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tv   New Research on Alexander Hamilton  CSPAN  October 7, 2019 9:13pm-10:21pm EDT

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tonight, we will welcome michael newton, who will present new discoveries and alexander hamilton, his friends, family and colleagues. he's a historian specializing and the american revolution, and the expert on alexander hamilton. be aware that during the queue in, our guest seaspan as here, so before you start asking your questions, wait for me to give
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you the microphone. i will welcome michael. >> thank you to the franchise tavern and i want to thank you all for coming, it's great to see so many people interested in alexander hamilton. i'm very excited to share with you my new clock, discovering hamilton, 40 chapters of newly discovered information about alexander hamilton, is grandparents, his father, james hamilton, his mother rachel, his uncle james, a previously unknown and and her children, for hamilton's first cousins, the cousin who paid for alexander hamilton's education. since friends. his colleagues. and many other hamilton related topics. today, i will be touching upon just a
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few chapters i'm discovering. that leaves 30 something more chapters for you to explore later. for the longest time, everyone believed that alexander hamilton was born on january 11th, 1757. alexandra hamilton all, pointed to a birth and 1756. his first son, james alexander, or the wrote that he was born on january 11th, 1757. but the new evidence was found suggesting a berth on january 11 1755, 1939 share his discovery of rachel faucets record which 1768 said that her son alexander hamilton was 13 years old based on this they concluded that the january 11th birthday is probably right but that the euro birth must be
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rock and that hamilton was not born in january 11 1757 but rather on january 7th, so this is in the debate for the last 80 years, about half of the leading experts have argued for 1757 on the other half argued for 7:55, for full disclosure after about ten pages of analysis i, i argued for january 11 1757, so for the last 80 years we have been arguing the same thing, no one has since 1939 has found any new evidence to throw in this debate until now, in 1759 john and michael levine filed for divorce, alexander hamilton's mother, three witnesses were summoned to testify, early, james ash and james henry, but
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divorce was granted to live in, sorry it's not working to all, well the divorce curtain summons have been known fluids 80 years, known has found, no one had found the actual testimony of the three witnesses, accordantly we had no idea what these three witnesses had to say about rachel faucets life since she lived in 1750 and mueller testimony in 1759, as a result almost nothing was known about her life during a nine-year period, the time that included reading james hamilton and the birth of james hamilton, that is until now. and the danish national archive and the collection of legal documents
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there is a 56 page booklet of the court proceedings for the divorce of michael and rachel faucet which included the courts record of the testimony of the three witnesses here is perhaps the most important page from the record, you can clearly see some interesting things on these two pages, so here is rachel levine, your hand michael levine on, saint crow i, say to stay shows and the number five. there is a number five, the rest is get off the danish and, i was able to translate enough of it to get an idea of what it says and realize it's important, for example here is the word -- which means children in other
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words the witness was talking about rituals children so i had this record of the proceedings translated and news even more interesting than i thought, never member this is 56 pages long and we don't have time to go through the entire proceedings here today, please refer to the relevant chapter for relevant details but i would like to speak briefly about the witnesses because we will be referring to them repeatedly and his essay he identified these witnesses from the summons though he hasn't seen the actual testimony he explained and his 1957 biography that he represented them as purpose, they do not figure in the records of rachel, taken a bit more raw, the first
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witness was in fact according to her own testimony rachel faucets sister, she was born and she my mother faucet then married william ioc and that makes this jamal faucet the ants of alexander hamilton, see discovering hamilton about the entire chapter of hamilton's answer my months and her children. the second witness james henry had no connection to rachel or anyone else in the hamilton story but apparently he knew enough about them marriage and the marriage to testify, see my block discovering hamilton .com for the records i was able to find, the third witness in the case, james ash was a relative by marriage to hamilton's mother and was a business associate of linen, and he main blog discovery hamilton .com through
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the biography, so as i said we don't have time to go through all 56 pages of the proceedings, please refer to the chapter for the full account but nevertheless we will see what the witnesses had to say about his birthday and other important topics, so i found this record of the divorce court proceedings back in february's that was five months ago, it took a few weeks to get them translated and then i spent two weeks three reading the organization of the information, there's so much in this record and given that it's a legal document redid and a foreign language it took some time to understand all, anyway when i realized the importance of what i had, a record of what happened in 1750 and 1759 and mentioning hamilton's age i couldn't wait to share this discovery with you as soon as possible in my pocket at this lecture moreover i couldn't
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keep information about his age a secret so while i was finishing up some research for this book and april, that's about four months, ago three months ago i found another record pertaining to his birthday and early biography. i found the record of him testifying in court on august 5th 1771, so here is the most interesting part of his testimony and you can clearly see how is the name and jumps right off the page, actually it's very easy to miss him in the case and nicholas cruisers cases were obvious but hamilton is hiding over here, miss spelled and the split between two lines of the no first name given, throughout the record hamilton is referred to as the witness, only one more does the name repeat and the record and with no first name, thankfully
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have also been looking for nicholas crude are records otherwise they would've missed this record and a lack of time means i can go through the full details, for further details about the testimony and his work and rather interesting stories including new information about his supposed to will see the relevant chapter so after we skipped over this let's see how the for legal testimonies changed his biography, so first we will look at his birthday, with these new sets of records the divorce court proceedings and his own testimony there are now three primary sources regarding his birthday and of courting to rituals -- alexander hamilton and 1760 was 13 years old, if this is true hamilton was born
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between february 23rd and february 22nd and 1755, on so let's put this on a timeline according to her alexander was born between february 24 then -- since he said his father's brother was january 11th, general levant 1755 cents in that range many have opted for that date and january 1797 is impossible if this record is accurate, this information was known it was the catalyst for this debate and what the newly discovered records have to say, so according to the divorce proceedings regional sister testified and 1759 that two years ago she had come to see interview stages and her sister
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had two children the younger one being about three years old so on april jim i'm a said that two years older she was there and the younger one being three years old, jim itemizes statement implies that alexander hamilton was born in 1754 and to be more precise if one means that two and a half years you -- (technical problem) want to hands up with the hamilton being born between 1750 to enable 1755, so on april 70 54 is the best estimate in january 11 1755 remains a distinct possibility. a berth in 1757 it would seem to be ruled out by her testimony, so let's add
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this on to the timeline, again this newly discovered record seems to confirm january 11 1750 so i've, certainly seems to rule out 1757, now let's turn to, alexander hamilton's testimony in court on august 5th 1771, and they case involving his boss and it was krugler, because of hamilton's young age he was asked for some biographical details to ascertain his suitability to provide legal testimony and among the questions hamilton was asked how old he was he answered that he was 17 years old and i repeat he testify then he was 17 years old, he does indicated that he was born between august csis and august 5th 1754, that changes things
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so not only with that preclude -- not only with that preclude the birth but also rules out 1750, five this record indicates that he was born in 1753 or 1754, an order for all three sources to be correct, alexander hamilton must have been born between february 23rd and august 15 1750 -- it is thus clear that alexander hamilton was not born in january 11 1757 as he apparently told friends and family, more over 1755 also seems unlikely and he was born on january 11th the change of the birth of 1750 for a year birth is just as likely as 1755 cents each won, each of these years has water primary service and one primary source
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contradicting at, the critically the question is no longer whether he was -- so seeing how hamilton misrepresented his age and era birth which we will discuss shortly and there are no primary sources supporting a january 11th birthday, i must follow the available evidence and conclude that alexander hamilton was probably foreign between february 23rd and august 50 1754 on, so to summarize alexander hamilton probably was born between february 23rd at august 5th 1754 on, he cannot open report on january 11th because three independent sources pointed to
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an earlier birth, a january 11th birthday it also appears unlikely since hamilton himself indicated that he was born between august 6th and august 5th 1754, if one believes january 11th to be hamilton's birthday the year of the birth would be 1754 according to hamilton's testimony, were 1755 according to records, given the evidence i am forced to conclude that alexander hamilton was born between february 23rd and august 5th 17 before. this of course means that everyone who argued for charitable 11th including myself was wrong it also means that everyone who argued for 1755 is probably also ran in other words everyone was wrong but now turned 65 years later we for the you know the truth. well let that sink in for a
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second consecutive. on april 6th some poetry appeared and they cause that and there was preceded by a note, certainly youth about 17 etc, you're obedient surveyed, the initials a h in the age of the author suggested that some composed this poetry, i argue that there was reason to doubt hamilton's author ship of these numbers it, is one of the reasons it is that hamilton out the dow which is 14 if this year is to be believed and moreover i argue that even if he had been born here he was still nine months shy of being 17 and therefore i
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concluded with reasons to doubt it and evidence that he composed this, attribution to him is far from assured and it has been established that hamilton was probably born between february 23 and august 5 1754, it is more likely that he wrote this poetry because in april, 1771, he would have been about 17 years old. if you wish, one could point to this as evidence that hamilton was born in 1754, and use it to narrow down the possible range of dates for his birth based on him giving his age as about 17. without a certainty that hamilton wrote this poetry, and the exact meaning of the word about being unclear, one must hesitate before drawing conclusions about these verses in the note preceding it. it is
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clear from his 1771 testimony that hamilton knew how old he was and that he was born, according to his own statement, between august 6 17 53, and august 5, 1754. and he later gave his age and told his family that he was born january 11, 1757, he could not be confused or mistaken. it appears that hamilton misrepresented his age in later life. so, alexander hamilton was born in 1754 or on january 11, 1755, one must ask why he misrepresented his age. he apparently told friends and family that he was born in 1757. people have been asking this question since the probate record was discovered in the 1930's that suggested a 1755 year of birth. since hamilton's
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age was well known on st. croix and he provided it in a testimony just a year before he left the island, he must have changed it sometime after he came to the mainland in 1772. the rationale behind the decision cannot be known with certainty, one plausible theory is that hamilton changed it so he would appear closer in age to his fellow students. he would have been among the oldest if not the oldest to -- when he entered grammar school when he was 18 years old, and then entered college when he was 19. this theory seems most plausible, because hamilton must've started misrepresenting his age immediately upon arriving in north america, because once his teachers and friends knew how old he was, it would have been impossible for him to alter it later in life, since people had known him in elizabethtown and new york would've realized he had changed it. on the other hand, many people who knew hamilton on st. croix, also knew him on mainland america including
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edward stevens, nicholas kruger, david dieckmann, and george called wife -- codwife, and they would've known his age and birthday. those who realized that he provided an incorrect age must've gone along with the deception and approved, or hamilton convinced them that they remembered incorrectly. however he got friends to comply, it is difficult to rectify his long deception
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regarding his age against his well-known honesty. hamilton frequently remarked on the importance of being honest, he often spoke honestly even to his own detriment. his friends noted his adherence to crew -- to truth and no man ever disdained duplicity or carried frankness further than he. even his enemies acknowledged that they never knew him to disguise his intentions or deny their consequences. on his word, i can rely equally. given his honesty, it is hard to believe that hamilton misrepresented his age for his entire adult life. it is possible, that these two are related. perhaps his strict menaced -- honesty and other matters where's -- was a strict result of his deception in this one case. perhaps he maintained adherence to truth to continuously misrepresenting his age, and perhaps justified his deception in this one case by being extremely honest in all other matters. besides, hamilton was not the only famous person in all of history to misrepresent his age. in fact, the birthday
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of another founding founder, james mchenry is usually given as november 16, 1753. family records give it as 1752, and in a letter in 1813, mchenry gave it as 1751, so he changed the year end date of his birth. hitting closer to home, hamilton's mother also may have misrepresented how old she was because he agent her burial record is reduced from her real age. it is clear that hamilton misrepresented his age and his given birth to eight is -- birthdate is incorrect, it
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appears that taking liberties with one's age is not as big a deal then as it is considered today. of course it was easier to get away with it then as it would be today. in addition to giving his birth date as january 11, 1757, he apparently told friends and family that he was born on nevis. this was repeated by james yard, probably based on information from edward stevens, who is yard's brother-in-law and repeated by john c. hamilton. unlike his birthday, his birth on nevis has never been questioned because there was never any reason to doubt it. however, none of the witnesses who testified in the divorce proceedings mentioned rachel having been on nevis during the 1750's. jemima and james put rachel on saying you station us -- on another island, while saint henry only testified that he was a ralph -- that she was away from the island. this did not mean that they never lived on or visited nevis. based on the information in the divorce
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court there is a gap in the timeline during which rachel could have been on the island. after leaving for one island in 1753, it was not known where she was living until she was still and again found in 1756. while it is possible that rachel and her family lived on an island during this entire period, there is no record of her whereabouts. this gives her the perfect time to return to nevis. sometime after alexander hamilton's birth, rachel must have been on nevis because jemima testified that her sister made a declaration on saint christopher regarding her two children, thus she should have been there sometime in the period in question and could have been on nevis as well. since there was evidence that james hamilton and rachel
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returned from saint -- st. eustatius sometime between 1754 and 1757 and they could have time on nevis, there was little reason to question hamilton's birth because it is a possibility that is not contradicted by any evidence. one could argue, however that if hamilton misrepresented his age and birth date, he could have also done the same regarding his place of birth. if hamilton had been born on the island of st. eustatius, he would've been considered more of a foreigner. by being born on nevis, he can claim to be a british citizen like everyone else born in the 13 colonies. without evidence regarding his place of birth, one must assume that hamilton was born on nevis like he told friends and family, there remains uncertainty. even as hamilton -- if hamilton was born on nevis, it would seem that rachel and her family spent less time on nevis and more time on st. eustatius than
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previously thought, as we will see soon. according to john c. hamilton, alexander hamilton rarely alluded to his personal history and mentioned to be taught to speak the decalogue in hebrew. hamilton biographers often place the school on nevis. it is now clear that hamilton -- the hamilton's were living on st. eustatius from 1756 to 1758, and perhaps much longer. perhaps the school was on st. eustatius. by the time that alexander hamilton was worn, the jewish community of nevis had all but disappeared. the jewish community had peaked
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at 75 individuals, but it was closer to zero by hamilton's time. in contrast, st. eustatius had a thriving jewish community. a new synagogue was built and about 350 jews lived there in 1781. it would make more sense for the school which he attended to be on st. eustatius rather than nevis. with the addition of the record of the divorce court proceedings there are three pieces of evidence regarding the birthdate of james hamilton jr., alexander hamilton's older brother, all of which agree on the timeframe of his birth. according to rasul -- rachel's probate record, james hamilton jr. was 15 years old. this indicates that james hamilton jr. was born between february 23 1752, and february 22 february 5 -- 1753. in her
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testimony, jemima stated that two years ago she had come to saint stacia's -- st. eustatius and that her sister had two children, the older being about five years old. this indicates a birth around april, 1752. given the same parameters, james hamilton would have been born, given that it was about two years ago was also imprecise, james hamilton jr. would be born between october 1750, and april, 1753. additionally, james ash testified that he knew rachel on the witness was on st. christopher in 1750 1, 1752, and 1753. when he knew her, she had one or two children. this means that the older child must have been born in 1753, or
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earlier. consistent with the other two records. the three pieces of evidence point to james hamilton jr. being born between february, 1752 and february, 1753. about april, 1752, and 1753 and earlier. all three pieces of evidence agree that james hamilton jr. was probably born in 1752 or early 1753. based on the timeline, it appeared that he was born on the island of saint chris. the name of rachel's partner is not mentioned in the record of the divorce court proceedings. instead, this person is referred to as the un-summoned person. in other words this
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person was not summoned by the court was not person by -- and this person was not present for the hearings. nevertheless record states that the man's name mentioned to the court which will not be entered into the protocol book. james ash also testified rachel lived with the same person and that?
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(noise) (noise) the children were her and his children and he had heard of the person's reputation. it is thus clear that jemima and james knew the identity of james hamilton and reported it to the court, which means that rachel's first husband knew hamilton's name as well. it is likely that him and others already knew that it was james hamilton who had partnered with rachel even before it was reported in court. this should come as no surprise, because a 1758 baptismal record from st. eustatius listed them as james hamilton and rachel hamilton, his housewife. thus, all the attendees at the baptism and society at large new that james hamilton and racial faucet were together, -- and that rachel were together and acted like a married couple who had been with each other many years and had two children. there has been much debate regarding how much james hamilton knew about rachel's past. one story is that when james, rachel, and their children arrived on st. croix, james learned the truth of rachel's previous marriage, fair, and -- affair, imprisonment, and this prompted him to separate from her. the record of the divorce court
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proceedings completely debunks this narrative. according to the two witnesses who knew rachel, rachel's prior marriage was well-known. jemima testified that rachel had made a declaration to the judge on st. christopher, the contents of which that the two children that rachel had with had been raised outside of marriage with a person who was not her husband. although this declaration did not mention a husband living, the only reason such a declaration would have been necessary was if rachel was barred from marrying another man. relationships between two unwed individuals were common and not cause for legal action. rachel's relationship was only an issue because she was already married to someone else. therefore, remarriage to another man in a forbidden relationship with james hamilton became a matter
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of public record. likewise, james ash testified that rachel and other people testified that she was married and she went on st. christopher and saint -- and st. eustatius under that name, although she associated with a person of another name. ash added that rachel and the man's reputation was that she was a public, which means the general public knew some details about her past. while her previous marriage was well-known and everyone knew that her relationship with
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james hamilton was in violation of that marriage, no mention was made in witness testimony of her earlier affair and imprisonment. it is possible that james hamilton did not know about rachel's prior affair and imprisonment, but he knew that she had been and still was married, and that the two children were considered illegitimate according to the law. nevertheless, rachel's affair and imprisonment probably were also common knowledge and james hamilton presumably knew about them. these matters were not brought up by the witnesses, or where they asked about them because they were not a party to the events, and the events were already established by previous courts. moreover, in his divorce claim, john michael levine mentioned rachel's earlier affair, and his lawyer mentioned other evidence that he had in his possession, which probably included the court record of the earlier affair. one assumes that he referred to the -- referred the court to previous records of that affair and did not need to be raised in the questioning of the
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witnesses, so the fact that it was not mentioned and they were not asked about it does not mean that they knew nothing about it. one assumes that they did and that james hamilton did as well. according to alexander hamilton, maybe, "my mother afterwards became acquainted with my father and a marriage ensued, followed by many years cohabitation in several children." ever since the question whether -- if whether there has been a marriage has been raised. in fact, this question was introduced in 1759. when asked, jemima said that she had heard it said that rachel had gotten married to another person, but did not know if it was true. in contrast, james henry answered -- hendry had heard that there was another man associated but she had not married another man. similarly james ash was
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asked and rachel replied that he -- and had replied that he had not heard that. thus in 1759, it was unclear by those who knew rachel and james hamilton whether they have gotten married or not. others had heard that they had been but no one knew for sure. the fact that the lawyer asked the questions and the witnesses were uncertain showed that then as now, it was unknown whether james and rachel had a wedding ceremony, but according to jemima, rachel had made a declaration to the judge on st. christopher, the contents of which that the two children that rachel had had been raised outside of marriage with a person who is not her husband. it would disappear that james and rachel knew that they were not married, on the other hand, a record from st. eustatius listed james and rachel as housewife. the fact that they use the hamilton name and was listed as james'housewife which was a common term to describe all wives said that they were treated as a married couple
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even if such a marriage was prohibited. it was also proclaimed that james hamilton was not the father of alexander hamilton. someone else, possibly thomas stevens was hamilton's father, and some have suggested george washington, and other names as well. even though rachel had a common reputation as a public the witnesses who knew her all testified that she in both places was associated with the same person, james hamilton. according to these people, from the time that rachel met this
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person, perhaps in 1751, until they saw her in 1757, rachel had been with the same man the entire time. moreover james ash stated that when he knew her on st. christopher, she had one or two children, which everywhere passed as her and the person's children. rachel only had one child at this time, but he knew her again on st. eustatius, where she lived with the same person that she had lived with from st. christopher. thus, according to the witnesses, rachel was same -- was with the same person the entire time, and her children passed as the children of this man. it is always possible that rachel cheated on her new partner, but none of the witnesses nor john michael made any allegation. such rumors would have been introduced into the court as
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further evidence of rachel's infidelity and as for example being a public. one could conclude that everyone believed that from 1751 through 1757, rachel associated with james hamilton. this suggests that rachel was with one man during this whole period, meaning that james hamilton wasn't -- was indeed alexander hamilton's father. it has also been argued that alexander hamilton was jewish. the contention is that john michael was jewish, and rachel converted to judaism to marry him, and thus alexander hamilton was jewish because his mother was jewish. in his testimony, james hendry that -- testified that he had seen the two married saying that he had not seen the priest that married them. if the wedding had been conducted by a rabbi,
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hendry would have said a jewish priest. if he had been jewish, and there is no evidence that he was, he must have converted to christianity or pretended to be christian when a priest officiated his wedding to rachel. yet again, there is no evidence or reason to believe that he was jewish, and it would appear that people who knew him thought that he was christian. there is no reason to believe that rachel converted to marry wien -- to marry him or that alexander hamilton was a jew. in his own testimony, alexander hamilton declared that he had been brought up in the reformed religion as it was observed in the english established church. in other words, his parents raised him as an anglican. hamilton was not asked, and did not say if he had been baptized, but he testified that he had not yet received communion,
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which was seen as a sign of reaching adulthood. with the newly discovered records of the 1759 divorce court proceedings, and alexander hamilton's testimony along with the previous analysis and a few other sources, a new narrative for the years 1750 to 1765 can be established. after being in prison for eight months for her affair, rachel was released from prison on may 4, 1750. by year's end, both rachel and her mother left st. croix, but separately or together is unknown. whether she went immediately to where she would be living the following year, or some other island is not known from the available records. either way, by the end of 1751 she was living on one island. there she met james hamilton. she gave birth to
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james hamilton jr. in 1752, or early 1753. in 1753, james hamilton absented himself to st. eustatius on account of debt. racial follow -- rachel followed him. what happens next is unclear. no norton -- no known record reveals where they were. except, alexander hamilton would be born in between -- between january -- february and august. at some point after his birth, but before 1757, rachel made a declaration to the judge regarding her two children. whether she was visiting at the time or had living there is not known. either way, by the end of 1756, rachel and james lived on st. eustatius again. they are found there still, or again in 1757 and october, 1758. after 1758, james, rachel, and their children disappear until
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james arrives on st. croix in april 1755 and the rest of the family follow shortly afterwards. did james, rachel and their children stay on st. eustatius until 1765? or did they move back? where were they living immediately before coming to st. croix in 1765? while these records have helped close the gap, we still know nothing about what happened between 1759 and 1765. i want to thank you all for joining me
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on this journey. after rewriting the hamilton book, i am sure there is a lot of questions. (applause) just a quick question, another we went over this very extensively at the beginning, it seems confusing but i thought you said his birthday was january 11 1757 by you seem to say that it was 17 between 1754 and 1755, so is the final conclusion of what you think it is? >> when i said i was 1757 i wrote a book that was published four years ago, where i thought i looked into the issue, row ten pages of analysis and concluded that january 11 1757 is probably right, then i found
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these new records and i believe that up until february then i found these new records and these new records indicate because now we have three independent prime resources and all they say is hamilton was born earlier than 1757, so it is out of the question, so my current is he probably was born between february 23rd and august 5th 1754 but these records there is always uncertainty which is why we are so i'm sure before and then we are sure about something else and now we are sure about something different, so that is why i said probably, 80 90% sure that is when he was bored but basically nine 9% sure he was not born in january 11th. >> so the general of this probably out? >> well the general levant day, but it would still be a possibility either the record or hamilton's testimony was ron, either by the person giving it ordered by the person recording
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it but if they're both correct in january 11th is out, but if it is january 11 that were not sure if it's 50 4:55 because it depends which one of those two would possibly be wrong or if either of them are wrong. >> thank you. >> i was wondering whether or not the january 11th, the early one might still be possible if he needed to be seen as being 17 either to get to his poetry published or to be eligible to testify in court i mean a youngsters to round up their ages sometimes and it wouldn't be that much for him to rounded up by five or six months. >> first of all to throw out it's three independent sources it's a five to 54 and if you're arguing that hamilton lied in
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legal testimony the need also have to go against the 1754 poetry, so you have to say that he stretched the truth in one case and lied in another case rather than saying you told the truth and there is this new conclusion, the problem is that hamilton had to be misrepresented is agent case or the other neither leader and my form are like because you did all match so the question is which, like a senator you go by the evidence and hamilton swore but not under oath, but he swore in this testimony before the cord about his age and what would assume that it is more reliable than him writing in a letter, you know i was about 16 when i showed up in this country which is not sworn testimony and therefore less credible and reliable but it's still an open question.
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>> hello, thank you for another great lecture and book, i know how extensive your research was for your other book, how did you come upon in this new evidence? >> so i'll try to make the long story short, i was taking my old book that was more a historian graffiti interest rate inherited biography and i had to double check sometime resources because things were taken out of context by other historians and one road one thing and it did not happen so i want to check the primary sources which is a lot of the stuff that is in the archives and when i checked first i found that some of this stuff that was right in just wasn't right or was out of context but i also found there is a lot of stuff that was and reported so as i found more of this i said someone has to do a more systematic search of the entire
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source of relevant documents and that was three years ago and i'm so going through them, so three years later i've gone through tens of thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands of pages looking for hamilton's a name or nicholas croupiers name and that's really how i found these, just giving lots and lots, going through the legal files a felony divorce for testimony was just sitting there but it takes a lot of work, fortunately knows all been digitizing it's all on the website but it is literally tens of millions of pages so first you have to now you're doing anything so to work with and you have to have time and patience and know what to look for like who knows to look for jim i am a girly until today so. >> still they say that hamilton
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a landed in boston rather than new york, do you know why he landed in boston and how did he get to new york city, take a boat or go over land, for what? >> i discussed that in mind previous, book not in this one, and i was four years ago small try to remember at all, jon hamilton writes based on a letter by his friend saying that he arrived via boston, that is how do we know he came to boston, why he went to boston we don't know for certain, my theory is because he left shortly after the hurricane and a lot of the ships, basically all the ships on the island and most of them on the west indies were destroyed or damaged so to find a ship coming to north america is difficult, they actually found one that lived earlier to philadelphia, don't know why hamilton was in on it maybe stayed for his friends to recover those days after the rear gate, after that very few
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ships off the island so it's possible that the next ship to leave was going to foster so we went to boston rather than wait for one to go to new york, how we went from boston to new york, there is no evidence one way or the other end he could've taken a ship according to newspapers or is no shift that went directly so he probably took a ship to some other city and bordered another ship, that would be erratic and inconsistent and you never know how long it's going to take, on the other hand he could've taken a stagecoach which was operating at the time, it took two weeks to travel the distance, actually only took one week to travel but they took a one week stop which is where he on the stage coach lived so we probably made some more money, or he could've rented horses so we don't know for certain. michael you had a
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theory that michael nevis was a place of birth and you say that kids have done the same, i just want to address my theory of why he would have said me this, it's only assuming that it wasn't actually need this, and we are assuming he was born there but we are just open to the possibility because of the lack of evidence and it is possible that he was said he was station is, i believe he was born on nevis but we can prove it, yes we could have said many other island, and the other british island, hamilton wrote them a letter that his parents were born on saint --
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so probably wouldn't made more sense than nevis,, nevis what is the island his mother was from someone can conclude that he was actually born in there regrettably but anyway but it's believing based on what hamilton road and there is no other evidence i will say except for misrepresenting his age, all, basically everything he writes which is not very much, and everything he writes but his childhood comes true he said that his parents met and we did other for certain and now that we have this to force court testimony it proves that he is right, in his parents that there are so all these things and he said turns out, we had no proof for and now they're actually is maybe not proof but corroborating evidence that he is telling the truth, the only real open question is on the birth date and i just raised the possibility that, if you look
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just the divorce court testimony you think that it was that because it doesn't see the member going back except for that one but the visits one assumes that he is telling the truth from now when they went there he was born there, thank you. yeah hi michael, knowing that she had slaves. >> rachel when she first comes she has three slaves, by the time she dies i think in a record there is three slaves, so she actually, some of them were born to her slaves and then she acquired some additional ones which of course shows that she was a good business woman making money, not it's good but.
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>> but alexander did not inherent that. >> yes so hamilton did not. >> he never had slaves himself. >> he never personally on them his mother on them, so he had slaves working for him if you want to put it that year, but when his mother died hamilton's half brother inherited everything, and the united slaves or the proceeds ended up going to him, yet there's no record of him ever owning slaves, there is one a record of him acquiring slaves for his brother-in-law, which some people say that it shows he owned slaves and bought them and others would argue that's not true and the counter argument is it doesn't matter use dealing in the slave trade, but there is no record and hamilton sister-in-law complained that elizabeth hamilton didn't have slaves to
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hopper out. >> he became an abolitionist afterwards. >> i never won around saying all slaves should be free, oblivion of all slavery never even said that all slaves and new york should be immediately never free, but he probably believe that but he knew it was politically and practical, but he did argue for the so elimination of slavery so help pass a law in new york that basically banned futures slavery so if you owned us slavery you could have them until they became free and any children were free until they reach adulthood, and before adulthood how they fend for themselves so they's face it out that was partly hamilton's doing. >> hi i want to say first off thank you for your research, i know it hasn't been easy for you to question all of our
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answers, and answer all your questions, well everything we knew about hamilton now we are questioning about we also want to know since you have such a great body of documents it will probably take a lot more time in you'll have to get back to your research eventually until you see a second book in the coming and also do you see that there was a possibility that you may also find out more evidence, not just about rachel's past but about whether or not hamilton's career, i'm really more curious about some of his records because you do mention that he was working for krugler then expected prior to his mother's death and i'm curious about that particular aspect because that means that he's already working and that
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is crazy but do you see another book in the making and do you have more to put forward maybe another book discovering credit burger such. >> so in the current book there are two chapters if i remember correctly about him working for nicholas cooper, i also have another one which is on my block that it and put in the book, so and it i discuss how he was working for cruz or based on the oldest known records that i discovered and they are mentioned in the book, there's another chapter of other records that show him working for biegun and krugler so there is a lot that you haven't read yet in the book about his work, hopefully there will be more and of course i don't know what i'm gonna find, there is still a lot more documents to go through, like i
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said those hundreds of thousands of pages just about some st. thomas records and other islands as well but, and also since i've only found this first record and then i found the second one his testimony in april and the book comes out in july so this is all in a very short period of time and i couldn't include everything i had in this book, a lot of watches still hasn't been translated so there is enough stuff that i found that hasn't been translated or has been transmitted that i didn't have time to put in this book, so will there be a second volume, yes there will what it will look like i have no idea it might be an expanded edition it might be a second volume totally separate, i don't know yet, the book just came out give me a couple of weeks and i get back to you, get back to
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the research and then maybe next year for the year after there will be another buck, we will see where it leads, any more question. >> thank you for the lecture i was interested of his relationship with his brother, if i'm correct they were not very close particularly is there any explanation to that. >> i still remain james hamilton jr., it's really hard because basically no record above the relationship when they were living together, let's say need this, you stay just, so we don't know, they're about two years apart and we don't know how close they were, we can guess, but we would be making it up, there is no record of how close they were as friends, later in fly fall we have is a few letters between them and if you look at
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those few letters it would seem like they are in very close, most of the time they end up talking about their father, how his father doing, haven't heard from him in a while, and then there's some stuff about money, there is hamilton lending money in paying bills for his brother and his father but i will say that we probably have only a fraction of letters that passed between him and his brother and father because in all their letters they often mention, i sent you to previous letters did you receive them and of course it's the same back and forth and there is like maybe three or four letters, so you may talk more often than that and we know them they talk more often than that but how much more we don't know, so it's really impossible to know how close of a relationship it was from the letters we have it doesn't seem close but it could be misleading, so i wouldn't draw any conclusions from that, so thank you everyone and i'm
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glad you all came.. the (applause)
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alexander hamilton was the first u.s. secretary, up next a discussion on some of his financial ideas, plans he put in place, this is 50 minutes. now all the museum in the gallery of the museums clothes because of floods the robust programming continues as evidence by today and our author speaking


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