Alexander Hamilton – A Controversial Man

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I enjoyed reading this book about Alexander Hamilton.  He tends to be overlooked or only briefly mentioned in history book; however, he is one of our Founding Fathers and played an important role in the early years of the United States of America.

Here are a few notes from the book:

  • Alexander Hamilton was too controversial, too disliked, and had too many enemies at a time when adversaries used weapons as well as word to express their views, to be one of the Founding Fathers who made it to the presidency.
  • He believed in a strong central government, because he was suspicious of the will of the mob.
  • Alexander Hamilton an aide-de-camp to General George Washington, who was so impressed with the young man’s astute administrative abilities that when he became president, he named Hamilton as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury.
  • Alexander Hamilton fought for the federal government to assume the debts of the individual states, and for the establishment of a mint.
  • His political reputation was soiled by an affair with a married woman whose husband extorted money from his wife’s lover and then tried to implicate Hamilton in a corrupt financial scheme.
  • Alexander Hamilton would have cringed at the size of the national debt; he believed that a nation’s overall strength came from a sound financial foundation.

Happy President’s Day

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The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.  (George Washington)

Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.  (John Quincy Adams)

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.  (Abraham Lincoln)

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  (Theodore Roosevelt)

First American President Confusion

George Washington took the oath of office on 30 April 1789.  At that time he was officially the President of the United States.

John Adams was inaugurated as the Vice President on 21 April 1789.

According to the US Constitution (Article 2 Clause 6), if the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office, the vice president shall act as president.

When John Adams became the vice president, George Washington had not yet taken the oath of office.  This means Washington was not able to act as the president, until 9 days after Adams took office.

George Washington was officially the first elected president of the United States.  However, John Adams was the first person with the ability to act as the president.