Step into the world of Alexander Hamilton, a revolutionary leader who helped shape America as we know it today. From humble beginnings to a tragic end, his story is one of ambition, scandal, and legacy. Get ready to be captivated by the man on the ten-dollar bill.
Alexander Hamilton was born on the Caribbean island of Nevis in either 1755 or 1757, as the illegitimate son of a Scottish trader and a married woman of French Huguenot descent. His early life was marked by poverty and hardship, but he was able to receive a good education thanks to the support of local benefactors, and eventually immigrated to the American colonies, where he quickly made a name for himself as a talented writer and political thinker.
Hamilton became famous during the American Revolution, when he served as a trusted aide to General George Washington. He was crucial in the Continental Army’s victory at the Battle of Yorktown, and later assisted as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. His most famous work, The Federalist Papers, was a series of essays that helped ratify the U.S. Constitution.
Hamilton’s personal life, however, was rife with scandal. Published by Alexander Hamilton in 1797, The Reynolds Pamphlet was a document in which he admitted to an extramarital affair with a married woman named Maria Reynolds. The pamphlet was an attempt to clear his name, but it only ended up causing a major scandal.
He was also involved in several political altercations, most infamously with Aaron Burr, who later killed him in a duel.
Hamilton’s legacy is a complex one. On one hand, he’s remembered as one of the architects of the American political system, and his economic policies laid the foundation for the country’s early prosperity. But his personal scandals and untimely death have also cast a shadow over his reputation.
Alexander Hamilton Timeline
January 11, 1755/57
Birth of Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton is born on the island of Nevis, in the Caribbean.
March 1, 1777
New York and New Jersey campaign
Hamilton serves as George Washington’s aide during the American War of Independence.
June 18, 1787
Alexander Hamilton participates in the drafting of the United States Constitution.
Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds is exposed.
July 11, 1804
Duel with Aaron Burr
Alexander Hamilton dies from a gunshot wound inflicted by Aaron Burr.
Alexander Hamilton is an enduring memorable figure in the annals of American history. A brilliant radical thinker and writer, he played a significant part in the founding of the U.S. government, but was also a man of scandal, whose extramarital affairs and political quarrels were widely reported, ultimately leading to his death at the hands of Aaron Burr. Today, Hamilton is best known as the subject of the hit musical “Hamilton” which renewed interest in his life and legacy.