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Alexander Hamilton: Young Statesman

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2008

    great biography of an important historical person

    Alexander Hamilton was born in 1757 on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies but, after his father's death moved, with his mother to her family's home on the Danish West Indies island of St. Croix. Receiving his earliest education at home from his mother, he later attended a small private boy's school conducted by a local minister named Knox and then came to New York colony as a young man just as the colonists were beginning to object to the heavy-handedness of the English government. The name may be somewhat familiar to us today because his picture graces our ten-dollar bill, but very few know much about him. His main claim to historic footnote fame is that he was killed by Aaron Burr in a duel. However, he accomplished much more than that in his short life (he was 49 when he was killed), and was one of our nation's most unheralded founding fathers. As General Washington's aide-de-camp, Hamilton played a highly significant, though mostly unpublicized, role in the American Revolution. As the head of the Federalist Party, he was largely instrumental in achieving the ratification of the United States Constitution. And as President Washington's secretary of the treasury, he almost singlehandedly established the independent monetary program that guided this country for nearly 200 years, laying the groundwork for the capitalist economic system that enabled the United States to grow into the freest and most prosperous society that this world has ever known in less than 100 years. While Hamilton was not without his faults as a politician, all these are great reasons for knowing more about him and his part in our nation's past. In addition, lessons that we can learn from his young personal life include conquering fears, the value of a good education, controlling one's temper, perseverance, and the importance of hard work. As a man, Hamilton's adult accomplishments as a military assistant to Washington, architect of the Constitution, first Secretary of the Treasury, and the face on the 10 dollar bill, were in part due to the experiences of his youth, and in Volume 14 of the Young Patriots Series, children can meet this noted personage from our nation's history as a young man. This slightly fictionalized account of Hamilton's childhood was originally one of the wonderful 'Childhood of Famous Americans Series' published by the Bobbs-Merrill Company in 1942 and entitled Alec Hamilton, the Little Lion. Simon and Schuster publishes the 'Childhood of Famous Americans' books now, but many of the older titles have been dropped for newer ones about more recent personalities. Thankfully, Patria Press is bringing back some of these out of print books in their 'Young Patriots Series.'

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