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Alexander Hamilton
by [?]

His strong and passionate nature gave gravity to his sentences, and every quibbling objector found himself answered, and more than answered, and the speakers who were to present the case found this stripling doing the work so much better than they could, that they urged him on with applause and loud cries of “Bravo! Bravo!”

Immediately at the close of Hamilton’s speech, the chairman had the good sense to declare the meeting adjourned–thus shutting off all reply, as well as closing the mouths of the minnow orators who usually pop up to neutralize the impression that the strong man has made.

Hamilton’s speech was the talk of the town. The leading Whigs sought him out and begged that he would write down his address so that they could print it as a pamphlet in reply to the Tory pamphleteers who were vigorously circulating their wares. The pens of ready writers were scarce in those days: men could argue, but to present a forcible written brief was another thing. So young Hamilton put his reasons on paper, and their success surprised the boys at the boarding-house, and the college chums and the professors, and probably himself as well. His name was on the lips of all Whigdom, and the Tories sent messengers to buy him off.

But Congress was willing to pay its defenders, and money came from somewhere–not much, but all the young man needed. College was dropped; the political pot boiled; and the study of history, economics and statecraft filled the daylight hours to the brim and often ran over into the night.

The Winter of Seventeen Hundred Seventy-five passed away; the plot thickened. New York had reluctantly consented to be represented in Congress and agreed grumpily to join hands with the Colonies.

The redcoats had marched out to Concord–and back; and the embattled farmers had stood and fired the shot “heard ’round the world.”

Hamilton was working hard to bring New York over to an understanding that she must stand firm against English rule. He organized meetings, gave addresses, wrote letters, newspaper articles and pamphlets. Then he joined a military company and was perfecting himself in the science of war.

There were frequent outbreaks between Tory mobs and Whigs, and the breaking up of your opponents’ meeting was looked upon as a pleasant pastime.

Then came the British ship “Asia” and opened fire on the town. This no doubt made Whigs of a good many Tories. Whig sentiment was on the increase; gangs of men marched through the streets and the king’s stores were broken into, and prominent Royalists found their houses being threatened.

Doctor Cooper, President of King’s College, had been very pronounced in his rebukes to Congress and the Colonies, and a mob made its way to his house. Arriving there, Hamilton and his chum Troup were found on the steps, determined to protect the place. Hamilton stepped forward, and in a strong speech urged that Doctor Cooper had merely expressed his own private views, which he had a right to do, and the house must not on any account be molested. While the parley was in progress, old Doctor Cooper himself appeared at one of the upper windows and excitedly cautioned the crowd not to listen to that blatant young rapscallion Hamilton, as he was a rogue and a varlet and a vagrom. The good Doctor then slammed the window and escaped by the back way.

His remarks raised a laugh in which even young Hamilton joined, but his mistake was very natural in view of the fact that he only knew that Hamilton had deserted the college and espoused the devil’s cause; and not having heard his remarks, but seeing him standing on his steps haranguing a crowd, thought surely he was endeavoring to work up mischief against his old preceptor, who had once plucked him in Greek.

It seems to have been the intention of his guardians that the limit of young Hamilton’s stay in America was to be two years, and by that time his education would be “complete,” and he would return to the West Indies and surprise the natives.