Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America
Stephen F. Knott, Tony Williams
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"Washington and Hamilton were the duo that made the Revolution and the Constitution work; Knott and Williams are the duo that explain how." -Richard Brookhiser, author of Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln
In the wake of the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers faced a daunting task: overcome their competing visions to build a new nation, the likes of which the world had never seen. Washington and Hamilton chronicles the unlikely collaboration between two conflicting characters working together to protect their hard-won freedoms. Yet while Washington and Hamilton's different personalities often led to fruitful collaboration, their conflicting ideals also tested the boundaries of their relationship-and threatened the future of the new republic.
From the rumblings of the American Revolution through the fractious Constitutional Convention and America's turbulent first years, this captivating history reveals the stunning impact of this unlikely duo that set the United States on the path to becoming a superpower.
"In a sweeping narrative enlivened by vivid details, Stephen Knott and Tony Williams provide fascinating insights that illuminate the collaboration between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton while carefully tracing the contours of their characters . . . as entertaining as it is informative." -David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, authors of Washington's Circle: The Creation of the President and Henry Clay: The Essential American
was quoted by Justice Joseph Story as saying that Hamilton’s “reach of thought was so far beyond [his]” that by Hamilton’s side he felt like a “schoolboy.”5 It is not too much of a stretch to proclaim Hamilton a genius at what he referred to in the Federalist Papers as the “science of politics.” He was a horrible politician, but as a nation builder and strategic thinker, he was without parallel. Hamilton was able, as historian Darren Staloff has noted, to transform “the federal government from
September, in DGW, 3:271–75. 85.2 September 1774, in Adams, Diary and Autobiography, 2:120. 86.Beeman, Our Lives, Our Fortunes, and Our Sacred Honor, 123–32. 87.GW to Robert McKenzie, 9 October 1774, in PGWCol, 10:171–72. 88.“Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress,” 14 October 1774, in Morison, Sources and Documents, 119. 89.Beeman, Our Lives, Our Fortunes, 155–62. 90.Ketchum, Divided Loyalties, 299. 91.Ibid. 92.“A Full Vindication of the Measures of the Congress,” 15
camp. He urged the men to attend religious services “to implore the blessings of heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.”17 The general even issued orders for his men to cease skinny-dipping in front of ladies and other passersby. The Continental army was to be a disciplined, moral army under Washington’s command. Washington had many other problems to contend with while establishing his army. He begged Congress and nearby states to supply his army with adequate weapons, gunpowder,
army to compel the Congress to pay the army. As their commander, he had an obligation “to arrest on the spot, the foot that stood wavering on a tremendous precipice; to prevent the officers from being taken by surprise while their passions were all inflamed, and to rescue them from plunging themselves into a gulf of civil horror from which there might be no receding.” He continued to hope that the officers would act with moderation but urged Hamilton to convince Congress to pay them. Otherwise,
have had a place in the imagination of any serious mind.” He cautioned Hamilton that “the army is a dangerous instrument to play with.” It would set a dangerous precedent at the birth of the republic. For Washington, statesmen such as himself must provide moderate leadership. His last word to Hamilton on the matter ended with an expression of hope that the Congress would pay the army before its neglect caused real disorder. In Washington’s view, the army and Congress had sacred obligations to