secretary of the Treasurer, Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler (General Philip Schuyler’s daughter).  Hamilton was born out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette, a married woman of partial French Huguenot descent, and James A. Hamilton, from Scotland.

His family moved to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, then ruled by Denmark. Because Alexander Hamilton’s parents were not legally married, the Church of England denied him membership and education in the church school. Hamilton went to a private school led by a Jewish headmistress. Hamilton supplemented his education with a family library of 34 books.  His father,  James Hamilton abandoned his mother, Rachel and their sons. Thereafter, Rachel supported her children in St. Croix, keeping a small store. She contracted a severe fever and died on February 19, 1768, leaving Hamilton orphaned at the age of 13. Hamilton became a clerk at a local import-export firm which traded to New England; he was left in charge of the firm for five months in 1771, while the owner was at sea.

From this difficult early existence, Alexander Hamilton moved on to become educated at King’s College (now Columbia) in New York City.  He volunteered for the American War of Independence and over time became an Aide to General George Washington. He visited Saratoga (his Father-in-law’s estate) with General Washington in 1783.  He became very active New York and United States politics.  He was one of the authors of the Federalist Papers.  Alexander Hamilton became the first Secretary of the Treasury and set up much of our federal system.  There is little doubt that Hamilton was one of those most influential of tour founding fathers.

Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community.  There are many individuals like Alexander Hamilton with is connections with the Schuyler Family that help define this country and our community.  It is the determination of our forefathers, including Alexander Hamilton in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future.  It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world political development.  That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.

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One thought on “OTD: Alexander Hamilton was born

  1. Pingback: Have a Revolutionary Valentine’s Day | Town of Saratoga Historian's Office

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