I’ve picked up my copy of Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton again. Half way through this incredible 738 page life story. I was affected by this quote that appears on page 353. From a journal entry sometime in the 1840′s recording a conversation with Elizabeth Hamilton about her husband Alexander.
Old Mrs. Hamilton… active in body, clear in mind… talks familiarly of Washtington, Jefferson, and the fathers. I told her how greatly I was interested… on account of her husband’s connection with the government. “He made your government,” said she. “He made your bank. I sat up all night with him to help him do it. Jefferson thought we ought not to have a bank and President Washington thought so. But my husband said, ‘We mush have a Bank.’ I sat up all night, copied out his writing, and the next morning , he carried it to President Washington and we had a bank.”
The night she refers to was when he delivered a 15,000 word document to convince President Washington not to Vito the recently passed bill for a central bank of the United States of America. Jefferson and Madison were against it. This act had an amazing impact on the future of our country – setting the stage for our capitalism based economy, creating the first real argument for broad interpretation of the constitution and invariably the beginning of the political party system. This also shows how Eliza was as much a part of the work her husband did as any other of his advisors; maybe more.