Much of the information in this blog (and in all previous Hamilton bios) has been updated, expanded, or even corrected in Michael E. Newton's new book Discovering Hamilton. Please check that book before using or repeating any information you read here on this blog (or that you read in previous Hamilton biographies).
Despite what people think, I am not a writer. I am a historian and research who shares what he finds and the implications of these discoveries. Accordingly, I have struggled to come up with the words to properly mark the recent passing of Rand Scholet, the founder of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society (“AHA”) and a dear friend.
Rand first found me in 2012 (I believe) as I was tweeting about Hamilton, long before my first book about Hamilton was published. He must have seen some potential because he was soon encouraged me in my work. We talked on the phone quite frequently. At times, it seemed like almost every day. It probably was. As my Hamilton research deepened, Rand was often the first person I called to share my new discoveries. He returned the favor by calling me frequently to share AHA’s upcoming plans and get my thoughts.
Through the years, Rand introduced me to Hamiltonians from across the country, many of whom are now close friends. Rand invited me to speak at AHA events and, as if acting as my publicist and agent, got me speaking gigs elsewhere as well. Rand and I gave lectures together and I recall travelling with him through upstate New York and in Virginia to give lectures. I can still hear his giddy excitement and deep laugh as I write this. Rand was a great champion of Hamilton and supporter of my work, and he will be greatly missed.
“I have been much indebted to the kindness of the General, and he was an Aegis very essential to me.” ~ Alexander Hamilton to Tobias Lear about the death of George Washington
I believe that the best way to honor Rand Scholet is to continue his work, which was to spread greater awareness about the greatness and importance of Alexander Hamilton. While Rand is well known for that mission, perhaps less well known was something he often said to me, which is that he wanted to spread “true and accurate” information about Alexander Hamilton. Like me, he believed there was too much misinformation about Hamilton and he wanted truth and accuracy to win out. Rand believed that true and accurate information would lead to greater awareness of Hamilton’s greatness.
So it is this mission—to spread true and accurate information about Hamilton—that we must continue, and in doing this the world becomes more aware of Alexander Hamilton’s greatness and importance.
Photos of the author with Rand Scholet
The author and Rand Scholet goofing around with the official replica dueling pistols, at the Museum of American Finance, July 12, 2012.
The author with Tom Oller, Mariana Oller, Rand Scholet, and Nicole Scholet Villavicencio, at Hamilton College, July 22, 2013.
The author receiving the National Hamilton Scholar designation from Rand Scholet, July 7, 2016.
The author with Nancy Spannus, Jerry Auten, Nicole Scholet Villavicencio, Leonard Zax, Marti Londal, Sergio Villavicencio, Nolan Asch, Mary Hamilton, Rand Scholet, and Bob White at his lecture “Alexander Hamilton Merchant in the West Indies” in the U.S. Treasury Building, Washington D.C., May 16, 2018.
The author with Sergio Villavicencio, Nicole Scholet Villavicencio, and Rand Scholet at the author’s lecture “Alexander Hamilton’s Birthdate, Early Biography, and More” on July 10, 2019.
© Posted on August 12, 2021, by Michael E. Newton. Please cite this blog post when writing about these new discoveries.
9 thoughts on “Remembering Rand Scholet, Founder of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society”
Ione and I were talking about him last night at dinner with out of town friends who k e if his passing from by Facebook post.
Rand will continue he to be missed.
Thanks for that, Michael. You do seem to have pretty much there “at the beginning” and were certainly one of Rand’s pillars. Keep it up.
A deeply moving tribute to Rand and your personal odyssey from historian and researcher to one of the most respected authorities on Alexander Hamilton. Rand had a special gift for seeing the special gifts of others. The first few years of knowing Rand were “the formative years” for many of us, transformative really. Our aegis is gone but the work will carry on. Thank you for this wonderful and heartfelt post.
I love the pictures you picked out of Rand, after talking with him almost every day and seeing him almost every week, I am having a hard time not having him around. He was so much fun the past 4 years. He always had a kind word for everyone, in our talks at events, he always promoted your books Michael. Sometimes he would say Michael found out something new about Hamilton, but I can’t tell anyone yet, and he did not tell. He was always a true friend to all of us and I am proud to call him my friend.
I will never forget the day Rand found me at Federal Hall to introduce me to his passion for Alexander Hamilton and his quest to “set the story straight”! I too am humbled to know him and call him my friend! The National Park Service at Hamilton Grange will always try to uphold Rand’s legacy and continue to spread the “word” about Alexander Hamilton!
I’ve known Rand since gradeschool so very many years ago. He was great at keeping in contact with old friends. Its still hard to believe that he won’t be calling/ texting to talk about the latest political news and sending the announcements of upcoming AHA events. He was an incredible person, and friend to so many. He left a beautiful imprint on the world. A life well-lived.
WOW! Since childhood, you were so lucky. I know he had a college friend that was in rehab near my condo, he would go and visit his every couple of weeks, when he couldn’t go inside, he would call him. I am sure we could fill a book about the kindness he showed all of us.
Great memories of Rand and a fitting tribute to the founder of the AHA Society. Thank you for sharing these stories. And thank you for all you do to bring about more awareness of the true Alexander Hamilton!
A fine tribute to fine man, and our fellow valiant in the struggle for justice for Alexander Hamilton.
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