Nevis-born Hamilton on Institute of Caribbean Studies Wall of Fame


Caribbean Life News reports that the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) has inducted Nevis-born first United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton onto its “Wall of Fame” as part of a series of recognitions of Caribbean Americans in commemoration of National Caribbean American Heritage Month.

ICS said that when George Washington became the first President of the United States in 1790, he selected Hamilton to be his first Secretary of the Treasury.

“Although Hamilton served in Washington’s cabinet for only five years, many historians regard him as the greatest and most influential Secretary of the Treasury in U.S. history,” said ICS, whose founder and president is Jamaican Dr. Clare Nelson.

ICS said that Hamilton was born in 1757 in Nevis to Rachel Fawcett and James Hamilton but spent the majority of his youth in St. Croix.

His formal education as a child was minimal, ICS said. It said that when his mother died in 1768, Hamilton took his first job as a Clerk in the offices of merchant Nicholas Cruger, keeping Cruger’s business records, and coordinating business efforts between the merchant ship captains, government officials and planters.

Cruger and a local Presbyterian Minister, the Rev. Hugh Knox, “recognized Hamilton’s genius and arranged for him to leave St. Croix for New York City,” ICS said. “Alexander left the island in 1772, never to return again,” it said.

In New York, ICS said Hamilton attended several preparatory academies and schools to prepare himself for college. It said Alexander enrolled in King’s College, which is now known as Columbia University. In 1776, Hamilton withdrew from King’s College and joined a local New York militia to fight in the American Revolution against the British, ICS said. [. . .]

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