History came alive July 11, 2016 at the annual gathering at the Alexander Hamilton Memorial and (nearby) Hamilton-Burr duel site in Weehawken, NJ in which we honored the Secretary of the Treasury, Lieutenant Colonel, and Founding Father whose life was lost to an “affair of honor” with Aaron Burr. Although not the actual dueling site (which was nearby, closer to the Hudson River), the Alexander Hamilton Memorial and nearby Alexander Hamilton Park have stunning views of the New York City skyline, the city which Hamilton knew, loved and took an active role in shaping its future. Speaking at the ceremony were Douglas Hamilton, 5th great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton, Rand Scholet, found of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society, the mayor of Weehawken, Richard Turner, (and later at the nearby Elks Lodge) Thomas Fleming, author of Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, And The Future Of America. The gathering, besides honoring the memory of the great man, also celebrated the victory of all involved in keeping Hamilton’s portrait on the next version of the United States’ ten dollar bill.
New York Waterways has ongoing scheduled service which makes it easy to take the beautiful ride to Weehawken from Manhattan. I was thinking of waiting for the next ferry as the one I took was named after Hamilton’s political rival, Thomas Jefferson. Maybe enough time has passed…
How exciting to meet the eloquent Douglas Hamilton, 5th great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton. There is more than a slight resemblance in facial features between (the bust of) Alexander Hamilton and Douglas Hamilton.
Helping to keep the memory and legacy of Alexander Hamilton alive is the founder of the Alexander Hamilton Society (AHA), the charismatic Rand Scholet and sitting to his right is the fine author and historian Thomas Fleming who spoke later at the nearby Elks Lodge.
Moved from its original location to this loftier one many years after the duel (because of the installation of train tracks along the original location of the duel), the stone where Hamilton reportedly laid his head after being shot by Aaron Burr, is imprinted with the following words: Upon this stone rested the head of the patriot, soldier, statesman, and jurist Alexander Hamilton after the duel with Aaron Burr. Other duels took place in the same location including one with Hamilton’s young son Phillip, who was killed in a duel in 1801 with the same pistols used in his father’s duel with Burr.
Many “affairs of honor” took place on the original dueling grounds, which was, as the plaque reads, “somewhere below” the site of the current memorial. The plaque was dedicated on July 11, 2004, on the 200th anniversary of the Hamilton-Burr duel.
Perched upon a pedestal in front of spectacular views of New York City is the bust of Alexander Hamilton.
Just a few steps from the memorial is Alexander Hamilton Park, a fine place to contemplate the life and accomplishments of the great statesman.