ALEXANDER HAMILTON, one of the most prominent of the early American statesmen and financiers, was born in Nevis,
an island of the West Indies, January 11, 1757, his father being a Scotchnian and his mother of Huguenot descent.
Owing to the death of his mother and business reverses which came to his father, young Hamilton was sent to his
mother's relatives in Santa Cruz; a few years later was sent to a grammar school at Elizabethtown, New Jersey,
and in 1773 entered what is now known as Columbia College. Even at that time he began taking an active part in
public affairs and his speeches, pamphlets, and newspaper articles on political affairs of the day attracted considerable
attention. In 1776 he received a captain's coin mission and served in Washington's army with credit, becoming aide-dc-camp
to Washington with rank of lieutenant-colonel, in 1781 he resigned his commission because of a rebuke from General
Washington. He next received com mand of a New York battalion and participated in the battle of Yorktown. After
this Hamilton studied law, served several terms in congress and was a member of the convention at which the Federal
Constitution was drawn up. His work connected with "The Federalist" at about this time attracted much
attention, Mr. Hamilton was chosen as the first secretary of the United States treasury and as such was the author
of the funding system and founder of the United States Bank. In 1798 he was made inspector-general of the army
with the rank of major-general and was also for a short time commander-in-chief. In 1804 Aaron Burr, then candidate
for governor of New York, challenged Alexander Hamilton to fight a duel, Burr attributing his defeat to Hamilton's
opposition, and Hamilton, though declaring the code as a relic of barbarism, accepted the challenge. They met at
Weehawken, New Jersey, July 11, 1804. Hamilton declined to fire at his adversary, but at Burr's first fire was
fatally wounded and died July 12, 1804.
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.
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