Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > New York City History > 39. Alexander Hamilton

39a.  Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827).  Portrait of Alexander Hamilton. Watercolor on ivory, (4.5 x 3.5 cm.), ca. 1780. Office of Art Properties

39b.  Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton (1757-1854).  Gold double-band wedding ring of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, and wedding handkerchiefs of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton, 1780. RBML, Hamilton Memorabilia

American portrait painter, naturalist, and patriot, Charles Willson Peale was a distinguished painter of American statesmen of the Revolutionary era; of George Washington alone, he painted some sixty portraits. This miniature of Hamilton (1755-1804) is thought to have been painted in 1780, the year of his marriage, at the instance of his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. She is credited with embroidering the silk mat. At the time, Hamilton was serving as Washington's secretary and aide-de-camp. He studied at King's College in 1773 and 1774, but his education was interrupted by the American Revolution. The renamed Columbia College granted him an honorary master's degree in 1788.

(Portrait) Gift of Edmund Astley Prentiss; (Wedding Ring and Handkerchiefs) Gift of Furman University Library through the suggestion and assistance of the Hamilton family descendents: Mrs. Marie Hamilton Barrett and Mrs. Elizabeth Schuyler Campbell, 1988

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