Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father
Gifted, energetic, passionate, unruly, Hamilton was perhaps the most creative figure thrown up by the American Revolution, argues Esmond Wright.
The decade from 1790 to 1800 in American history remains largely terra incognita. While other periods, especially the Revolution and the Civil War, have been chronicled abundantly, the first years of the Republic remain clouded and its citizens shadowy beings – unless, in their own lifetimes, they were seen to be ‘demi-gods’.
Franklin was so seen, to his amusement; Washington, to his embarrassment. But this process of ‘amplification,’ largely the work of Weems and Marshall, Gilbert Stuart and the Peales, was highly selective.