Thanks to a lu­di­crously pop­u­lar, crit­i­cally wor­shipped and multi-award winning stage mu­si­cal, the name of Alexan­der Hamilton is more recog­nis­able than ever. As the open­ing num­ber of Hamilton be­gins, he was “a bas­tard, or­phan, son of a whore” who grew up to be a “hero and a scholar”, the “ten­dol­lar Found­ing Fa­ther with­out a fa­ther”.

Hamilton was born in ei­ther 1755 or 1757 in the Bri­tish West Indies to a Scot­tish trader, who aban­doned the fam­ily, and a mar­ried woman. Am­bi­tious and in­tel­li­gent, he went to New York to be ed­u­cated, but rose to promi­nence writ­ing pam­phlets sup­port­ing the colonies. He joined the mili­tia and joined Wash­ing­ton’s staff, which saw him lead an as­sault at York­town.

Af­ter the war, he helped set up the con­ven­tion that wrote the Con­sti­tu­tion, saw it rat­i­fied by writ­ing the ma­jor­ity of the in­flu­en­tial Fed­er­al­ist Pa­pers and be­came the first Sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury. There, he founded the na­tional bank.

A pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for a strong, cen­tralised gov­ern­ment, Hamilton made en­e­mies over the years. The sit­ting Vice Pres­i­dent, Aaron Burr, chal­lenged him to a duel, which was fought on 11 July 1804. Hamilton missed – Burr did not.

Hamilton has won sev­eral Tony awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.