Hamilton Through the Ages

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Alexander Hamilton Plaster Study by Carl Conrads, 1880. Courtesy of the Museum of American Finance.

Commemorating Alexander Hamilton

This is a plaster study of an Alexander Hamilton statue commissioned by John C. Hamilton, Alexander’s son. The final sculpture made from this study is carved from granite and now resides on the east side of Central Park, near 83rd Street. Donated to the City of New York by John C. Hamilton in 1880, the statue commemorates Hamilton’s contributions to the city and the nation. The dedication of the statue was attended by President Rutherford B. Hayes. Conrads, the sculptor, included the Society of the Cincinnati badge on Hamilton’s lapel, which holds great importance for Hamilton and his family.

Hamilton, a great legal mind, is best known as the main author of the Federalist Papers, of crucial importance to this day. He established the financial infrastructure of the nation and envisioned its path to economic independence and growth. A hero of Yorktown, Hamilton later was the founder of the Coast Guard. He was appointed Inspector General of the Army during the Quasi-War with France. As a Founding Father, Hamilton's significant contributions are outstanding and still inspiring in our days.

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12 ½ Cent Note of the New York Exchange Company, 1837

This note features an image of Hamilton, who had encouraged the formation of the Exchange as a place to trade the new U.S. Treasury bonds.

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U.S. Note, $5 1862 Legal Tender

An early note, commemorating Hamilton long after his untimely death.

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U.S. Note, $2 1862 Legal Tender

Another early note with Hamilton’s image.

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U.S. Treasury Bond, 1862

This bond from the time of the Civil War features the images of Alexander Hamilton and Salmon P. Chase, Treasury Secretary in the Cabinet of President Lincoln.

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Morgenthau Reads Hamilton

Henry Morgenthau Sr., a successful lawyer and Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire under Woodrow Wilson, ordered a set of the Hamilton 12-volume works, bringing Hamilton's ideas into his time of service. His son, Henry Morgenthau Jr. became the Secretary of the Treasury under Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

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$1000 Gold Certificate, 1907

This splendid gold certificate features the image of Alexander Hamilton, and would only be seen in auctions, or as a collector’s item. High denomination bills were not printed after 1969, in hopes of minimizing money-laundering.

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Alexander Hamilton on the Big Screen

This image announces the 1931 Warner Bros. movie Alexander Hamilton, starring George Arliss in the leading role.

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The Nation Celebrates a Founding Father

This First Day Cover marks the 200th anniversary of Hamilton's birth in the year of birth known at the time. New research points to birth in 1754-5.

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Hamilton Birthday Celebration

Hamilton's birthday has been commemorated by the Museum of American Finance (MoAF) since 1989. It annually places a wreath at his grave in Trinity Churchyard, and, by 2007, MoAf was hosting celebrations sponsored by numerous partners, as shown here. Since 2012, the Museum has partnered with the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society annually with celebrations at his grave site.

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Recent Hamilton Scholarship and the Musical

The turn of the 21st century brought about a reassessment of Hamilton's role and contributions to the founding of our nation. Works such as Richard Brookhiser's Alexander Hamilton, American, Stephen Knott's Alexander Hamilton and the Persistance of Myth, and Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton: A Biography brought Hamilton back into focus, the latter author in particular inspiring Lin-Manuel Miranda to create the hugely successful Broadway musical Hamilton. An instant hit, the Hamilton musical since 2015 has popularized Hamilton and inspired countless followers to learn more about this facinating Founding Father. At the same time, historian Michael E. Newton published the most thorough and accurate study to date of Hamilton's life through the end of the Revolutionary War, entitled Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years, followed soon after by his Discovering Hamilton, where he made numerous discoveries shedding light on Hamilton's early years in the Caribbean. 

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Hamilton's Words Through the Ages

This beautiful statue of Alexander Hamilton was unveiled on the grounds of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, in 2018. It was created by the renowned American sculptor Benjamin Victor, who is the only living sculptor to have three of his works exhibited at the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. The Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society assisted Victor by providing historical information on Hamilton during his process of developing his vision for the statue. The sculptor went through the painstaking process of stenciling Hamilton's own handwriting on the document held in his hands, exactly as it appears on his original directives to the captains of the revenue cutters. Hamilton's instructive words continue to provide clear guidance and inspire all service men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard in the discharge of their duties through this day.