Alexander Hamilton: Biography and Impact


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Intelligent, Ambitious, Founding father. Three words to describe Alexander Hamilton, and that is just scratching the surface. From his early childhood to his death, Alexander Hamilton had a very interesting life.

Alexander Hamilton was born in the British West Indies on January 11, 1755, to father, James Hamilton, who was a drifting trader and son to Alexander Hamilton, the laird of Cambuskeith, Ayrshire, Scotland.(DeConde, 1). His mother was Rachel Fawcett Lavine, the daughter of a french Physician and the wife of John Michael Lavine. Rachel began living with James in 1752, but didn’t divorce John until 1758.(DeConde, 12).  Alexander did not start off with a great childhood because his father left him in 1765, Leaving his mother to provide for Alexander with a small shop that she ran.(Deconde, 14). His mother unfortunately died in 1768, leaving him to be sent off to a preparatory school in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Where he received an excellent education.(DeConde, 20).

Hamilton went to the Preparatory School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, as mentioned before, and he later enrolled at King’s College, in New York. (O’Keefe, 2). After college, Hamilton got a job at the New York artillery company, until he was recruited to be a soldier. He fought in the American Revolutionary War, and was made Captain in March of 1776. (O’Keefe, 3). A person that had a big influence on Alexander Hamilton would have to be George Washington, the first president of the United States of America. For example in 1777, Hamilton was promoted to serve as Washington’s aide. (O’Keefe, 4).  During his job of being Washington’s aide, Hamilton wed Elizabeth Schuyler, on December 14, 1780. (O’Keefe, 5). Hamilton had a lot of fame and accomplishments during his time with Washington.

Alexander Hamilton is one of the founding fathers of our country, and if not for him a lot of our country would be different. (O’Keefe, 6). Hamilton’s life was changed from being a motherless child to being one of the men who established our country. Another important thing Hamilton accomplished is that he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury after George Washington was elected President. (O’Keefe, 8). All this great work would soon be short lived, as Hamilton died very young, at the age of 49.

Alexander Hamilton died on July 12, 1804, from gunshot wounds after Aaron Burr killed him in a duel that was regarded as one of the most famous gunfights in American history. (PBS, 16). He was a huge part of making the economy, and was so popular people have even made a play about him, Hamilton, starring Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Duducu, 6). The world would be different if not for Hamilton, as he made the Revenue Cutter Service, or the version we have now, The U.S Coast Guard.(Duducu, 4). Hamilton was a key contributor to the brand-new Constitution of the United States, but almost as importantly, he initiated a project called ‘The Federalist Papers’. This was a collection of essays to explain and support the provisions of the historic document. (Duducu, 4).

Alexander Hamilton is such an interesting character, from his rough upbringing to his tragic death. Through all that suffering, he still managed to be an important part of history, and someone people should know about.

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