What hardships did Alexander Hamilton overcome?
What hardships did Hamilton overcome?
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Alexander Hamilton was born out of wedlock in Nevis, to James Hamilton and Rachel Faucett Lavien, and the Church of England denied Hamilton membership or education in the church school. He had to enroll in a private, Jewish school. Hamilton was always sensitive about his illegitimate birth, which in the historical period had greater potential for social stigma than in modern society.
In 1765, a business assignment lead James Hamilton (his father) to move the family to Christiansted, St. Croix. James then abandoned Rachel and their two sons. This separation, and anxiety over his illegitimate birth, presumably had severe emotional consequences for Alexander, even for eighteenth-century childhoods. After James left, Rachel supported the family by keeping a small store in Christiansted. She had, it is said, the largest library on the island—some thirty-odd books. She died in 1768, leaving Hamilton effectively orphaned. After her death, Rachel's son from her first marriage appeared and (legally, via probate court) claimed the few valuables Hamilton's mother had owned, including several silver spoons. Hamilton never saw his half-brother again, but years later received his death notice and a small amount of money.
For more detailed information, check on the references in the Wiki entry. Hope this helps!