Alexander Hamilton has been in the news a lot lately because there’s a possibility that they’re taking him off the $10 bill. That would be a big shame since he was not only a Revolutionary War hero, aide-de-camp to George Washington, lawyer, signer of the Constitution, Father of the Federalist Papers, creator of the Coast Guard and Major General of the US Armed Forces. He was also the United States’ first Secretary of the Treasury and the person who saw that the future of our country lay in making goods for ourselves and not being just a producer and raw material resource for Europe and England.
The Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society (AHA Society) is holding the fourth annual CelebrateHAMILTON program to honor the incredible life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton. We asked Nicole Scholet, Vice President of the AHA Society, a few questions below so keep scrolling past the schedule of this weekend’s events.
This year’s program will include special events to celebrate the 225th anniversaries of the creation of the US Coast Guard as well as the first Presidential cabinet dinner. There will also be a special tour of George Washington’s winter encampments in New Jersey and a celebration of the inaugural performance of the musical Hamilton on Broadway.
Friday, July 10th – Lower and Upper Manhattan
12:30 pm: USCG Band Concert, Federal Hall
1:00-1:30 pm: Hamilton Graveside Remembrance, Trinity Church
2:00-3:00 pm: “Alexander Hamilton – The Formative Years,” Museum of American Finance
3:00-4:00 pm: Book Signing and Hamilton Exhibit Viewing, Museum of American Finance
6:00-8:00 pm: 225th Anniversary Event – First Cabinet Dinner, Morris-Jumel Mansion
Saturday, July 11th – Upper Manhattan and Weehawken, NJ
7:30-9:30 am: Hamilton Fun Run
9:00-3:00 pm: Activities at Hamilton’s Home, The Grange
6:00 pm: Remembrance at Hamilton Park, Weehawken, NJ
7:30-8:30 pm: Talk on the Burr-Hamilton duel by Dr. Joanne Freeman, Weehawken, NJ
Sunday, July 12th – Northern New Jersey
(Washington’s New Jersey Winter Encampments Tour)
12:30-2:00 pm: Tour of Wallace House, Somerville, NJ
3:00 pm: Talk – “Hamilton’s Revolutionary War Services,” Morristown NHP
5:15 pm: Visit to Morristown Green and Arnold’s Tavern Location
Monday, July 13th – Downtown and Midtown Manhattan
11:00 am: Bowling Green Flag Raising and Talk
12:00-1:30 pm: Talk – “Manhattan Murder Trial” at Federal Hall
2:00 pm: Keep HamilTEN! Gathering
8:00 pm: Hamilton Musical
Check out the full schedule with maps and directions here.
Nicole Scholet, Vice President of the AHA Society, answered some questions we had about Hamilton and his importance to the United States and New Jersey, specifically:
What do you think the chances are of keeping Hamilton on the ten dollar bill?
The Secretary of Treasury has stated that Alexander Hamilton will still be on the $10 bill in some way, though how has not been specified. The Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society is working with other organizations to ensure that he retains his prominence on US currency.
We feel it is important that Alexander Hamilton is featured on US currency for multiple reasons. In particular, he did more to develop our economic, financial, and monetary systems than anyone else and he deserves to be honored for that. And he historically has been honored – Alexander Hamilton is the only person to have been featured continuously on national paper currency since it first started being circulated in the 1860s. Another reason the AHA Society feels strongly about keeping Alexander Hamilton on the currency is because it is a great teaching tool to introduce people today to who Alexander Hamilton was and why he was so important to the founding of the United States – not to mention how relevant he still is today.
Alexander Hamilton has several strong connections to Morristown. It was in Morristown in 1777 that Alexander Hamilton first joined George Washington’s staff as an aide-de-camp, which was obviously a major turning point in his life. And at another winter encampment in Morristown in 1779-1780, Alexander Hamilton courted his future wife Elizabeth Schulyer at what is today known as the Schuyler-Hamilton House run by the Morristown DAR chapter.
I don’t know of anything specifically that Hamilton ever mentioned about Morristown in his letters, but I would imagine he would reflect fondly on the town where he courted his wife. Throughout his life, he wrote tenderly to “his dear Eliza,” calling her “the best of wives and best of women.” So I could see his warm reflections about her including a soft spot for their time spent at Morristown.
The AHA Society has been very involved with celebrating the 225th anniversary of the founding of the US Coast Guard since Alexander Hamilton is considered the “Father of the Coast Guard.”
Earlier this year, the Coast Guard, Sector New York, and Coast Guard Auxiliary participated in our January events for Alexander Hamilton’s birthday. In June, Sector San Juan joined the 250th anniversary event in Christiansted, St. Croix that commemorated Alexander Hamilton’s move from Nevis to St. Croix.
Now as part of CelebrateHAMILTON, there will be a USCG Auxiliary Band Concert on Friday, July 10th on the steps of Federal Hall in New York City, followed by the Coast Guard Color Guard’s participation at a remembrance event at Alexander Hamilton’s grave at nearby Trinity Church. I will also be speaking at Hamilton Grange National Memorial, Hamilton’s home in Upper Manhattan, on Saturday, July 11th, about Alexander Hamilton’s role in creating the US Coast Guard.
But the real big celebration of the Coast Guard’s founding will be a multi-day festival at the beginning of August, culminating in a full day of events on August 4th at Federal Hall, where the Coast Guard was officially signed into law by President George Washington. More details about all these events can be found under “Official Events” on theahasociety.com.
We’ve heard how great Hamilton: The Musical is. How many times have you seen it and what do you love about it?
I saw the Hamilton musical twice at the Public Theater and will be seeing it again for its inaugural performance on Broadway on July 13th. There are many things I love about the musical, but the best thing is that it delivers Alexander Hamilton’s story in such a captivating way that it gives the audience a great sense of who he was and makes people want to learn more about him, which is exactly our goal!
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