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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