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December 14th 1780: Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler marry

On this day in 1780, Founding Father Alexander Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler. Hamilton was born to a troubled family in the British West Indies, and moved to America as a teenager for an education. However, as the American colonies teetered on the brink of revolution, Hamilton found himself drawn to the Patriot cause. Soon into the war, Hamtilon became the assistant and adviser to General George Washington. It was during this time that he met and married Elizabeth Schuyler, who came from a prominent New York family. Elizabeth, or Eliza, was known for her sharp wit, and Hamilton was immediately smitten with her. The couple married in 1780, and went on to have eight children. As Hamilton’s career progressed, Eliza was his chief companion and helped him with his political writings. Hamilton was a fierce advocate of a strong central government, penning the majority of the Federalist Papers which supported the ratification of the Constitution, and became the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton and Schuyler’s marriage was not without its trials; in 1797 the so-called Reynolds Pamphlet was published, revealing Hamilton’s affair with a woman named Maria Reynlds. In 1801, their nineteen-year-old son Philip was killed in a duel defending his father’s honour. Just three years after losing her son, Elizabeth was widowed when Alexander was killed by Aaron Burr in a duel. Elizabeth then devoted her life to philanthropy and preserving Hamiton’s legacy; in 1806, she founded New York’s first private orphanage. By the mid-nineteenth century, Elizabeth was one of the last living links to the revolutionary era, making her a very famous figure. In 1848, during the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the Washington Monument, Elizabeth rode in the procession with President James K. Polk and future presidents James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton died in 1854, aged 97, fifty years after her husband’s death.

“With my last idea; I shall cherish the sweet hope of meeting you in a better world. Adieu best of wives and best of Women. Embrace all my darling Children for me.”
- Alexander Hamilton to Elizabeth Schuyler, just days before his death

CHARLES LEE FACTS

1. Started his military career (active duty) when he was 14 years old.

2. Spoke fluent Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and German.

3. Inherited what we now know is mental illness, which manifested itself in moodiness and a choleric temper. As Lee himself later admitted, he suffered from a “distemper of … mind”.

4. Five of his siblings died.

6. Married a Canadian Indian during the French and Indian War.

7. Was dubbed by the Canadian Indians “Boiling Water”, a reference to his temper.

8. Was badly wounded defending Ft. Ticonderoga, and when brought back to Long Island to heal, got into a fight with the army surgeon, who then tried to assassinate him.

9. Tried to form two new colonies in the area we know of as Illinois. 

10. While serving in the Polish army, he nearly froze to death in the Balkan mountains.

11. Still serving for Poland, he also survived an earthquake in Constantinople.

12. Dueled an Italian officer, who he shot dead, but lost two fingers in the process of doing so.

13. Called King George III a “dolt”.

14. Only decided Washington was a weak leader when, at Congress’ pressuring, Washington lost over 3,000 men and tons of supplies when he lost Fort Washington instead of retreating with it as Lee had suggested.

15. Washington ordered him to retreat across New Jersey from New York, so, because he was mad, Lee left the army’s column, took a few men with him to a tavern, rented several prostitutes, and was promptly captured by the British the next morning.

16. Owned a Pomeranian named Mr. Spada, which he made Abigail Adams shake its paw. 

  • Thomas Jefferson: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal
  • Everyone: But what about your slaves
  • Thomas Jefferson: they dont count
  • Everyone: What about women?
  • Thomas Jefferson: they dont count
  • Thomas Jefferson: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all white men are created equal
  • Thomas Jefferson: especially if they're rich
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January 11th 1755/57: Alexander Hamilton born

On this day in 1755 or 1757, future Founding Father Alexander Hamilton was born in the British West Indies. Hamilton’s early life was troubled, and he was left parentless at a young age after his father left and his mother died. He found work as an accounting clerk, and his employer, impressed by Alexander’s abilities, paid for him to move to America for an education. However, as the American colonies teetered on the brink of revolution, Hamilton found himself drawn to the Patriot cause. Soon into the Revolutionary War, in which he served in the army, Hamilton became the assistant and adviser to General George Washington. It was during this time that he met and married Elizabeth Schuyler, who came from a prominent New York family. After the Revolution, Hamilton was a fierce advocate of a strong central government, penning the majority of the Federalist Papers which supported the ratification of the Constitution, and served as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury from 1789 to 1795. In 1801, Hamilton and Elizabeth’s nineteen-year-old son Philip was killed in a duel defending his father’s honour. Just three years later, Alexander himself was killed in a duel by his long-time rival Vice President Aaron Burr.

Lynching didn’t start in the old West or during Reconstruction, but during the American Revolution. A justice of the peace and farmer in Virginia before the war, one Colonel Charles Lynch, led a band of vigilantes to “bring to justice” British supporters and outlaws. Hanging someone without a trial became known as “lynching” after this particularly enthusiastic patriot.