Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, owned only one home during his entire life: the Hamilton Grange.
Hamilton commissioned architect John McComb Jr. to design a Federal-style country home on a 32-acre estate in upper Manhattan in 1801, according to the National Park Service (NPS). It was completed in 1802, but Hamilton lived there for just two years before Aaron Burr shot him in a duel on July 11, 1804. Hamilton died 213 years ago today, July 12, 1804.
The house still stands, but it has been moved twice: once in 1889 and again in 2008. The public can visit it today in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Harlem, and see artifacts such as a silver wine cooler gifted to Hamilton by George Washington. [ Read the Full Story and Watch the Video]
Hamilton (1757-1804) was born in the British West Indies on the island of Nevis. He immigrated to the United States in 1772 and later enrolled in the Continental Army to fight the British. Many of Hamilton's achievements — including serving as an aide-de-camp to General Washington, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, an author of many of the essays contained in "The Federalist Papers" and father of the U.S. Treasury and Coast Guard — are now widely known, thanks to the theatrical hit "Hamilton: An American Musical."
The dueling pistols carried by Hamilton and Burr.
Hamilton's last letter to his wife ended with an emotional goodbye: "Adieu, best of wives and best of women. Embrace all my darling children for me."
Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, Hamilton's widow, owned the house until 1833. This photo, taken in the winter of 1864, was taken before the house was acquired by St. Luke's Church in 1889.
A few of the 13 sweetgum trees planted on the property by Hamilton are on the right of the photograph. The trees were a gift from George Washington, and the number symbolized the 13 colonies.
St. Luke's move
Elders from St. Luke's Church gathered near the house shortly before it was moved in 1889. It was moved from West 143rd Street to West 141st Street and Convent Avenue, according to the NPS.
This photo, taken between 1889 and 1892, shows that St. Luke's Church temporarily used The Grange as a chapel.
Hamilton named the house "The Grange" after his father's family's ancestral home in Scotland, according to the NPS.
An 1892 photo showing the staircase leading from the first to the second floor.
During Hamilton's time, the house was a 90-minute carriage ride from his downtown law office, according to the NPS.
This 1912 photo shows The Grange at its new location, next to St. Luke's Church in New York City. The tower of City College is visible in the right background.
The American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society acquired the Hamilton Grange in 1924, with a goal of restoring it as a historic site and museum, according to the NPS.
This photo shows The Grange between an apartment building and St. Luke's Church in 1925.
An eastward view taken in 1955 showing The Grange's east octagon room.
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Another 1955 photo, this time of the south hall on the first floor. Notice the bust of Hamilton, which he commissioned during his lifetime.
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Laura is the archaeology and Life's Little Mysteries editor at Live Science. She also reports on general science, including paleontology. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in science writing from NYU.