Learn some important facts on Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, including some of his major achievements, his many roles, and some quotes about him in this quick overview by Adam Levinson, Founder of statutesandstories.com.

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  • An orphan who became the first Secretary of Treasury (the “$10 founding father”). He was instrumental in building our modern financial system.


  • An inspiring Horatio Alger story of an immigrant rising from obscurity to help lead his adopted homeland.


  • George Washington’s right hand man (aide-de-camp). Shared a close relationship with Washington and complemented each other’s talents and personalities (yin and yang). Washington’s wisdom and judgment matched well with Hamilton’s passion and brilliance.


  • Revolutionary War hero who personally led the bayonet charge at Yorktown where he was the first over the parapet. The “Little Lion” also saw action at the battles of Long Island, Monmouth, White Plains, and Princeton.


  • Was one of four leaders most responsible for the Second American Revolution of 1787, which resulted in the U.S. Constitution. (Joseph Ellis, The Quartet)


  • Recognized, diagnosed and cured the problems of the Articles of Confederation with the “Fantastic 4” of Washington, Madison and Jay.


  • Author of the Continentalist – which plotted the course for post war America. Hamilton argued that we learned the wrong lesson from the American Revolution. Fear of political power was resulting in anarchy. Hamilton asserted that we were a weak union of states, not a unified nation


  • Principal co-author of the Federalist Papers with Madison & Jay. Wrote 51 essays in six months to support ratification of the U.S. Constitution. According to Thomas Jefferson, the Federalist Papers were the “best commentary on the principles of government ever written.”


  • Inspired law giver and supreme advocate for the Constitution. Supported implied powers and a strong executive branch. His policies help bind the fractious states together starting in 1789.


  • Formidable pamphleteer at all critical moments in early American history. Described by historian Ron Chernow as a  “human word machine.” Wrote under multiple pseudonyms, including: Publius, Phocion, Catillus, Pericles, A Friend to America. Click here for a discussion of Hamilton’s Catillus essays.



  • Put America’s financial house in order, allowing Jefferson to purchase Louisiana Territory in 1803 (doubling the size of United States.



  • The most influential cabinet member in U.S. history. He promoted a diversified economy and oversaw an economic boom.



  • Founded the Bank of NY in 1784 with Aaron Burr (the first stock traded on the NYSE in 1792). Founded NY Evening Post.



  • The subject of a famous sex scandal. He candidly admitted to an “amorous connection with” Maria Reynolds and printed the love letters to defend himself from allegations of corruption.


  • The leader of the Federalist party, which advocated for broad federal powers, including implied powers.


  • Co-wrote Washington’s Farewell Address, which warned about the risks of excessive partisanship/factions.


  • Was the quintessential New Yorker, bright bold and enterprising. A foremost American capitalist.
  • Died in a duel with Aaron Burr in 1804 in Weehawken, N.J. His loyal wife, Eliza, lived another 50 years, working with orphans.


  • Hamilton was largely overlooked by historians until relatively recently. He was the “un-Jefferson” and “forgotten founding father.”




Quotes about Alexander Hamilton:

“He would be rescued from tropical obscurity by a combination of sheer talent, boundless ambition, and a series of powerful benefactors who all came to regard him as a prodigy.” -Joseph Ellis, The Quartet

A “true colossus” a “host unto himself.” -Thomas Jefferson

“Hamilton was the embodiment of nationality.” “There is no single man” to whom the idea of building an America “owes more than to Hamilton.” -Senator Henry Cabot Lodge


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