- Historic Sites
The Founding Wizard
Two hundred years ago the United States was a weakling republic prostrate beneath a ruinous national debt. Then Alexander Hamilton worked the miracle of fiscal imagination that made America a healthy young economic giant. How did he do it?
July/august 1990 | Volume 41, Issue 5
After his untimely death in 1804 at the hands of Aaron Burr, Hamilton was buried in New York’s Trinity Churchyard, across Broadway from the head of Wall Street. At the turn of the nineteenth century, it was nothing more than a picturesque spot in the most fashionable residential area of a small seaport, and it lay remote from the centers of world power. Today the churchyard, surrounded by skyscrapers, hurtling traffic, and hurrying pedestrians, lies at the very heart of world capitalism. It is altogether fitting that Hamilton should rest there still.
On the grave of Sir Christopher Wren in the transept of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, are engraved the words Si Monumentum Requiris Circumspice (“If you seek a monument, look about you”). Those same words, with equal justice, might be written on the tomb of Alexander Hamilton.