Angelica Hamilton

Angelica Hamilton (September 25, 1784 – February 6, 1857) was the second child and eldest daughter of Elizabeth Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton, who was the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Angelica Hamilton
BornSeptember 25, 1784
DiedFebruary 6, 1857 (aged 72)
Resting placeSleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, New York
Parent(s)Alexander Hamilton
Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton
RelativesSee Hamilton family

Early life

In a letter to the nine-year-old Angelica Hamilton, who was then staying with her grandparents in Albany, Alexander Hamilton wrote:

I was very glad to learn, my dear daughter, that you were going to begin the study of the French language. We hope you will in every respect behave in such a manner as will secure to you the good-will and regard of all those with whom you are. If you happen to displease any of them, be always ready to make a frank apology. But the best way is to act with so much politeness, good manners, and circumspection, as never to have occasion to make any apology. Your mother joins in best love to you. Adieu, my very dear daughter.
— Alexander Hamilton, Letter to Angelica Hamilton, Nov. 1793[1]

Angelica was described as a sensitive, lively and musical girl in her youth. She was said to resemble, in beauty, her maternal aunt Angelica Schuyler Church, for whom she was named.[2] During her father's time as Secretary of the Treasury, Martha Washington would take Angelica with her to dance lessons along with her own children.[2]

In addition to French and dance lessons, Angelica played a piano that was bought for her by her aunt Angelica Church, which was sent from London to New York through a friend of her father.[3] Alexander Hamilton, according to a grandson, had a "rich voice" and enjoyed singing popular songs of the day, and "Angelica often accompanied him upon the piano or harp, and appears to have been given all the advantages of a musical education."[4]

Mental illness

Philip Hamilton (The First) - Age 20
Philip Hamilton, whose death in a duel in 1801 was believed to have precipitated Angelica's mental breakdown

In November 1801, when Angelica was 17 years old, her oldest brother Philip Hamilton died of injuries resulting from a duel with George Eacker. The news of Philip's death precipitated a mental breakdown that left Angelica in a state described as "eternal childhood", and often unable even to recognize family members.[2]

Angelica's nephew, psychiatrist Allan McLane Hamilton FRSE, described his aunt as an "invalid" and her condition as a type of "insanity".[5] Dr. Hamilton wrote, "Upon receipt of the news of her brother's death in the Eacker duel, she suffered so great a shock that her mind became permanently impaired, and although taken care of by her devoted mother for a long time there was no amelioration in her condition."[3]

Though the details of what occurred are not clear from a modern medical perspective, historian Ron Chernow similarly attributed the sudden and extreme deterioration of Angelica's mental health to her reaction to the death of Philip, with whom she had been very close.[2] Other modern authors have described the mental health problem, which lasted for the rest of Angelica's life, without discussion of causation.[6][7]

Despite her parents' best efforts to reach her, Angelica's condition only seemed to worsen. Her father had written his friend Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and asked him to send Angelica watermelons and three parakeets, as she was "very fond of birds".[2][8] After visiting the Hamilton home, James Kent tactfully described Angelica as having "a very uncommon simplicity and modesty of deportment".[2]

Adulthood and later life

Years after Alexander Hamilton's death, Angelica's aging mother could no longer care for her. Angelica was eventually placed in the care of a Dr. MacDonald of Flushing, Queens, where she remained for the rest of her life.[2][3] Of this period, her nephew wrote:

During her latter life she constantly referred to the dear brother so nearly her own age as if alive. Her music, that her father used to oversee and encourage, stayed by her all these years. To the end she played the same old-fashioned songs and minuets upon the venerable piano that had been bought for her, many years before.[3]

In 1848, Angelica's sister Eliza Hamilton Holly moved their 91-year-old mother Elizabeth from New York to Washington, D.C.,[9] where she died in 1854 at the age of 97. Elizabeth Hamilton requested in her will that her other children be "kind, affectionate, and attentive" to her "unfortunate daughter Angelica."[2] Eliza Holly, in a letter to an aunt anticipating Angelica's passing, remarked that their mother had not wished to outlive Angelica, and wrote, "Poor sister, what a happy release will be hers! Lost to herself half a century."[2]

Three years after her mother's death, in February 1857, Angelica died in New York at age 72.[10] She was buried in Westchester County, New York at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery,[10] where her sister Eliza would be buried two years later; in 1878, their brother James Alexander Hamilton was also buried there.[11][12]

In popular culture

In the 2015 musical Hamilton, Hamilton's daughter Angelica is mentioned, although not by name, in the songs "Take a Break"[13] and "We Know".[14] The events of both songs take place prior to the birth of Hamilton's second daughter, Eliza, in 1799.


  1. ^ Hamilton, Alexander (1969) [1793]. Syrett, Harold C., ed. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. Vol. XV (June 1793–Jan. 1794). Columbia University Press. p. 432. ISBN 9780231089142.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Chernow, Ron (2004). Alexander Hamilton. Penguin Books. p. 655. ISBN 978-0-14-303475-9 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b c d Hamilton, Allan McLane (1910). The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton. p. 219 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Hamilton, Allan McLane (1910). The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton. p. 47 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Hamilton, Allan McLane (1910). The Intimate Life of Alexander Hamilton. p. 105 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Ambrose, Douglas (2007). The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton: The Life and Legacy of America's Most Elusive Founding Father. New York University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0814707241.
  7. ^ Long, Kat (February 25, 2016). "Why Elizabeth Hamilton Is Deserving of a Musical of Her Own". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  8. ^ Nair, Pooja (February 16, 2015). "Hamil-Fam: The Tragedy of Angelica Hamilton". It's Hamiltime!. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  9. ^ Chernow, Ron (2004). Alexander Hamilton. Penguin Books. p. 730. ISBN 978-0-14-303475-9 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ a b Cline, Robert (May 2, 2006). "Angelica Hamilton". Find a Grave. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  11. ^ Cline, Robert (January 5, 2002). "Elizabeth Hamilton Holly". Find a Grave. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  12. ^ Cline, Robert (January 5, 2002). "James Alexander Hamilton". Find a Grave. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  13. ^ Miranda, Lin-Manuel; McCarter, Jeremy (2016). Hamilton: The Revolution. New York: Grand Central Publishing. p. 169. ISBN 978-1455539741 – via Google Books. Philip: I have a sister but I want a little brother.
  14. ^ Miranda, Lin-Manuel; McCarter, Jeremy (2016). Hamilton: The Revolution. New York: Grand Central Publishing. p. 229. ISBN 978-1455539741 – via Google Books. Burr: I hope you saved some money for your daughter and sons.
Alexander Hamilton (Fraser)

A bronze statue of Alexander Hamilton by James Earle Fraser, dedicated on May 17, 1923, is found on the south patio (Alexander Hamilton Place, NW) of the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C.

Alexander Hamilton (film)

Alexander Hamilton is a 1931 American pre-Code biographical film about Alexander Hamilton, produced and distributed by Warner Bros. and based on the 1917 play Hamilton by George Arliss and Mary Hamlin. It was directed by John G. Adolfi and stars Arliss in the title role. It follows the attempts of Hamilton to establish a new financial structure for the United States following the Confederation Period and the establishment of a new Constitution in 1787. It is preserved at the Library of Congress.

Angelica (given name)

Angelica is a female given name and a variant of Angelika.

Eliza Hamilton Holly

Eliza Hamilton Holly (November 20, 1799 – October 17, 1859) was the seventh child and second daughter of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton.

Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton

Elizabeth Hamilton (née Schuyler ; August 9, 1757 – November 9, 1854), also called Eliza or Betsey, was co-founder and deputy director of the first private orphanage in New York City. She was the wife of American founding father Alexander Hamilton.

Funding Act of 1790

The United States Funding Act of 1790, the full title of which is "An Act making provision for the [payment of the] Debt of the United States", was passed on August 4, 1790 by the United States Congress as part of the Compromise of 1790, to address the issue of funding (i.e., debt service, repayment and retirement) of the domestic debt incurred by the Colonies; the States in rebellion; in independence; in Confederation, and subsequently the States' comprising and within, a single, sovereign, Federal Union. By the Act the newly-inaugurated federal government under the US Constitution assumed (and thereby retired), the debts of each of the individual Colonies' in rebellion and the bonded debts of the States in Confederation — debts that each state had individually and independently issued, on its own "full faith and credit", when each of them were in effect, an independent nation.

The United States government then (through its also newly created Department of the Treasury), issued U.S. Treasury Securities (backed by the "full faith and credit" of the United States of America) offering these securities to the bondholders of the former States' and Confederation's bonded debts, at par. That is, at 100% of their face value (full assumption); and at rates of interest (and all other terms) that were as specified on the bonds when they were issued by the states and Confederation. When this was done, it resulted in the "full assumption" of state debts by the federal government through the issue of federal securities. And for the states of the new union, the full and complete retirement of their bonded obligations incurred in the Revolution, and the Confederation.

Hamilton (play)

Hamilton is a 1917 Broadway play about Alexander Hamilton, written by Mary P. Hamlin and George Arliss. It was directed by Dudley Digges and stars Arliss in the title role. It follows the attempts of Hamilton to establish a new financial structure for the United States following the Confederation Period and the establishment of a new Constitution in 1787.

Mary Hamlin, then a 46-year-old high society woman and mother of four, claimed that playwriting was her "secret desire."In 1931, the film Alexander Hamilton was released. It was based on Hamlin's play and Arliss reprised the title role.

Hamilton Hall (Columbia University)

Hamilton Hall is an academic building on the Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University on College Walk (116th Street) at 1130 Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1905-1907 and was designed by McKim, Mead & White in the Neoclassical style; the building was part of the firm's original master plan for the campus. The building was the gift of the John Stewart Kennedy, a former trustee of Columbia College, and is named after Alexander Hamilton, who attended King's College, Columbia's original name. A statue of Hamilton by William Ordway Partridge stands outside the building entrance. Hamilton Hall is the location of the Columbia College administrative offices.

Hamilton family

The Hamiltons of the United States are a family of Scottish origin, whose most prominent member was Alexander Hamilton (1755/57–1804), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Their ancestors and relations in Scotland included the Lairds of Kerelaw Castle in Stevenston, North Ayrshire, of the Cambuskeith branch of Clan Hamilton.

Hamiltonian economic program

The Hamiltonian economic program was the set of measures that were proposed by American Founding Father and first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in four notable reports and implemented by Congress during George Washington's first administration. These reports outlined a coherent program of national mercantilism government-assisted economic development.

First Report on Public Credit – pertaining to the assumption of federal and state debts and finance of the United States government (1790)

Second Report on Public Credit – pertaining to the establishment of a National Bank (1790)

Report on Manufactures – pertaining to the policies to be followed to encourage manufacturing and industry within the United States (1791)

Report on a Plan for the Further Support of Public Credit - pertaining to how to deal with the system of public credit after Hamilton's resignation, including complete extinguishment of the public debt (1795)

Hamilton–Reynolds affair

The Hamilton–Reynolds affair involved Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who had a one-year affair with Maria Reynolds during George Washington's presidency. Upon discovery of the affair by Maria's husband, James Reynolds, Hamilton paid him over $1,300 (about a third of his annual income) of blackmail money to maintain secrecy. Hamilton was forced to admit to the affair after James Reynolds threatened to implicate him in Reynolds' own scheme involving unpaid back wages intended for Revolutionary War veterans. The affair was one of the first sex scandals in American political history.

James Alexander Hamilton

James Alexander Hamilton (April 14, 1788 – September 24, 1878) was an American soldier, acting Secretary of State, and the third son of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He entered politics as a Democrat and supporter of Andrew Jackson.

Max Tegmark

Max Erik Tegmark (born Max Shapiro on 5 May 1967) is a Swedish-American physicist and cosmologist. He is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the scientific director of the Foundational Questions Institute. He is also a co-founder of the Future of Life Institute and a supporter of the effective altruism movement, and has received donations from Elon Musk to investigate existential risk from advanced artificial intelligence.

Nevis Historical and Conservation Society

The Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) is a nonprofit non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in the Caribbean island of Nevis, founded in 1980 to protect the cultural and natural heritage of the island.

Philip Hamilton

Philip Hamilton (January 22, 1782 – November 24, 1801) was the eldest child of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler. He died at the age of 19, fatally shot in a duel with George Eacker at Weehawken, New Jersey.

Richard M. Blatchford (attorney)

Richard Milford Blatchford (April 23, 1798 – September 4, 1875) was an attorney and political figure in New York City. A longtime political and legal associate of college classmate William H. Seward, Blatchford is most notable for his service in the New York State Assembly and as U.S. Minister to the State of the Church. He was also the father of Samuel Blatchford, who served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Rutgers v. Waddington

Rutgers v. Waddington was a case held in the New York City Mayor's Court in 1784. The case set a precedent for the concept of judicial review .

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York, is the final resting place of numerous famous figures, including Washington Irving, whose story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is set in the adjacent burying ground at the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow. Incorporated in 1849 as Tarrytown Cemetery, the site posthumously honored Irving's request that it change its name to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures

The Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures (S.U.M.) or Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures was a private state-sponsored corporation founded in 1791 to promote industrial development along the Passaic River in New Jersey in the United States. The company's management of the Great Falls of the Passaic River as a powersource for grist mills resulted in the growth of Paterson as one of the first industrial centers in the United States. Under the society's long-term management of the falls, the industrialization of the area passed through three great waves, centered first on cotton, then steel, and finally silk, over the course of over 150 years. The venture is considered by historians to have been a forerunner for many public–private partnerships in later decades in the United States.

United States
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