Mr. Nussbaum - Alexander Hamilton Biography (2022)

Humble Beginnings

Alexander Hamilton was born January 11, 1755, on the Caribbean island of Nevis. His father abandoned him and his mother died when he was just a boy. Despite the hardships he experienced, his shrewd and ambitions mind carried him far. At age 12, Hamilton served as an apprentice at the Counting House of Nicholas Cruger and David Beekman. At age 15, Hamilton was put in charge of the business.

Off to College

Despite a lack of formal schooling during his adolescent years, Hamilton was an intelligent boy and knew both English and French. He was an excellent writer and was published for his descriptive account of a hurricane that ravaged the Caribbean islands. Friends of his family were impressed by his writing and paid for his formal schooling. Hamilton soon entered King’s College in New York City and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1774—in one year!

(Video) Federalist 23 by Alexander Hamilton

Strong Political Feelings

Hamilton gained political prominence later that year when he traveled to Boston to show his support for the colonies. While in Boston, he delivered a powerful speech denouncing British policies and wrote two pamphlets attacking a clergyman’s opposition to the Continental Congress.

Fighting in the Revolutionary War

During the American Revolution, Hamilton was commissioned as the captain of a company of artillery that defended Patriot interests at Long Island and White Plains. Hamilton’s military tactics won widespread praise and earned him a reputation for decisiveness and bravery. He was soon introduced to General George Washington who appointed him to his personal staff with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He became Washington’s personal secretary and gathered pivotal intelligence at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778. At Monmouth, Hamilton’s leadership and spirit helped rally retreating troops who promptly routed the British. The ambitious Hamilton later served at the Battle of Yorktown where he led a Patriot assault against the British.

Rising to Prominence

Alexander Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler in 1780 and eventually had eight children. In 1783, Hamilton was admitted to the New York State Bar after studying for three years. He soon opened his own law practice on Wall Street in New York City. He also served in Congress from 1782 to 1783, was elected to the Continental Congress, and founded the Bank of New York in February of 1784.

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One of America's Founding Fathers

Although Hamilton supported a Parliamentary-type government, he is most famous for his works regarding the US Constitution and the Federalist Papers. He was a staunch supporter of the Constitution and helped in its creation and execution. He was also the primary author of the Federalist Papers, a classic commentary on principles of government and American constitutional law. When George Washington was elected president, Alexander Hamilton was appointed the United States’ first Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton is credited with the establishment of America’s financial system and took great care in establishing America’s credit at home and abroad. His opinions concerning the structure and function of the national bank were groundbreaking and are still the inspiration behind the English and German economic systems. Hamilton also established an American philosophy on foreign policy and influenced George Washington to assert a position of neutrality regarding the French Revolution.

The Decline of the Federalists

Hamilton resigned from the treasury in 1795 but remained one of Washington’s most trusted advisors. After returning to his New York law practice and serving in the military for two more years, Hamilton’s Federalist Party became divided. Hamilton disagreed with many of the policies implemented by president John Adams and sought to control his policy as well as members of his cabinet. He wrote a seething letter denouncing Adams that was intended for private circulation. Vice President Aaron Burr, however, published the letter which was distributed to the public. Burr’s actions stirred great anger in Hamilton, who promptly short-circuited Burr’s political aspirations for president and governor. In the presidential election of 1800, in which Burr was campaigning, Hamilton persuaded the House of Representatives that Burr was untrustworthy and urged them to vote for Thomas Jefferson. He did the same when Burr lost the election for governor of New York.

Mr. Nussbaum - Alexander Hamilton Biography (1)

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Alexander Hamilton 200th Birthday Postage Stamp

Duel with Aaron Burr

Aaron Burr had finally had enough with Hamilton after this failure in New York. Burr challenged him to a duel on July 11, 1804. Burr won the duel and Hamilton died the next day from his wounds.

Legacy

Alexander Hamilton will always be remembered as one of America’s greatest economic and political minds.His ideas still influence politics and economic policy today. He is immortalized on the United States ten-dollar bill.

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Alexander Hamilton Articles

  • Siege of Yorktown - This page describes the decisive Siege at Yorktown
  • The Federalist Papers - This page describes the Federalist Papers - often called the Greatest Public Relations Campaign in American History.
  • Assumption - This page describes the Hamilton's plan to strengthen the central government and the deal he brokered to make it happen.
  • The Whiskey Rebellion - This page describes the Whiskey Rebellion and the roles of Hamilton and Washington.
  • Federalists Versus Republicans - This page describes the differences between Federalists and Republicans following ratification of the Constitution.
  • Newspaper Wars - This page describes the divisive nature of American newspapers, pamphlets, and publications after ratification of the Constitution.
  • The XYZ Affair and Adams Presidency - This page describes the XYZ Affair during the presidency of John Adams.

Hamilton Online Activities

  • Alexander Hamilton Correct-me Passage - This fun activity requires students to correct a passage about the life of Alexander Hamilton that has eight factual errors. Students first must discover the errors, then click on them and select the correct answer from the drop down menu.
  • Alexander Hamilton Fact or Fiction - This fun activity requires students to read an Alexander Hamilton passage and then, to sort 11 statements into those that are facts and those that are fiction. It gives immediate feedback.
  • The Siege of Yorktown Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage and ten multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback. In addition, when you click the "listen" button, you can hear the passage while it highlights the text.
  • Federalist Papers Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage andseven multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback and a score report.
  • The Federalists Versus Republicans Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage and seven multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback and a score report.
  • Alexander Hamilton Cloze Reading - This contextual vocabulary exercise requires students to insert the vocabulary words from the word bank that complete the paragraph.

Alexander Hamilton Online Games

  • Who is your Founding Father? - In this innovative game, students determine the "Founding Father" by evaluating the accomplishments of Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton on a significance scale of 1-10. As students evaluate each accomplishment, the "father" responsible for the accomplishment moves forward. For example, if a statement such as "How significant is it that this person wrote the Declaration Independence?" appears, and the student judges it "9," Thomas Jefferson would move forward nine steps.
  • Currency Mismatch - This is a wildly fun game that requires students to drag and drop the correct presidential faces to their correct dollar bills. The game is timed and makes for awesome friendly competitions within a classroom.
  • Founding Fathers Jeopardy - This is a "jeopardy" like game on United States Founding Fathers. It's super fun for classrooms, individuals, or small teams, totally customizable. Uncheck "teams take turns" to make it more exciting for kids.

Alexander Hamilton Printable Activities

  • Alexander Hamilton Fact or Fiction? - This fun activity requires students to read an Alexander Hamilton passage and then, to sort 11 statements into those that are facts and those that are fiction.
  • Alexander Hamilton Main Idea and Supporting Details - This activity requires students to group supporting detail sentences under one of three different main ideas. There are eight total sentences.
  • Alexander Hamilton Text Elements - Paragraph Headings - This printable activity requires students to match seven different headings to their correct paragraphs.
  • The Siege of Yorktown Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage and ten multiple choice questions.
  • Federalist Papers Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage and seven multiple choice questions.
  • The Federalists Versus Republicans Reading Comprehension - This resource includes a historical passage and seven multiple choice questions.
  • The Founding Fathers on U.S. Currency Reading Comprehension
  • The Federalist Papers: A Primitive Version of a Commercial - This fun exercise challenges students to relate to the Federalist Papers by thinking of three different commercials that they believe are effective in marketing a product. This activity combines art, description, and elaboration.
  • Alexander Hamilton $10 Bill Color-me-Activity - This is a beautiful coloring page featuring the Alexander Hamilton $10 bill.
  • Alexander Hamilton Writing Prompt: Settling the Score - This prompt requires students to help Hamilton and Burr find a more productive way to settle their differences instead of staging a duel.
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FAQs

What was Hamilton's first name? ›

Alexander Hamilton was a founding father of the United States, who fought in the American Revolutionary War, helped draft the Constitution, and served as the first secretary of the treasury. He was the founder and chief architect of the American financial system.

Who was Alexander Hamilton married to? ›

On December 14, 1780, Alexander Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler, daughter of Philip Schuyler, a Revolutionary War general, and Catherine Van Rensselaer Schuyler. Both the Schuylers and Rensselaers were very wealthy and prominent New York families. It was a happy marriage that produced eight children.

What did Hamilton do? ›

As resident Washington's first treasury secretary, Hamilton advocated for a national banking system, established the U.S. Mint and a system of tariffs and international trade agreements, and crafted monetary policies that assured financial security for the new nation.

What did Hamilton do in the Revolutionary War? ›

When the Revolutionary War began, he was commissioned to lead an artillery company in the Continental Army and fought bravely in the Battles of Trenton and Princeton, among others. By 1777, he had captured the attention of the army's commander-in-chief, General George Washington, who gave him a position on his staff.

What was Hamilton's last word? ›

Hamilton gasped, “I am a dead man” and collapsed. He lapsed in and out of consciousness while being rowed back across the Hudson River to New York. He was taken to a friend's mansion, his family rushing to his side.

Was Hamilton a good person? ›

An overbearing orator and politically tactless, Hamilton made fast enemies. He is often remembered less fondly in the American psyche despite being a founding father and a great scholar of government. It was Hamilton's political naïveté that led him astray and made it easy for those around him to exploit his failings.

Who Did Hamilton truly love? ›

At 22, Eliza met Alexander Hamilton, who was at the time serving under General George Washington, and fell in love "at first sight," per historical accounts. Judging by Hamilton's correspondence at the time, the feeling was mutual.

Who is Hamilton in love with? ›

One of the most heart-wrenching (and, admittedly, captivating) narrative threads in Lin-Manuel Miranda's award-winning musical Hamilton (now on Disney+) is that drawn between socialite Angelica Schuyler Church and the scrappy Founding Father.

Is Eliza's orphanage still open? ›

GRAHAM WINDHAM IS ELIZA'S LIVING LEGACY

215 years later, Eliza Hamilton's orphanage — now a family services agency called Graham Windham — is still helping kids get their shot. Graham Windham serves thousands of kids and families each year. Just like Eliza's husband, these kids survived a tough start in life.

What was Hamilton's most important thing? ›

Some of his biggest accomplishments included helping to defeat the British in the Revolutionary War, helping to push through the U.S. Constitution, being appointed the country's first secretary of the Treasury, and revolutionizing the nation's financial system.

Why is Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill? ›

The United States ten-dollar bill ($10) is a denomination of U.S. currency. The obverse of the bill features the portrait of Alexander Hamilton, who served as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

What is a famous quote from Alexander Hamilton? ›

Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many.” “The constitution shall never be construed...to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” “The art of reading is to skip judiciously.”

Who are the 7 founding fathers? ›

Fact #1: These seven men are the principle Founding Fathers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. While there were many others who contributed to the founding of the United States, these seven are considered by most as the Founding Fathers.

Why did Hamilton favor war with France? ›

This disagreement would eventually develop into a significant policy conflict between the two men on war with France. Hamilton believed in the existence of only one party (the French Party) and as such, justified overtly partisan behavior on the grounds that it was necessary to defeat America's enemies.

Why does Hamilton's wife gasp at the end? ›

In the first line of Eliza's solo "Helpless," she sings about wanting to avoid the spotlight, but at the very end of the show, Eliza literally steps into the spotlight, gasping because "She sees everybody telling her story when she devoted her life to telling everybody else's," Kennedy proposes.

How did Eliza react to Hamilton's death? ›

Immediately following her husband's death, Eliza was so distraught that friends and family feared for her sanity. She did not attend the funeral, and soon retreated with her daughters and younger sons to her father's house in Albany.

Why is Hamilton changing his last name? ›

The British racing driver Lewis Hamilton is to change his name to incorporate his mother's original surname – Larbalestier. The seven-time world champion says he intends to incorporate his mother Carmen's surname, Larbalestier, alongside Hamilton.

What was the IQ of Hamilton? ›

Alexander Hamilton lived long before IQ tests came into being however based on his writings and his vocabulary knowledge estimates place him between 150 and 160.

What did Hamilton fear most? ›

Hamilton feared that if most power was given to states or peoplewould determine decisions, not what was best for everyone. Not surprisingly, Hamilton was a sharp critic of the Articles of Confederation precisely because it gave too much power to the individual states and not enough to the central government.

What was Hamilton's weakness? ›

Hamilton's life, notes his new biographer, Ron Chernow, provides “a case study in the profitable use of time.” Despite all of that, Hamilton struggled through fierce political warfare, feelings of inadequacy and an inflamed sense of honor that ultimately got him killed in a duel over nothing.

Who did Hamilton not get along? ›

In George Washington's cabinet, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, became bitter rivals. They had different political and economic views and each wanted to be Washington's most trusted advisor. Hamilton's First Bank of the United States received its charter in 1791.

Who is everyone's favorite Hamilton character? ›

If one is purely looking at the first act, then Alexander Hamilton might top the list. He's the main character, makes decisions that can mostly be agreed with, and is sympathetic. Knowing how much Lin-Manuel Miranda put into this project adds to it.

Who was Hamilton best friend? ›

South Carolina's Revolutionary abolitionist, Lieutenant Colonel John Laurens, was Alexander Hamilton's closest friend.

Who was the prettiest Schuyler sister? ›

Cornelia Schuyler Morton (1776–1808) was born on the eve of the American Revolution. Cornelia was considered beautiful and witty, much like her oldest sister Angelica. She's shown, above left, in her portrait by Thomas Sully.

Who did Peggy Schuyler marry? ›

In 1783 Peggy married Stephen Van Rensselaer III, a distant cousin. She was 25, and he was 19 which initially caused controversy for which the Schuylers did not approve. This resulted in them eloping at her parent's country home in Saratoga.

What were Eliza Hamilton's last words? ›

Eliza Hamilton died in Washington, D.C. on November 9, 1854, at age 97. She presumably died in her sleep; therefore, her last words were not recorded.

Is Orphan Asylum Society still in business? ›

New York Orphan Asylum: A home for children who lost their parents. It was founded in 1806 and still exists today under the name Graham Windham.

Did Eliza take Hamilton back? ›

By admitting to an affair, the Founding Father publicly embarrasses Eliza, who vows to "erase" herself from Alexander Hamilton's life story, as noted in "Burn." However, Eliza eventually stays with her husband for three crucial reasons. Eliza sticks with Alexander because of love, loyalty, and legacy.

How did Hamilton get so smart? ›

Hamilton was extremely smart. He went to a grammar school in Elizabethtown, New Jersey from 1772-1773. He then enrolled at King's College, New York (now Columbia University) either late in 1773 or early in 1774. He later practiced law along with being a huge part in the founding of the United States.

What food did Alexander Hamilton eat? ›

However, he was also close to his roots, and while we can't be certain, it's entirely possible his favorite dish was Virginia ham, buttered rolls, apple pie and cider.

Did Alexander Hamilton own a dog? ›

Not every American Founding Father became president, but all played a big role in our country's infancy. Alexander Hamilton owned a Newfoundland dog called Earl Grey.

What were 3 of Hamilton's beliefs? ›

His vision included a strong central government led by a vigorous executive branch, a strong commercial economy, support for manufacturing, and a strong national defense. Oliver Wolcott Jr. Manhattan, New York, U.S. Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Charlestown, Nevis.

What were Hamilton's 3 goals? ›

Hamilton's vision for the economic foundation of the United States included three main programs: 1) the federal assumption of state debts, 2) the creation of a Bank of the United States, and 3) support for the new nation's emerging industries.

What made Hamilton a success? ›

In addition, a major reason Hamilton is a success is in the way the show promotes multiculturalism in its portrayal of the diversity in America, emphasizes interculturalism in how it depicts the story's protagonist and antagonist, and celebrates transculturalism by infusing known characters with new ethnic groups to ...

Who's on the $500 bill? ›

$500: William McKinley, 25th president, assassinated. $1,000: Grover Cleveland, 22nd president, 24th prez. $5,000: James Madison, fourth president, helped write Federalist Papers.

Who is on $2 bill? ›

Issued 1976 - Present

The first use of Thomas Jefferson's portrait on $2 notes was on Series 1869 United States Notes. The same portrait has been used for all series of $2 United States Notes as well as for all $2 Federal Reserve notes.

Is there a $500 bill? ›

$500 Bill. Like all the bills featured here, the $500 bill remains legal tender. Most $500 notes in circulation today are in the hands of dealers and collectors.

Are there any spoken words in Hamilton? ›

While “Hamilton” is a musical, it's technically more of an opera, since a majority of the show is sung. That might sound semi-boring to some, but the music and songs are so good that you don't even realize there isn't any actual dialogue between songs.

What is Hamilton's slogan? ›

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

What did James Reynolds say to Hamilton? ›

I am very sorry to find out that I have been so Cruelly treated by a person that I took to be my best friend instead of that my greatest Enimy. You have deprived me of every thing thats near and dear to me, I discovred whenever I Came into the house.

Who is the forgotten Founding Father? ›

Summary. Noah Webster's name is synonymous with the dictionary he created, but his story is not nearly so well-known. Webster hobnobbed with various Founding Fathers and was a young confidant of George Washington and Ben Franklin. He started America's first daily newspaper, predating Alexander Hamilton's New York Post.

Who actually wrote the Constitution? ›

James Madison is known as the Father of the Constitution because of his pivotal role in the document's drafting as well as its ratification. Madison also drafted the first 10 amendments -- the Bill of Rights.

Who started America? ›

In 1776, in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress declared the independence of the colonies as the "United States". Led by General George Washington, it won the Revolutionary War.

How did Hamilton destroy John Adams? ›

To ensure Federalist opposition to Adams, Hamilton engaged in some creative character assassination by issuing a confidential circular entitled "Letter from Alexander Hamilton concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq.," which contained an unbridled, vitriolic attack on the character and political ...

Why did Hamilton not help Lafayette? ›

Though this sounds like a betrayal, Hamilton wasn't deliberately letting down Lafayette. The musical touched on Hamilton's reasoning for refusing to help France. He explained that it would be unwise for President George Washington (Christopher Jackson) to lead their feeble nation into another military mess.

Why is Hamilton better than Jefferson? ›

Hamilton's great aim was more efficient organization, whereas Jefferson once said "I am not a friend to a very energetic government." Hamilton feared anarchy and thought in terms of order; Jefferson feared tyranny and thought in terms of freedom.

What did Hamilton change his name to? ›

Ahead of the start of the 2022 Formula One season, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton announced he was changing his name to include his mother's maiden name, Larbalestier. Hamilton announced his decision at the 2022 Dubai Expo.

What was Henry Hamilton's nickname? ›

Hamilton was known as the "hair buyer" because of his policy of paying Britain's American Indian allies for American scalps. Symbolizing the brutal fighting that took place in the Ohio Country during the revolution, both the British and the U.S. engaged in this practice.

What's Hamilton changed his name to? ›

Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he is in the process of changing his name so that it incorporates his mother's surname Larbalestier.

What has Hamilton changed his name to? ›

Lewis Hamilton has revealed exactly how he will be adopting his mother's name. The seven-times world champion caused a stir recently when he revealed that he had decided to change his name to honour his 66-year-old mum Carmen Larbalestier.

Why does Hamilton end with a gasp? ›

In the first line of Eliza's solo "Helpless," she sings about wanting to avoid the spotlight, but at the very end of the show, Eliza literally steps into the spotlight, gasping because "She sees everybody telling her story when she devoted her life to telling everybody else's," Kennedy proposes.

Why Lewis is called sir? ›

Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton officially became Sir Lewis Hamilton in December when Charles, Prince of Wales, knighted him.

Does Lewis Hamilton have a girlfriends? ›

Nicole Scherzinger is the most high-profile girlfriend of Hamilton's to date, with the couple being frequently seen in the public eye.

Was Hamilton a loyalist or a patriot? ›

While still a student at King's College (now Columbia University), Hamilton took up the Patriots' cause, writing his first political article in 1774 (he signed himself "A Friend to America"). After war broke out, in April 1775, he joined a militia company.

What was Hamilton main goal? ›

Hamilton's main goals were to achieve the financial stability necessary to fight another war should one arise with the foreign threats of Britain and Spain, and to dull assertions of state power that might diminish national power.

What was Hamilton's greatest accomplishment? ›

Some of his biggest accomplishments included helping to defeat the British in the Revolutionary War, helping to push through the U.S. Constitution, being appointed the country's first secretary of the Treasury, and revolutionizing the nation's financial system.

Why is Hamilton called the goat? ›

And his legion of fans were quick to dub him Formula One's GOAT (greatest of all time). One tweeted: "A Tale of Two Goats. One born a goat, the other trained and raced to be the Greatest of All Times."

Why did Hamilton change helmets? ›

Hamilton's Monaco helmet swap explained

In a Monaco Grand Prix debrief video released by the team, Andrew Shovlin – Trackside Engineering Director at the Silver Arrows – revealed that the changing weather conditions were an influential factor in Hamilton changing his lid.

Why is Hamilton called an immigrant? ›

Unlike most of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton was an immigrant. As a boy in the West Indies, he was introduced to shame (his parents were unmarried) and to the world of commerce (he went to work as a merchant's clerk when he was nine).

What is the controversy over Hamilton? ›

Alexander Hamilton bought/owned slaves, many; "gifted" black humans to his in-laws. She later clarified in a comment that while Miranda chose not to centralize slavery, "he didn't deny or ignore it either.

Why does Hamilton wear a yellow helmet? ›

Lewis Hamilton has a special place for a yellow helmet in his life. The helmet defines his roots and is symbolic of his beginning in the world of F1 through his karting days. While later on with Mercedes, he changed the helmet color to a classy black and purple; he is back to racing in yellow for this particular year.

Who is Lewis Hamilton in a relationship with? ›

Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton blossoming friendship with model Camila Kendra: Lewis Hamilton, who drives for Mercedes in Formula 1 is in a relationship with Camila Kendra. Follow Formula 1 updates on InsideSport.IN.

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