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.