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Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years

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Even though Alexander Hamilton was among the most important Founding Fathers, less is known about his early life than that of any other major Founder. Relatively few records have been found regarding Hamilton’s birth, childhood, and origins in the West Indies. Alexander Hamilton “rarely . . . dwelt upon his personal history” and never recorded his life’s story. Most of Ham Even though Alexander Hamilton was among the most important Founding Fathers, less is known about his early life than that of any other major Founder. Relatively few records have been found regarding Hamilton’s birth, childhood, and origins in the West Indies. Alexander Hamilton “rarely . . . dwelt upon his personal history” and never recorded his life’s story. Most of Hamilton’s correspondence prior to 1777 was lost during the American Revolution. This has resulted in many gaps in Alexander Hamilton’s biography, which has given rise to much conjecture regarding the details of his life. Relying on new research and extensive analysis of the existing literature, Michael E. Newton presents a more comprehensive and accurate account of Alexander Hamilton’s formative years. Despite being orphaned as a young boy and having his birth be “the subject of the most humiliating criticism,” Alexander Hamilton used his intelligence, determination, and charisma to overcome his questionable origins and desperate situation. As a mere child, Hamilton went to work for a West Indian mercantile company. Within a few short years, Hamilton was managing the firm’s St. Croix operations. Gaining the attention of the island’s leading men, Hamilton was sent to mainland North America for an education, where he immediately fell in with the country’s leading patriots. After using his pen to defend the civil liberties of the Americans against British infringements, Hamilton took up arms in the defense of those rights. Earning distinction in the campaign of 1776–77 at the head of an artillery company, Hamilton attracted the attention of General George Washington, who made him his aide-de-camp. Alexander Hamilton was soon writing some of Washington’s most important correspondence, advising the commander-in-chief on crucial military and political matters, carrying out urgent missions, conferring with French allies, negotiating with the British, and helping Washington manage his spy network. As Washington later attested, Hamilton had become his “principal and most confidential aid.” After serving the commander-in-chief for four years, Hamilton was given a field command and led the assault on Redoubt Ten at Yorktown, the critical engagement in the decisive battle of the War for Independence. By the age of just twenty-five, Alexander Hamilton had proven himself to be one of the most intelligent, brave, hard-working, and patriotic Americans. 'Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years' tells the dramatic story of how this poor immigrant emerged from obscurity and transformed himself into the most remarkable Founding Father. In riveting detail, Michael E. Newton delivers a fresh and fascinating account of Alexander Hamilton’s origins, youth, and indispensable services during the American Revolution.

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Even though Alexander Hamilton was among the most important Founding Fathers, less is known about his early life than that of any other major Founder. Relatively few records have been found regarding Hamilton’s birth, childhood, and origins in the West Indies. Alexander Hamilton “rarely . . . dwelt upon his personal history” and never recorded his life’s story. Most of Ham Even though Alexander Hamilton was among the most important Founding Fathers, less is known about his early life than that of any other major Founder. Relatively few records have been found regarding Hamilton’s birth, childhood, and origins in the West Indies. Alexander Hamilton “rarely . . . dwelt upon his personal history” and never recorded his life’s story. Most of Hamilton’s correspondence prior to 1777 was lost during the American Revolution. This has resulted in many gaps in Alexander Hamilton’s biography, which has given rise to much conjecture regarding the details of his life. Relying on new research and extensive analysis of the existing literature, Michael E. Newton presents a more comprehensive and accurate account of Alexander Hamilton’s formative years. Despite being orphaned as a young boy and having his birth be “the subject of the most humiliating criticism,” Alexander Hamilton used his intelligence, determination, and charisma to overcome his questionable origins and desperate situation. As a mere child, Hamilton went to work for a West Indian mercantile company. Within a few short years, Hamilton was managing the firm’s St. Croix operations. Gaining the attention of the island’s leading men, Hamilton was sent to mainland North America for an education, where he immediately fell in with the country’s leading patriots. After using his pen to defend the civil liberties of the Americans against British infringements, Hamilton took up arms in the defense of those rights. Earning distinction in the campaign of 1776–77 at the head of an artillery company, Hamilton attracted the attention of General George Washington, who made him his aide-de-camp. Alexander Hamilton was soon writing some of Washington’s most important correspondence, advising the commander-in-chief on crucial military and political matters, carrying out urgent missions, conferring with French allies, negotiating with the British, and helping Washington manage his spy network. As Washington later attested, Hamilton had become his “principal and most confidential aid.” After serving the commander-in-chief for four years, Hamilton was given a field command and led the assault on Redoubt Ten at Yorktown, the critical engagement in the decisive battle of the War for Independence. By the age of just twenty-five, Alexander Hamilton had proven himself to be one of the most intelligent, brave, hard-working, and patriotic Americans. 'Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years' tells the dramatic story of how this poor immigrant emerged from obscurity and transformed himself into the most remarkable Founding Father. In riveting detail, Michael E. Newton delivers a fresh and fascinating account of Alexander Hamilton’s origins, youth, and indispensable services during the American Revolution.

52 review for Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    As a life-long Hamilton buff, I was thrilled to win a copy of this book, and am privileged to write a review of it for goodreads.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yaaresse

    Sampled 3-2017. Very dry. Doesn't seem to bring anything new to surface, and fixates on inconsistencies in record keeping, especially name spellings, that anyone with even a passing interest in history of genealogy knows are ubiquitous with even the most common names.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah (Presto agitato)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Collette Gee

  5. 4 out of 5

    Isabel

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bob Still

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jack J.Feng

  8. 4 out of 5

    Taryn Frank

  9. 5 out of 5

    James Lynam

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

  11. 4 out of 5

    Denialandavoidance

  12. 4 out of 5

    Roshanna

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beanie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gwinny

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patti

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Wilser

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kaylie

  18. 5 out of 5

    D. E.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  20. 5 out of 5

    Koi No

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hamilton Rand

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael Newton

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dean

  25. 4 out of 5

    Greg Coticchia

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

  27. 5 out of 5

    Belton Myers

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sky Postell

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nina Mason

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Ryan

  31. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Scholet

  32. 4 out of 5

    Michael Newton

  33. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  34. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  35. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  36. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Polish

  37. 5 out of 5

    Carla

  38. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Cole Marie Mckinnon

  39. 4 out of 5

    Temple

  40. 4 out of 5

    Ken Cameron

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  42. 5 out of 5

    Donna Kimball

  43. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

  44. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Schwarzer

  45. 5 out of 5

    Tom Schulte

  46. 5 out of 5

    Faythe Millhoff

  47. 4 out of 5

    Linda Meltzer

  48. 5 out of 5

    Jay Wysocki

  49. 4 out of 5

    Trica Johnson

  50. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

  51. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  52. 4 out of 5

    Vykki

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