A Hamilton Chronology







James Jr. born


or 1757

Jan 11

Alexander born Nevis, British West Indies, son of Rachel Faucitt Lavien and James Hamilton



Apprentice clerk, mercantile firm of Nicholas Cruger



19 Feb

Death of Rachel Faucette Lavien at St. Croix, Virgin Islands



¨ Met Rev Hugh Knox (College of NJ graduate), introduced AH to learning and to North America

¨ Fall 1771, Cruger leaves AH in charge of business for 4 months due to bad health. AH is 14


3 Oct

"Hurricane Letter (dated 6 Sep) in Royal Danish-American Gazette of St. Croix. First publication describes hurricane that killed 30 and drove ships 100 yards inland



Sailed on Thunderbolt for Boston en route to New York



Entered King’s College, now Columbia, as student with special status


15 Dec

A Full Vindication, first pamphlet


5 Feb

The Farmer Refuted. Tory Samuel Seabury claimed Parliament had right to tax colonies, AH makes his most explicit statements on natural rights


10 May

Gave speech on Dr. Cooper's steps to delay mob, Cooper escaped tar and feathering


15 June

First of two letters in Holt’s Journal on Quebec Act


23 Aug

As member of militia company "Corsicans" (later called "Hearts of Oak") first saw action in rescue of cannon at the Battery; under direct bombardment from HMS Asia. Green coats, leather caps (with Liberty or Death on them), drilled in churchyard


14 March

Appointed captain in command of the Provincial Company of Artillery


27 Aug

Fought in Battle of Long Island


16 Sep

Harlem Heights, NY, first meeting (perhaps) with Washington

First and last time AH would meet someone greater than himself


28 Oct

Repulsed Hessian battalion at White Plains with his artillery


25 Dec

Fought at Trenton and Princeton

Orders final artillery barrage on Nassau Hall (only building of College of New Jersey)


3 Jan

At Princeton the first round of Hamilton’s battery of two 4-pounders crashed into Nassau Hall


1 March

Morristown, N.J.; appointed aide-de-camp to Washington with rank of Lt Col first of 32, basically chief of staff. Aaron Burr only lasted 10 days on staff


Mid year

Began using blank pages of pay book of former artillery company to note readings. Favorite was Plutarch -- not visionary but historical journalist purveying observations and anecdotes. Also copied Athenian orator Demosthenes. "where should Athens attack? "war, war itself will discover to you his weak sides, if you seek them."



Howe's fleet in Chesapeake Bay, goal Philadelphia. AH warned Congress to flee, horse shot from under him


30 Oct

Sent by Washington on mission to Gates


28 Jan

Drafted Washington’s report to Congress on reorganization of the Army


28 Jun

With MG Charles Lee at Monmouth Court House "let us all die here, rather than retreat!"


19 Oct

Publication of first Publius letters deploring the weakness of Congress



Valley Forge

Met Schuyler family. Liked all sisters, fell in love with Elizabeth (Eliza, Betsey)



Ltr to Congressman James Duane "The Confederation itself is defective, neither fit for war nor peace." Proposed a constitutional convention with new government with taxing powers and "proper executive"


14 March

Morriston, N.J., recommended raising of Negro troops



Submitted to a "member of Congress" his first plan to stabilize the public finances


3 Sept

Liberty Pole, Bergen County, N.J., Letter to James Duane expounding his views on government


25 Sep

Verplanck’s Point, N.Y. Unsuccessful pursuit of the traitor Arnold



14 Dec

Married Elizabeth, daughter of General Philip Schuyler

Both 23 years old



1. Philip Jan 22, 1782

2. Angelica Sep 25, 1784

3. Alexander May 16, 1786

4. James 14 April, 1788

5. John Aug 22, 1792

6. William Aug 4, 1797

7. Eliza Nov 20, 1799

8. Philip June 2, 1802


30 April

Morristown, N.J. Resigned as aide-de-camp to Washington


12 July-4 July 82

Publication of six Continentalist essays


31 July

Dobb’s Ferry, N.Y. Given command of battalion of light infantry


14 Oct

Yorktown, Va. Commanded and personally led the assault and capture of Redoubt No. 10


2 May

Appointed Receiver of Taxes for New York


22 July

Albany, N.Y. admitted to practice after three months’ intensive study of the law

James Duane's law library

By 1786, only 35 lawyers in NYC, 1/12th the number of prostitutes



In congress until July 83


25 Nov

Brits finally leave NY and AH sets up law practice and home at 57 Wall Street


4 Dec

Washington's farewell to officers in Fraunces Tavern (Hamilton not in audience)


24 Feb

Founded and became a director of Bank of New York


10 Feb

Founding of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves


14 Sep

As NY delegate to Annapolis Convention, drafted resolution calling for new convention to enlarge powers of fed government


12 Jan

Took seat in NY state Assembly


25 May-

17 Sep

Federal Convention in Philadelphia

NY delegation AH, Albany mayor John Lansing, Judge Robert Yates (both Clintonites)


18 June

5 hour address to Const Conv on federal government. President and Senate elected for life, Pres. with power to appoint governors, and reduce states to "mere administrative units." Only thus could America guarantee the order and discipline needed to achieve greatness


27 Oct

First Federalist published. Publius Valerius helped overthrow Rome's last king and establish the Roman Republic


22 Jan

Re-appointed a delegate to Cont. Congress from NY


17 June-

26 July

Led fight in NY to ratify in Poughkeepsie, NY. 19 pro delegates, 47 anti

Melancthon Smith, most able anti debater, publicly admitted AH had swayed him with arguments. Quoted Federalist so much, Gov. Clinton asked if he was coming out with 2nd edition.


23 July

Broadway parade with 27-foot ship, The Hamilton, manned by 30 seamen and pulled by 10 horses.


30 April

Washington takes oath. Government meets in NYC. Supreme Court meet on Broad street, above a sheep market.


11 Sep

Appointed first Sec of Treasury, age 32


14 Jan

First Report on Public Credit, assumption of debts at full. "States, like individuals, who observe their engagements are respected and trusted, while the reverse is the fate of those who pursue an opposite conduct."


21 July

Agreed to locate capital on Potomac in return for Jefferson's support on assumption bill, moved to Philadelphia in fall to placate Pennsylvania



Plan for national bank delivered, with capital of $10 million (sum of all other banks at time = $2 million). Madison supported in Federalist, but flopped in congress and opposed. Arguments used by AH to support (need to finance nation) underlie McCullough v Maryland 28 years later



Elected to American Philosophical Society


22 Nov

Charter for The Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, develop 700 acres in NJ, near Passaic River, power of waterfall to run large production machines (straw hats to iron wire)



Begins Reynolds affair

She was 23, of respectable family



Jefferson hires Philip Freneau as translator at DOS, does National Gazette



James Reynolds demands $1000 to mollify his bruised sensibilities



JR writes AH that he may see wife again


15 Dec

Visit of 3 congressmen (Sen. Monroe, Rep. Venable, Speaker of House Muhlenberg)



Attacked by Rep. William Giles (TJ helped draw up resolutions) charging irregularities at Treasury, demanded 3.5 years worth of records and explanations. Congress to adjourn 1 March (TJ could claim AH had time to cook books if no data before autumn). AH produced 60,000 words in 4 weeks, all resolutions failed.


30 Sep

Takes to field to suppress the Whisky Rebellion


31 Jan

Resignation as Sec of Treasury


15 May-

25 Aug

Prepared drafts of Washington's Farewell Address, delivered 19 Sep


25 Aug

Publication of Reynolds pamphlet


5 July

Disclosure by Hamilton of Reynolds Affair


25 July

Appointed Maj Gen and Inspector-General of Army


3 June

Death of father, James Hamilton, at St Vincent, BWI


2 June

Retires from Army



Criticism of character and public conduct of John Adams


17 Feb

Responsible for Jefferson's election as President over Burr by a majority of the states in the H of R on the 36th roll call


16 Nov

Founded New York Evening Post


23 Nov

Philip killed by George Eacker, for attack on AH supporting Burr


17 Dec

First of 18 articles analyzing and criticizing Jefferson's policies


13 Feb

Counsel in People vs. Croswell


11 July

Mortally wounded by Burr at Weehawken, NJ


12 July

Died in home of William Bayard, NYC


14 July

Buried with full military honors in Trinity Churchyard NYC


Debts total $54,722 (over $500K today)


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