did, however, sit on the Committee of Style, and he was the only one
of the three delegates from his state who signed the finished
document. Hamilton's part in New York's ratification the next year
was substantial, though he felt the Constitution was deficient in
many respects. Against determined opposition, he waged a strenuous
and successful campaign, including collaboration with John Jay and
James Madison in writing The Federalist. In 1787 Hamilton was again
elected to the Continental Congress.
While Alexander Hamilton (1757
to 1804) was one of the
youngest founding fathers, his contributions were
significant . . . and sadly came to a tragic end when he was
mortally wounded in a pistol duel with Aaron Burr.
Yet, he remains one of the most
referenced, influential, and respected founding fathers. He
truly deserves recognition as a Great American Patriot.
Although not yet 20 years of age, in
1774-75 Hamilton wrote several widely read pro-Whig
pamphlets. Right after the war broke out, he accepted an
artillery captaincy and fought in the principal
campaigns of 1776-77.
the latter year, winning the rank of lieutenant colonel,
he joined the staff of General Washington as secretary
and aide-de-camp and soon became his close confidant as
In 1787 Hamilton
served in the legislature, which appointed him as a
delegate to the convention. He played a surprisingly
small part in the debates, apparently because he was
frequently absent on legal business, his extreme
nationalism put him at odds with most of the delegates,
and he was frustrated by the
conservative views of his two fellow delegates from New
When the new government got under way in 1789,
Hamilton won the position of Secretary of the Treasury. He began at
once to place the nation's disorganized finances on a sound footing.
In a series of reports (1790-91), he presented a program not only to
stabilize national finances but also to shape the future of the
country as a powerful, industrial nation. He proposed establishment
of a national bank, funding of the national debt, assumption of
state war debts, and the encouragement of manufacturing.
Here are several memorable quotes by
In framing a government which is to be
administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You
must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the
next place, oblige it to control itself.
Here, sir, the people
govern; here they act by their immediate representatives.
It's not tyranny we
desire; it's a just, limited, federal government.
There is a certain
enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in
acts of bravery and heroism.
Biographical Information from The National Archives
Read Alexander Hamilton's The Federalist No. 9 |
About Alexander Hamilton