Alexander Hamilton succeeds on Kickstarter

Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years’ raises over $9,000 on Kickstarter

May 11, 2015 – PHOENIX — Historian and independent author Michael E. Newton successfully raised over $9,000 on Kickstarter to fund the publication of ‘Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years,’ which promises to be “a more comprehensive and accurate account of Alexander Hamilton’s formative years.” The book has received rave reviews from Hamilton authors and scholars, helping the Kickstarter campaign reach its goal.

When asked about the success of the Kickstarter campaign, Mr. Newton offered, “Alexander Hamilton is extremely popular right now. He even has a hip-hop musical that was all the rage off Broadway that it is going to Broadway this summer. Americans are curious to learn more about this most remarkable Founding Father and ‘Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years’ offers readers the most accurate and comprehensive account of Alexander Hamilton’s formative years. The great reviews this book has received and the revealing of many new discoveries that will be found in the book during the Kickstarter campaign attracted much attention and drew in prospective readers.” Mr. Newton added, “I would like to thank the many people who pre-ordered copies of ‘Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years,’ thereby supporting the publication of this important work. I would especially like to thank the twelve backers who generously contributed $500 each.” As part of their reward, each of these contributors will have their name included in the acknowledgments. Mr. Newton continued, “These individuals see how important Hamilton is to American society and it is they who made this campaign possible. I am deeply indebted to each of them.”

Two days remain in the campaign, giving interested readers time to support Mr. Newton’s work and to pre-order copies of the book. A signed copy of the book is being given to each backer who pledges forty dollars, the book’s cover price. An unsigned copy can be had with a thirty dollar pledge. The campaign ends at 10 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

Professor Richard Salsman calls Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years a “superb performance.”

The reviews of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years continue to roll in. The latest one comes from Richard Salsman, visiting assistant professor of political science at Duke University:

“In Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years, Michael E. Newton provides a careful, meticulous, and definitive account of the first half of the brief but robust life of Hamilton, arguably the greatest of America’s great founding fathers. Hamilton, we learn, formed himself every bit as much (and more) than his experiences formed him. Newton provides new evidence, objective analysis, and a fresh perspective. Scholarship on Hamilton will only be elevated by this superb performance.”

~Dr. Salsman received his B.A. in Government and Economics from Bowdon College (1981), his M.B.A. from NYU’s Stern School of Business (1988) and his Ph.D. in political economy from Duke University (2012). In the 1980s he was a banker, including at the Bank of New York and Citibank. He is founder and president of InterMarket Forecasting, Inc., an investment consulting firm. Salsman has published two books and dozens of articles on money/banking, forecasting, and political economy. His forthcoming book is The Political Economic of Public Credit.

Just three days remain (until May 13, 2015) to support the publication of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years by pre-ordering your copy today. The Kickstarter campaign has raised over $7,000 so far, but we need your help to reach our $9,000 goal.

Just five days left to support the publication of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years and get a signed copy of the book

I wanted to remind you, those who have been reading this blog for so many years and also the more recent readers, that you only have five days left to support the publication of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years and to pre-order your copy of the book. Pledge $40 (the book’s cover price) and you’ll receive a signed and personally dedicated copy. Where else would you be able to get a signed copy? Yes, you could come hear me talk about Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years at the Museum of American Finance on July  10 but if you can’t, ordering your copy on Kickstarter is your best opportunity. Once this Kickstarter campaign is over, I have no plans to sell signed copies online. So unless you plan to hear me speak in New York City, this might be your best or only chance to get a signed and personally dedicated copy of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years. Unsigned copies are also available for pre-order on Kickstarter for just $30, a 25% discount. There are also volume discounts available if you order through Kickstarter, which won’t be available if you wait until the book is published and buy it through Amazon. Oh yes, and all of these options include FREE SHIPPING.

I would also like to note that the Kickstarter campaign is current $2,400 short of its goal. Kickstarter requires a project to raise its entire amount or the project received no funds and the pledgers do not receive their rewards. As the success of this campaign will go a long way to make Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years successful, I strongly urge you to show your support by pre-ordering your copy and by sharing this Kickstarter project with friends and on your social media. You can point your friends to the many great reviews this book has already received. You can also direct them to the many new discoveries I have posted online, which are only a small portion of what will be found in the book itself. Heck, you can even show them what I believe to be the best cover design for any Alexander Hamilton book. And remember to tell them that they are not just contributing to this important project, but that they will also receive a copy of the book at 25% off the cover price or a signed copy at the cover price, with free shipping as well. With your help, we can propel this campaign to its $9,000 goal and give Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years the boost it needs to gain mainstream attention and receive the recognition it deserves as a work that “surpass[es] every book that has preceded it” (Rand Scholet’s review).

Was Alexander Hamilton a classmate of Jonathan Dayton and Brockholst Livingston at Elizabethtown Academy?

A short excerpt from Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years, including the relevant endnotes:

According to John C. Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton at Elizabethtown Academy studied alongside “Jonathan Dayton, afterwards speaker of the House of Representatives; Brockholst Livingston, subsequently a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, and others who became of note.”* However, Henry Brockholst Livingston, or Brockholst Livingston as he was known to differentiate him from his cousin Henry Livingston, could not have been Hamilton’s schoolmate at Elizabethtown Academy in 1772–73 because he attended the College of New Jersey at Princeton from 1770 to 1774.** Jonathan Dayton, son of Elias Dayton, probably was not a classmate of Hamilton at Elizabethtown Academy either. Dayton graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1776.*** If he attended college for the normal four years, and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise, he would have already left Elizabethtown Academy by the time Hamilton arrived.

* John C. Hamilton, History of the Republic 1:45. See also John C. Hamilton, The Life of Alexander Hamilton 1:8.

** Henry Brockholst Livingston enrolled at the College of New Jersey at Princeton in 1770 and won a “premium” at the September 1771 commencement for “Extempore Exercises in the Latin language” (The Pennsylvania Gazette, October 3, 1771; The Pennsylvania Journal; and the Weekly Advertiser, October 3, 1771; The New-York Journal; or, The General Advertiser, October 3, 1771; The New-York Gazette; and the Weekly Mercury, October 7, 1771; The Boston Evening-Post, October 14, 1771). He graduated in September 1774 and delivered an “English oration on Liberty” at the “Public Commencement” (The Pennsylvania Journal; and the Weekly Advertiser, October 12, 1774; The New-York Journal; or, The General Advertiser, October 20, 1774; The New-York Gazette; and the Weekly Mercury, October 24, 1774).

*** Hatfield, History of Elizabeth, New Jersey 662–663.

Please support the publication of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years by pre-ordering your copy today.

Douglas Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton’s fifth great grandson) reviews Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years

“In 1800, the topic of Alexander Hamilton’s birth was the subject of criticism to which Hamilton remarked ‘there is much mistake.’ He implored his friends to help set the record straight. Most biographers in the succeeding 215 years did little to correct this mistake or the many others regarding Hamilton’s life. Michael E. Newton’s quest to separate fact from fiction fulfills Hamilton’s plea and provides to those who defend his legacy a comprehensive and thoroughly researched tool to promote the true early life of Alexander Hamilton. These corrections to the record combined with new discoveries make this work a most exciting historiography of Alexander Hamilton.”

~ Douglas Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton’s fifth great grandson.

Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years is scheduled for publication in June 2015. Please support the publication of this important work by pre-ordering your copy today.

Debunking History: Alexander Hamilton and the June 1776 raid on the Sandy Hook lighthouse

In addition to discovering many interesting facts pertaining to Alexander Hamilton, which I’ve been sharing with you over the past few weeks, another major goal in writing Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years was to check on stories told about Hamilton, either to verify their accuracy or to debunk them. One such story involving Hamilton was introduced by Ron Chernow in his Alexander Hamilton (page 75). The following extract from Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years analyzes this story:

On June 21, 1776, an American force with some light artillery attacked the Sandy Hook lighthouse in New Jersey, seventeen miles south of New York City. According to biographer Ron Chernow, “Hamilton gallantly led a nighttime attack of one hundred men against the Sandy Hook lighthouse outside New York harbor” and then reported the news to The Royal Danish American Gazette, which printed the account in its issue of August 14, 1776. However, the same report had already appeared in The New-York Gazette; and the Weekly Mercury on June 24, 1776. As The Royal Danish American Gazette printed this account alongside a number of extracts and reports from around the world, it is clear that the St. Croix newspaper simply copied this out of the New York paper. Furthermore, it is known with certainty that Hamilton did not lead the attack. According to contemporary sources, the mission was led by Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Tupper* with Major John Brooks assisting and Captain Jotham Drury in command of the two pieces of artillery. None of these sources mention anything that would suggest Hamilton’s involvement. No one prior to Chernow—not Mulligan, Troup, Fish, John C. Hamilton, no one—ever mentioned Hamilton’s participation. The evidence is clear that Hamilton neither participated in the strike on the lighthouse nor wrote about it afterwards, and he most certainly did not lead the attack.

* A year earlier, Benjamin Tupper led a similar raid against a Boston lighthouse.

Supporting evidence and citations will be found in the endnotes of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years. Please support the publication of this “must have” work by pre-ordering your copy today.

Michael E. Newton on “Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years” and book signing: July 10 at the Museum of American Finance in New York City

I am proud to announce that the Museum of American Finance and The Alexander Hamilton Awareness (AHA) Society have invited me to speak about my new book, Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years, on July 10 in the heart of New York City, mere steps from where Hamilton lived and from where he is buried. The talk will be followed by Q&A, book signing, and viewing of the “Alexander Hamilton: Indispensable Founder and Visionary” exhibit. The Museum of American Finance is located at 48 Wall Street. For more information and to register, visit here.

Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years is scheduled for publication in June 2015. Please support the publication of this important work by pre-ordering your copy today.