How do a bastard, an orphan, the son of a prostitute, and a Scotsman who fell in the middle of a forgotten place in the Caribbean start an important daily newspaper? Alexander Hamilton.
Fans of “Hamilton” have learned a lot about America’s first secretary of the treasury from the popular musical Lin-Manuel Miranda, which released on Friday at Disney +, which they may not have known about before.
Who Was The Real Alexander Hamilton?
Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an orphan who was sent to New York City to get an education.
When he was young, he soon converted to the American Revolution, fought in the military, and became a primary aide to future First President George Washington. Later he founded the first central banks of the United States.
He married Elizabeth Schuyler, daughter of a wealthy general, and together they had eight children. Their first child, Philip, died in a duel at age 19.
The first letter of the Broadway musical Hamilton describes it as:
How a bastard, orphan, the son of a prostitute and a Scotsman, fell into the midst of a forgotten a place in the Caribbean for Providence impoverished in misery grow to be a hero and a scholar?
Where was Alexander Hamilton born?
Alexander was born out of wedlock (making him a “bastard”) in 1755, in Charlestown, Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean Sea.
His early years were marked by tragedy. When he was just a child, he was orphaned and before working as an employee, was taken in by a wealthy merchant,. At one point he lived with his cousin, who later died of suicide, leaving Hamilton homeless once again.
A clear intellectual and avid reader, he was finally sent to New York to continue his education, and after the War of Independence, he finally completed his legal studies and practiced law.
How did Alexander Hamilton die?
Alexander Hamilton was fatally shot and died in a duel, just three years after his eldest son Philip suffered the same fate.
He was assassinated by long-standing rival Vice President Aaron Burr (played by Leslie Odom Jr. in Hamilton’s Broadway production, above), whom Hamilton had offended. Hamilton had also previously supported Burr’s rivals for several seats in power.
The duel took place on July 11, 1804, in New Jersey, coincidentally near the place where Hamilton’s son Philip had also faced and died.
Hamilton was paralyzed by the gunshot wound and died the following afternoon, July 12, 1804. His wife Elizabeth lived to be 97 years old and established the first private orphanage in New York City.