Alexander Hamilton is one of the most important figures in the history of American politics. The founding father has seen a new spike in interest in the mid-2010’s thanks to the success of the Broadway play, Hamilton.
As interesting lives go, there are fewer men in American history who are quite as interesting as Alexander Hamilton, let’s take a look at 10 interesting facts about Alexander Hamilton.
Interesting Alexander Hamilton Facts
1: Alexander Hamilton was born in either 1755 or 1757
Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, in Charlestown, the capital city of Nevis, a small island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Hamilton and his older brother were born out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette and James A. Hamilton, an interesting fact about Alexander Hamilton.
There is a lot of dispute as to when exactly Alexander Hamilton was born. While some documents list him as being born in 1755, there is other evidence, including some from Hamilton’s own writing, that suggests he was born in 1757.
2: Alexander Hamilton had a difficult childhood and education.
As a child, Hamilton’s father left them, and his mother died when he was very young. He was then passed various guardians before he and his brother were split and he ended up in the care of Thomas Stevens, a local merchant. There was a lot of speculation that Stevens was Hamilton’s biological father due to their strong bond and similar appearances.
During this time, Hamilton taught himself to read and write and a letter that he wrote to his father grabbed the attention of community leaders, who put together a fund so that Hamilton could go and receive an education in North America.
3: His son was killed in the same way as he was
Alexander Hamilton’s eldest son, Phillip Hamilton, had inherited his father’s confrontational nature and just like his father, it would end up costing him his life in a duel, a crazy fact about Alexander Hamilton and his son.
In 1801, Hamilton had a run-in with George Eacker, a prominent lawyer who denounced Alexander Hamilton as a fraud. The two men ended up in a duel on November 23, Eacker would walk away untouched but Phillip Hamilton was shot just above the hip. He would die from his wounds shortly after at just 19 years old. This death had a huge impact on Alexander Hamilton and it was said that he never really recovered.
4: Military Service
Alexander Hamilton joined a volunteer militia group in New York in 1775. He fought bravely in the Revolutionary War and as a result, became George Washington’s right-hand man during this time period.
5: Hamilton the Musical
Alexander Hamilton rose back to prominence in the early 21st century thanks to the success of a broadway musical based around his life. The musical, titled Hamilton was written by Lin Manuel Miranda and was first released in 2015 and has gone on to become one of the biggest musical hits of the century so far.
The musical has won various awards including a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. There has been some talk about the musical being made into a film one day but the writer insists that this will not happen until long into the future.
6: Alexander Hamilton founded the New York Post
The New York Post, one of the most popular daily newspapers in New York City, was originally founded by Andrew Hamilton in November 1801, not a well-known fact about Alexander Hamilton.
The New York Post was originally created as a platform for Hamilton to promote his views for the anti-Jefferson Federalist Party. Hamilton himself was regularly involved in the newspaper in the early days and would regularly publish editorials and opinion pieces in the paper in an attempt to gain a political edge.
7: Alexander Hamilton was one of three men who wrote the Federalist Papers
Alexander Hamilton achieved a lot in his lifetime but many believe his most important achievement to have been the publication of the Federalist Papers. The papers were intended to have an influence on the ratification of the recently proposed constitution, especially in New York City.
The papers consist of 84 essays, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Maddison, and John Jay, under the pseudonym, Publius. It is believed that Alexander Hamilton wrote the majority of the essays and has been credited with writing 51 of the 84 essays, though this figure has never been proven to be 100% factually correct.
8: Alexander Hamilton was one of the founding fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers were a group of men who united the 13 colonies of America and helped lead the independence for revolution against Great Britain. The group built a frame of government that would go on to help shape the United States of America as we know it today.
While there were several founding fathers, some of them have been recognized as more influential than others. Alexander Hamilton was one of these, alongside John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington, a well-known fact about Alexander Hamilton.
9: Alexander Hamilton married once and had eight children
Alexander Hamilton only married once during his lifetime. He met Elizabeth Schuyler in New Jersey at some point in 1779 and the two were married in 1780. The couple would be together until Hamilton’s death in 1804 and they would have eight children together. Two of their children were called Phillip and the remaining six were – Angelica, Alexander, James Alexander, John Church, William Steven, and Eliza.
10: Alexander Hamilton died in a duel in 1804
Alexander Hamilton’s rivalry with Aaron Burr came to a tragic end in July 1804 when the two men agreed to duel one another. Hamilton wrestled long and hard with the decision to duel Burr but eventually decided that it was the only way to settle their dispute.
The two men met on the bank of the Hudson River in New Jersey. After taking their paces, both men shot, with Burr fatally hitting Hamilton and Hamilton hitting a branch above Burr’s head. Hamilton was paralyzed by the shot and, after recognizes that it was a fatal wound, called his family in to see him one last time before he died on July 12, 1804.
There is a lot of debate over who fired their shot first, with both men’s seconds, who were the only witnesses to the event, claiming that their man had fired the initial shot.
Alexander Hamilton is one of the most pivotal and interesting figures in American history. While he may not be as well known as some of the other founding fathers, his work is now being rediscovered by a whole new generation.
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