Alexander Hamilton's Birthplace

This 1880 photograph shows the remains of the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. His Caribbean birthplace helps illustrate the cosmopolitan nature of the British Empire in the Americas in the Eighteenth Century.

He was born January 11th 1757 the product of an adulterous affair. His mother, a Frenchwoman named Rachel Fawcett Lavine, was married to someone else when Hamilton was born. When Rachel's husband threw her out of the house, she moved in with Hamilton's father, a Scottish trader named James. But the living arrangement did not last long. James abandoned the family when Hamilton was still a baby, leaving him and his mother impoverished. He was apprenticed to a mercantile firm in the Virgin Islands before being sent to America to study when he was 15.

Image courtesy of The Caribbean Photo Archive

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by Stephen Luscombe