Alexander Hamilton is best known these days via the Broadway Musical – Hamilton. However, this was no fictional character, but a real life founding father of the united states, soldier and politician. Hamilton was born in 1755, out of wedlock, to a mixed race woman (Rachel Faucette), and a Scotsman (James A. Hamilton). Sadly, Hamilton's mother died of yellow fever in 1768, leaving the young boy orphaned. Alexander was adopted by Nevis merchant Thomas Stevens and worked as a clerk.
Hamilton initially joined a volunteer militia company called the Corsicans. Which later reformed, becoming an artillery company thereafter. Later, using his connections, Hamilton raised the 'New York Provincial Company of Artillery' of sixty men in 1776, and became their captain. After some early distinguished actions, Hamilton was promoted to serve as Washington's aide, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Near the end of the war, Hamilton was given command of three battalions, with which he helped win the battle for Yorktown (effectively bringing the war to an end).
After the War:
After the revolutionary war, Hamilton became a member for Congress, and began to understand the need for a federal government for the united states. For a while Hamilton focused both on his law practice and in setting up the bank of New York. However, he couldn't resist the lure to return to politics. Hamilton led the Treasury Department for Washington's first Cabinet. He believed in a strong central government and successfully argued that the Constitution provided the authority to fund the national debt, to assume states' debts, and to create the government-backed Bank of the United States. All These were funded by a tariff on imports, and later by a controversial whiskey tax. To further his political theories, Hamilton helped form the Federalist Party.
In 1798–99 under President John Adams, Hamilton became Commanding General of the previously disbanded U.S. Army, which he reconstituted, modernized, and readied for war. The army did not see combat in the Quasi-War with the French First Republic, and so Hamilton continued his legal and business activities in New York City, and was active in ending the legality of the international slave trade.
Vice President Burr ran for governor of New York State in 1804, and Hamilton campaigned against him as unworthy. Taking offense, Burr challenged him to a duel on July 11, 1804, in which Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the following day.