History & Culture
Hamilton Grange National Memorial preserves the home of founding father Alexander Hamilton. Born and raised in the West Indies, Hamilton was orphaned in his early teens. Taken in as an apprentice to an international shipping company based on his home island, his talents were recognized by local benefactors who created a fund to provide him with a formal education. Hamilton came to New York in 1772 at age 17 to study at King's College (now Columbia University).
During this period, he was exposed to American Patriots and became a supporter of their cause. As a student, he wrote defenses of the revolutionary cause and published in local newspapers. Soon there after, Hamilton was commissioned as a Captain of Artillery at the beginning of the Revolutionary War; and later his abilities were again recognized and he was invited to become an aide-de-camp to General George Washington.
After the war, as a member of Congress, Hamilton was instrumental in creating the new Constitution. As co-author of the Federalist Papers, he was indispensable in the effort to get the Constitution adopted. As the first Secretary of the Treasury (1789-95), he devised plans for funding the national debt, securing federal credit, encouraging expansion of manufacturing, and organizing the federal bank. As an integral member of Washington's cabinet, he developed the concept of "implied powers," which allowed the federal government to do things in support of the Constitution, that were not specifically spelled out in it.
Hamilton commissioned architect John McComb, Jr. to design a Federal-style country home on a 32-acre estate in upper Manhattan. This house was completed in 1802 and named "The Grange" after his father's ancestral home in Scotland.
Unfortunately, Hamilton was only able to enjoy his home for only two years. On July 11, 1804, Hamilton was fatally wounded in a duel with his personal and political rival Vice President Aaron Burr.
Manhattan Historic Sites Archive
Learn more about Hamilton Grange National Memorial, and other National Park Service sites in Manhattan, at the Manhattan Historic Sites Archive!
This archive is comprised of items related to the important individuals and events associated with six National Park Service historic sites in Manhattan (Hamilton Grange N. Mem., Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace N.H.S., Federal Hall N. Mem., Castle Clinton N.M.,General Grant N. Mem., and Saint Paul's Church N.H.S.) and to the creation and preservation of these sites. The materials are diverse in type, ranging from photographs, to letters, to maps and prints. This three-year project to catalog, reorganize, and digitize the collections was funded by the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy through a grant from the Leon Levy Foundation. Materials were chosen for digitization based on a variety of factors, including both informational and visual content, fragility, and aesthetic qualities. To visit the website and explore this archive, please click here.
Did You Know?
George Washington’s “Farewell Address” of 1796 was drafted with the aid of Hamilton, a point that Elizabeth Schulyer Hamilton defended after her husband’s death.