Jan. 11, 1757 Charlestown Saint Paul Charlestown, Saint Kitts And Nevis
Jul. 12, 1804 New York New York County (Manhattan) New York, USA
Founding Father, Statesman. The thirteen states after the Revolutionary War were weak and still separate. Alexander Hamilton was the strong voice calling for a strong united government with a new Constitution and then most instrumental in the formation and convening of the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia which established the United States of America. He was born southeast of Florida on Nevis, a small island making up the group in the Caribbean known as the West Indies. His mother was unwed and the daughter of a doctor and his father a merchant. He was tutored but mostly self educated while growing up in St Croix where his mother died when he was eleven forcing him to support himself. Finding employment in the office of a Merchant, becoming most capable while writing and submitting articles to a local newspaper which were published. He became liked and well known as was his ambition to attend college. The local merchants recognizing his talents, paid to educate him, funding his venture to New York where he entered King's College (Columbia). He soon became an activist for independence from Britain and his enthusiasm encouraged entry into the army serving as George Washington's chief military aide. Hamilton distinguished himself taking part in many battles. His main contribution was as commander of the troops during the Battle of Yorktown. He represented the state of New York at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. The new Constitution written, Hamilton worked to have it accepted by speech making and using the pamphleteer method for publishing favorable articles. George Washington as President, appointed him to the first nations cabinet as Secretary of the Treasury at age 34. Hamilton became its most prominent member outlining the new nation's monetary policy, raising funds to pay off the Revolutionary War debts and funding the administration. During his tenure, he left behind a staggering legacy: He restored public credit in a nation bankrupted by war debt, devised the first tax, budget, accounting systems, installed the Customs Service, Coast Guard while conceiving the first central bank. Hamilton had opposed Aaron Burr when he was running for President and again when running for governor of New York. Hamilton surmised Burr was not fit to occupy either office and through his influence had him defeated. It was the custom to settle serious arguments with pistols at close range. Burr then Vice President, challenged Hamilton to a duel and the challenge was accepted. They met at dawn the next morning across the Hudson at Weehawken, New Jersey. Hamilton did not intend to shoot Burr but his opponent shot to kill and seriously wounded Hamilton. He was conveyed by boat back to Manhattan and spend his final hours at a house on Jane Street where he received medical attention. He requested communion and it was administered by the rector from the family's nearby Trinity Church and his death followed at the young age of 49. With bells tolling, a large procession followed the body from Jane Street to Trinity Church where his close friend Gouverneur Morris, a leading figure at the Constitutional Convention and former minister to France, gave the emotional funeral oration. He joined his eldest son Philip, already interred in the Trinity churchyard also killed in a duel. His faithful wife Elizabeth joined him there some fifty years later. His killer, Aaron Burr branded an assassin, fled south in anticipation of pending indictments and the vice president became a fugitive from justice. Postscript: A museum was constructed on the foundation of the structure where Alexander Hamilton was born. It not only highlights the history of Nevis Island but has many artifacts pertaining to Hamilton and is located in Charleston. Weehawken, New Jersey-the site of the duel: the actual rock on which rested the head of Alexander Hamilton after being shot and referred to as the death rock, was moved from the actual site and taken to a nearby lofty perch, made into a base on which a bronze head of Hamilton was affixed. In a bit of trivia: People today still name their tomcats after Alexander Hamilton in deference to his infamous many extramarital affairs. Martha Washington was the first as she named her large carousing tomcat 'Hamilton.' (bio by: Donald Greyfield)
Inscription: TO THE MEMORY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON THE CORPORATION OF TRINITY CHURCH HAS ERECTED THIS MONUMENT IN TESTIMONY OF THEIR RESPECT FOR THE PATRIOT OF INCORRUPTIBLE INTEGRITY. THE SOLDIER OF APPROVED VALOUR. THE STATESMAN OF CONSUMMATE WISDOM; WHOSE TALENTS AND VIRTUES WILL BE ADMIRED BY GRATEFUL POSTERITY LONG AFTER THIS MARBLE SHALL HAVE MOULDERED INTO DUST. HE DIED JULY 12TH 1804. AGED 47.