20 Fun Facts About Alexander Hamilton

Currently the only American president with a hit Broadway musical about him and one of the Founding Fathers who helped to create America’s economic and financial institutions, Alexander Hamilton has left an indelible mark on the history of the Western World. With a life full of intrigue, drama, and world-changing decisions, Hamilton is one of America’s most interesting historical figures. Ever wanted to learn more about him without having to break the bank to see his show on Broadway? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some fun facts about this Founding Father:

  1. Hamilton was born on an island in the British West Indies in the mid to late 1750s (there are multiple opposing sources that say either 1755 or 1757, so even historians agree that it’s difficult to agree on which exact year Hamilton was born)
  2. Hamilton and his older brother were both born out of wedlock
  3. His father abandoned his mother, forcing Hamilton to work in his mother’s shop to help keep his family out of complete poverty and destitution
  4. After his mother died and his island homeland was hit by a disastrous┬ástorm, Hamilton began writing about his people’s experiences, which led his family and local community to fund his college education in the mainland colonies
  5. While at university, Hamilton began to garner fame for his writings in support of the American Revolution against England
  6. Washington enlisted Hamilton as his personal scribe and correspondent as well as an important liaison with generals, officers, and admirals in the French military
  7. Hamilton married a woman named Elizabeth Schuyler, the daughter of an influential general in the American army named Philip Schuyler
  8. After the American Revolution ended, Hamilton studied law and became a lawyer shortly before being elected to the Continental Congress
  9. Hamilton argued for a strong central government and disliked the Articles of Confederation
  10. Hamilton wrote a series of 85 essays entitled The Federalist with James Madison and John Jay to support the newly signed Constitution that was meant to replace the Articles of Confederation
  11. In 1789, Washington appointed Hamilton as America’s first Secretary of the Treasury
  12. Hamilton used this position to build his own personal political beliefs into the fabric of the newly formed American government – allowing his views on a strong central government to be woven into how the American economy and financial sector functioned
  13. Although Hamilton despised the idea of political parties forming and gaining most of the power in the government, his feud with Thomas Jefferson led to the formation of America’s first political parties
  14. Hamilton left Washington’s cabinet in 1795 but still held strong influence as an unofficial advisor
  15. Among his quarrels and political feuds, Hamilton and Adams had a relatively private, behind-the-scenes feud with John Adams until Hamilton’s main rival, Aaron Burr brought it to the public’s attention and caused a rift in the Federalist party
  16. Hamilton was involved in America’s first sex scandal when news broke of his affair (and subsequent blackmailing by the woman’s husband)
  17. Hamilton’s son, Phillip, died in a duel 3 years before Hamilton’s famous duel with his rival Aaron Burr
  18. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel after hearing rumors that Hamilton said (at a dinner party, no less) that he had a less-than-amicable opinion of Burr
  19. At this famous duel, Burr managed to shoot and kill Hamilton, leaving Hamilton’s wife and seven (yes, seven) children heavily in debt
  20. Hamilton’s wife, Elizabeth, had to ruthlessly work to keep Hamilton’s legacy alive after his death because his political enemies did their best to smear his name and left his memory to be forgotten

I hope you enjoyed this post! Come back every Friday for a post on anthropology/history, and every Tuesday for a lifestyle/travel post.


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