Alexander Hamilton Jr.

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Alexander Hamilton Jr.
Member of the New York State Assembly from New York
In office
July 1, 1818 – June 30, 1819
Personal details
Born(1786-05-16)May 16, 1786
New York City, Province of New York
DiedAugust 2, 1875(1875-08-02) (aged 89)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican / Bucktails
Spouse(s)
Eliza P. Knox
(m. 1817; died 1871)
Parent(s)Alexander Hamilton
Elizabeth Schuyler
RelativesSee Hamilton family
Alma materColumbia College
OccupationLawyer, real estate developer

Colonel Alexander Hamilton Jr. (May 16, 1786 – August 2, 1875)[1] was the third child and the second son of Elizabeth Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.[2]

Education[edit]

By the age of eight, Hamilton began attending a boarding school in Trenton, New Jersey, where he joined his older brother Philip studying with William Frazer, an Episcopal clergyman and rector of St. Michael's Church.[3][4]

He later attended Columbia College in New York. According to historian Ron Chernow, he graduated from Columbia in 1804, several weeks after his father was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.[5][6] According to the St. Andrew's Society of New York, of which Hamilton was a member, Hamilton "did not graduate on account of an accident", but shortly afterward began the study of law.[7]

Career[edit]

After college, Hamilton was asked to be an apprentice attorney in Stephen Higginson's Boston law firm, and was later admitted to practice law.[5]

He sailed to Spain in 1811 or 1812,[7][8] during a period of political conflict preceding the War of 1812, and joined the Duke of Wellington's forces, then fighting against Napoleon's army in Portugal.[6] After acquiring some military and strategic training with the British Army,[6] Hamilton returned to America to serve in the War of 1812, receiving a commission as Captain of the 41st Regiment of Infantry in the United States Army in August 1813.[7] The 41st Regiment did not appear to have seen active service in the war,[9] and Hamilton went on to act as aide-de-camp to his father's friend General Morgan Lewis in 1814, serving until June 15, 1815.[6][10]

Hamilton resumed the practice of law, and took office in July 1818 as a member of the 42nd New York State Legislature for a one-year term, as one of eleven representatives to the New York State Assembly from New York City.

In May 1822, President James Monroe appointed Hamilton as a United States Attorney for East Florida.[11] In 1823, he was appointed to be one of three Land Commissioners for East Florida,[10] and while there, he received the military rank of Colonel.[7] He ran unsuccessfully against Richard K. Call to be the Florida Territory's delegate in the United States House of Representatives.[12]

Hamilton subsequently returned to New York, where he became successful in real estate transactions, and for many years was one of the leading names in Wall Street.[7]

In the mid-1830s, as a lawyer in the New York Court of Chancery, Hamilton represented Eliza Jumel against her husband Aaron Burr during two years of divorce proceedings, which were finalized in 1836 on the day of Burr's death. She and Burr had separated after only four months of marriage.[5]

Hamilton had a "large and varied correspondence" with other political contemporaries including his close friend Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Salmon P. Chase, and Presidents James Monroe and Zachary Taylor.[7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1817, Hamilton married Eliza P. Knox (d. 1871), daughter of William Knox, who was at that time a leading merchant in New York City.[7]

In 1833, when his mother Eliza Hamilton was 76 years old, Hamilton used funds from his mother's sale of The Grange to purchase a townhouse for her and his family in New York City, at 4 St. Mark's Place (now known as the Hamilton-Holly House).[13] Between 1833 and 1842, he and his wife lived there with his mother, his sister Eliza Hamilton Holly, and her husband Sidney Augustus Holly.[13]

During a trip through the West with his wife in 1835, Hamilton met Abraham Lincoln, then an Illinois state legislator, in a grocery store where Lincoln was "lying upon the counter in midday telling stories."[7] During the last ten years of his life, Hamilton resided in New Brunswick, New Jersey and in New York City, where he moved after the death of his wife in 1871.[7] Hamilton died, having had no children, on August 2, 1875, at his home, 83 Clinton Place, in Greenwich Village.[7][2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heitman, Francis B. (1890). Historical Register of the United States Army, From Its Organization: September 29, 1789, to September 29, 1889. Washington, D.C.: The National Tribune. p. 315.
  2. ^ a b "OBITUARY. | ALEXANDER HAMILTON". The New York Times. August 3, 1875. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  3. ^ Syrett, Harold C., ed. (1972). The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. Vol. XVII, August–December 1794. Columbia University Press. p. 288 n.1. ISBN 9780231089166 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Syrett, Harold C., ed. (1973). The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. Vol. XVIII, January–July 1795. Columbia University Press. p. 246 nn.1–2. ISBN 9780231089173 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b c Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. p. 726.
  6. ^ a b c d Hamilton, Allan McLane (1910). The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton. C. Scribner's Sons. p. 217 – via Internet Archive.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j MacBean, William M. (1925). Biographical Register of Saint Andrew's Society of the State of New York (PDF). Vol. II, 1807–1856. pp. 18–19.
  8. ^ Knott, Stephen F. (2002). Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth. p. 22. ISBN 9780700611577. a streak akin to his father's love of military adventure when in 1811 he fought under the Duke of Wellington in Portugal
  9. ^ Malcomson, Robert (2006). Historical Dictionary of the War of 1812. Scarecrow Press. p. 190. ISBN 9780810865167 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ a b Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1887). "Alexander Hamilton". Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography. Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography, Volume 3. New York: D. Appleton and Company. p. 60.
  11. ^ Niles, Hezekiah, ed. (May 18, 1822). "Niles' Weekly Register, from March to September, 1822". Niles' Register. Baltimore. XXII (12): 177–192, at 180.
  12. ^ Doherty, Herbert J. Jr. (1961). Richard Keith Call: Southern Unionist. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. pp. 27–28.
  13. ^ a b "Hamilton-Holly House Designation Report" (PDF). New York, NY: Landmarks Preservation Commission. October 19, 2004. LP-2157. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 4, 2016.