Born on January 11 on the British West Indies island of Nevis in either 1755 or 1757 Hamilton was left an orphan at a young age. He dreamed of military glory to help raise him from his impoverished state. He achieved his dream of success…even becoming the star of a major Broadway musical 200 years later!
Hamilton’s life was changed when he wrote a letter about a hurricane that stuck St. Croix in 1772. When the letter was published in a local newspaper, businessmen were so impressed they arranged for the young Hamilton to travel to the United States for education. And so his career began: aide to George Washington, Delegate to Continental Congress and to the Constitutional Convention, co-author of the Federalist Papers, Secretary of the Treasury and founder of the National Bank. He was killed by Aaron Burr in a duel in 1804.
Check out the books we own including Ron Chernow’s biography, Alexander Hamilton (which is also available as an audiobook), Richard Morris’s Witnesses at the Creation: Hamilton, Madison, Jay, and the Constitution, and Thomas McCraw’s The Founder’s and Finance: How Hamilton, Gallatin, and Other Immigrants Forged a New Economy. And the classic, Miracle at Philadelphia: the Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September, 1787. by Catherine Drinker Bowen tells the amazing story of the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
If you find your interest aroused the Library of Congress has a digital collection of Hamilton’s papers. Among the family letters and his speeches and other writings one document stood out for me: his “Outline for a Plan of Government” he proposed at the Constitutional Convention. There is something amazing about seeing his ideas in his own handwriting!
-posted by Brenda, Reference Services