Alexander HamiltonRevolutionary War Figure / Political 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
While not as famous as Founding Fathers like Ben Franklin or George Washington, Alexander Hamilton played a key role in the early formation of the American government. A man of great intelligence and ambition, he served on Washington's Revolutionary War staff from 1777-1781. After the war Hamilton 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.
Extra credit: Hamilton's political feud with Jefferson's vice president, Aaron Burr, led to a duel with pistols on July 11, 1804. Hamilton was mortally wounded and died the next day... Some sources list 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 Hamilton's illegitimate father.
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