Timeline of Alexander Hamilton’s Attendance at Elizabethtown Academy and King’s College

Alexander Hamilton enrolled at Elizabethtown Academy in the fall of 1772 where, according to John C. Hamilton, he spent a winter “accustomed to labour until midnight” and a summer when “it was his habit to retire at dawn to the quiet of a neighbouring cemetery . . . preparing his lessons for the day.” In the fall of 1773, Hamilton applied for admission into the College of New Jersey, whose commencement each year took place on the last Wednesday of September. When the school denied his request to advance at an accelerate pace, it was too late to be admitted into King’s College for the 1773–74 school year because its commencement had already taken place in May. Hamilton, therefore, entered King’s College in the autumn of 1773 “as a private student” and was officially admitted in May 1774 at the next commencement. He studied at King’s College until “the American Revolution supervened” but “never graduated; the College having been broken up before his course of Studies was completed.”

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


2 responses to “Timeline of Alexander Hamilton’s Attendance at Elizabethtown Academy and King’s College

  1. Is Kings the modern Columbia University? Great scholarship from you.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • You are correct. King’s College was the predecessor to Columbia. Interestingly, after the American Revolution, Hamilton was instrumental in reopening King’s/Columbia (but that’s for another volume).

      Thanks. There has been much debate about how Hamilton could have been at King’s in 1773 if he didn’t matriculate until 1774. Additionally, no one until now has been able to explain why Hamilton entered as a “private student.”

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