Alexander Hamilton Estate Document Signed by Constitutional Congress Members and Signers of the Constitution Incl. Gov. William Morris, 1804
Hamilton, Alexander (1755-1804). Vice President of the United States (1800-1804). Document signed by Governeur Morris, Rufus King, Egbert Benson, Oliver Wolcott, and Charles Wilkes. November 29, 1804. Measures 6.5 x 6 in. with frame 9.5 x 12 in.
Political tensions ran so high in American politics in the 19th century that many resulted in gentlemen challenging each other to a duel. The most famous casualty of honor was Alexander Hamilton. He dramatically died in a duel against the New York politician and 1800 presidential candidate, Aaron Burr. Fierce political opponents, Burr and Hamilton truly despised each other. Hamilton expressed his "despicable opinion" of Burr at a New York dinner party. One of the guests overheard Hamilton's insults and wrote to a friend. The Albany Register published the scandalous letter. Burr challenged Hamilton to the fatal duel, which resulted in Hamilton's "murder" and Burr's arrest.
Despite his adept policies with the National Bank, Hamilton was miserably in debt before his death. In order to save his large family from his poor finances the five trustees of his estate (all close friends) purchased shares of his estate to defray his expenses. The certificate offered here is a product of their efforts.
Many of the men who signed this document were influential political leaders:
Governeur Morris (1752-1862) signed the US Constitution and the Articles of Confederation. He was a very close friend to Hamilton and delivered his eulogy.
Rufus King (1755-1827) also signed the Constitution and was a US senator. He pleaded that Hamilton not accept the duel.
Egbert Benson (1746-1833) was a member of Congress and the Constitutional Convention like King and Morris.
Oliver Wolcott (1726-1797) succeeded Hamilton as the Secretary of Treasury and hosted the party where Hamilton railed against Burr.
Charles Wilkes (1764-1833) was a long time friend and admirer of Hamilton and president of the Bank of New York.
The men succeeded in saving the Hamilton family from complete financial ruin.
Some foxing on the paper, but has not been observed outside of the frame.