Only recently have we begun to reexamine and appreciate the enormous contributions to our nation of Alexander Hamilton—a man born into poverty outside our borders who became a military hero in the Revolutionary War and, as our first treasury secretary, put the nation’s finances in sound condition. Physically, he was not imposing, but he was a man of extraordinary intellect. His skill and courage under fire first brought him to General Washington’s attention, but it was his insightful analyses of the nation’s debt problems and suggested solutions that gave President Washington the confidence to choose the young man as his Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton was a difficult man to know. He lacked the political skills of persuasion to gain support for his innovations. It was the logic of his ideas, however, that carried the day. His creation of and contributions to THE FEDERALIST saved the Constitution. The establishment of a national bank and the consolidation of the individual states’ war debts probably saved the union. His behind-the-scenes efforts to influence presidential elections, though, won him bitter enemies. One of those was Thomas Jefferson’s vice president, Aaron Burr. Hamilton’s resultant death cost the new country one of its greatest assets. We cannot know what the nation might have become had Hamilton lived on, but we can give thanks for what the nation was able to become because he was born.
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Charles Arthur Conant (July 2, 1861 – July 5, 1915) was an American journalist, author, and promoter who became recognized as an expert on banking and finance.
Sarah Knowles Bolton (September 15, 1841 – February 21, 1916) was an American writer. She wrote extensively for the press, was one of the first corresponding secretaries of the Woman's national temperance union, was associate editor of the Boston "Congregationalist" (1878–81), and traveled for two years in Europe, studying profit-sharing, female higher education, and other social questions. Her writings encourage readers to improve the world about them through faith and hard work. She died in Cleveland, Ohio.
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