Despite the many hardships he experienced during his childhood in the Caribbean, Alexander Hamilton went on to become one of the foremost statesmen of the United States. The drive and intelligence he demonstrated while still in his teens convinced wealthy patrons to send Hamilton to New York to study at King’s College (now Columbia University). An early champion of independence from Britain, he enlisted in the Continental Army and became a valued member of George Washington’s staff.

Following the Revolution, Hamilton advocated for a strong national government. With John Jay and James Madison, he co-authored the Federalist Papers, which urged ratification of the United States Constitution. While serving as the first secretary of the treasury (1789–95), he laid the groundwork for a strong republic by promoting a national bank and encouraging commerce and manufacturing. Offended by a supposed insult, Vice President Aaron Burr fatally shot Hamilton in a duel in 1804.


  • Title: Alexander Hamilton
  • Creator: John Trumbull
  • Date Created: 1806
  • Physical Dimensions: w62.2 x h77.5 x d3.5 cm (Stretcher)
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift of Henry Cabot Lodge
  • External Link: https://npg.si.edu/portraits
  • Classification: Painting

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