Originally from the Caribbean, Alexander Hamilton adopted New York City as his home. However, few people realize that Hamilton spent a great deal of time in the Hudson River Valley area of New York as well. While preparing for our Hamilton on the Hudson event, I met someone who asked, “What does Alexander Hamilton have to do with the Hudson River Valley?” Well, the answer is so extensive that I was inspired to write it down to share with everyone.
Painting from the Hudson River School. Photo Credit: John Frederick Kensett,
View from Cozzens’ Hotel Near West Point, 1863, oil on canvas
The short of it:
During the Revolutionary War Hamilton spent a great deal of time between 1778-1781 throughout the Hudson River Valley. He served as George Washington’s aide-de-camp, pursued Benedict Arnold as Arnold fled to the British, and recommended one of three original recipients of the Badge of Military Merit (today’s Purple Heart) to George Washington. Hamilton was a founding member of the Society of Cincinnati and became its second President-General. He was married in Albany and lived with his wife Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton in present-day Beacon and other areas. Alexander Hamilton advocated for establishing a military academy at West Point. He wrote the first Federalist essay going down the Hudson River on a sloop. And of course, Hamilton was a leading delegate in the New York Ratifying Convention in Poughkeepsie, for which this year marks the 225th anniversary.