Alexander Hamilton came from humble beginnings, but eventually became one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the first Secretary of the Treasury. While he never became President, he was an incredibly influential figure in the formation of America and an indelible part of its history. Here are 10 things about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s muse you may not know…
10. He Lied About His Age
When Alexander Hamilton’s mother, Rachel Fawcett, was a teenager, she was living on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies, and she was forced to marry a much older man named John Lavine. Rachel, who was a descendant of British and French Huguenot parents, wasn’t happy in the marriage. Lavine was abusive and spent all the money Rachel had inherited from her father’s death. Eventually, Lavine had her locked up in prison for adultery.
After getting out of prison, Rachel didn’t go back to her husband and the son they had together. Instead she fled to St. Kitts, where she lived with a Scottish trader named James Hamilton. Rachel gave birth to a son in 1753, and then Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1755… even though he told people he was born in 1757.
Why Hamilton lied about his age stems from the fact that his father abandoned him, his brother, and his mother shortly after he was born. This left the family in poverty while living in Saint Croix and when Hamilton was 13, his mother died. Now having to support himself, Hamilton needed to find an apprenticeship. He thought that if he was 11, he would make a more desirable apprentice. Luckily for him, it worked and he got a job as a clerk.