Alexander Hamilton

Between the East Drive and the Great Lawn is the monument to the American politician Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804). The figure of Hamilton stands with one hand gripping a roll of documents and the other resting in the opening of his vest.

The statue was donated to Central Park in 1880 by one of Hamilton’s sons, John C. Hamilton. He commissioned the German-American artist Carl H. Conrads to create the likeness of his father based after a 1778 bust of Hamilton by the Italian sculptor Giuseppe Ceracchi. The figure is made completely from carved granite.

Hamilton had many accomplishments. He was a co-author of the Federalist Papers, the first Secretary of the Treasury for the United States, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was also a notable New Yorker. Having first traveled to the City as an orphaned teen in pursuit of an education, he became a longtime resident of the Manhattan neighborhood now known as Hamilton Heights and ultimately built a country estate in Harlem called the Grange, which still exists. After losing his life in a duel with political rival Aaron Burr in 1804, Hamilton was buried in Lower Manhattan’s Trinity Church cemetery.

While Hamilton was well-known during the 19th century, he was not as widely recognized as he is today. Roughly 500 people attended the 1880 monument dedication. In comparison, more than 2,000 attended the 1876 dedication of the monument to American statesman Daniel Webster. His recent fame is due to the popularity of Hamilton: An American Musical, which debuted in 2015 and has made this statue and other Hamilton sites in New York destinations for both New Yorkers and tourists.

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