Alexander HamiltonPolitical Figure / Revolutionary War Figure
Born: 11 January 1757
Died: 12 July 1804 (shot to death)
Birthplace: Nevis, British West Indies
Best known as: Co-author of The Federalist Papers
Alexander Hamilton may not be quite as famous as Founding Fathers like Ben Franklin or George Washington, but he played a key role in the early formation of the American government. He was the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. A man of great intelligence and ambition, Alexander Hamilton served on Washington's Revolutionary War staff from 1777-1781. After the war he co-wrote (with John Jay and James Madison) the famous 'Federalist' essays. (Hamilton signed his essays as 'Publius.') Hamilton believed in a strong central government and a strong national bank, convictions which put him famously at odds with Thomas Jefferson. In 1789 President Washington appointed Hamilton as the country's first Secretary of the Treasury, a post he held until 1795. Alexander Hamilton’s political feud with Jefferson’s vice president, Aaron Burr, led to a duel with pistols on July 11, 1804 at Weehawken, New Jersey. Hamilton was mortally wounded and died the next day. Alexander Hamilton's fame was refreshed in 2015 with the Broadway debut of Hamilton, a musical written by (and starring) Lin-Manuel Miranda. The musical was inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by author Ron Chernow, and it became Broadway's biggest hit of the year, racking up a record 16 Tony Award nominations.
Some sources list Alexander Hamilton’s birth year as 1755, based on probate court papers from St. Croix in which a relative, Peter Lytton, stated that Hamilton was aged 13 upon his mother’s death in 1768. Hamilton himself gave 1757 as his birth year throughout his life, and no birth or christening records exist to confirm or deny either date… Historians believe there is no truth to the old salacious rumor that George Washington was Alexander Hamilton’s illegitimate father.
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