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Written by Timothy Sexton
Before the Broadway musical based on this book, Alexander Hamilton was probably best-known to most people as the handsome fella whose face graces the $10 bill. Thanks to the musical, more and more people are finally starting to realize that Hamilton is quite likely the most influential Founding Father who was never elected President. Hamilton was aide-de-camp to George Washington during the Revolutionary War, author of many of the Federalist Papers and essential architect of the Constitution, the nation‘s first Secretary of the Treasury and the man who almost single-handedly created America’s banking system and devised the successful plan for ridding the new country of its potentially devastating war debt.
Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton
Alexander’s wife who bore him eight children. One might well term Mrs. Hamilton the anti-Abigail Adams in that while quite a bit is known about the celebrated wife of John Adams, very little is known about Hamilton’s bride. This is not due to Elizabeth being any less the intellectual equal of Abigail Adams, but rather because once daughter from a privileged family became the wife of arguably the leading intellectual light to arise from the American Revolution, she dedicated the years of that marriage to making the domestic side of Alexander Hamilton’s life run as smoothly, efficiently and with the need for him to waste his prodigious talents on that side of equation as much as possible. After Hamilton’s death at the hands of the sinister Aaron Burn, the focus of her attention turned predominantly to bettering the lives of those children who—like her late husband—might not face opportunities for quality in life equitable with their inherent qualities. Elizabeth ultimately found a place in the sun attributable only to herself and not as a result of the light cast by her husband by founding the first privately-run orphanage in New York City.
Despite losing more battles than he won, George Washington managed to translate his success at being the General on the winning side of the Revolutionary War into becoming the first President of the United States. Alexander Hamilton was Washington’s right-hand man throughout the war and into his two terms as Father of His Country. In fact, the biographical threads of Washington and Hamilton remained inextricably intertwined long past the Revolution. As the country’s first President, it was Washington who recognized the genius that Hamilton possessed for organization and economics and thus appointed him the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasurer. After eight years in office, it was Hamilton who composed much of Washington’s celebrated farewell address which outlined his reasons for rejecting a third term as President. In the undeclared Quasi-War against France, John Adams convinced a reluctant George Washington to come out of retirement and accept the position of Commanding General with—in a repetition of their Revolutionary War relationship—Hamilton second in command beneath the former President.
The author of the Declaration of the Independence, the country’s second Vice-President and third President. Jefferson’s ideological preference for a weak federal government in favor of greater authority in the hands of individual states put him in polar opposition to Hamilton and directly led to the short-lived adoption of the utterly ineffectual Articles of Confederation. Jeffersonian government rather quickly proved inferior to the Hamiltonian style which led directly to replacing the Articles of Confederation with Constitution. Despite this obvious failure on the part of Jefferson’s view, the insistence upon trying to prove its viability over and over again has been responsible for everything from the failure to abolish slavery and the subsequent Civil War to judicial wrangling over awarding Constitutionally-endowed civil rights to women, blacks, and homosexuals.
Aaron Burr became the first sitting Vice President to shoot a man while in office—a disgraceful distinction that would stand until the 21st century when Dick Cheney shot a friend in the face while on a quail hunting trip. Of course, it is worth noting that Burr did not merely shoot Alexander Hamilton but actually killed him as the result of a duel in which witness accounts have Hamilton purposely avoiding training his aim on Burr. Following his removal from office in the wake of the scandal, Burr allegedly embarked upon a treasonous plan to seize parts of the American frontier and establish himself as potentate for a brand new country
A young married woman with whom Alexander Hamilton had a sexual affair which eventually erupted into a scandal involving blackmail, hush money and a divorce trial at which Maria was represented by an attorney named…Aaron Burr.
America's first Vice-President and second President, Adam was a committed Federalist like Hamilton. Like other Presidential candidates to follow in his footsteps, however, Adams distrusted those born on foreign soil like Hamilton--who was born in the British West Indies. When George Washington chose Hamilton as his Inspector General during the Quasi-War with France, Adams had little choice but to accept, but nevertheless compromised the choice and hindered the effectiveness of Hamilton by limiting his ability to raise troops.
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