, , , , , ,


Alexander Hamilton.jpg

Portrait of Alexander Hamilton, made 1806 by John Trumbull

Hamilton is the name of a famous play that portrays Alexander Hamilton’s life. This show has just recently won the Grammy Award for Best Musical. Hamilton is a very important part of history.


Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1755 in Nevis in the British West Indies. Hamilton served in the American Revolutionary War under General George Washington. Hamilton was a key member of the Constitutional Congress, which sought to create a U.S. Constitution. Hamilton co-wrote the Federalist Papers, defending the Constitution. He was then appointed secretary of the Treasury by President George Washington. Hamilton was the chief cabinet officer, and soon he was virtually in control of the whole cabinet altogether. He eventually resigned in 1795.

Hamilton did not retire after that. He engineered Thomas Jefferson’s election as President over Aaron Burr in 1800. This angered Burr, who in 1804 ran for the office of governor of New York. Hamilton was determined to stop him. Burr lost the election, and challenged Hamilton to a duel. On July 11, 1804, the two dueled with pistols. Hamilton shot in the air, but Burr fatally shot Hamilton in the abdomen. Hamilton died the next day.

Hamilton’s legacy lived on much longer than he did. He is the founder of the United States Treasury, and his face is fittingly put on the ten-dollar bill. The musical Hamilton also serves to honor his legacy.