Alexander Hamilton was a really important person in America’s history. He was the main character in a super popular musical. He did a lot for the country. He was part of a big group that made opinions, wrote important papers, and supported the Constitution. Hamilton also came the first person in charge of the country’s money. He started the first public bank, managed the money, and helped with the liabilities.
The musical by Lin- Manuel Miranda made Hamilton’s life famous. Here are cool things about him. He did a ton of different jobs — like being a statesman, politician, lawyer, and even an economist.
He Came to America from Another Country
was born to Rachel Fauccette and James Hamilton on an island called Nevis in the British West Indian colonies. When Hamilton was young, he saw some really terrible things. He worked as a clerk for a trading firm called Beekman and Cruger, which brought in everything demanded for colonies, including enslaved people from West Africa.
Fighting in the Revolutionary War
When the Americans started fighting the British in 1775, Hamilton and some other scholars from his college joined a group called the Corsicans, which was a volunteer militia in New York.
Because of his hard work and dedication, Hamilton came really close to General George Washington. He was like Washington’s most important helper. But after a while, Hamilton got tired of just doing paperwork and left Washington’s team in 1781.
Even though he left, Hamilton did not stop fighting. He led an attack in the Battle of Yorktown, and that made him a idol in the war.
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Leading the Oldest Army Unit
When the American Revolution started in 1775, Alexander Hamilton, who was only 20 years old and came from the West Indies, put together a small group for artillery, which is like the team that handles big guns. This group ultimately came known as the New York Provincial Company of Artillery.
This group that Hamilton started is super old and has a long history. One part of it, called Battery D, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery, 1st Infantry Division, is officially the oldest unit still active in the regular United States Army. Hamilton came its captain on March 17, 1776. Under his leadership, this group fought in important battles like the Battle of Princeton and the Battle of White Plains.
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Involvement in a Public Scandal
In 1791, a lady named Maria Reynolds told Alexander Hamilton a sad story. She said her husband left her and asked Hamilton for money. Feeling sorry for her, Hamilton helped her out without knowing she was playing a trick on him.
Hamilton started giving Maria money when they met at her place. They ended up having a secret relationship that went on for a while, until about June 1792.
But Maria’s husband found out about their affair and used it to get money from Hamilton. He kept taking money from Hamilton to keep quiet.
Later, Maria’s husband got caught up in another money problem. To save himself, he told people that Hamilton was using government money to keep their affair secret. When asked about it, Hamilton admitted to the affair but said he used his own money. He even showed his love letters from Maria to prove it.
But then, someone who didn’t like Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, got hold of these letters. He passed them on to a guy who loved spreading gossip about politicians, making the whole thing public.
Receiving Washington’s Last Letter
Just before George Washington, the first president of the United States, passed away on December 14, 1799, he wrote his final letter to Alexander Hamilton.
Washington and Hamilton had a close relationship, with Washington mentoring Hamilton throughout his political career. In the letter, Washington praised Hamilton’s idea about creating a national military school, saying it would be really important for the country.
Even though Washington passed away soon after writing this letter, it showed how much he valued Hamilton’s ideas.
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Pledging Not to Shoot in the Duel
There was a big fight between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, a politician and lawyer. They decided to have a duel in New Jersey in July 1804. Sadly, Hamilton got shot and died.
Before the duel, Hamilton had told his friends and in letters that he didn’t want to hurt Burr. He might have even tried to miss Burr on purpose when they shot at each other. Hamilton did shoot, but he aimed away from Burr, missing his head and hitting a tree branch instead.
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