Alexander Hamilton: Biography, Quotes, History, And Facts

Anusuya Mukherjee
Mar 01, 2024 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Nov 30, 2021
Learn all about the American hero, Alexander Hamilton.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 10.3 Min

Alexander Hamilton literally touched all fields of study and applied them to the well-being of millions of Americans.

Hamilton is not a new name, for he ruled over American history in a short span of time. Gaining prominence in the list of Alexanders across human history, from Alexander the Great of Macedonia to Alexander Graham Bell, Alexander Hamilton is no less!

He was born on the Caribbean Island of Nevis. Let’s have a thoughtful reading and plunge into his history and other facts that were quite unknown all this time. Hamilton refused to buckle down to popular sentiment and was critical of then-president John Adams. Read along to find out about Alexander Hamilton's children, Alexander Hamilton wife, Alexander Hamilton death, and more!

After reading some interesting facts about Alexander Hamilton's report and his ideas regarding the national government, also check out Albert Einstein facts and facts about Cuba.

What is Alexander Hamilton known for?

A short-lived personality who acquired fame and respect for bringing home independence. A personality who has bagged innumerable achievements and accomplishments! That is Alexander Hamilton for the world. There are a lot of things unknown about this virtuoso, who propelled in the art of statesmanship.

Alexander Hamilton is best known as one of the founding statesmen of the United States of America. This Caribbean-born statesman was also a popular politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, economist, and banker of those times. He still lives in the hearts of millions of Americans for liberating them from the clutches of the British. Indeed, an all-rounder, he tried his hands in almost all the fields that turned his short life plentiful.

Hamilton had mastery in everything he tried, as a result, he could revolutionize the polity and economy of this superpower that now rules the unipolar world. He continues to live past history with his undying legacy, which is exhibited in the currency notes, statues, place names, and memorials in his honor. Best remembered for helping the US defeat Great Britain in the revolution, forgiving his hand in getting the US Constitution approved, and for gifting a strong financial system for the US, the list of his deeds that acquired him the name and fame goes way too long.

Alexander Hamilton fought as an indispensable second in command for George Washington during the American Revolution. As a Lieutenant Colonel of the Continental Army, George Washington brought laurels to his home for his military commanding skills, for beating the colonizers, and for ultimately marking an end to a seven-year-long American Revolution. The contributions he made to carving out a democratic constitutional federal government or the federal republic were exceptional. He criticized the former document, the Articles of Confederation, for dividing the nation into colonies. He stood for a powerful central government financed by reliable and consistent sources of revenue. He had strong principles with regard to the future constitution of the US and a few of his visions and ideas can be seen enshrined in the present-day US Constitution. He is said to have validated it by writing a collection of essays titled 'The Federalist Papers' that defended and upheld the brand-new constitution of his motherland. Also, a lawyer, Hamilton was elected by the New York bar and the New York legislature as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He became the New York delegate.

In his 'Federalist Papers' that Hamilton published after he spent time, he wrote and threw light on an ambitious US economy. Hamilton wrote and penned his idea. Hamilton suggested ideas on economic prosperity, taxation, and revenue. He defended a strong federal government on account of American commerce and free trade. This renowned personality was also celebrated as the First Secretary of the Treasury. Being the much-trusted right-hand man of the first US President, George Washington, Hamilton was chosen as the Secretary of the Treasury. His knowledge of banking, financial history, and economics was an added advantage in this position. He drew from the British model of managing the economy and laid out ideas that gave him supreme powers to control the economy for an easy hand on debt and other financial aspects. The economic changes that the US underwent under him are worth praising. He set the US Dollar as the national currency, introduced tariffs on imported goods, and a few other strategies were laid out to tackle the debt concerns. No wonder these measures blessed the nation with fortunes, economic growth, and the world-renowned Wall Street and US stock markets. This man of wonders is therefore hailed for revolutionizing the American financial system.

Did Alexander Hamilton fight in the revolutionary war?

An impoverished but ambitious self-taught immigrant from the West Indies who fled to America in 1772, Alexander was new to a country that was suffering hardships under the colonial crisis. Not born into a wealthy family, Hamilton arrived to bear witness to several topsy-turvy events that life threw at him.

Was it possible, or even imaginable, for a boy who had an affluent upbringing to get into the US military and lead the revolution from the forefront?

At the beginning of the revolutionary war against Great Britain, Hamilton joined the New York Provincial Artillery Company, which ultimately brought him to the battlefield in New York. Evidently, he was a patriot who was driven by the sole motive of liberating the US. This soon helped him impress George Washington; the then Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and later the first President of the US, with his bravery and tactical skills from New York. It drove Washington and he appointed Hamilton as the Lieutenant colonel of the Continental Army.

Such was his exemplariness and valor. He worked under the General for the next couple of years, where his writing skills were widely applauded. In spite of this, however, his strong national sentiments made him restless and once again brought him back to the battlefield, for which he returned to Washington in 1781. At Yorktown, Hamilton led the battalion and was able to bring the British General Lord Cornwallis to his knees, marking the end of the American Revolution.

Alexander Hamilton Family

With ancestral origin from Scotland, Alexander was born in Charlestown, in the British West Indies, on January 11, 1757, to James Hamilton and Rachel Fawcett; out of wedlock.  His father was a Scottish merchant of St, Christopher.

Hamilton had tough teen years. His mother was a divorcee before marrying James Hamilton and their marriage was socially acceptable in the West Indies. This union resulted in the birth of two sons; who grew apart in less than 10 years of birth. His brother, James Hamilton Jr., could spend only a few years with him at their cousin’s home, but later parted for higher education. They lost their father, who spared his life in an attempt to save Rachel from a bigamy charge. This brought all the responsibilities of running the family to the shoulders of Rachel, who ran a store in Christenstad when Alexander took up a job. But fate had something else in store for the family of three. The first husband of Rachel, Michael Lavien, issued a public summon that ordered Rachel to appear before the supreme court that later declared her a whore who gave birth to illegitimate children. They were subject to gossip and personal torchers. Suffering from severe fever, Rachel passed away in 1768, leaving the boys orphaned. Both the boys were orphans in their teen years and had to witness a lot of hardships initially.  The childhood tribulations that Hamilton went through can beat any film plot. It would have been unthinkable for any other teen boy to step into nation-building despite having a jarring upbringing.

As an orphan, young Alexander was adopted by a merchant named Thomas Stevens. He found a good friend in his son, Edward. Later on, he moved out in search of better prospects and higher education.

On December 14, 1780, Alexander Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler, who was the daughter of Philip Schuyler, a Revolutionary War General. She had a wealthy family and a well-known New York family. Elizabeth was also a socialite and philanthropist. The Hamiltons' marriage was a happy marriage that resulted in eight children.

Hamilton played an integral role in the ratification of the US Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton Education

Has it been easy for anyone to pivot the political and economic lives of Americans? Had it been easy for one to overcome all these unforeseen challenges that life had set and to gain proficiency in politics, economics, law, literature, banking, and the military in a not-so conducive environment?

The educational life of Hamilton will definitely give us insights into how he managed to take up struggles for the sake of building not the better but the best educational background.

Hamilton grew up on the island of Nevis, which was famous for its sugar plantations. He couldn’t attend the Anglican schools but received an elementary education through homeschooling. His mother, Rachel, taught him, French. Young Hamilton read all the books he could get his hands on and grew up reading Machiavelli and Plutarch. He also embraced poetry and sermons at a budding age, which later groomed him into a flair writer.

Though life was tough for him after becoming an orphan, he never let go of his in-built instinct and thirst for knowledge. While growing up with Thomas Stevens, Alexander got to do an apprenticeship with Beekman and Cruger, a firm that met the requirements of farmers at sugar plantations. This introduced him to practical knowledge in freight tracking and finances. He also tried his hand at writing around this time. Out of the blue, his poems were published in ‘The Royal Danish American Gazette’.

Though he had an interest in business, he wanted to move out and hoped for a college education. Impressed by his writing, the local businessmen garnered money for his education and sent him to America to attend college. His appetite for knowledge helped him grasp Latin, Greek, and advanced math at Elizabethtown Academy, which built his basics for college. After this, Alexander attended King’s College in New York, under Columbia University in New York in 1773. He spent his leisure time reading books in the library. Such was his inquisitiveness.

Alexander Hamilton had views and perspectives totally different from those of his professors in college. His expressions often clashed with theirs. To express his ideas and to propagate his belief system, he took the initiative to form a debating club at King's College in New York.

Alexander Hamilton had political views and beliefs similar to those of James Madison and James Jay. They were revolutionary instigators at a young age and later became pillars of nation-building. Both of them were nationalists. It was the nationalists in Hamilton that made him challenge the conservative stances of his lecturers in college. He had no fidelity to any colony or state and condemned British policies for causing havoc in the polity and economy of the nation. That further triggered him to join the revolution.

To put it in a nutshell, Hamilton grew up in the West Indies, received a college education from King’s College in New York City, joined the US military at the age of 17, freed America from the chains of Britain in 1781 by leading the battalion in New York City, made the finest contributions to the constitution, polity, and economy of the US, and the Burr-Hamilton duel in 1805 marked his assassination; destining him to live a short life. It was the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton in New Jersey that took the latter’s life in New Jersey.

Aaron Burr was the then Vice President of the US, while Hamilton was the Secretary of the Treasury. Both Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton already had stringent relations, and the bitter political rivalry further strained the relations and culminated in the assassination of Hamilton. The enmity started when Aaron Burr defeated Alexander’s father-in-law, Philip, for a seat in the US Senate. When one was a Democratic-Republican, the other stood with the Federalists. The following day of the duel, on July 12, 1804, Hamilton lost his life. However, he continues to live on in history with a commendable legacy.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Alexander Hamilton then why not take a look at Barak Obama facts, or facts about Rosa Parks.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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