Given the name, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Hamilton Grange National Memorial is the preserved home of Alexander Hamilton. As a result, it is one of the best places to visit for people who are curious about one of the United States's more notable Founding Fathers.
1. It Is an Interesting Reminder of a Bygone Time
For starters, the building has a historical value of its own. After all, it was built in 1802, meaning that it has existed for more than two centuries' time and counting. Something that can't be said for most of the buildings that can be found in the United States.
2. It Is an Excellent Example of a Federal Style House
Due to its long existence, the Hamilton Grange is an excellent example of Federal architecture, which refers to a very popular style in the United States during the first few decades of its independent existence. Generally speaking, Federal-style houses resemble their Georgian predecessors to some extent but make much more use of neoclassical elements because of the United States's conscious emulation of ancient Greece and ancient Rome.
3. It Has a Very Strong Connection with Alexander Hamilton
There are plenty of historical sites with rather tenuous connections to the historical figures that they are associated with. However, the Hamilton Grange isn't one of them, seeing as how it was the one house that Hamilton ever owned. Moreover, while Hamilton spent a lot of time at his law office situated elsewhere, he spent a lot of time at the house as well, where he was known to take an interest in it as well as its grounds.
4. It Has an Interesting Tale of Its Own
Having said that, the Hamilton Grange isn't situated on its original site. Instead, it has been moved not once but twice, meaning that it has its own tale to tell. For those who are curious, the house had to be saved from destruction because of the implementation of the Manhattan street grid. After which, it was given over to the National Park Service on the condition that it be moved as well as renovated. Amusingly, by the time that this was actually possible, there was considerable local opposition to relocating the house, which is why it was moved just around the corner instead.
5. It Is a Good-Looking House
There are some people out there who might be interested in visiting the Hamilton Grange on the sole basis of it being a good-looking house. In part, this is because Hamilton put considerable time and effort into it, thus ensuring a solid set of fundamentals in spite of his relatively scant fortune compared to some of the other Founding Fathers. However, it should also be noted that care and consideration have been exercised in making sure that the renovated house is a suitable monument to the man who once lived in it.
6. Expect Items Connected to Hamilton
Of course, the Hamilton Grange contains various items that are connected to Hamilton. Many of these items reflect aspects of Hamilton's life that were less in the public eye, meaning that they can provide interested individuals with a look at a different part of the man that doesn't get covered as much in the books and other notable sources.
7. Hamilton Came From Humble Beginnings
As for why people might be interested in Hamilton, well, some might be inspired by how he rose so far from relatively humble beginnings. In short, he was born in the West Indies to a married woman and the fourth son of a Scottish laird. Unfortunately, his mother died when he was still at a young age after his father had already abandoned them, with the result that Hamilton had a very unstable childhood. Something that was particularly true because his mother's husband seized her possessions in probate court after her death. Despite this, Hamilton's writing was impressive enough that the local community leaders pooled together some funds for the purpose of sending him to school in what would become the United States.
8. Hamilton Had an Adventurous Life
Other people might be more interested in Hamilton's adventurous life. After all, he did rise to the point that he took command of battalions during the American Revolution. Moreover, Hamilton was very much an active participant in the intellectual back-and-forth that preceded the conflict.
9. Hamilton Had a Very Influential Life
For that matter, while Hamilton hasn't always gotten the attention that he deserved, there can be no doubt about the fact that he had a very influential life as well. Something that is so much the case that interested individuals might not even necessarily see his influence because it is so pervasive. For example, he was the first Secretary of the Treasury, meaning that he played a pivotal role in setting up the first U.S. national bank as well as the U.S. Mint itself. Likewise, Hamilton was the one who established the Revenue Cutter Service, which is considered to be the founding of the U.S. Coast Guard as well. His home is one of the many New York area sites to this day for you to visit.
10. He Died in a Very Dramatic Manner
With that said, there are also plenty of people who will be most interested in Hamilton because of the very dramatic way that he died. For those who are unfamiliar, Hamilton got into a heated dispute with Aaron Burr because of political opposition, which became worse and worse until the two decided to duel. Hamilton agreed to duel but decided to throw away his shot at a time when dueling conventions were very much in the process of evolving, while Burr shot him. Due to this, the motives of both parties have been a subject of much speculation ever since, thus providing interested individuals with plenty to learn about.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn