Category Archives: Author

“Alexander Hamilton’s Revolutionary War Service” by Michael E. Newton at Washington’s Headquarters in Morristown, NJ

The AHA Society presents a talk by author and historian Michael E. Newton on Alexander Hamilton’s indispensable services during the Revolutionary War, followed by a book signing of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years. The talk took place at Washington’s Headquarters Museum, Morristown – NJ, as part of the third day of Events of the CelebrateHAMILTON 2015.

Michael E. Newton talks about ‘Alexander Hamilton Before the American Revolution’ on C-SPAN American History TV

My apologies for posting this at such a late date but I only now noticed that I never shared this on my blog (you may have seen it on my other social media sites).

C-SPAN’s description: “Michael E. Newton talked about his book, Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years, about the early life of the Founding Father from the West Indies. Mr. Newton talked about his research process and how Hamilton’s early experiences helped prepare him to become one of the most influential of the Founding Fathers.”

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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).

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.

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.

Stephen Knott’s review of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years

I am honored to share with you a review of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years written by Stephen F. Knott.

“Michael E. Newton’s Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years offers the most detailed examination of Hamilton’s early life that I have ever read. Every question and controversy related to this remarkable founding father is presented in a painstakingly thorough and evenhanded manner. I’m somewhat in awe of the task Michael E. Newton has undertaken—he has certainly done his due diligence regarding Alexander Hamilton. This is an invaluable resource, a must have, for serious scholars and students who are interested in the life of Alexander Hamilton.”

~ Stephen F. Knott is a Professor of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College. He is the author of Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth, a book I highly recommend, and a number of other works. He is also the co-author of Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America, which will be published in September 2015.

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.

HamilTEN Questions with Michael E. Newton

I was recently interviewed about my new book, Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years, for the very first issue of “HamilTEN Questions.”

1. How were you first introduced to Alexander Hamilton?

I’ve always been a fan of history, especially American history and most especially the American Revolution and Founding. As a child, I read books on the major Founding Fathers—Washington, Jefferson, Franklin. Oddly, Hamilton was missing, though he appeared in many of those other books. In 2004, I read Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, which I believe was the first Hamilton bio I read.

 2. Why did you decide to write a book about Alexander Hamilton?

After reading Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton in 2004, I did nothing more with Hamilton for a while. When I wrote Angry Mobs and Founding Fathers (published in 2011), I was surprised to learn that Hamilton was not only involved in virtually every aspect of the American Revolution and Founding, but also that nearly everything he did and even the facts of his life are surrounded by so much controversy. It was then that I decided I needed to learn more about Hamilton, that I needed to know whether Hamilton was an indispensable Founding Father who Washington relied on and the Federalists followed, or if he was the villain that Jefferson portrayed him to be.

3. What separates your book from what is already out there in the Hamiltonian literature?

Aside from the many new discoveries presented in Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years, I focused on separating the facts of Hamilton’s life from the many uncorroborated tales that have been told. Instead of simply repeating what previous Hamilton biographers have written, I examined every assertion to ensure that they are backed up by solid evidence, eyewitness testimony, or objective analysis of the relevant evidence. If they are not, I determine the plausibility of that information.

This means that many interesting stories about Hamilton have been debunked or shown to be based on flimsy evidence, but it also enables us to find new details that previously had been overlooked…

Click here to continue reading this interview.

You can pre-order your copy of Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years at Kickstarter.

Alexander Hamilton recommended for appointment as adjutant general when just 20-years old

Another new discovery that will appear in Alexander Hamilton: The Formative Years.

In November 1777, Timothy Pickering decided to step down as adjutant general. To replace him, Pickering recommended twenty-year-old Alexander Hamilton, even though he was not old enough to vote and had only served as Washington’s aide for a mere nine months. Pickering told Congressman Elbridge Gerry, “I do not know how the office would suit Colo. Hamilton, the General’s aid-de-camp. I once asked him why the General did not appoint him instead of sending for me? He replied his youth was a material objection. He is young, tis true; but he possesses all the stability of mature age, genius rarely to be equalled, and a most excellent heart. In a word, he is a great character.”

Alexander Hamilton, however, was deathly ill at this time and away from headquarters after having been sent northward to retrieve troops from Horatio Gates and Israel Putnam. Accordingly, Pickering told Gerry that Hamilton “unfortunately fell sick” after “he was sent by his Excellency to Genl. Gates with orders respecting the march of the northern troops.” As a result, Pickering said, “I cannot possibly quit my present office till someone is ready to take it, & Colo. Hamilton’s absence increases the difficulty. Were he present I could at once commit the business to him.”  Had he not fallen ill, Hamilton probably would have become acting adjutant general and may have been appointed to the position. In his absence, Congress “unanimously elected” Alexander Scammell.

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