Portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull
Alexander Hamilton (born January 11, 1755/57; died July 12, 1804) was one of America’s Founding Fathers. A proponent of a strong central government, Hamilton shaped the early economic infrastructure and policies of the United States.
Born in the British West Indies, Alexander Hamilton moved to the United States in 1772.
During the American Revolution, Hamilton served as a captain in the New York provincial artillery and was later promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army. Hamilton joined General George Washington’s staff in 1777, where he remained until 1781.
In 1780, Hamilton married Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler, who came from a prominent New York family. Between 1782 and 1802, the couple would have eight children.
After resigning his army commission, Hamilton began practicing law in New York. In 1782, he was appointed as a New York delegate to the Congress of the Confederation (he would be appointed again in 1788).
Hamilton also attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Although Hamilton didn’t agree with all aspects of the U.S. Constitution, he worked hard to get it ratified. He, along with James Madison and John Jay, penned the influential Federalist Papers between 1787 and 1788 in support of the Constitution.
In 1789, President George Washington appointed Hamilton as the first secretary of the treasury. His tenure would last until 1795, during which time he was instrumental in the creation of the first national bank, the U.S. Mint, and the Revenue Cutter Service (which would eventually become the US Coast Guard).
Duel & Death
Hamilton had numerous political opponents, both inside and outside his Federalist Party (which he formed in 1791). In 1804, Hamilton’s political enemy Aaron Burr challenged him to a duel over negative remarks Hamilton had allegedly made about Burr.
The duel occurred on July 11, 1804, in New Jersey, and Alexander Hamilton was shot in the abdomen. He was moved to New York, where he died the following day.
Learn more about Alexander Hamilton through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, and other primary sources below.
Articles and Clippings about Alexander Hamilton
George Washington appoints Alexander Hamilton to discuss an exchange of prisoners with the British Sat, Dec 26, 1778 – Page 2 · The Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comAlexander Hamilton is chosen to help "take into consideration the trade and commerce" of the U.S. Wed, May 17, 1786 – Page 3 · The Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from a description of a case Alexander Hamilton worked on as a lawyer in New York Wed, May 17, 1786 – Page 1 · The Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comAlexander Hamilton is chosen as a New York delegate to the Constitutional Convention Tue, Mar 13, 1787 – Page 2 · The Independent Gazetteer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comHamilton's name appears on list of members of Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves Thu, May 17, 1787 – Page 3 · The Independent Gazetteer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comAlexander Hamilton signs his name to the U.S. Constitution Wed, Sep 19, 1787 – Page 4 · The Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comArticle number 12 of the Federalist Papers, written by Alexander Hamilton Wed, Jan 23, 1788 – Page 2 · The Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comAlexander Hamilton mentioned in a letter describing debates about the Constitution in New York Wed, Jun 25, 1788 – Page 3 · The Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comPresident George Washington nominates Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury Wed, Sep 16, 1789 – Page 3 · The Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from financial report Treasury Secretary Hamilton submitted to US House of Representatives Tue, Oct 27, 1789 – Page 1 · Poughkeepsie Journal (Poughkeepsie, New York) · Newspapers.comAlexander Hamilton's plans for a national bank come to fruition Thu, Apr 14, 1791 – 1 · The Bath Chronicle (Bath, Avon, England) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from an op-ed defending Alexander Hamilton during the Reynolds affair scandal Thu, Sep 28, 1797 – 2 · The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comPresident John Adams appoints Alexander Hamilton to rank of major general Tue, Jul 31, 1798 – 3 · Federal Galaxy (Brattleboro, Vermont) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from article about Hamilton's attempts to prevent the reelection of John Adams Tue, Nov 4, 1800 – Page 3 · Weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, North Carolina) · Newspapers.comAlexander Hamilton's son Philip is killed in a duel Wed, Jan 13, 1802 – 4 · Aberdeen Journal, and General Advertiser for the North of Scotland (Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from a newspaper editorial critical of Alexander Hamilton's political views Thu, May 5, 1803 – Page 1 · The Wilmington Gazette (Wilmington, North Carolina) · Newspapers.comAccount of the final moments of Alexander Hamilton and his death Fri, Jul 13, 1804 – Page 2 · The Evening Post (New York, New York) · Newspapers.comAlexander Hamilton is killed by Aaron Burr in a duel Mon, Jul 23, 1804 – Page 3 · Weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, North Carolina) · Newspapers.comNewspaper prints correspondence leading up to the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Mon, Jul 30, 1804 – Page 4 · Weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, North Carolina) · Newspapers.comJury at coroner's inquest into Hamilton's death finds Aaron Burr guilty of murder Tue, Aug 14, 1804 – 3 · The Weekly Franklin Repository (Chambersburg, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com