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Who was Alexander Hamilton's wife and children, when and how did he die?
Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) is best known in United States history as one of the founding fathers of the nation. He was a trusted member of the cabinet of the first President of the United States, George Washington, and in that capacity was a major influence on various aspects of the newly formed Federation.
Hamilton, a politician and a man of the medium, founded the Federalist Party, the Bank of New York and the New York Post Newspaper. He was also a learned writer and lawyer, and a prominent promoter and interpreter of the then newly enacted United States Constitution. He was also the lead author of US economic policy during the George Washington administration.
Hamilton served as the first secretary of the United States Treasury Department and is credited with establishing the country's financial system. He campaigned for the establishment of the United States' First Bank and the United States Mint in 1791.
Who were Alexander Hamilton's wife and children?
Alexander Hamilton was married to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton for 23 years. He met her in early 1980 while serving as a military officer in Morristown, New Jersey. Elizabeth Schuyler was born in Albany, New York, but had visited her aunt in Morristown. Their relationship blossomed very quickly and they were married on December 14, 1780. The ceremony took place at the Schuyler Mansion, the residence of the bride's father in Albany, New York.
Hamilton and his wife had eight children together, six sons and two daughters. Although she was primarily a housewife, Elizabeth Hamilton was also a vital contributor to her husband's public service career. She assisted him in several of his well-known writings and worked hard to get his biography published after his death. In 1906, along with several other prominent women, she founded the New York Orphan Asylum Society.
Alexander Hamilton's first son Philip (1782-1801) was very similar to his famous father. He graduated from Columbia College in 1800 and then studied law. Unfortunately, at the age of 19, he died strangely like his father.
Hamilton's first daughter Angelica was born in 1784. In her youth she is said to have been very interested in music. However, the tragic death of her older brother Philip in 1801 caused her a nervous breakdown from which she never fully recovered. It is known that she died in 1857 at the age of 72.
His third child and second son was Alexander Hamilton Jr. (1786-1875). Like his father, he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He later served briefly in the United States Army, after which he returned to the legal practice. At some point in his life he also got into the real estate business.
His third son James Alexander Hamilton (1788-1878) was also a lawyer and politician. He served a brief stint as Acting Secretary of State for US President Andrew Jackson in 1829, after which he was appointed US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Hamilton's fourth son, John Church Hamilton (1792-1882), was a lawyer, writer, and historian. One of his most famous publications Life of Alexander Hamilton: A History of the Republic of the United States of America, a combination of his father's biography and US history.
The fifth son of the family was William Stephen Hamilton, born in 1797. He was a politician and miner. He founded a lead ore mine, Hamilton's Diggings in Wisconsin, in the late 1820s, but later renamed the settlement Wiota. He died in 1850 at the age of 53.
Eliza Hamilton Holly was the seventh child and second daughter. She was born in 1799. She was married to Sidney Augustus Holly but remained very close to her mother during her lifetime. It is known that she died in 1859 at the age of 59.
The last child in the family was Philip Hamiltona.k.a. "Little Phil". Born in 1802, Philip was named after the eldest son of the family who died the previous year. Because of the death of the family breadwinner, their father, he did not receive a high standard of education like his older siblings. However, he studied with one of his brothers in New York and was able to build a successful law firm.
When and how did he die?
Alexander Hamilton's death occurred on July 12, 1804. He died of a gunshot wound sustained in a arms duel between himself and then Vice President Aaron Burr. The duel was the culmination of a long and fierce rivalry between the two politicians.
The enmity between the two took a dangerous turn after Hamilton's defamation of Burr's character in the run-up to the New York gubernatorial election of 1804, in which Burr participated. The duel took place in the wee hours of July 11, 1804 at a popular duel court in Weehawken, New Jersey. The duel had been banned in New Jersey prior to this encounter, but its enforcement was not very strict.
Aaron Burr's shot hit Hamilton in the lower abdomen, damaging his internal organs and lodged in his lumbar vertebra. Paralyzed and fatally injured, Hamilton was brought back to New York City to live with his friend William Bayard Jr. in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. He died the following day after visiting family and close friends.
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