Alexander Hamilton’s Resume, January 1787 (Hamilton 50)

The 2017 celebration of Hamilton’s birthday (his 260th) spans January 7-11: for a list of events, see the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society’s site. I’m planning to attend the Manhattan events on Wednesday, January 11 – hope to see you there!

Back on January 11, 1787, Hamilton had just turned 30 years old. I amused myself this past week (since I didn’t have much time for research) with speculating on what he would have included on his resume, if there had been such a thing in the 1780s. What achievements was he most proud of? He’s written vast numbers of private letters, but what has he published? What people would he trust as references? And since this is a resume rather than a curriculum vitae, what would he have omitted?


Alexander Hamilton
58 Wall Street
New York, New York

Upcoming

1787 (May). One of New York’s three delegates to the convention in Philadelphia, for the purpose of digesting a plan to supply such defects as may be discovered to exist in the Articles of Confederation.

Current

  • Since 1782. Private law practice, specializing in defending businessmen prosecuted under New York’s Trespass Act; pleaded several such cases before the states’s Supreme Court. (More here.)
  • 1787. Member of New York State Assembly. Chair of committee proposing changes to the Trespass Act. (Details here.)
  • Since 1784. Legal advisor to the Bank of New York and member of the board. (More here.)

Previous

  • 1786 (September). One of two New York delegates to the Meeting of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government, at Annapolis. Drafted call for the upcoming convention in Philadelphia.
  • 1782-1783. One of several representatives of New York State to Congress. Actively promoted just compensation for soldiers. Consulted and coordinated congressional action with General George Washington during the near-mutiny at Newburgh. (More here.) During the Pennsylvania Mutiny in June 1783, was appointed chairman of the committee tasked with deciding whether Congress should remain in Philadelphia. (More here.) Drafted a motion to revamp the Articles of Confederation, which failed due to lack of interest among congressional colleagues. (More here).
  • 1782 (July to November). Tax receiver for the State of New York. Under Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris, collected thousands of dollars due to the federal government. (More here.)
  • 1781. Commanded a battalion of light infantry  in the Continental Army, in the Advanced Corps under Colonel Scammell. Successfully stormed one of two key redoubts in the British defenses at Yorktown, with minimal casualties. (Details here.)
  • 1777-1781. Aide-de-camp for Commander-in-Chief George Washington. Carried on extensive confidential correspondence and negotiations. (Details here and here.) Saw action at the Battles of Trenton and Monmouth (more here and here and here).
  • 1775-1777. Member of Hearts of Oak militia (artillery); then captain of Provincial Company of Militia, New York Artillery, which was later incorporated into the Continental artillery forces.

Publications

  • “A Letter from Phocion to the Considerate Citizens of New-York on the Politics of the Day” and “Second Letter from Phocion.” 1784. (More here.)
  • “The Continentalist.” Six essays on the need for a stronger Federal union, 1781-1782. (More here and here and here.)
  • “The Farmer Refuted.” Response to A Westchester Farmer, 1775. (More here.)
  • “A Full Vindication of the Measures of the Congress, from the Calumnnies of their Enemies, in Answer to a letter, under the Signature of A.W. Farmer.” 1774. (More here.)

Memberships

Since 1785: Secretary of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves. In 1785, one of a three-member committee that proposed a schedule for emancipation of slaves by members of the Society. (More here.)

Education

  • Independent study of law, 1782, under special dispensation of New York Assembly to veterans. July 1782 admitted to the bar as an attorney qualified to practice before the Supreme Court of the State of New York. October 1783 qualified as a solicitor and counsel in Chancery. (More here.)
  • 1773-1775 enrolled at King’s College.

Family

Married December 14, 1780, to Elizabeth Schuyler, daughter of General Philip Schuyler. (More here.) Children: Philip, b. 1782; Angelica, b. 1784; Alexander, Jr., b. 1786.

References

  1. General George Washington
  2. Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
  3. Robert Morris
  4. John Jay
  5. Henry Laurens
  6. Aaron Burr

More

  • Hamilton wasn’t actually appointed a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention until March 6,1787.
  • Next week we’ll backtrack to the Annapolis Convention, 1786.
  • I’ve started adding comments based on these blog posts to the Genius.com pages on the Hamilton Musical: a fantastic resource. Follow me @DianneDurante.
  • The usual disclaimer: This is the fiftieth in a series of posts on Hamilton: An American Musical My intro to this series is here. Other posts are available via the tag cloud at lower right. The ongoing “index” to these posts is my Kindle book, Alexander Hamilton: A Brief BiographyBottom line: these are unofficial musings, and you do not need them to enjoy the musical or the soundtrack.
  • If you’ve read this far and enjoyed it, why not sign up to hear about future installments? Sign up for the RSS feed, follow me on Twitter @NYCsculpture, friend the Forgotten Delights page on Facebook, or ask to be added to my mailing list (email DuranteDianne@gmail.com), which will get you a weekly email with some bonus comments.
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About Dianne L. Durante

I constantly seek out art that's inspiring, thought-provoking, skillfully executed, and/or beautiful so I can share it (in jargon-free language) with others who need and enjoy such art, but don't have time to search for it themselves. As an independent scholar, writer, and lecturer, I focus on art history and history, with forays into food, history, politics, and publishing. My most recent projects are three volumes on Alexander Hamilton, Central Park: The Early Years, Innovators in Sculpture (a survey of 5,000 years of art in 2 hours), and videoguide apps by Guides Who Know. Click on the Books & Essays tab for a list of all books. For upcoming projects, see my Patreon page.

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