ALEXANDER HAMILTON was born on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies on 11 January 1757; received some preliminary education from his mother, from a clergyman, and at Francis Barber's grammar school in New Jersey; attended King's College (Columbia University) in New York, 1773-1776, and wrote articles and pamphlets espousing the colonists' cause; was appointed a captain in the Continental Army, March 1776; was secretary and aide-de-camp to General Washington with the rank of lieutenant colonel, 1777-1781; served with the commander in chief in the operations at Long Island, Harlem Heights, White Plains, Trenton, and Princeton, and commanded a regiment under Lafayette at Yorktown, 1776-1781; married Elizabeth Schuyler, 1780; was admitted to the New York bar and entered the practice of law; was a New York delegate to the Continental Congress, 1782-1783, to the Annapolis Convention, 1786, to the New York legislature, 1787, and to the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia, 1787; was a signer of the Constitution, 1787, and co-author with James Madison and John Jay of The Federalist Papers, 1787-1788; again sat in the Continental Congress, 1788; was secretary of the Treasury, 1789-1795; established the Bank of the United States and the United States Mint; placed his influence behind Thomas Jefferson to help break a tie with Aaron Burr for the presidency; was appointed major general and inspector general of the United States Army in anticipation of war with France, July 1798, and served as second in command to George Washington, 1798-1799; was the senior officer of the United States Army, 14 December 1799-15 June 1800; supervised the preparation of new drill regulations and discharged the unneeded Provisional Army; practiced law in New York City, 1795-1804; was a founder of the New York Evening Post and the Bank of New York; helped block Aaron Burr from the New York governorship; was mortally wounded in a duel with Burr at Weehawken Heights, New Jersey, 11 July 1804; died of his wound in New York City on 12 July 1804.

The Artist

P. T. Weaver is a shadowy figure who receives only incidental, incomplete, and conflicting mention in art reference works. Identified as being either English or Irish and as having the other first names of John, Joseph, William J., and William I., Weaver appears to have worked in New York City; in Salem, Massachusetts; in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and in Charleston, South Carolina. His portrait of Brig. Gen. Alexander Hamilton, which attracted attention as a faithful likeness, is the connecting link along the artist's shifting trail. The portrait is reproduced from the collections of the Museum of the City of New York.


Image currently unavailable
Alexander Hamilton
By P. T. Weaver
Oil on wood panel, 9" x 7", ca. 1799


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Last updated 24 February 2006