By: Charles A. Conant (1861-1915)
Alexander Hamilton was a significant figure in the political and economic development of the early United States. He served in the American Revolutionary War and became an aide to General George Washington. He was one of the authors (along with John Jay and James Madison) of a series of essays know as The Federalist Papers, which were written in support of the ratification of the proposed Constitution. Scholars and others still refer to these essays to this day for interpretation of the Constitution. As the first Secretary of the Treasury in George Washington’s Cabinet, Hamilton was a proponent of a strong centralized government. Hamilton pursued many actions (some controversial) in an attempt to provide financial stability for the new government, including the establishment of the U.S. Mint and a National Bank. Ironically, he may most often be remembered for the infamous pistol duel with Aaron Burr that resulted in Hamilton’s death.