Was Alexander Hamilton really an “enslaver”? Version 2.0.

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).

© Posted on November 30, 2020, by Michael E. Newton.

Philo Hamilton and I are pleased to introduce version 2.0 of our essay “Opening a Door to Their Emancipation”: Alexander Hamilton and Slavery.

Some noteworthy changes include:

  • A greatly expanded discussion of Alexander Hamilton’s position on the Peace Treaty of 1783, the return of formerly enslaved persons, and the Jay Treaty.
  • Improved explanations of how Hamilton used his cash books.
  • More details about Hamilton’s involvement with the Manumission Society.
  • New section about “servants and maids” and Eliza’s role in managing the household.
  • Correction regarding Angelica Church’s 1804 letter to her son Philip.

Update, December 21, 2020: Version 3.0 of our essay is now available. Some noteworthy additions and improvements include:

  • John B. Church’s purchase of an enslaved woman in 1783 has been greatly improved.
  • New section on Alexander Hamilton as president of the New York Manumission Society.
  • New research regarding the 1790 U.S. Census and Alexander Hamilton.
  • New section about the “the black man of” Alexander Hamilton, who died in the yellow-fever epidemic of 1798.

Click to access Opening-a-Door-to-Their-Emancipation-Alexander-Hamilton-and-Slavery-3.0.pdf

The original essay (version 1.0) is still available here.

Version 2.0 is available here.