Birth date of Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father
January 11th, 1755/7 (disputed)
The man who would one day shape the economy and laws of our nation was born a poor child in the British West Indies. Alexander Hamilton started working as a clerk on the sugar plantations of St. Croix before starting school at Kings College (now Columbia University). Settling in New York City, Hamilton was surrounded by the storm that was brewing between Loyalists and Patriots. He was fervently supportive of the Revolution, and became a trusted friend of General Washington and lieutenant colonel of the Continental Army. When America won her Independence, Hamilton began studying law and was soon elected to the Continental Congress. He became an enthusiastic and productive civic worker, establishing the Bank of New York and helping settle important cases that would set many precedents for America’s judicial system. He is best remembered, however, as the architect of the US Treasury. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton wrote scores of papers on how America should construct her economy, and helped pay off massive debts the country incurred during the Revolutionary War. In his lifetime, he was also a great thinker, wise diplomat, and successful major general. He did garner some enemies, however, most notoriously in Thomas Jefferson’s vice president Aaron Burr, who killed Hamilton in a duel.
Why is the US Treasury so important? What do you think were some of the biggest challenges in creating it?