Alexander Hamilton


Alexander Hamilton was born on the date of January 11, 1755 or some say that it was 1757 we don't know. He was born in Nevis, British West Indies. He was important for governing the U.S. because he was known as the United States' first Secretary of Treasure, a Founding Father, economist, and he was also a political philosopher. He wrote the Federalist Papers with a help from James Madison, John Jay, and some other important people.


Alexander Hamilton (above)

Early Life

Alexander's Father, James Hamilton, was a Scottish Trader and his mother, Rachel Fawcett Lavine, was married to another man when Alexander was born. When she meet James, she left her other husband and went to go live with him but they both did not get married legally. Alexander also had a brother, his names was James Jr. Then a few years later, when he was still a n infant, his father James Hamilton abandoned his family. His family struggled through the years but made it successfully. Later on, when he was thirteen, his mother died on the date of February 19, 1768 by contracting a type of fever. When he went to the church for education or membership with the church, they denied him because his mother and father were not married legally so he got individual tutoring and he also got classes in a Jewish school.

Middle Life

Hamilton tried to earn some money by becoming a clerk which imported and exported things to New England. For a while his cousin, Peter Lytton, adopted Alexander and James. Then Peter committed suicide and he was split from his older brother James. Hamilton was then adopted by a man named Thomas Steven and stayed there for quite a while. He continued to work for a while, then was able to move to Boston to study. During the Revolutionary War, he became very important and was General George Washington's Chief of Staff. After the war, he became an attorney, and was a member of Congress. He wanted a strong Federal Government because he saw that it was needed to collect taxes to pay for the soldiers that had been in the war.

The Constitutional Convention

Alexander was the first delegate chosen for the Constitutional Convention. He voted to ratify the constitution. He was most famous, however, for his work afterwards to get the constitution ratified. He wrote much of the Federalists Papers that helped convince people from New York and the other colonies to ratify the constitution.

The First Secretary of the Treasury

Hamilton was the first secretary of the treasury on the date of September 11, 1789. He helped found the U.S. Mint and the first U.S. Bank. He helped get government finances under control with good sources of revenue. He resigned from his position following a scandal in which he was accused of taking U.S. money and using it for personal reasons.

Later Years

Hamilton was further involved in a scandal with an affair with Maria Reynolds. This damaged his reputation. He was able to continue to be involved in the government. Even though he was in John Adams party, the Federalists, he did not support him in the election of 1800 and Jefferson was elected. Later, he became enemies with Aaron Burr, the Vice President. He challenged him to a duel and he died as a result in 1804.
Aaron Burr (above)


Hamilton is remembered today as a very strong member of the Cabinet. He crafted federal laws and programs and helped get them passed through the Congress. He always supported the U.S. Constitution and felt that the Federal Government should have a stronger position than the States. He favored government over business and felt that government was needed to control business. His face is printed on all the $10 dollar bills.


10 dollar bill (above)



Author: Ralph Ketcham Picture Credit: Yale University Art Gallery, Trumbull Collection:

2) Garraty, John A. The Story of America. Austin TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1994

3) History notes about Alexander Hamilton from class