Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Alexander Hamilton

U.S. 1957 3¢ Alexander Hamilton and Federal Hall stamp commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton was one of the key figures in the early days of the United States. He established most of the fiscal policies of the young nation and helped found the U.S. Mint. 

Hamilton was an influential player behind the scenes. With the help of John Jay and James Madison, he wrote the “Federalist Papers,” which were a series of 85 published essays supporting the proposed U.S. Constitution. They are still regarded as the primary source for interpretation of the Constitution. Hamilton’s influence extended to the Presidency, where he worked hard to influence the elections of 1796 and 1800, between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. 

The stamp also features an image of Federal Hall, located in New York City. It served as the first U.S. Capitol of the United States, and was where George Washington was sworn in as President. The Hall was also where the Bill of Rights was signed. 

When Congress moved to Philadelphia in 1790, Federal Hall once again housed the New York City government. The building was destroyed in 1812, and a replacement building was completed in 1842. That building served as the first U.S. Customs House. 

Statesman Alexander Hamilton Killed In Duel. Once an impoverished immigrant orphan, Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) became George Washington’s most trusted aide, a lawyer, and the first Secretary of the Treasury. As Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton established the first Bank of the United States and proposed the seagoing branch of the military that eventually became the U.S. Coast Guard. He also played a crucial role in the passage of the Naval Act of 1794, which led to the creation of the U.S. Navy. 

Long-time acquaintances during the fight for independence, Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr later became bitter political rivals. When a Burr supporter insulted Hamilton’s father’s honor in 1801, 19-year-old Philip Hamilton challenged him to a duel. Philip Hamilton died of injuries he suffered during the duel, which was held in Weehawken, N.J. Three years later, Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel in exactly the same location with the same pistol used to kill Hamilton’s son.

Thank you Merja.

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