Siblings: Alexander Hamilton Jr., Angelica Hamilton and Eliza Hamilton Holly. James Alexander Hamilton, John Church Hamilton. Philip Hamilton. William S. Hamilton.
Family: Alexander Hamilton, Father
Mother: Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton
Who was Philip Hamilton?
Alexander Hamilton’s eldest child, Philip Hamilton, was the eighth of eight children. His father was one of America’s founding fathers and the first Secretary of the Treasury. Philip was nine years old when he was sent to Trenton Boarding School, New Jersey. He later joined Columbia College. His father had also graduated from Columbia College. He went on to study law after he graduated. He excelled in school and was loved by his father who encouraged him to continue the family’s legacy. His father’s hopes were crushed when Philip died in a duel with George Eacker. George Eacker had made disparaging remarks about his father. Three years later, his father was also fatally wounded in a duel with George Eacker, a political rival who was fighting the same gun.
Philip Hamilton Childhood and Early Life
Philip Hamilton was born in Albany, New York on 22 January 1782 to Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Hamilton. He was the oldest of eight siblings, and a favorite of his father. His father was one of America’s founding fathers and the first Secretary of the Treasury. From September 1789 to January 17,95, he was responsible for the finances of the newly formed country. His mother was also the co-founder and first owner of a private orphanage in New York City. Philip Schuyler was his maternal grandfather and a General in the American Revolution. He was also a Senator from New York.
Philip Hamilton, nine years old, was sent to Trenton Boarding School, New Jersey. He was joined by Alexander three years later. He kept in touch with his father through frequent letters while he was at boarding school.
Philip was seriously ill in 1797. His father sought out the best doctors and medications to help him. He was a close friend to William Frazer, who became the rector at Saint Michael’s Church.
Later, he joined Columbia College from which his father had also graduated. His instructors were proud of his bright academic abilities and hoped that he would be as successful as his father. He received his degree in 1800 with honors and then decided to pursue law school. His father was his mentor, guide and mentor. He set up a strict schedule for work to help him manage the rigorous law school studies. His father considered him to be the brightest among his children. He had high hopes for Philip, believing that he would carry the family name forward after completing his law degree.
Philip Hamilton Fatal Duel
Philip was 19 when he faced George Eacker (a 27-year-old lawyer) for making disparaging remarks about his father during a Columbia University speech. Eacker was a strong supporter for the Republican movement and President Thomas Jefferson. Alexander Hamilton was his opponent. Eacker was also a strong supporter for Vice President Aaron Burr who later killed Alexander in a duel. Eacker accused Alexander in his speech of trying to overthrow him to impose monarchy.
Philip learned about the speech from the newspaper and was insulted by comments about his family. He got into an argument at a theatre with Eacker four months after the speech. During the argument, George called Philip, his friend Richard Price, “Rascals”, which was highly derogatory back then. In the end, Philip and his friend challenged George Eacker for a duel.
The duel was held at Weehawken in New Jersey. After two shots exchanged, Eacker faced Richard Price. Both were unhurt. Philip was his next opponent, on November 23, 1801.
Philip’s father suggested that he adopt the option delope. This is the practice of throwing away the first shot in a pistol duel to stop it from going ahead. Philip did as his father advised and didn’t lift his pistol until he had completed the steps and turned around. Eacker, too, did not raise his pistol for a long time, but after taking the steps and turning around, he raised it and fired at Philip. Philip fell to the ground after the bullet lodged in his left arm.
Philip fired a shot just before he fell to the ground, but it did not strike Eacker. He was left bleeding on the ground, but he did not show any emotions other than satisfaction at living up to his dignity. Philip was transported to the New York aunt’s house by Doctor Hosack. However, nothing could be done to stop his bleeding and he died on November 24, 1801, just 14 hours after he was shot.
Although Philip didn’t show any signs or pain, his father and grandfather were devastated by their loss. His father was the most grieving and needed to be assisted. His father was fatally injured in a duel with Aaron Burr three years later. Although Burr was not tried for the illegal duel it ended his political career.
Philip Hamilton was a bright student at his college and a top student in his law class. His father and teachers saw great potential for him. His career ended abruptly before it could begin because of his sudden death in the duel against George Eacker, to protect the honour of his family.
Philip was described as intelligent and well-looking like his father. Philip was a skilled orator, and he had the same sense of pride as his father.
His family was adversely affected by Philip Hamilton’s early death. Angelica Hamilton, his younger sister, suffered a mental breakdown that she never recovered from. She was unable to recognize other family members and behaved as though her brother was still living.
Her parents never recovered from the shock at losing their oldest son. After his death, his mother gave birth to her youngest son and named him Philip.