Talk:Alexander Hamilton

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Alexander Hamilton:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Article requests: In the "Memorials" section, add a reference to and a link to the Nevis Historical & Conservation Society. The Museum of Nevis History, loctated in Charlestown, Nevis is called The Alexander Hamilton Museum and is built on the foundation of Alexander Hamilton's birthplace. This museum is dedicated to both the history and culture of Nevis as well as the life of Alexander Hamilton.
  • Expand: Hamilton and the Battle of Princeton; Hamilton's private negotiations with George Beckwith, the British agent; Hamilton and the speculators, including the bailout of William Duer; Hamilton's attacks on Philip Freneau, and the misquotation.
  • NPOV: Clean up laudatory language.

Non-Sense Claims About Hamilton's Influence Over U.S. Government[edit]

Stating this is inaccurate: "He has been described as one who "more than any other designed the Government of the United States":[1]". Hamilton's plans were rejected at Philadelphia in 1787, and after the Constitution was ratified he said no one's opinions were more removed from that instrument than his were known to be. He regarded it as a makeshift.

Category:Political Sex Scandals[edit]

Why this category? All there is the article is that he may have had an affair or two. That's hearsay, not scandal, and not even particularly scandalous hearsay. (talk) 20:32, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

It's more than hearsay, it was fact. Hamilton admitted to the affair with Maria Reynolds when questioned by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and resigned his post as Secretary of the Treasury when news of the affair and the hush money he paid Reynolds' husband become public. I'm all for avoiding revisionist history but this scandal is documented fact. Equinox137 (talk) 01:30, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

It is documented that Hamilton had an affair with Reynolds. However, it was not admitted to Jefferson and Madison and did not lead to his resignation as Treasury Secretary. In Dec 1792, Hamilton admitted the affair to James Monroe, Frederick Muhlenberg, and Abraham Venable who agreed to keep the information in confidence. Hamilton did not resign from Treasury Secretary until Jan 1795 and the affair was not made public until the summer of 1797. (Mjs533 (talk) 10:45, 27 May 2008 (UTC))

Yes, you are correct. I did not have my information completely straight at the time I made that statement (i.e. March of 2008). Thanks. Equinox137 (talk) 08:51, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

First Bank of the United States[edit]

His role in the creation of the First Bank of the United States deserves far more than a brief mention in the lede. The whiskey tax was a more doubtful idea. --DThomsen8 (talk) 12:47, 11 September 2009 (UTC)


"He made jokes about God during the Constitutional Convention." Hello, guyssssssssss!!! Could we have a source, please?

Adair and Harvey, as cited at the end of the paragraph. Septentrionalis what the hela eoaiehfaosufaioupvidkPMAnderson 19:46, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
The citation is given in full in the bibliography, and it's from the leading scholarly journal: Douglass Adair and Marvin Harvey, "Was Alexander Hamilton a Christian Statesman?," The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 12, No. 2, Alexander Hamilton: 1755-1804 (Apr., 1955), pp. 308-329 in JSTOR. The entire paragraph is based on this one major article, so it should be footnoted at the end and the Guysssss have handled it properly. One joke came when Franklin moved that each session in the future be opened with prayer, and AH replied that there was no need for calling in "foreign aid." Rjensen (talk) 20:10, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Now, mind you, like most academic articles, Adair and Harvey were making a case; there may be an opposing case out there. But I haven't found it; just a concentration on the touching piety of Hamilton's last years. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:41, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

==Question about quote==yo yo dawg! i just edited this page. :) who wrote this quote : " i consider the foundation of the constitution is laid on this ground- that all powers,not delegated(given)to the U.S. by the constitution,nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states,or the people" was it Hamilton or Jefferson?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:13, 23 October 2009 (UTC)


the Federalist Party, the world's first voter-based political party.

Really, this will not do. It is not supported by the rest of the article - and whether it is true is at best a matter of definition. If the Federalists be older than the Democratic-Republicans, then we must consider the brief period when both were factions within Congress and not voter-based at all. Again, how are either "voter-based" and the (English) Whigs not? (Many Whig strongholds had fewer voters than Federalist strongholds - Charleston always excepted; but "voter-based" does not make that distinction.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:54, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

please read a textbook before editing advanced history topics[edit]

with 100 or so footnotes the text is fully annotated, and the lede would look pretty stupid repeating those 100 footnotes. It's simply ignorance of basic history textbooks to challenge well known facts (like Hamilton was the strongest member of the cabinet, as esplained en every textbook and every biography and in the text), (like the Federalist Papers remain the most important source on the Constitution--as explained in fn 48 and in every textbook). Rjensen (talk) 21:48, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

I see the Rushmore nomination brigade has been through again. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia entry, not an encomium; we avoid words like strongest, well-known, memorable - they belong to a different rhetoric. WP:PEACOCK is a long guideline, but it can be boiled down to the maxim of successful historiography: show, don't tell.
It is a partisan (and largely meaningless) claim, unjust to Washington, that there was a "strongest member" of his cabinet - other than the President. Who was the "strongest member" of TR's cabinet? Wilson's? FDR's? Jackson's? The question is meaningless with a good cabinet under a competent President; it arises in two cases: when there is a loose cannon, like Seward; or when the administration is falling apart, out of the President's control, as in 1974.
As a minor question: if Hamilton is an advanced topic, what, Sir, would be an elementary one? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 07:41, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Statements agreed upon by all experts belong in Wiki, and like the Pacific being the largest ocean, Hamilton was the strongest cabinet member. He dominated most policies as the text makes clear and every textbook mentions this. (There was no such dominant person in Wilson, Jackson's FDR and TR's cabinets, by contrast, so Hamilton stands out). The most recent book says: "The most important member of the new adminsitration was...Hamilton" (Gordon Wood Empire of Liberty (2009) p 89) As for WP:PEACOCK: it clearly states: This does not mean one should underplay the legitimate importance of a topic. To say that "Hamilton was one of the most influential members of Waashington's cabinet" makes scholarship a farce. The lede summarizes the basic points, all of which are covered in detail in the text with citations and explanations. An elementary topic is that "Washington was the first president"--or is that OR? --perhaps we should say, "Many scholars believe that Washington was the first president.")Rjensen (talk) 09:49, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, saying that Hamilton was "more influential" than the other two full members of Washington's cabinet is probably about right (the Attorney-General not running a department even by eighteenth-century standards); thank you. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 12:26, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

This exercise in blanking and reversion claims, in its edit summary, to be conducted for the sake of four ill-chosen words in a single passage.

The appropriate fix would have been to edit that passage again, preferably with some more exact language than Jeffersonians; I have done so. If the remaining effort to whitewash out of Hamilton's more embarassing moments continues, I will tag this contemptible article appropriately. It already reflects the POV of such partisan trash as Vandenburg's book all too clearly; further movement in that direction will render it worthless. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 13:51, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

everybody knows that "jeffersonains" are the followers of Thomas Jefferson--what other Jefferson could possibly be meant? as for "trash": a very poor choice of words regarding a well-known book by a Republican Senator which illustrated the text statement that Republicans gave Hamilton high praise. Rjensen (talk) 15:19, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Let's try being accurate among ourselves. It was a pot-boiler written by an editor who would have liked to be Senator and was duly chosen.
Jeffersonians is one choice to describe the opponents of Jay's Treaty, but a bad one, especially since Jefferson played a small part in that controversy. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:36, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

If User:Rjensen continues to revert to the text

He shaped the main policies of the Washington Administration and formed the first national party, the Federalist Party, to support his programs.

which is exaggerated even for Federalist propaganda, I shall tag this article as the hero-worshipping trash it is. Even from the works of Forrest McDonald, it would be difficult to support this view - Hamilton did not form a party single-handedly, as this would imply; he did have a day job. Forrest McDonald's views have been included in the article; but they are not consensus - and this text caricatures them.

While I am about it, "operational command" of a force which conducted no operations is an interesting, if perverse, concept; let's have a source for that too, shall we? Or are we going to have more vacuous declamation about what Rjensen claims is in tertiary sources? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:58, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

I see Rjensen also wants to say that Hamilton "dominated" his party. Since he opposed and countermined the party's nominee in 1796 and 1800, and had lost his position in it by 1804, this seems a trifle exaggerated to me; men who dominate parties don't usually need to pamphleteer against the nominee, or engage in political stunts. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:04, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

I see our Hamilton fan is back again; he now presumes to cite Forrest McDonald for this figment of "operational command". What McDonald actually says is that Hamilton's job was to raise the army to be used against the French - and that he found it impossible to do so because of Adams' opposition. "Operational command" of a force not in being is a novel concept, worthy of our Federalist. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 06:38, 18 January 2010 (UTC)


Given repeated vandalism by unregistered editors, I think we should semi-protect this article.--RossF18 (talk) 17:47, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

You can file a request at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. William Avery (talk) 18:00, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
After further vandalism I made a request and it's been done now. William Avery (talk) 20:47, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Hamilton's Religion[edit]

Under the heading "Hamilton's Religion", it states "After his misfortunes of 1801, he asserted the truth of the Christian revelation." This is clearly in violation of NPOV, since it asserts that Christian revelation is "the truth". I'm going to change it to the more neutral "...he asserted the claims of the Christian revelation." Bricology (talk) 20:46, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

The sentence: "After his misfortunes of 1801, he asserted the claims of the Christian revelation," could simply read:
(i) "After his misfortunes of 1801, he adopted Christianity in earnest," or...
(ii) "After his misfortunes of 1801, he began to promote the teaching of Christianity." Mephistophelian (talk) 21:12, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
No, it says that Hamilton asserted that Christianity was true, which he did; this does not imply that it is, any more than Hamilton's assertions on economics imply that a national debt or a protective tariffs are useful to the country. Both the suggested replacements say more that is the case. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 06:10, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Hamilton's education[edit]

Sources differ about whether Hamilton applied to enter Princeton (then the College of New Jersey). The primary source is unreliable, writing well after Hamilton's death; Hamilton's biographers differ on whether the story is plausible in itself. To let the latest popularization decide this is irresponsible. I have emended accordingly. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:15, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

The wikipedia user Pmanderson has repeatedly altered and removed a well-sourced account of Hamilton's application to study at an accelerated rate at the College of New Jersey, later Princeton. Perhaps Pmanderson or someone else can explain what specifically the objection is to the fact that Hamilton sought an accelerated course at Princeton and was rejected? Could anyone provide multiple reliable sources to support this claim? In addition to the source from Chernow that was deleted by Pmanderson, many other sources list this same bit of information, of which I here provide 3 of the more mainstream and relatively recent Hamilton biographies as an attempt at providing a representative sample of the current historical consensus:

This same information is detailed in Alexander Hamilton: A Life, by Willard Sterne Randall on pages 61-62, in Alexander Hamilton: a Biography by Forrest McDonald on page 12, and in Alexander Hamilton, American by Richard Brookhiser on pages 20-21.

None of these sources qualify their accounts of this part of Hamilton's life. However, if there is a Hamilton bio or other reliable source that anyone knows of which suggests that Hamilton may never have applied to the College of New Jersey, could you please provide those sources? Otherwise, I would ask that Pmanderson or someone else restore my well-sourced edit which has been removed by Pmanderson twice. Thank you. AdRem (talk) 20:53, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

That's because Brookhiser is a lazy ideologist, not interested in mere matters of fact; several actual biographers join in the doubt - see both Flexner's Young Hamilton and Mitchell's Alexander Hamilton, Volume I, both mentioned in the note.

I note and deplore AdRem's personal abuse in heading this section. I would leave it, as characteristic of its author, but it makes edit summaries too difficult. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:15, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
OK, let's get back to the point, please: The focus of this talk page section is whether or not there is any major controversy among contemporary historians and biographers that Hamilton applied to the College of New Jersey, and was rejected, probably because of his accelerated request. The name of the section is fine either way, and nobody cares about it but me and PMA anyway. I presented three well-known and respected sources that mention no controversy about the subject in question; one of these sources, Richard Brookheiser, was rejected out-of-hand by PMAnderson as "a lazy ideologist". This statement is not helpful in disputing that he is a reliable source, it is just PMAnderson's personal opinion--hardly grounds for overturning Brookheiser's account. I am once again forced to remind PMAnderson that his personal dislike of authors is simply not grounds for invalidating the professional judgments of those authors he happens to dislike or disagree with ideologically. Now, PMAnderson did imply that two authors support his claim, so I will examine them. First: Flexner's Young Hamilton: This work does not dispute that Hamilton applied to The College of New Jersey at all. What it does do on pages 58-59--have a look for yourself--is refer to the account I cited in the passages my initial post as "the universally accepted story"; it then goes to cast doubt on the validity of Hercules Mulligan's account of things, which is probably quite right. However, the important thing to take away from this is that nowhere does it deny he applied to the College of New Jersey/Princeton; accusing Mulligan of having an inaccurate recollection, or even of outright lying in portions of his account is not the same thing as saying Hamilton never applied to Princeton. If PMAnderson or anyone else can find anything directly contradicting this, I welcome it. As to PMAnderson's second source: Mitchell's Alexander Hamilton; it was published 58 years ago in 1962, and its author has been dead for 22 years. The book is not in my public library system (I live in a large US metropolitan area with an outstanding public library system), and I can find only one copy of this work for sale anywhere on the entire internet. Therefore, if we are to accept Mr. Mitchell's account over that of 3 (make that 4) other historians, perhaps PMAnderson would be kind enough to post specific passages which support his claims? Thank you, AdRem (talk) 20:03, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
I see no point in further discussion with this uncivil revert-wsrrior. When Ad Rem learns how to perform inter library loan, and reads Professor Mitchell's biography - which may well be the best of the sorry crop of books written on Hamilton, poor man, we can return to this. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:36, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I've repeatedly listed and explained my sources, Pmanderson, and I have gone out of my way to address your concerns. I hope that if anyone is patient enough to read this, that they will notice that you never refute my explanations or sources, you simply call me names and delete the things you don't personally like. What I've restored is the closest possible approximation of the consensus of historians. I understand you feel your old and obscure source, Mitchel (which has ONE copy available on the entire internet, and none in my metropolitan area of millions of people) should trump not only Ron Chernow's deep and widely-praised bio (which you dismiss out-of-hand), but also all the other major sources I listed above that say more or less same thing. Any way you approach this situation, my multiple reliable, and current sources trump your one source, which also happens to be extremely obscure, and dated. If you delete my well-sourced edit again, then I absolutely demand you answer why your one obscure source should be preferred over the consensus of all others. If you cannot logically defend this action, then how can you possibly believe that your actions are not destructive to the quality of Wikipedia, and to its fragile, open community spirit? Answer me here and stop reverting my edits, and deleting my painfully-over-sourced content. AdRem (talk) 17:07, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I am mildly, but only mildly, curious what deprived city this is; there are several copies of Prof. Mitchell's book available in libraries in this town of some 30,000 people; it was and remains a standard reference.
Chernow is a business journalist who filled a volume with such execrable writing as Had he [Johann Lavien] presented himself as a Jew, the snobbish Mary Faucette would certainly have squelched the match in a world that frowned on religious no less than interracial marriage. News to me that the eighteenth century frowned on religious marriage - and even what he intended to say is an exaggeration.
More seriously, Chernow is a boot-licking incompetent. Much of his book is founded on tertiary and partisan writing - according to his own footnotes. He has slathered excuses over much of Hamilton's conduct; he has omitted parts of it (such as Hamilton's communication of Cabinet secrets to the representative of a hostile power).
Anybody who considers that that worthless doorstop deep is a fool; those who praised it are illiterate, ignorant, or (much more often) corrupt. Even by the paltry standards of American historiography, this was an appalling moment of partisanship. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:03, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
PMA, I think you must be referring to: "Alexander Hamilton: a Concise Biography" by Broadus Mitchell, and not the two-volume "Alexander Hamliton" that your reference indicates. The latter is available, of course, through inter-library loan with the local university library, but given how much effort I have spent in addressing your concerns, I think it's only fair that you answer the questions I have asked you above and below before I go the extra mile of hunting down your lone remaining source. Though I know this is almost certainly pointless to ask again, I'll do so again anyway: Please explain why you think your one two-volume work from 30 years ago that is out-of-print and so obscure there is ONE COPY FOR SALE ANYWHERE ON THE WEB should supersede three recent, well-thought-of works, including, but not limited to Chernow's? Why? Your case that they are all junk is unsupportable, and you've hardly even tried to do so. Although I've seen you use that same awkward sentence from Chernow about marriage before to dismiss Chernow out-of-hand (by the way: clearly the editor missed correcting "religious" with "inter-religious"--but a typo invalidating an entire work?), you've also admitted you've never read the book through, or even most of it. So, since you've never read it, I'm genuinely confused about how you can say that Chernow's work is junk, and that everyone who thinks it was a good bio is "a fool", particularly since I have previously given you links to reviews of the Chernow bio that were just about universally positive. Even the reviews in professional historical journals were overwhelmingly positive, and the few that had quibbles had them about minor matters such as his style of citation--and even they were mostly positive. So, by your reasoning, essentially everyone, professional or amateur who has written a review of Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton", including David McCullough and Walter Issacson, are "fools". Is nearly the entirety of the historical and literary community wrong and you are the only sane one, or is it possible your compass is off a bit, historically-speaking? While you're thinking about that, think about this: ON WIKIPEDIA, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO REPLACE THE HISTORICAL CONSENSUS FOR YOUR PERSONAL VIEWS JUST BECAUSE YOU PERSONALLY THINK THEY'RE ALL WRONG SLOPPY/INCOMPETENT; it's not for you or I to decide what the consensus should be, but rather, to summarize what it is--that's what makes for a good article, an honest article. Leaving Chernow aside, I offered two, count 'em two, other good sources which you did not refute (though you did insult one of their authors). I would also add that I did you the courtesy of examining the 2/3 of the sources you mentioned in support of your position which I had reasonable access to (see above), and tried to get access to the the only other source you mentioned. Even if I can't get a hold of your final, obscure source, all things considered, and in the name of Wikipedia, the onus is on you to answer my reasonable questions before you start tinkering with my edits or deleting them as has been your practice. Please answer my questions before proceeding, or leave this article alone--that's the only fair thing to do for the Wikipedia we both appreciate. AdRem (talk) 20:54, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
You are confounding two different books; I have seen, used, and cited both. Mitchell's Alexander Hamilton (1957) is two volumes; Alexander Hamilton; a very concise biography (1976) is a one-volume abridgement (and slight update) issued for the Bicentennial.
Incorrect. The citations in question originally pointed to the two volume work in the citation section. At the time, that work had a parenthetical reference to the existence of an abridged version, which is the version you probably thought you were citing. As it was, you had references pointing incorrectly to pages in the two-volume work. I'm not "confounding" anything; it's your mistake, I'm just glad we were able to clarify what you meant to indicate. AdRem (talk) 17:17, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I recognize that the barbarism inter-religious was intended; that's really no excuse for the author who contrived such a sentence. The neologism is unspeakable and unnecessary - and the correction reduces the claim from an obvious absurdity into a mere falsehood. Lavien, whatever his ancestry, was not a practicing Jew, and to assert that there was a equal objection to marrying a convert (or the child of one) and marrying a black is just silly - after all, Joseph Wolff married a Walpole.
But enough; anybody who cites the popularizer McCullough (or the journalist Isaacson) as though he were an irrefutable authority is beyond the reach of reason. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:10, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Professional historians review Chernow much more severely. For one example, the paper by Andrew Trees in the bibliography is largely a review of Chernow. Amopng other points, it lambastes his view of the homosexual Hamilton, which is dedeced from the tone of his youthful correspondence by those who do not realize that the 1770s and 1780s were an age of sentiment. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:09, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Not so fast--the allegation that "Professional historians review Chernow much more severely" seems to have overlooked the major scholarly journals. Take the leading Journal of American History which says (June 2006 p 192-3): "This book is one of those happy rarities: a popular biography that should also delight scholars....This is the kind of synthetic narrative history and biography that is rarely done to such high standards and is clearly one of the best introductions to the American formative era available. Moreover, the way Chernow integrates international affairs, domestic politics, economic and constitutional theory, and astute psychological analysis is nothing short of wondrous." (review by Professor Stephen B. Presser of Northwestern University) Rjensen (talk) 16:50, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Rjesnsen. I appreciate you pointing that out. I thank you for your patience in wading through this rather dense thread. I have--in the past--provided Septentrionalis with a list of all scholarly reviews of Chernow's book I could find, good or bad, including the one you have cited, and all that I found were at least on balance positive. One had a quibble with Chernow's footnoting, and the one cited by PMA (apparently) accuses Chernow of reading too much into Hamilton's "florid tone" in letters to Laurens, but all major historical journal reviews (at least that I could find) seemed, (on balance, at the very least) positive. I have challenged PMA to provide more than one example of the "severe" reviews he has repeatedly asserted exist (I renew that challenge here again). So far, PMA has been unable or unwilling to provide more than what he claims to be in the Trees review--and even that I can't verify anymore, as I no longer have the JSTOR access required to read the full article. Even assuming the Trees review is totally negative, many examples would be required to back up PMA's assertion that "Professional historians review Chernow much more severely", but the preponderance of the available professional reviews quite indisputably demonstrates PMA's claim to be an untrue statement. AdRem (talk) 17:02, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Addiction Rumor?[edit]

My memory's a bit hazy but I remember reading somewhere that Alexander Hamilton drank 10 cups of black coffee a day. --Arima (talk) 08:23, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton mentions an account of Hamilton's daily routine on p.250 involving starting the morning with strong coffee, but I don't recall reading that he drank ten cups a day in that work or a few others I've read. AdRem (talk) 17:56, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Little graphics changes[edit]

I finagled a few line breaks around and killed one widow in a photo caption to line this bear up a little; no substantive "content" changes, only layout tweaks. — HarringtonSmith (talk) 02:53, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

pending revision - 1755 or 1757?[edit]

The article section 'Childhood...' explains the confusion over Hamilton's birth date. The pending revision should be rejected. WCCasey (talk) 05:44, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Date of Birth[edit]

Why do the dates of birth in the introduction and the info box not match? One says January 11th, and the other January 17th. --Polgraf (talk) 02:14, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I would check in the edit history for vandalism. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 02:18, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
This is an older edit where the dates match for 11 January. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 02:22, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
However, the text before vandalism read 1755 or 1757. Since this issue is unsettled (and probably unsettleable) in the sources, we should say so. (It is also one of the points on which we have been negatively reviewed on.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:49, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

The birthdates (not years) in the article do not match. The text says "January 11". The box on right says "January 12". I think the 11th is correct. (Andrew) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:14, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Burke Library[edit]

Redirected a link here in the article, assuming it matches with Burke Theological Library and it's redirect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ForgottenHistory (talkcontribs) 16:22, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Please, no quotations out of context[edit]

This dubious edit cites "Princeton historian Sean Wilentz" as outlining the view that Hamilton was "the visionary architect of liberal capitalism", and Jefferson as somewhere between a dreamy reactionary idealist and a plain racist. One would think that this distinguished historian, or at least his source, agreed with the view outlined.

But they don't. Anybody of actual experience with scholarly reviews would expect, from the sweeping and fulsome phrasing, what the source actually proves to be: an extremely favorable review of a book which denies the view root and branch, with Wilentz's whole-hearted approval. (It's by Gordon S. Wood, who has done - to quote again - "more than any other scholar of his generation, or indeed since Charles Beard or perthaps Henry Adams to redefine" our understanding of the period) In short, the view being described is a caricature of a school with which these two eminent historians disagree. Quoting it at length without even suggesting that is less than intellectual honesty; the tactic of a blog, not an encyclopedia article governed by WP:UNDUE. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:54, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Wilentz says he is giving the scholarly consensus on Hamilton, which is what wikipedia is looking for. Wilentz says that Wood's view on AH is the minority viewpoint. Specifically Wilentz says that "Wood differs sharply with these current interpretations and also with the most previous ones." Pmanderson perhaps disagrees with most current and previous scholars but Wikipedia rules state that the majority viewpoint should be privileged, not the outlier (which is Wood). Wilentz's view includes lavish praise for Wood's writing style and a sharp attack on his failure to incorporate modern scholarship and his straight-jacketing of history. Rjensen (talk) 01:30, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Is Rjensen reading the same review as the rest of us?
  • Wilentz does not say he is presenting any consensus; he says that there are historians which adhere to the view he outlines - but that he and Wood do not, and that it is mistaken.
  • The sentence Rjensen quotes is saying that Wood disagrees with both the pro-Hamilton view and with the pre-existing anti-Hamilton view; Wood is opposed to Hamilton on different grounds: that he does not represent the liberal capitalism of the future (Jefferson is closer to that), but the European system of his own time. As an analysis of the Society of Useful Manufactures (designed to be a monopoly in the fashion of Colbert), this has a point; it is of course lacking as a Mount Rushmore nomination or a rallying cry for a political party, but this article is not supposed to be either.
  • Wilentz's review is not devoid of criticism; but his criticism of Wood's research deals with Wood's writing on the 1850s, not with Hamilton. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:06, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Rjensen is correct that we may rely on academic writing to explain how academics view subjects even when the writer disagrees with the accepted view. However, I would like to see the analysis expanded. After all, Hamilton's party disappeared, while Jefferson became a hero for liberals and conservatives alike. TFD (talk) 05:30, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
He would be, if that were what Wilentz said; but it isn't. I do not recall Wilentz naming any proponents of what he caricatures, but they shouldn't be hard to find; I'm sure the slushy stream of pro-Hamilton literature, like the acid brook of anti-Hamilton literature, still flows. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:39, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Created and dominated[edit]

[Hamilton] created and dominated the Federalist Party

Huh? Nobody "created" the Federalist Party; it didn't have a founding convention or a recruitment list; it began as a caucus of officials already serving. It is equally peculiar to find Hamilton's relations to the party described as "domination". Usually the party Boss doesn't have to intrigue (largely unsuccessfully) against two of the party's nominations for high office, nor risk his life to take a long shot at a third; he picks himself and nobody argues - that's what dominate means. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:33, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Let's look at the RS instead of wild unfounded speculating:
  1. Encyclopedia of American parties, campaigns, and elections - Page 98 BY William C. Binning, Larry Eugene Esterly, Paul A. Sracic - 1999 - 467 pages - in 1796 "Although not able to be the candidate for the Federalist Party, Hamilton was clearly that party's leader."
  2. Parties and Elections in America: The Electoral Process - Page 28 by Sandy Maisel, Mark D. Brewer - 2007 - "The first of the American parties, the Federalist party, was shaped largely by Alexander Hamilton,"
  3. The Princeton encyclopedia of American political history Volume 2 - Page 282 by Michael Kazin, Rebecca Edwards, Adam Rothman - 2010 - ""Hamilton had already formed the Federalist party....Hamilton intended to build a Federalist Party committed to strong central government, sustained by commercial interests"
  4. John Miller, Hamilton p 319 "to make himself [Hamilton] the head and front of a political party"
  5. Federalism, power, and political economy by Christopher Hamilton, & Donald T. Wells - 1990 "he started the Federalist party"
  6. Encyclopedia of U.S. campaigns, elections, and electoral behavior: Volume 1 - Page 176 by Kenneth F. Warren - 2008 "opposed to the Federalist Party, established by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton"
  7. The Houghton Mifflin dictionary of biography - Page 673 2003 - "In 1795 Hamilton resigned his office, but he remained the actual leader of the Federalist Party until his death."
  8. Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the future of America - Page 33 by Thomas Fleming - 2000 - "In 1792, Hamilton, now the leader of the emerging Federalist party in New York and the nation"
  9. John Adams: A Life - Page 378 by John Ferling - 2010 - "Hamilton exerted greater control over the Federalist Party than did the president [Adams]"
  10. it's not a new idea: History of the American People by Woodrow Wilson (1902) v 3 p 160 "Federalist party itself, — the very party which, until that day of breach [with Adams], Mr. Hamilton had led with an almost undisputed supremacy." Rjensen (talk) 19:55, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
Try reading your Googled results; all of these say led The suggestion that he led it from the beginning disagrees with, say, ANB: He still held the belief that parties were inimical if not fatal to republics, and not until Adams was president, and the party system had grown so entrenched and rancorous that every public man had to take a stand one way or the other, did Hamilton refer to himself as a "Federalist." The claim that he led it "until his death" is an extreme minority view, perhaps forgivable in a tertiary source like Houghton Mifflin; his biographers say (correctly) that his relations with his party were never the same after he attacked and betrayed the party's nominee in 1800.
But I suppose difficulty in distinguishing between leadership and domination is only to be expected in a neo-Federalist. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:15, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Higher resolution and more expressive birthplace photo available[edit]

Another photo of Hamilton's Nevis birthplace has been added to the commons recently (by me). It can be found here:

Does anyone object to swapping the current photo birthplace photo with this one? I can not edit the article yet (not yet auto-confirmed), but if no one changes this photo soon or objects, I will update it myself ASAP.

Dfarrell07 (talk) 10:56, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Wrong info about the duel[edit]

Freeman is cited as a source (at footnote 80), but she's cited incorrectly. Her article doesn't say that there was an accepted way not to shoot at an opponent in a duel -- or that, had Hamilton done this, the duel would have ended differently. She says that people usually weren't trying to kill their opponents in political duels, and that Hamilton decided not to shoot at Burr (at least during their first fire). She also says that the frequency of leg wounds suggests that people weren't aiming to kill in political duels; they were proving that they were willing to die in defense of their names, not trying to murder. That's it. Nothing about Hamilton -- or anyone -- aiming to kill. So this is wrong in the Wikipedia article, and misstates the reference source. Can this be changed? (I'm new to this!) Histprof--1 (talk) 17:45, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Robert Troup?[edit]

HRobert Troup, his college roommate, noted that Hamilton was "in the habit of praying on his knees night and morning" and that Troupe had "often been powerfully affected by the fervor and eloquence of his prayers."<:ref>Hamilton, John Church (1834). The life of Alexander Hamilton, Volume 1. the New York Public Library: Halsted & Voorhies. p. 10. </ref>

Since when do we quote primary sources in extenso? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:26, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
It's a secondary source, a biography published 1834, quoting an older letter by a different author. Nor is half a sentence "in extenso". The reason to doubt it is that the biography was written by Hamilton's son, and that the passage is simply not credible due to its fawning tone.Enon (talk) 15:56, 8 July 2012 (UTC)


In reference to: "Jefferson denounced Hamilton as too loose with the Constitution, too favorable to monarchy and particularly to Britain, and too partial to the moneyed interests of the cities at home, but Hamilton's policies were generally enacted and Jefferson eventually saw the necessity of many of Hamilton's plans." This sentence is unsourced, but it's the later part in which Jefferson is alleged to concede to Hamilton's plans that I find dubious... that's not the Jefferson I know. Is there any proof of this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jadon (talkcontribs) 20:44, 8 March 2011 (UTC) Albert Gallatin (Jefferson's Treasury Secretary) said Hamilton had created 'the most perfect system ever formed' after being asked by Jefferson to uncover 'the blunders and frauds of Hamilton'. See page 647 - Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.

Jefferson also used the doctrine of implied powers (developed by Hamilton) to justify the Louisiana Purchase. See page 671 - Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Jefferson's administration also engaged in internal improvements.
But the fundamental flaw here is that this article was written by partisan editors after Chernow's dishonest and ill-written book. The claim is unnecessary and polemical; I will remove it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:21, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Pmanderson has a personal POV biased view of Chernow--but it is not based on the opinions of experts (the reviews of Chernow have been very positive indeed.) Therefore his rejection of Chernow is unacceptable. The rules call for all editors to "Please maintain a neutral, unbiased point of view," so let's stick to that rule, please, even if we don't like Hamilton or Jefferson or whomever. Jefferson did kept Hamilton's tariff, kept the national bank, kept the customs service, accepted the national debt as legitimate, and used the implied powers idea to buy Louisiana. Rjensen (talk) 22:50, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary, it is based both on the opinions of experts, and on reading Chernow's apologetic and ill-written doorstop. Rjensen's campaign to make our American history articles into Federalist propaganda is less than responsible. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:59, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
well that's POV and sheer hatred oozing out again. Un-named "experts"??? It is Pmanderson's own opinions that spill over into violations of Wiki's very strict rules about debasing living people. Federalist propaganda?? for the record, I have a very high admiration for both Federalists like Washington and Hamilton, and for Republicans like Jefferson and Madison. On various issues I lean sometimes toward one party and sometimes toward the other, but I make a point of keeping my private views private. The Wiki rule, to repeat, is "Please maintain a neutral, unbiased point of view." Rjensen (talk) 17:37, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah? Show three instances where you have removed a Federalist POV and we can discuss this further. Until then you remain a type-case of the rule Attempts to change POV articles to NPOV invariably result from a different POV. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:06, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't think this needs any other header: this series of edits] does not seem profitable.

  • Jefferson and Burr were opposition candidates; while neither "party" was quite coherent, suggesting that they were running against each other in the same sense they were running against Adams is silly.
  • The suggestion that Hamilton would have supported Burr because they were from NY is ungrounded; Hamilton had reason to oppose Burr because they were from the same state. Other Federalists might have dealt with Burr in exachange for local patronage; but President Burr would be expected to keep the patronage of NY for his own friends, not Hamilton's.
  • Driving force behind a convention he did not attend, and did not persuade his state to attend, is puerile. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:44, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Minor edits[edit]

I'm not well versed enough in the historical data discussed here to be willing to make these edits myself, so I will post my suggestions for these edits. Both of these edits are under the section Emergence of parties.

Where it reads:

The opposition group, now referred to as the Democratic-Republican Party, was then known by several names, including , Republicans,republicans, Jeffersonians, and Democrats.

I believe that the first item referred to should be Democratic-Republicans; the second item, listed as “republicans,” should be capitalized.

Also, where it reads:

In 1801, Hamilton established a daily newspaper, the New York Evening Post under editor .

I believe that the sentence should end with “as editor.”

Markenrode (talk) 21:48, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 May 2012[edit]

Please change Mr. Alexander Hamilton's birthdate in the information column from January 12 to January 11. The reason for doing this is so that it may reflect the birthdate, which is correctly listed in the article itself as January 11. (talk) 00:46, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Done Thank you. ~Adjwilley (talk) 01:57, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 25 June 2012[edit]

In paragraph 5, in the phrase "writing 51 the 85 installments" the word "of" has been omitted.

ChrisMoller (talk) 19:42, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Done. Thanks! Favonian (talk) 19:46, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Hamilton "quite religious" during most of his life?[edit]

The section on Hamilton's religious views in the current version of the article opens with:

During much of his life, Hamilton remained quite religious.[109] Biographer Ron Chernow argues that this was the source of his aggressive abolitionism. Hamilton, as a youth in the West Indies, was an orthodox and conventional Presbyterian of the "New Light" evangelical type (as opposed to the "Old Light" Calvinists); he was being taught by a student of John Witherspoon, a moderate of the New School.

The first two sentences, including "During much of his life, Hamilton remained quite religious," appear to have been added by Quarkgluonsoup on 28 Sept 2011.[1]

I am unable to find any discussion of Hamilton's religious views on page 30 of the copy of Chernow's Alexander Hamilton to which I have access, or on the surrounding pages. Further, there are other parts of Chernow's book that might seem to contradict the statement that Hamilton was quite religious during much of his life.

I do not have a copy of the specific edition that is cited. The copy I have is ISBN 1-59420-009-2, rather than ISBN 1-59420-009-0. Can anyone confirm that the source does in fact contain the material as cited? Dezastru (talk) 19:47, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

all the editions of Chernow have the identical text. a leading scholar (Hecht) says of the young Hamilton, "Religion, his roommate said, was a very significant part of his friend's life. In addition to church attendance, Alexander prayed on his knees morning and night, apparently aloud" (Odd destiny, the life of Alexander Hamilton by Marie B. Hecht - 1982). Then we have a long period when AH was important but religion was not high on his list. (Asked why religion is left out of the Constitution he said, "we forgot.") Gordon Wood says, "Following the defeat of the Federalists in 1800...Alexander Hamilton underwent a deep religious conversion." -- that is, after his main political career ended. Hamilton in 1802 proposed, "Let an association be formed, to be denominated 'The Christian Constitutional Society.' Its objects to be : 1st. The support of the Christian religion. 2d. The support of the Constitution of the United States." [he was killed & it was never formed] The best source probably is Douglass Adair, “Was Alexander Hamilton a Christian Statesman?” (1955) online Rjensen (talk) 20:28, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Bias in "Legacy" section re "scholarly trend"[edit]

begin quote from article: While scholars are not unanimous, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz in 2010 identified a scholarly trend very much in Hamilton's favor:

"In recent years, Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars who portray him as the visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive. Jefferson and his allies, by contrast, have come across as naïve, dreamy idealists. end quote from article

It's not clear upon what evidence Wilentz bases his claim of a "scholarly trend," but it's irrelevant anyway. Truth is not determined by votes or trends.

There does appear, as noted in the previous paragraphs of the Legacy section, that there is a general consensus on the facts: Hamilton had great influence on the present form of American government and American capitalism.

But the quote from Wilentz is not about facts; it's about value judgments. "Visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive" is a value judgment. The contrasting value judgment might be "evil mastermind of modern crony capitalism and of an oppressive federal government headed by an tyrannical executive."

Intelligent readers form their own value judgments based not on "scholarly trends" nor on the authority of scholars or of encyclopedias, but rather by deep thought and study of the contrasting opinions.

Thus, after "While scholars are not unanimous," this article, rather than quoting only one side, should cite examples from both sides of the value judgment dispute. A good example from the other side might be "Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution - and What It Means for Americans Today" by Thomas J. DiLorenzo. Ray Eston Smith Jr (talk) 19:04, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Wilentz is qualified to determine the trends in scholarly opinion, and it is not up to us to second guess his statement. If you think he was wrong, then find a source that provides an alternative summary. Also, a statement that someone holds an opinion is a statement of fact not of opinion. See also WP:WEIGHT: "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint." The best way to determine "the prominence of each viewpoint" is to use a reliable source that explains it. While an intelligent reader may be able to weigh all the historical facts and form his or her own judgment, they also wish to know how historians have interpreted them, and the various arguments presented are helpful to them in forming their own opinions. TFD (talk) 19:59, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
TFD is quite right. Wikipedia is reporting facts and is sourcing them. What most scholars have decided about the era is a very important fact for readers. Very few if any scholars support DiLorenzo's screed; it's fringe. Rjensen (talk) 04:25, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Hamilton and slavery[edit]

The old view of historians has changed dramatically in recent years, as Diggins and Wilentz say. Wilentz (2010) is quoted in the article: "In recent years, Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars." Chan himself had a lot to do with the change re slavery. It would be very hard to find any recent scholar who says slavery was a low priority for Hamilton--it's a defunct viewpoint that originated in the 1920s as Diggins explains and is not longer held by many historians, if any at all. Rjensen (talk) 17:25, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

There was a similar discussion in the last thread. Certainly statements by scholars that consensus has changed is acceptable. TFD (talk) 18:17, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Age at death[edit]

Alexandra Hamilton was 47 at the time of his death, not 49 as per the article. The article cites the correct dates of birth and death, just not his age.

Please can someone change this as I'm a new user.


Scottegriffin (talk) 00:14, 14 September 2012 (UTC)scottegriffin

Really, the age at death should be removed, or else manually changed to "47 or 49" to comply with the dates of birth. —C.Fred (talk) 00:20, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Who took Rachel's silver?[edit]

I once contributed to a much older version of Alexander Hamilton which contained the following in the Early Years section:

A short time afterwards, Rachel's son from her first marriage appeared in Nevis, and (legally) confiscated the few valuables Hamilton's mother had owned, including several valuable silver spoons.

And the current version has this instead:

In probate court, Rachel's "first husband seized her estate"[6] and obtained the few valuables Rachel had owned, including some household silver.

Just wondering if there was any discussion of the change from Rachel's son from her first marriage taking the silver to Rachel's husband from her first marriage. I tried going through the archives, but couldn't find anything. Onlynone (talk) 03:33, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

It is possible that the son was acting on behalf of his father after who had been granted ownership by the probate court (hence the term "legally"). I notice that the earlier version was not sourced, while the new material is. TFD (talk) 04:47, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 19 September 2012[edit]

"please correct spelling of conerns to concerns" Bearinguy (talk) 13:14, 19 September 2012 (UTC)I found a typo in under the section about the 1800 Presidential Election. Paragraph 6. When it became clear that Jefferson developed his own conerns about Burr and would not support his return to the Vice Presidency. I believe "conerns" is meant to be "concerns".

Done. Thanks for your vigilance! Favonian (talk) 13:36, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 7 January 2013[edit]

Grammar correction: Currently reads "Embarrassed when a extra-marital affair from his past became..." It should be changed to "Embarrassed when an extra-marital affair from his past became..." Gopdavey (talk) 02:43, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Done thank you! Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 09:51, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

advertisements mentioning "Father of modern banking"[edit]

Citizens Bank (which gave its name to Citizens Bank Park, current home of the Phillies major-league baseball team) has been running (at least radio) advertising in which someone is playing Alexander Hamilton, who is referred to therein as "father of modern banking".

"father of modern banking" w/r to Hamilton is also mentioned in:

Wilentz again[edit]

While scholars are not unanimous, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz in 2010 identified a scholarly trend very much in Hamilton's favor:
"In recent years, Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars who portray him as the visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive. Jefferson and his allies, by contrast, have come across as naïve, dreamy idealists. At best according to many historians, the Jeffersonians were reactionary utopians who resisted the onrush of capitalist modernity in hopes of turning America into a yeoman farmers' arcadia. At worst, they were proslavery racists who wish to rid the West of Indians, expand the empire of slavery, and keep political power in local hands – all the better to expand the institution of slavery and protect slaveholders' rights to own human property."[2]

This remains what it was the last time we discussed this: a quotation out of context, ironically describing a view with which Wilentz strongly disagrees. Wikipedia never was much of an encyclopedia - and this article was always a whitewash. But this is really uncalled for. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 06:55, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

And I should add that insofar as it ascribes to Wilentz a view he opposes, in the article cited, it's defamatory. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02
39, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
It's properly quoted and cited. The context is set by the introductory sentence discussing the "scholarly trend", and the quote substantiates that. Based on Wikipedia standards, it doesn't seem to require deletion. Shoreranger (talk) 16:55, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Wilentz is a leading expert and he wrote and signed this and published it in the leading journal. He indicates it's the majority view. The statement is straight-forward and is not at all whimsical, ambiguous, garbled or contradictory. Rjensen (talk) 17:07, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
It took me a while to find the Wilentz article cited, but I did, and also read a little bit more of Wilentz. I think what Septentrionalis may be trying to say is the quote by Wilentz, if taken out of context of the Wilentz article, expresses a viewpoint to which Wilentz does not generally agree. However, this is all the more reason that the statement by Wilentz identifying a historic trend is credible — in other words, even though Wilentz may not like it, it is a trend, and he is being objective in making the statement that the trend exists. So I agree, the quote belongs in the Alexander Hamilton article. To be fair to Wilentz, the WP article might benefit from a small caveat statement, like "This is not something that Wilentz himself seems to agree with, but he does see this as a trend in reinterpretation of Hamilton," but I will leave that up to someone else because I have not read enough of Wilentz to know for sure what he thinks. LaurentianShield (talk) 20:18, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the quote should stay. I would like a reference showing that Wilentz disagrees with the interpretation. I don't see how an accurate quote can be "defamatory" although I wouldn't oppose a clause placing the quote in context. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 20:38, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
ok, I kept the same quote but introduced it with this new text: Princeton historian Sean Wilentz in 2010 identified a scholarly trend very much in Hamilton's favor, even though Wilentz himself does not go along with it: Rjensen (talk) 21:41, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
Does the reader really care what Wilentz personally thinks? What difference does it make? While it may be accurate (though it now likely requires a citation of its own demonstrating his position), it becomes more wordy and superfulous. Shoreranger (talk) 23:14, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't want to belabor the point too much, but even though I think the quote is entirely appropriate, there is something to Septentrionalis's original objections in the sense that lifting this quote without further explanation sounds like Wilentz endorses the perspective he describes, which he doesn't, and since there are in fact two moderately-opposing perspectives on how to summarize Hamilton it seems to me like it is important to be fair. I think there is no further citation needed, because actually the rest of the article cited does make clear (fairly clear) Wilentz's point of view. The citation is a book review, and Wilentz says this about the author (Gordon S. Wood) in regard to the quote: "Wood differs sharply from these current interpretations and also with most previous ones." Then Wilentz goes on to praise Wood's point of view, making fairly clear where he (Wilentz) falls. It is interesting what Wilentz says in the last sentence of the review, by the way: "It is a mark of Wood's achievement that historians will be arguing with his interpretations, and learning from them, for a very long time to come." LaurentianShield (talk) 00:08, 22 November 2013 (UTC)


Princeton historian Sean Wilentz in 2010 identified a scholarly trend very much in Hamilton's favor, even though Wilentz himself does not go along with it:

is still misleading to the point of defamation; Wilentz does not see a new, triumphant school, with himself standing in solitary opposition to it. He sees, as LaurentianShield says, two moderately opposed schools, with Gordon Wood amd himself offering a third way. I invite LaurentianShield to craft a brief summary of Wilentz's review - if he feels the matter is worth mentioning at all.Septentrionalis PMAnderson

Wilentz writes " Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars" with two people in disagreement (Wilentz himself and Wood). That's pretty clear. PMAnderson seems to reject what Wilentz actually wrote but I think and we can assume Wilentz was not trying to deceive the readership of a scholarly journal but actually said what he believed to be true. Rjensen (talk) 19:11, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
This will not do.
I agree with LaurentianShield's summary of Wilentz's artile; and Rjenson's polemical posts do not represent it accurately. If it were important enough to include, it would be important enough to say what Wilentz actually said. But we have not had a case to include these quotations out of context - far less omitting the context. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:13, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
PMAnderson has a bad reputation as a disruptive editor--he was banned for 12 months in 2012 for that and he's now back at it. This "defamation" business is pretty strange....who are we defaming? Jefferson? Wilentz? Hamilton? Rjensen (talk) 20:09, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Wilentz - and who is this we? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:13, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Wilentz is "defamed" by quoting exactly what he said????? what nonsense. "Defamation" is a BLP allegation so take it to the BLP board please. Rjensen (talk) 20:18, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
By quoting him incompletely and out of context? By ascribing to him a view he does not hold? Of course he is. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:21, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Nor will this do:

The strongly hostile attitude of the Jeffersonians has never disappeared, but the viewpoint among scholars that has been dominant in recent years represents him as a "forerunner of the modern liberal capitalist economy," standing opposed to the agrarianism, or the slave-holding self-interest, of Jefferson and Madison. Gordon Wood presented an alternative view in Empire of Liberty
A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 arguing Hamilton would have set up an essentially European society, with a republican monarchy, and strong institutions such as the Bank of the United States.

Wilentz sees Wood - and by implication himself - as a third choice beyond the Hamiltonians and the Jeffersonians. Wood is therefore not an "alternative"; much less - as this partisan text implies, again - a solitary alternative to Hamiltonianism. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:51, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Here. I think this solves it as the statement is a critique, not an endorsement. I would be more inclined to paraphrase than quote as the tense and narrative of the Jefferson component does not translate well:

In a critique of scholarly journal articles depicting Hamilton and Jefferson, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz in 2010 identified a trend very much in Hamilton's favor:
"In recent years, Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars who portray him as the visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive. Jefferson and his allies, by contrast, have come across as naïve, dreamy idealists. At best according to many historians, the Jeffersonians were reactionary utopians who resisted the onrush of capitalist modernity in hopes of turning America into a yeoman farmers' arcadia. At worst, they were proslavery racists who wish to rid the West of Indians, expand the empire of slavery, and keep political power in local hands – all the better to expand the institution of slavery and protect slaveholders' rights to own human property."[3]

--DHeyward (talk) 12:44, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

dispute to BLP page[edit]

I took the current dispute to the BLP page Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard with this text:

There is an edit war going on at Alexander Hamilton in which one editor USER:Pmanderson repeatedly removes a quotation about Hamilton by historian Sean Wilentz (who won the Pulitzer prize) saying that it is "defamatory" of Wilentz to quote him. The other editors all disagree and say the quotation is proper and should be kept. The talk page shows Pmanderson had been highly antagonistic for years on the Hamilton article and in 2012 was banned for one year for his disruptions on another article. We need a determination by this board whether the added text is "defamatory" re Wilentz or not. The disputed text is this:
Princeton historian Sean Wilentz in 2010 identified a scholarly trend very much in Hamilton's favor, even though Wilentz himself does not go along with it:
"In recent years, Hamilton and his reputation have decidedly gained the initiative among scholars who portray him as the visionary architect of the modern liberal capitalist economy and of a dynamic federal government headed by an energetic executive. Jefferson and his allies, by contrast, have come across as naïve, dreamy idealists. At best according to many historians, the Jeffersonians were reactionary utopians who resisted the onrush of capitalist modernity in hopes of turning America into a yeoman farmers' arcadia. At worst, they were proslavery racists who wish to rid the West of Indians, expand the empire of slavery, and keep political power in local hands – all the better to expand the institution of slavery and protect slaveholders' rights to own human property." [ref] Sean Wilentz, "Book Reviews," Journal of American History Sept, 2010 v. 97# 2 p 476[/ref] [end of text] Rjensen (talk) 20:33, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Hamilton Grange, Heights, Harlem and memorials[edit]

A quality article - I enjoyed reading it. But two things need attention. ONE) It has a section '8.1 Monuments and memorials' and a later section '8.7 Memorials'. Better if combined in some way, or else separated into 'Early monuments and memorials' and then 'Later monuments and memorials'. TWO) The first of these (8.1 Monuments and memorials) mentions the "Grange", his 32 acre country estate in Harlem in upper Manhattan - nowadays the Hamilton Grange National Memorial. Then the later section (8.7 Memorials) mentions His country home, named "The Grange", is in Hamilton Heights, a neighborhood in upper Manhattan. So I wondered: is the house in Harlem or not? The separate Hamilton Grange National Memorial article doesn't say it's in either Hamilton Heights or Harlem (!!) and instead only says it's in St Nicholas Park, NYC. (!!!). That article's section on History does say later that The Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Harlem derived its name from Hamilton and the Grange but only as an aside. So the area info is there but a bit untidy - one shouldn't have to search through several sections of two articles to find just exactly where a house is. Now I'm not a Harlem expert (plus I'm British) so I don't want to get too involved, but I suggest A) Add Hamilton Heights into the estate in Harlem sentence, B) Move the house(s) info from the two Memorials parts into a separate Legacy subsection titled Residences, set just after the Family subsection, and then C) The two Memorials parts will then be smaller, making it easier to conjoin or split into Early/Later. I can do A and B tomorrow if no one objects, leaving others to do C afterward. Is that okay with others? Pete Hobbs (talk) 04:47, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ United States Senate. SENATE RESOLUTION 368—RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF RELOCATING AND RENOVATING THE HAMILTON GRANGE, NEW YORK. Congressional Record 106th Congress (1999–2000), October 6, 2000, Page: S10095
  2. ^ Sean Wilentz, "Book Reviews," Journal of American History Sept, 2010 v. 97# 2 p 476
  3. ^ Sean Wilentz, "Book Reviews," Journal of American History Sept, 2010 v. 97# 2 p 476