The Life Of Alexander Hamilton



Before earning such a glowing acclamation from the French statesman,
Alexander Hamilton would have a rocky road to travel. He was most likely
born on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies in 1755. The exact
date of his birth is unknown, and even his year of birth is an item of
dispute among scholars. The youngest of two illegitimate sons born to
Rachel Faucett Lavien, a Huguenot, and James Hamilton, an irresponsible but
charming Scottish merchant, Alexander had no birth certificate nor
baptismal record to track his early journey. What remains in print is a
single document stating his age at 13 in 1768 when his mother died. What is
known, however, is that Alexander, his brother ...

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or perhaps even outward disdain
from the townspeople he encountered. Rachel's husband, who had had her
imprisoned in Christiansted some years before for adultery, had posted a
public summons for her to appear before a divorce court, declaring her a
whore who had given birth to illegitimate children. After Rachel's death
from yellow fever, her husband then sued for all her assets, depriving her
"whore children" of any benefit her meager belongings might bring.
That Hamilton frowned upon as a youngster can be reasonably assumed
by his behavior later in life: primarily his preoccupation with matters of
honor and character, and his often visceral reactions to criticism aimed at
him. He was also painfully aware that, having no money, family connections,
or inherited prestige, nothing would be handed to him. He would have to
work harder and excel beyond everyone else in order to make a name for
himself, which is what he resolved to do early on. However, the harsh and
shameful ...

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In the meantime, the youngster drank in
everything he saw. Nothing Hamilton experienced ever went unused.
Whereas Nicholas Cruger exposed Alexander Hamilton to material
realities, the Reverend Hugh Knox provided him with a strong spiritual and
intellectual grounding. Knox--who took Hamilton under his wing shortly
after Rachel's death--was a Scottish Presbyterian minister at odds with the
mainstream of his faith because of his firm belief in free will over the
Calvinist doctrine of Predestination. For someone like Hamilton who was
otherwise predestined to a life of obscurity, we can see how Knox's
philosophy would have appealed to him. The Reverend's encouragement and
influence ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 2/3/2007 11:21:42 PM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4858
Pages: 18

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