Excerpt from Alexander Hamilton: A Character Sketch
The precocity of Alexander Hamilton approached the marvelous. Henry Cabot Lodge and others give the date of his birth as January 11, 1757, but Bancroft makes it earlier. The distinguished historian thought it incredible that the brilliant mind of Hamilton should have matured so early. His name appears as a witness on a deed written in 1766, when, if the date named for his birth be accepted, he was only nine years old, and yet, as Mr. Lodge demonstrates, the evidence is convincing that such was the fact.
His birthplace was the island Nevis, one of the British West Indies. His father is said to have been a Scotch merchant. A good deal of mystery surrounds his family and early youth.
Born in that tropical region, the brain of this wonderful youth flowered with the amazing swiftness of the vegetation around him. At the age of twelve, when a clerk in a store, his letters to his friend, Dr. Edward Stevens, were those of a philosophical instructor. Shortly after he was given charge of his employer's affairs and managed them well, studying and writing as opportunity presented. Soon his astonishing talents led his relatives to send him to the American colonies to be educated.
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