The Boyhood Of Alexander Hamilton

Some old myths die in this new study of his West Indies childhood

Of his boyhood Alexander Hamilton habitually said very little. His political enemies said a good deal but mostly under their breath and only the most illtempered of them, old John Adams, went so far as to call him “the bastard son of a Scots peddler.” Hamilton’s family, by seeking to deny the fact of his illegitimacy, merely focused attention on it. Gertrude Atherton, in her fictionali/ed biography, The Conqueror , told a pretty tale of a blue blood rescued by wealthy relatives from the consequences of his mother’s shame.

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