Despite what pop culture might have you believe, Alexander Hamilton’s ties to New York City extend well beyond the bright lights of Broadway. From his time as an undergrad at Columbia to years practicing law and finance Downtown, Hamilton left a lasting legacy on the city. While you might not be able to score that prized ticket to Broadway sensation Hamilton, there are other ways to experience Manhattan through the lens of one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers. Here’s Alexander Hamilton’s Lower Manhattan.
The father of American capitalism, Alexander Hamilton’s impact on the USA’s financial system is second to none. Not only did he found America’s oldest bank, Bank of New York (now BNY Mellon), but as the first Secretary of the Treasury he created the U.S. Mint along with the first government-run bank. A pleasant 15-minute walk from the Duane Street Hotel, The Museum of American Finance is fittingly located in the heart of the country’s financial capital. But even more fittingly perhaps is the fact that it resides in the same building once occupied by Hamilton’s Bank of New York.
Museum of American Finance. 48 Wall St, New York, NY. (212) 908-4110
Hamilton infamously instigated the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791 when the federal government adopted his plan to tax domestic spirits to help pay off national debt. But that doesn’t mean the man didn’t fancy himself a cocktail. Frequenting New York taverns to drink with the locals during his time as a lawyer in the Big Apple, Hamilton would have felt at home in The Whiskey Ward. Bourbon barrel bar tables and dark brick walls give the cozy hangout a colonial feel, and the rare whiskey list, with offerings like Jefferson’s Presidential Select 25 Yr Rye, adds a Founding-Father spin.
The Whiskey Ward. 121 Essex St, New York, NY. (212) 477-2998
Exemplary on the battlefield, Hamilton rose through the ranks to become General George Washington’s Chief Staff Aide during the Revolutionary War. Eventually becoming the first President’s leading cabinet member, Hamilton would no doubt revel in the beautiful Greenwich Village park memorializing his old friend and commander, set at the foot of Fifth Avenue in Lower Manhattan.
Washington Square Park. New York, NY.
82 Jane Street
Hamilton died from a gunshot wound sustained during the most famous duel in American history. After taking a direct shot to the lower abdomen from sitting Vice President Aaron Burr, Hamilton was brought by boat from New Jersey to his doctor’s home in the West Village—what is now 82 Jane Street. The site is marked by a plaque and although the original building has long been replaced, tenants have claimed to see a white-wigged figure wearing colonial garb roaming the halls from time to time. Take a stroll by—you never know if you might catch a glimpse.
82 Jane Street, New York, NY.
For an up close and personal experience with Hamilton, head to the Trinity Church Cemetery on Broadway and Wall Street in the Financial District. Here you’ll find his name on the largest tombstone in the cemetery—next to the church, which has since been reconstructed, he attended regularly with his family.
Trinity Church Cemetery. 209 Broadway, New York, NY. (212) 602-0800