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Alexander Hamilton map_it

History

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This larger-than-life-size statue depicts Alexander Hamilton (1757–1804), the eminent statesmen of a fledgling United States. Hamilton’s son John C. Hamilton donated the piece to the City in 1880. The monument is unusual in that it is carved entirely of granite.

Sculptor Carl H. Conrads (1839–1920) represents Hamilton in Colonial-era clothing.  Born in the British West Indies, Hamilton moved to New York in 1772 for his formal education, attending King’s College (now Columbia University). While still a teenager, he volunteered for service in the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) in a New York artillery company, where he rose to the rank of captain. From 1777 to 1781, Hamilton served as an aide-de-camp to General George Washington (1732-1799) at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The thirteen stars above this monument’s pedestal, representing the thirteen original American colonies, communicate Hamilton’s patriotism and service.

In 1780, Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler, connecting himself to one of New York’s most powerful families. Hamilton was admitted to the bar in 1782 and began to practice law in New York. He also served as a delegate in the Continental Congress and served in the New York State Legislature, playing an important role in the ratification of the United States Constitution in New York. A supporter of strong federal government, and co-author of many of the Federalist Papers, Hamilton was appointed the first Secretary of the Treasury by President Washington when the new government was set up in New York City in 1789. While holding this position, Hamilton’s concentration on business aided the growth and development of New York City as a financial center. 

In 1800, Hamilton began construction of his country home in Harlem. The estate, known as the Grange, was formerly located on Convent Avenue and 141st Street in the neighborhood that later became known as Hamilton Heights. The home, which moved to St. Nicholas Park in 2008, was completed shortly after his death in 1804 when Hamilton was fatally wounded in a duel with political rival Aaron Burr (1756–1836).  Hamilton is buried in Lower Manhattan’s Trinity Church cemetery.

Alexander Hamilton Details

  • Location: East Drive, opposite 83rd Street
  • Sculptor: Carl H. Conrads
  • Description: Standing figure (over life-size) on intergral plinth, on pedestal
  • Materials: Westerly granite
  • Dimensions: Total H: 15'5" W: 7'10" D: 7'10"
  • Cast: 1880
  • Dedicated: November 20, 1880
  • Donor: John C. Hamilton, a grandson
  • Inscription: HAMILTON / PRESENTED BY / JOHN C. HAMILTON / 1880 /

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namings often in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, but not necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the year listed reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8143

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