Skip to main content

tv   Relationship Between Washington and Hamilton  CSPAN  July 4, 2017 4:10pm-5:36pm EDT

4:10 pm c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's television companies and is brought to you today by this cable or satellite provider. up next on american history tv, alexander hamilton awareness society president discusses the relationship between alexander hamilton and george washington. he spoke at washington crossing state park in pennsylvania, introducing mr. chalet is the gentleman who portrays george washington at mount vernon. this is about 90 minutes. good evening, everyone. i wanted to welcome everyone to our wonderful presentation tonight. washington's indispensable partner and his interaction with our founding fathers. i was exciteded to introduce
4:11 pm
the -- i forgot to tell you who i am. i am joe kelly, the chapter president. chapter president of the alexander hamilton awareness society of the state of pennsylvania. and i was very proud tonight to -- i was about to introduce our president, but a special guest has asked if they may say a few words. ladies and gentlemen, i have been given the honor tonight and the privilege of introducing our distinguished and special guest. he prefers to call himself a farmer. his accomplishments go far beyond the tilling of the earth. he has served as a member of the house of burgess in virginia and as a delegate to the continental congress. he has received an honorary
4:12 pm
degree of doctors of law from harvard university, yale college and other renowned institutions. he is a member of the american philosophical society, and the president general of the society of cincinnati. in the french and indian war he served as -- as commander of the virginia militia. our guest served also as the commander in chief of the continental army during the war of american independence. he was the presiding officer of the constitutional convention. in 1789 he took the oath of office and was sworn in as our nation's first chief magistrate,
4:13 pm
a position for which he now stands in his second term in office. please, everyone, stand. ladies and gentlemen, i give you his excellency, the president of the united states of america general george washington. [ applause ] >> no need to stand on ceremony. sit yourselves down. what a great pleasure it is, truth be told with mixed emotions that i stand on the banks of the delaware river yet again. there is a great deal of history connected to the delaware, but then again, you all know that. you know, i have read that if
4:14 pm
hiftor yog rafrs would tell the story of the formation of this country it would be given the epithet of fiction, and it will not be believed. i played a small part in that story, but tonight you are going to be illuminated, treated, if you will allow, to a story about a gentleman who played no small part with regard to the formation of this country. a gentleman colonel alexander hamilton who i consider an aide, an adviser, an indispensable secretary and perhaps my closest and the finest adviser. i could elucidate for you all
4:15 pm
with regard to that last, but i think our guest speaker this evening will do a fine and far better job than myself. so to the matters at hand, you will forgive me, i have not only grown gray in the service of my country, but nearly blind as well. [ applause ] our guest speaker is mr. rand chalet. mr. chalet, make no mistake, is an analyst and he covers the early revolution and early constitutional periods. he has been featured as a speaker on c-span at the national park sites throughout, daughters of the american revolution, sons of the american revolution, the museum of american finance, colombia university. that, of course, used to be
4:16 pm
called king's college before the war, hamilton's college, washington's headquarters and other historical societies and locations and venues. he's contributed to articles in "the new york times," cnbc, smithsonian, times, and i'm quite certain i don't know what any of those are. our speaker has 22 years of analytical skills with ibm in unique ways to the field of history. his findings in the essence of alexander hamilton's greatness have given audiences a fresh look at who really deserves the utmost credit for contributing to my successes as well as the vision and foundations that have served our nation so well to
4:17 pm
offer 225 years. today's speaker is currently in his sixth year serving as president of the alexander hamilton awareness society, aha. it is a 501c3 non-profit education association. would you please join me in welcoming a gentleman that has come from the florida, mr. rand chalet, please. [ applause ]
4:18 pm
>> since this is a professional presentation, i will not say here comes the general. here comes the general. we cut that part out. i'd like to thank the friends of the washington crossing park it's great that they have these presentations to help educate and share the history of both the pennsylvania side and the new jersey side including trenton in philadelphia and to c-span's american history tv that shares this across the nation and as well as the world especially with a lot going on with the hamilton musical, there is a lot of world interest in alexander hamilton so it's a great opportunity. thank you, joe. joe had this question when we found out that the aha society was invited up to the grand opening of the museum in philadelphia which i'll talk about in a moment yesterday, and he said well, when you're up how would you like to speak at washington crossing, and i thought about it wondering and i
4:19 pm
said well, i'm not throwing away my shot. i'm not throwing away my shot, so i said yes. i said yes. and you know why? i want to be on the site where it happened, on the site where it happened, the site where it happened ♪ any patriotic american who comes to this spot has to have goosebumps because the difficulty we were in, it was devastating, and it was challenging for not only general washington, and we have a lot at risk. in fact, the thing that's surprising to me that a lot of people don't know in our nation is that this, remember, it was christmas 1776. do you know there was only one week left on their enlistments? it was terrible. it took them so long to make some sense out of it and it wasn't the u.s. army like today.
4:20 pm
it was 13 militias from 13 states and they were finally starting to get their thing together and their act together and there was so much riding on what happened here on this site before they went forward with the treacherous waters just outside of the center here, and so it was really, really special to be here in this prestigious place. washington is an indispensable partner and this is the essence of alexander's legacy, part one. and thanks again to the washington crossing historic park. it was wonderful and a lot of you will look forward to that. there's another person i'd like to introduce for a moment that also was invited to the museum and that is the vice president of the aha society, nicole
4:21 pm
scholet. please stand to be recognized. [ applause ] . many historical organizations are really good on their site. what nicole's been able to do, young people know how to do this especially with social media, websites that connect and we started five and a half years ago, and the work nicole has done and put in place, now that there's an interest in hamilton is invaluable the work that she's done, so i encourage you to look into that. okay. so yesterday in philadelphia, i don't know if you've seen the building. it's a beautiful building. and it's something that's a surprise to us, nicole are walking in to go eat and what did we see? there say bronze relief sculpture, one is the declaration and one is here and it was a chinese-american woman who wanted to say thank you to america, for the freedom and
4:22 pm
opportunity and she funded both of those. i always wanted to be in that iconic picture. i thought about it for many years and sometimes you find a way to get the bucket list done, but mostly i wanted to see the size and scope of it. i'm 6'2", and you can see the brick and it's really, really good. >> you should be proud from here that it's depicted as one of the two quick relieves. it doesn't make sense that i was here today, i was an average history student and a history student. for some reason the teachers had ideas about what the answers should be, and i thought i came up with good answers so i would get bs and krscs, and it was tr false and that's why this presentation is a bit different than what normally happens, so i hope you enjoy this unique way of looking at it.
4:23 pm
so this is how it began. a group of us had just won a softball championship down in florida. we went to celebrate and my friend richard said you know much about sam adams? >> i don't really know anything and sort of related to john adams and he stirred things up and you used to read a book on him and i don't read books on history. okay. i read. i want to let you know that what i just thought of last night is do you know that beer is a gateway drug to american history. watch this. watch this. so the first book i read in history was this book, and i couldn't believe that i read it, i am such a patriotic american, i don't know what this precious person did for our nation, so i'm, like, wow! if this author could get me excited in history, what else
4:24 pm
did he write? a used bookstore owner and it was fascinating and i just kept going and being a type a personality, i just kept going. so i was focused on early american history, and there were these new discoveries and so within the first three and a half years, i read 51,000 pages. seven days a week. sorry, that's just the way i am, and so it was in these clone and constitutional history and the first presidential terms, but the thing that's really strange that i'm here today is the one person i would not study. i studied 46, what i call founding fathers and key contributors to the founding of the nation, the last person wases this guy called alexander hamilton, overbearing, egotistical monarchist, only
4:25 pm
cared aboutwase this guy called alexander hamilton, overbearing, egotistical monarchist, only cared abo this guy called alexander hamilton, overbearing, egotistical monarchist, only cared about rich people and he was in the area of finance and i kaerpt figure it out, but it has, like, six founders in it. okay. it's a short chapter and i'll read this on alexander hamilton. i was in business transformation for ibm and transforming anything that's really, really difficult. jefferson didn't do this, washington did this, and it's important so he did something important, and so then i started reading. i end up reading 44 books on alexander hamilton after thousands of hours on all of the others and it was this weekend in 2011 because my family got tired of every time i'd read more about alexander hamilton. >> so what i did for these 47 people, i was making a list every time and not knowing i would have a purpose, but what they actually did of the 47, and then this list for him just kept
4:26 pm
going and going, and i'm, like, so with the reaction from my neighbors and friends, i was not going to be able to share alexander hamilton, the secret. not only was he not bad, he was a pretty good guy. so it was this weekend and i couldn't figure it out. it was 4:00 in the morning and all of a sudden the thought came to my mind and i should have given up, and this thought came to the ibm consulting in palisades, new jersey. they sent us there for dealing with difficult engagements, and that was in aerospace and automotive industries and i said, boy, this is a difficult engagement. 57 minutes later. boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. for five days it came and restructured and a lot of it didn't and it wasn't necessary anymore, and i'll share with you now is one page that tells the whole story of 51,000 pages and i just finished my 70th book, but i'll share that with you and
4:27 pm
my objective is to share a remarkable record and a very efficient, short amount of time, for someone who really deserves our gratitude. i know this is quite an astute history and knowledgeable crowd and how many have heard this description of george washington? wow! that's a lot. probably 80%. first in war, and first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen. washington played an undispensable part. what does indispensable mean? >> can't do without. >> in their cities and their states, we're talking about washington, who of the key seven founders that i shared with you did the most? >> washington's indispensable partner was second in war.
4:28 pm
second in peace, but soy sad. so together we'll work on this. so what i did, first of all, i'm one person, and i came into this whole thing that was an average american, washington, jefferson and franklin and still they're heroes of mine and that was it. and i was, like, well, what does the rest of the nation think? >> i found a rasmussen here and they're pretty reputable and fair and balanced and they don't do it every year and maybe every ten years. i don't know how frequently they do it, but they said that washington was considered by half the people as the greatest founding father and then john adams and okay, that's who we all believe is the most important founding fathers, and so i took those five as a starting point, and then i took the old -- you'll notice the other names that were in my
4:29 pm
studies, even lesser known, but still incredibly, and it is so great to see our nation and the new museum of the american revolution has a lot of balance and representation of all of the countries and i mean, the women were growing the food that the soldiers needed to eat to grow. they were growing the children that were going to become the next generation, so they didn't write the letters and they didn't file reports and stuff, but just incredible contribution by everybody. so these are all of the ones i had studied and one of the things i had a difficult time with in high school was remembering dates and they're pretty easy to go along with the story and 1776, the declaration of independence, and what? it took us eight years to go from declaring, do you know how many people in the nation fought? >> i asked, a year, year and a
4:30 pm
half. eight difficult years and then, right? we got our independence and then what happened? constitution sprung forth, right? no. it was another five years, and then washington was our first constitutional president of the united states and why do i say constitutional president? because we used to have those who presided over the continental congress and the congress of confederation. they presided and this was the first time an executive branch ever existed and he was the first constitutional president, and then george washington -- i hope he's not here. he passed away december 14th. i don't want to let him in on this news. december 14, 1799. okay, and i also found out a lot of people didn't know about george washington. they thought he just looked good. he does look good, doesn't he? they thought he looked good on the horse and things sort of happened, but they really don't know how awesome.
4:31 pm
there's no real cheerleaders out there and it's just a given and it's great that it's a given, but people don't realize it was eight years that he was the commander of the continental army and then he went back to mount vernon for a while, and then we had the constitutional call and the adoption and ratification for two years. so he came back and presided over that. then he had the first term as president and second term as president and i don't see too many hands on this one, how many people ever heard of the quasi war and know what it is? wow! that's a lot. the quasi war, 1798 to 1800 and because of the jay treaty, we started becoming better trading partners with britain and that upset the french and that startsed taking our sailors and taking our goods and we were pretty impotent because we didn't have any ships and any army so we were pretty susceptible, but the nation was
4:32 pm
determined we're going to war against france. so adams, president adams at the time asked general washington to please come back and serve his country again. we'll talk about it. >> so these are all of the responsibilities for 25 years that george washington served our nation once he became a commander. so then when i did this and i said okay, we'll find out who is really important at each point in time, and in that time slice he contributed to him -- who contributed most to george washington. so i took the four that we all knew about, so five total, and i added these three for my research. john j., alexander hamilton and henry knox and people would say who are you, scholet that you picked those three? and so i -- they said to me very forthly, you've never written a
4:33 pm
book on history. you don't even have a degree in history so who are you trying to pick those three? that's a very good point. fortunately, the next year in 2012, the franklin mint comes out with the seven key founding fathers. [ laughter ] and only knox was not on there. he deserves to be on there. so i was feeling, okay, at least -- something else happened the next year. the greatest resource and many of you don't know about and already in the last three months and two re-enactors and two historians feel their life is changed because of this tool for free. founders online and it is so great. you can say i want to know, who from? george washington and ben franklin and between what month and year and it brings up seven or 12, and you used to have to be important to go into one of the founding fathers' looks or into their line wares and they
4:34 pm
only picked you if you could stay away from the -- and there are real shocks and shifts going on because guess who the six are? the only one and this is just the beginning and they'll be adding john j. and others and i felt good enough to proceed with my presentation. these two things have happened and here's the key. you're an ibmer and you use bar graphs and the average person doesn't do this. you have to be careful and explain what you're doing here. so washington did these things. for each founder, i color coded along that way. if they significantly contributed to washington's success at that time, they got a dark color on the bar graph. if they somewhat contributed, pastel, less color. if they didn't contribute much at all to washington's success
4:35 pm
in the war or during the constitution or during the presidency, white. okay? first of all, why do i say july 2nd -- what's significant about july 2nd? >> i think i heard pieces of it. that is when the delegates declared independence. they had paperwork to present to the public that happened to come out on july 4th and it's funny -- well, it's not funny, but poor john adams wrote to abigail and says a wonderful thing has happened, for generations to come they'll be celebrating july 2nd. it's such a glorious thing. so december 4th, on july 4th is the paperwork and how many signed it? how many signed it on july 4th?
4:36 pm
>> two. it wasn't until august 2nd that the majority of them signed it. so it's just interesting facts. don't really change anything. the more the color for the founding father, the more they -- the less the color white -- less -- okay. on the bottom. we have ben franklin and hopefully you'll see ben franklin, john j., thomas jefferson and jeffrey knox and alexander hamilton. >> you are to find a color. here is the summary and you might have to squint for all of the colors, but we'll see. >> we are aren't even going to start with alexander hamilton because people will say, oh,
4:37 pm
yeah. you're a hamilton guy, look at how you tried to make thomas jefferson look terrible. so you will help me in this exercise. did thomas jefferson put on a uniform? >> no. >> but there were some people who did contribute to washington's success out of uniform, and first of all, it was ben franklin in 1778, the alliance with france. how many people believe we would have won the revolutionary war without the french. please raise your hand and then leave the auditorium. okay. most of the people i've talked to, he helped write our constitution. thomas jefferson is such a great contributor to the constitution. where was thomas jefferson during philadelphia's constitution? in paris. what about when it was ratified
4:38 pm
in the state of virginia? where was he? paris. oh. okay. in fact, in the musical, i don't know if you've seen it yet, but nicole and i saw it a year and a half before it was on broadway, and one of the songs sort of reflects what you see there. thomas jefferson comes back and says ♪ so what did i miss ♪ what did i miss [ laughter ] so then he comes back and found out on the ship back that he was selected as secretary of state while he was away, but he took his time and a year into washington's first term as president he shows up, secretary of state. so you will see that he performed that, and it sort of paids out and i'll talk more about that in a moment. next, let's go over to the three down here.
4:39 pm
what happened in 1783? those three gentlemen. we had john adams, john j. and ben franklin, the treaty of paris. do you think that was important to general washington that we had independence and we were free from having to fight anymore? yes. so they had a contribution to washington during the war. in the middle and i didn't learn this for a number of years that john j. is darker. do you know why? do you know what happened in 1778 in this alliance. france would have to sign off to the peace terms with britain. john j., he's such a low key guy and he said no way, no way, no way a country will determine what the terms are for our independence and john adams were aghast. the french, we only won because of them and money and troops. why would we diss them?
4:40 pm
so john -- and so john adams and ben franklin who had been there and he'd been helping manage our affairs and his, and so thank goodness for ben franklin because they were upset, but he was able through those relationships to get over the hump and explain that we were still good friends, et cetera. so they played. you'll see ben franklin was there for the constitutional convention in the adoption of philadelphia. do you remember that he couldn't get there because he was so gout-filled and they had four or six, i can't remember, that carried him in the cart every day. he did an awful lot to help keep us in the game because there was no perfect answer for anybody, and he had to keep the compromises going. then what happened, he passed away. he passed away within a year of
4:41 pm
washington's term -- no, april of 1790. not that you didn't contribute, you weren't, and john j. helped to write federalist papers and the rat if i kagdz in new york. there, of course, one of the superstars and we'll talk about hamilton and we'll follow. what was john j.'s role during washington's term as president? chief justice of the supreme court, and he did help a bit and they were trying to find those checks and balances, remember? so there was a light relationship there and washington asked john j. over to britain and he played a key role for the executive branch. james madison was a close adviser to washington, but what
4:42 pm
happened was there was a major conflict in my second presentation, and i talk about the vision and very different vision for america and hamilton's vision was just a different vision and washington kept supporting hamilton's policy and vision and so the two of them went in a different direction so they no longer were contributing to washington's presidency. all right. john adams. what was his role when washington was president? vice president of the united states. lastly, of course, he was president. look at all of the color here. he doesn't get a lot of attention, but he is one of the real heroes. he had his artillery here and hamilton reported to him and his role as artillery, early on, and you didn't know there were three different secretaries and then he started in the presidential term and you had some which have
4:43 pm
made and left. >> behind the colors, those are the facts, but if you look at the color there. there are new founders and look at what they have on their website. it is so nice. by design, hamilton is placed directly next to washington as a testament to their close relationship. okay. so who was washington's indispensable partner in war and peace for over 22 years? very good. very good. george washington is looking for talent and now we'll get to what hamilton did, and you can see the details of why he deserves the coloring. so he writes in january to colonel reed, and he says --
4:44 pm
people have asked me to put it -- general washington says at present, my time is so much taken up at my desk that i'm obliged to neglect many other essential parts of my duty, and it is absolutely necessary for me to have persons that can think for me as well as execute orders. and so he kept asking his major general, find these people, find these people and he would bring them back up into the family. >> so this is what alexander hamilton did during the revolutionary war. this is what he said about alexander hamilton. he was my principal and most confidential aide. why didn't we ever hear about hamilton? this is a quote from general washington, and within 15 or 20 fetal most the whole time and hamilton wasn't only a write-in aide, he was also a riding.
4:45 pm
he would take them out into the field and he'd put himself at risk. he was a french interpreter. where did he learn french? where was he born? in the caribbean, his mother was a french huguenot, and they went to st. croix which is a danish and avis was british, but yes. so we talked about speaking these languages were key and people think oh, lafayette was always around and no, he was out fighting and hamilton had a lot to do. they had i baa band from prussid it was key to watch it, and something about, i don't know what it was, but the french officers loved hamilton. the camaraderie, his ability to communicate back and forth.
4:46 pm
that was very special and washington put him in charge of prisoner exchanges. you know what they were? double agent and they would act like i'm coming to your side and they would steal information and go back to the other side so hamilton was trusted with this very important role. hamilton led the correspondence for washington, about 50% of the correspondence are in alexander hamilton's writing. he wrote to congress, and he made likes look good from headquarters, and he was the spymaster and he's sorting them all out. he outperformed the pull prit rin. the big one was actually hamilton. >> there are efforts to get hem out of washington because, you
4:47 pm
know there were washington battles and there was a lot of temptation for general lee to take over and why don't we get a winner there was the thinking and there were friends of his this congress. it was very challenging and hamilton intercepted kidnapping of washington. so that was part of his network. when hamilton left an aide to camp, but washington needed him, and no one could do what hamilton could do by his side and so finally hamilton said i really need to move on. in two and a half years there was no one oriented like hamilton after the monmouth. when the opportunity came george washington did give him his command finally of the light infantry, and he was one of the two key heroes of yorktown. and that gave him credibility for what we talked about later. now the confederation congress and we talked about continental
4:48 pm
congress, and the next one was called con res called congressional congress. we had to fill a minister of finance. what do you think about hamilton in that and in 1781, do you know how old hamilton was? 24 years old and they're asking this question and right now he's working on washington's staff. i apologize, but there are only four quotes, and it's washington's words and again, this gives credibility to how washington felt about hamilton. washington replied how far colonel hamilton of whom you asked my opinion as a financier has turned his thoughts to that particular study, i'm unable to answer because i never answered upon a discussion on this point with him, but this i can venture to advance from a thorough knowledge of him, that there are
4:49 pm
few men to be found of his age who has a more general knowledge than he possesses and none whose soul is more firmly engaged in the cause or who exceeds him in probity and stoling virtue. what we've heard about hamilton is terrible manners and terrible this. george washington was the expert at judging character and he had hamilton as the most important person of every key time during the war and peace. his character was outstanding and the mischaracterization is why none of us cared about hamilton until more recently. so -- do you know that alexander am thatition called for the constitution in philadelphia? i was in philadelphia and they said oh, yeah, we were in philadelphia and independence hall. how did it get to be here in the first place? i think -- i think madison had something to do with it? yes, he did.
4:50 pm
it was held in man's taf and earn it was in 1786 before the constitutional convention and there were real issues as the general mentioned and all diffe that point in time. and if you wanted to cross a river, you had to pay the other state money to go across their river, or if you wanted to trade goods, they had exchanges like we had with other countries. they got together for that purpose. hamilton said you're not going to fix the commerce issues if we don't fix this. so alexander hamilton wrote. and do you know what it said in the report? the states should gather next may in philadelphia for the purpose of improving on our current constitution. sort of important. and if you read, it is only three pages. it is masterful. it had to inspire people to show
4:51 pm
up. and then he was one of many who encouraged washington to preside over it. what hamilton said is what good is it to win the war if you don't set it upon the proper foundation? and that was one of the persuasive points. hamilton set the bar high and there are so many negative things about what hamilton did at the constitution. when you hear what hamilton did, you -- maybe there is one or two of you, you will not believe what he did, who asked him to do it and the effect of it. it is just really incredible. hamilton also served on the key committees of setting the rules, which determined the success of the convention. which is what you see today, the words and the structure of all the ideas that were worked in the different committees. the ratification. some people thought that getting it approved by 39 delegates was
4:52 pm
a big deal and it was. but guess what? now you had to go to the states and they asked to people to vote on it. there were no schools for the majority of people. so it was really high risk. how did hamilton lead the ratification and the approval? whose heard of the federalist papers? it is great that more people have heard of it. it is really called the federalist essays. they talk about hamilton being one of the co-writers, co-authors. get what? he's the father. it was his idea on the hudson river. and then he got jon jay to join. two months later, madison comes to new york because that's where the congress was at the time of the confederation and he joined the team and there were two others that hamilton had. hamilton did it. and he got the printing house,
4:53 pm
which is rare. usually you have to pay up front. they were putting out three or four of these federalist essays a week. and it was under one name. hamilton outlined it, got the authors. so then he led the new york ratification convention to victory. what each of the states did, this is fascinating. each of the states took a straw poll when they started. in virginia it was 84-84, their starting point. at the end, randolph came over and virginia, 89-79. look what hamilton had to lead in new york. 46 came in against it. only 19 for. guess who presided offer the convention in new york? the governor, clinton. who was a vowed nay sayer for this and he helped next and had them sign a loyalty oath that they would never ratify the u.s.
4:54 pm
constitution. now, in the second talk i talk a lot more about it, but i am letting you know the impact of what he did. it was victory yous six weeks later. hamilton speak three to six hours a day. just really incredible. during the first presidential term, what did hamilton do? he led the implication of the u.s. constitution. that's a pretty bold statement. if you look at the constitution, it's an awesome document. this is the whole constitution that runs our whole government. here is section two. this is the executive branch. it tells you how old you have to be. it tells how we get rid of you and your basic responsibilities. but we don't have a functioning government. this is a promise. someone had to figure out why we wanted to do it and why it was better than other options. so hamilton -- and how did he do
4:55 pm
that? one, he changed the whole balance of things where the legislative -- where the big deal up until then. hamilton said no. we have difficult problems. we have to solve them. so that's where the executive got a broader role. i asked a guy with a master's in finance, i said, all these smart people got together and created our constitution. what weif all the smart people t together and created our financial system. i never thought about that. one person. one person. from my analysis there have to be two pillars to be stronger than any country. this government system will fall in no time. people have taken our constitution. if you don't have an economic strength, then it doesn't matter how great the constitution s. that's in the second talk, too. it is mind boggling what he did.
4:56 pm
washington asked his different friends, what should i do? i've been a general. i don't know what to do as president. hamilton said this do this and washington executed it his whole eight years. so that was quite remarkable. and it's not lastly, but i put it last is he was secretary of treasury. this is the first bank of the united states and we have partnered with the friends to open this thing. it was closed to the public for 30-some years. it will be a number of years, but it did kick off. it is right across the street from the new museum. so you walk out one door and go into the door of another. this is what hamilton said when that was done at treasury in the executive branch. dear, sir. after a long experience of your public services, i am naturally led at this moment of your
4:57 pm
departure from office, which has always been to my wish to prevent it to review your services and every relation which you have born to me. my confidence in your talents, exertions and integrity has been well placed. i render this testimony because i speak from opportunities of information, which cannot deceive me and which furnish satisfactory proof of your title to public regard. my most earnest wishes for your happiness will attend you in your retirement and you may assure yourself of esteem. regard and friendship. people have analyzed all the different signatures of george washington. this is the most caring one, your affectionate. it's usually your obedient servant, so it shows the respect he had. you heard about that evil
4:58 pm
hamilton and his taxation on whisky. terrible. that was not the point. hamilton realized that the big producers, it wasn't a problem. it was the small producers in western pennsylvania. he said to them let's work something out. i see that it's not helping you. they didn't want to cooperate. so hamilton convinced general washington to put on the uniform and ride to western pennsylvania. do you know that george washington had 12,600 soldiers under him, more than he ever had during the revolutionary war going to the whisky rebel yen. he went halfway, lee came up and who continued? alexander hamilton. hamilton said if we're going to have trade and rebuild our nation, we have to be neutral to everybody. almost all the other people in washington's cabinet says this is just disrespectful and
4:59 pm
uncaring. but hamilton was right. he said if they get friends with one, then they go to war. we don't have an army. we don't have a navy. but it was a big rift in washington. so with the anti-federalists and the jefr syrians. the jay treaty, i didn't know this for a long time either. hamilton wrote the whole strategy. i never knew it was hamilton's strategy that was put together for that very important -- because with that we got the right to trade and have commerce with caribbean, which was the international trade, all the sugar. and the first treaty of parties, we didn't have that right. indian relations, it was originally called the hamilton academy. now it's hamilton college. he also was very enlightened about blacks and slavery, saying i believe they have the same capabilities as us except for
5:00 pm
their station in life. he had mixed troops in yorktown and co-founded the first african school in manhattan. he really, counter to this guy we all have this opinion, he really is a dear, caring, refugees from france that came over, he just -- took him into his house, petitioned congress to get him land. just so caring and he continued to be influential even when he left partway through the second term. and whenever george washington felt that the public was not feeling comfortable with the policies, the only person he asked to explain it -- and he didn't just explain it in one thing. he wrote dozens of essays for every topic. no one else is doing this in the executive branch but hamilton.
5:01 pm
this is the most shocking one to most of you. who wrote washington's farewell belov beloved address. james madison put it together when washington might have left after the first term. so washington took that and said here's some more line items i'd like to be part of it. or you can write your own. hamilton did both and washington liked the second one. but what hamilton did, washington traditional, it made sense, but he was just going to create the summary of all the things that his administration had done and hamilton said no, no, no. the nation needs guidance for the future, so he turned the whole thing around. to this day, it is still one of the most motivating important things. they were washington's points, they were things he and hamilton had worked for the last seven, eight years on, but it was
5:02 pm
hamilton's words and organizations. i have a book to go through every step of what hamilton want and what words washington changed. that's pretty fascinating. the last part is the war with france. remember, president adams went to washington. so happy not to be president anymore. not going to be president anymore. and he got a communique from the president saying you must come and serve your country again. washington said, okay, on two conditions. number one, i will be inactive until the actual fighting begins. number two, i will define the order of the major generals that report to me. george washington took a colonel and made him second in command major general of the military,
5:03 pm
the inspector general. some of you may know that alexander hamilton founded in 1790 the coast guard. what most people do not know is what's upcoming. second in command, the active major general of all of the u.s. military, alexander hamilton led the implementation of the army, navy and marines. people say, no, no, no, it's 1775. that's true in essence, but that was the continental army. in 1784 all of our materials were shuttled, sold off. it was no more. in fact, the anti-federalists said no way, you are not going to have a standing army or navy because if we give it to you you will be tempted to use it. we did not have it when we
5:04 pm
started our constitutional form of government. in fact, it wasn't until 1794, washington said five years later, 1794, congress gave the first permission called the naval act of 17 -- that said we give you the right to do it in the future. it wasn't done until hamilton. he formally proposed westpoint to teach officers. it didn't get implemented. thomas jefferson did implement it in 1802. but it was for engineers. it really followed jefferson's engineering and scientific interests, so they were engineers. what did that lead us to? the war of 1812. pathetic. did anyone study and read about the generals we had around and how terrible it was? so again hamilton was right and
5:05 pm
now the military academy is for officers. i have to tell you this is the last. we're at the end. hang in there. washington usually is a person of few words, but that's why this is so profound because when adams said, no, what are you doing? this violates everything that hamilton's second in command. i mean, this is against all military procedures. it should be general nox. anyone who had those general rules, you just don't change it. they have the right. they earned it. they're the ones that should be second in command and thereavenuthere df. this is what he wrote. i did a few underlines. those are mine to get a little pace and focus through this. i apologize for its length, but it's important. it is something he didn't want to do at times to draw comparisons and i shall avoid it as much as possible. i have no hesitation in declaring that if the public is to be derived of the services of colonel hamilton in the military
5:06 pm
line at the post he was des tinned to fill. i couldn't leave it. george washington is now saying he's december tinned to be the person to lead our military. and this sentiment of the public i think to venture to pronounce. although colonel hamilton has never acted in the character of a general officer, yet his opportunities as the principal and most confidential aid of the commander in chief, washington, afforded him the means of viewing everything on a larger scale than those whose intentions were confined to divisions and begradere good da. having served with usualfulness in the old congress, the general convention, the constitutional convention and having filled one of the most important
5:07 pm
departments in government has placed him on height ground and made him respected in the united states -- oh, sorry. there's so much. i had to. this is the end of it. this is the end of it. sorry about that. made him respected in the united states and even in europe. but some he is considered an ambitious man and therefore a dangerous one. and some of the unfair historians and authors will just say george washington said by some he's considered an ambitious man and they do not continue. his am birgs i shall readily grant but it is of the laudable kind. he is enterprising quick in his perceptions and his judgment intuitivety great. qualities essential to a great military character and i repeat his loss to the military will be irreparable. and we don't know who this guy was, alexander hamilton.
5:08 pm
we've heard about him. something happened recently. but why didn't we know about him. okay. this is that last couple of slides. if you look at all those things, jefferson did not do them. madison did not do them. ben franklin had passed away. i mean, it is really, really true that they were real partners in war and peace. this is the summary that hamilton's success was dependant on washington, as they say. it must be nice. it must be nice to have washington on your side. and it was because hamilton's ideas had a chance to prove themselves. but down in the bottom you will say it was hamilton in the second presentation he created the vision for america. so it was also true, it must be nice, it must be nice to have hamilton on your side. they were the power duo of the
5:09 pm
1790s under the constitution. madison and hamilton were the power duo in the 1790s as they were trying to move from the old to the new. two big questions for you. whose assistance did george washington rely on most extensively during the revolutionary war, the whisky rebel yan and the war with france? you're right. whose vision to president washington, george washington rely on during his two terms as u.s. president for both the government and economic systems? >> alexander hamilton. >> good. very good. alexander hamilton was george washington's indispensable partner in war and peace for over 22 years. this is noted. if you are into history, and i
5:10 pm
know a number of you are, you likely heard of thomas fleming. he has written over 50 books. he's revered and just incredible. he had a great summary. listen to what -- if george washington was the indispensable man, then alexander hamilton was the indispensable man's indispensable's man. all right. so we completed the presentation on indispensable partner. now, i carefully called this the partner presentation. first i was going to call it the dual presentation, but with hamilton, it's really not. two presentations. okay. and in the next one, hopefully in the future, it would be nice to share, he was america's
5:11 pm
indispensable founder and visionary. i compare eight components of the various visions and find out from which founding father do we live with today. alexander hamilton created the vision and foundations upon which the united states -- united states of america achieved greatness. it was an incredible story. our society, if you want to learn more, there is an awful lot hamilton did. i want to keep it to an hour. i just want to thank you for being here tonight. [ applause ] >> it's really glorious to come
5:12 pm
to a place like washington crossing because you know the difficulties. you know the challenges. a lot of people take it for granted. so it means a lot that you're here. we're going to move into questions and answers. if you would please be succinct with your question, like give a hot of people an opportunity. i am going to give you a few ideas. the microphone will be coming around. so get ready for that. you may have heard there is something going on in broadway. it's hamilton. the richard rogers theater. now it's over many, many different locations around the nation. it is in chicago. it's in san francisco now and moving on to a number of places and include e ed london in octo. yeah, philly finally. it's probably the year after because they do it -- they do september to march kind of thing. what we're finding -- unless you
5:13 pm
have some new news, you have to buy the whole season. kennedy center, never in their history have they sold so many and they made them buy two seasons of tickets to have the right to get hamilton tickets. so you can ask questions about that. oh. oh, sorry. i don't know who put that there. that's the creative genius. he plays hamilton. there's the other hamilton. and the opening night in the red carpet. nicole and i were proud to represent our society and hamilton on the red carpet. this is from hamilton college. i had been up there a few weeks before to talk about it because a lot of the college people heard, this is great, but is this all hype. so it was great to share the substance mind the stobehind th.
5:14 pm
u.s. currency of course, he's a ten. i mean, he's on the ten. okay. and we partnered with him on the 20s and it was quite a scary ten months when the secretary of treasury said that hamilton, we're going to make room for a woman and that's great and we supported that, but the women wanted women on the 20s. we thought that was great. hamilton is on the 10. that's wonderful. finally after nine or ten months and all the different -- i think we have 120 articles and comments trying to convince the secretary to stay with it and we supported it. of course the musical had a lot to do with it. this is an incredible book. it is new. it is the first half of hamilton's life. and this person has fact, fact, fact. he's put all the supporting of it in the back. but this is completely accurate. when he was going to write the book, all of us had questions,
5:15 pm
checked this out, is this write. he has resolved. it is solid. it is awesome. so if you read other books and you want the first half of his life through 1782, we encourage you to get that one. these are the real strong ones. what's really nice, it's only 225 pages. he's just incredible. a great summary. if you're not one that reads a lot, just to become inspired. of course the book that was utilized inspired the musical. just wonderful person as well. forest mcdonald no longer with us, but he wrote a book of what was the strategy and brilliance behind what he did and it is really insightful on that. so we're at a point where we can -- if you wanted to raise your hand and we can ask some questions about hamilton and his role and misunderstandings about him or you thought this about him because there are a lot of
5:16 pm
misunderstandings about hamilton. yes, sir? >> since hamilton was so instrumental in writing the constitution, what are your thoughts about the constitutional convention call that is going around? >> there is also -- what is interesting about our nation is that it's imperfect. just that it's the best the world has ever seen. so there are dimensions of it and we may be strong in some areas. if you look at every ten years of our kpis teexistence, we hav strengths and weaknesses. the american people are responsible for changing what we feel is wrong or incorrect about it. it is a big responsibility we have. it would be nice to blame other people. we send our representatives. we can write. we can support. it is always difficult. do you see what happened with the founding fathers in that time frame? you're seeing something really nice, right? there were a lot of people against it. people felt that the state was sufficient. we just got rid of a national
5:17 pm
government called britain. why would we ever want to put another one in place? this is what's beautiful about our country. it is not perfect. it's up to all of us to study, to fight for what we believe in. it's never going to be perfect and we're never all going to agree. it just has to be the best on earth. people are running here from all over the world. they tell us, you don't know how great you have it. so when we have imperfections. we've had it with women and minorities, but we found a way to breakthrough it. it is an opportunity to make it better. that's what our country is, and to vote. so it's -- thank you for that question. it's not perfect. it is just the best there is. yes, sir? >> i'm a schoolteacher. i teach eighth graders u.s. history, and we look at hamilton really hard. and we look at his farewell address from president washington.
5:18 pm
my kids, they know exactly what it says in there about debt and passing it on to pros terty and our country is about $20 trillion in debt. what do we tell these kids about their future and these politicians who pile debt on them and nobody seems to know what's in the farewell address, nobody. >> yeah. >> nobody cares. >> there is a lot of caring, but there is a lot of lack of understanding at times, but that is the imperfection of our republican form of government. and hamilton, which is rarely told, is he was the one who fought for a sinking fund that said before there is no any spending, he recommended to congress any amount of spending had to be masked with the plan called a sinking fund to pay it off. it had to be all the interest and a part of the principal. today it is imperfect. it is messy. it is frustrating. but it is a journey we have to
5:19 pm
continue to fight, educate and work on. it is never -- comments like that happened in 1820s, 1840s, 1860s, 1900s, 1920s, 1940s, 1960s, 1980s, 2000, now, you're always going to be disappointed. and there is things where we get better and things will get worse. it is really a terrible burden. but guess what? it is our responsibility and it is never going to be perfect and there is always going to be disappointment but we have to continue to fight because we own the nation. there is no great answer, but it's up to each of us to care and keep working and keep working with the representatives. it is the reality. it is messy and difficult and it always had been. yes, who's next? >> well, in response to what this gentleman said, i think most people realize that alexander hamilton assumed the
5:20 pm
debts of the respective states after the revolutionary war. united states government would be responsible for the debts of the states and not the debt -- and not the states themselves. that certainly got america on a firm footing. and i think, not to get very political about that, but that set a precedent for president obama bailing out banks -- >> sir, what is your question? >> what? >> i'm not finding what your question is for me. >> well, no, my question is that hamilton believed that debt was necessary in certain cases, that borrowing money was necessary in certain cases. >> that's a great. i'm so glad you mention it. i get really into it in my second talk because this is about helping washington, but it's a good question.
5:21 pm
alexander hamilton needed to unburden our nation. we got our independence, 1783, and then we started disintegrating confederations of states. we couldn't find a way to pay for it. it was a disaster. hamilton brought it together and did something really crazy when you think about it. he said not only are we going to pay the federal debt we owe, but we will take the state debt as well. the dutch loved it. the investors in the u.s. loved it. but it had to be paid off. the debt already existed. some people said, hey, it was a war. that was a debt. it is gone. let's start fresh. you know what hamilton said? no. you cannot be respected as a nation if you don't pay your debts. and because of the respect that hamilton is doing, we got loans to rebuild. but he got it -- do you know hamilton started september 11th, 1789 as secretary of treasury.
5:22 pm
do you know in 1793 we had a budget surplus? two years later, our u.s. notes were trading 10% above par in london over london's own money. so there are difficulties, and we have to work through them. but, yeah, i mean, there is good and it's challenging. it is difficult. a representative constitution forming up is difficult. that's why i loved everyone's passion and stuff. yes? there is a question in the back. >> there was only one president that said off the debt to zero, and that was jackson. >> jackson. >> and, so, what this gentleman is talking about and what that gentleman is talking about is all, you know, subsequent to debt creation. but the only way we got it is because hamilton was a good trader, right? he sat down with jefferson, madison and deflected the debts.
5:23 pm
so, you know, i -- i don't know. but out of this whole discussion, you know, it's hamilton, but how do you feel about jefferson and his relationship with hamilton? >> this is what i feel about jefferson because he -- that's good. i was, too. i was, too, and i still am to some respects. they both cared. let's be honest. those are the two major visions and leaders of our parties back in the '70s, just the reality of it and both of them cared about our nation. there is no question about it. bless you. jefferson really felt that the agriculture. hamilton thought we had to manufacture our own goods and have commerce that would carry the products that the farmers
5:24 pm
would make. so i admire both of them. it is just that hamilton was more worldly because he came from where? caribbean, center of international trade and he learned about trades and good and stuff. so it is just what jefferson believed in was valid. so that's great. the thing -- but hamilton had this ability to sin the sies all the even ligtenment thinkers and say adam smith was right about this and he found the balance. and this is what president washington recognized about hamilton. and, so, that's why -- it's always fun for hammel tone yans, which i am a proud american. i do support hamilton, but being american is more important. and it was hamilton's plan to pay off the debt that was paid off in president jackson's term that he gets credit for.
5:25 pm
and what did president jackson then do? he terminated the national banks so in 1836, the 20-year charter went poof. what happened one year later? financial panic of 1837. and then what happened? the financial panic of 1839. and then we had civil war and just -- i mean, it was not something to be proud of. but the thing is you've got to be care. i would have been a jefr syrian back then. this is sophisticated financial stuff that's above most of us. it isplicatcomplicated. they play a vital role in our nation to move funds around the most efficiently to meet the needs of the overall public. so another question, one or two, and we'll -- yes? and you. and then you because you had one
5:26 pm
earlier. and then one more over on this side. >> hamilton was a pretty passionate abolitionist, correct? >> yes. >> and i'm curious. i think it was the manumessin society. what was his role in the debate in the constitution on slavery, which was acrimonious? was he a leading voice for the elimination of slavery during that process or not? >> that's a great question. that was a difficult point in time in our nation. there were some things we wish we could do, but if we did some of those things, we couldn't start getting our nation right. so all of them had an agreement. i can't say all of them. most of them had an agreement that we have enough difficult things to work out for a few years, so they put off the decision about slavery for 20 years and no more importation. so there were just a lot to --
5:27 pm
there were a lot of complicated things. so those that were -- that supported it and respect for all people, there were some things that they had to buy their time. so it was sad, but it was a reality. and look at how imperfect our nation has been for 242 years. but what other nations say about us? the best. and we're not perfect. and we do dumb things and we eastbound and we flow and it is people like you that are dissatisfied we make changes over time. the only way to change is to have a king or a queen that makes all the decisions and believe me that person will not know more than the collective adjustments. two more. >> i'm trying to think of a proper way to phrase. this when i was in college a wrote a few papers on hamilton and one of them was to argue how the
5:28 pm
personality of hamilton is the reason why we have our political parties and basically our political atmosphere, how intense everybody is. i mean, you could see just from the questions in here within ten minutes. but i just wanted to know what your opinion was, if you agreed. >> the issue was that the reason that hamilton has had such a terrible reputation overall is because of the next 40 years after washington, hamilton and adams for a little bit left. it was governed by the anti-federalists. they did a beautiful effective job at characterizing hamilton as evil and mean and terrible. and that's why most of us never heard about him. there is a few people that study and get through that layer and it is like, you feel lonely. you feel that -- so when you
5:29 pm
really study -- in fact, nicole one of the things she admired the most was how he treated and respected native americans, the africans and the slaves and women and read his report on manufacturing. he really was caring. in fact, the times he has most difficult is when he's helping other people and he got tripped up a couple of times. he was a very caring person. and sometimes like tough love. you know, some of the kids will say, my parents are mean. they're really terrible to me. but that's sometimes what you need to govern the children. so hamilton had to do the tough stuff. he said i would love to design these systems for how i wish people were, but alas, i must design for how i find them. so it was convenient for other people to say, oh, these glorious inspiring words and thomas jefferson does that and i
5:30 pm
admire that and it inspires our nation and has for a long time. i say he was the poet of america. hamilton was the prose of america. so you may have heard that it's jefr syrian ends by hamilton means. it is a long means before we get to some of those. but that's -- that's what it was. it was not his character. that's why our website gets rid of the mischaracterization and why the book is so important because it has all been battled. i wrote some things on there about hamilton. is he really -- was he born in 1755 or '57? '57. were the stevens really his father? no. did he have african ancestry? no. was he gay? not that we know of. so the literature is pretty amazing. they have characterized him so
5:31 pm
effectively. what we're so excited about the musical is people say, gee, i want to at least learn about him. i ask you why would george washington, responsible for a whole nation depend on alexander hamilton during the war and during the constitution and during the presidency? answer that question. why did jefferson and madison leave and leave support? why did president washington not -- why was he not willing to receive their letters for the last two or three years of his life? just look at the reality of that. but i do understand the mischaracterization. and we get letters all the time in the society. go refute this person. go refute that person. i said, it is going to take a while for people to learn who he really was. and you being here today gives you a chance to hear what it is. and hopefully somebody is saying washington is not going to have this nut case or mean person to other people. washington wouldn't stand with it. in fact, if you read the books and we have and analyze it,
5:32 pm
almost all the negative nasty things are by his to moopposers. and washington kept supporting it. and so that's what keeps being commented on in the books and the literature for a couple hundred years with some ebb and flows. so that's the challenge for us. that's why i couldn't stand him in the beginning. but it is such a lie. it is such a joy when you get through that mischaracterization. it is a very awesome thing. it goes from a mean, nasty person to, oh, my goodness. what we gave up, what he did. our economic system, the evennvf the world. washington used him for every policy in our administration. that should help you to breakthrough this. and the universities since fdr
5:33 pm
had a great impact on jefr syrian being denied and the memorial being built and the textbooks since then were all jefferson. see, i'm an ibmer. that's why i wasn't good in history and english because i couldn't figure out what were the four most important reasons why we won the revolutionary war. facts. look at the facts. and the next presentation, the reason i share this presentation first is because it is about washington. you know why i did that? because we generally, no pun intended, we generally love washington. when you learn to know that washington loved to rely on hamilton, then you're more receptive for the second presentation of who set the vision for our nation and what are the foundations that we live with today and who contributed to them? i thank you very much. [ applause ]
5:34 pm
>> this holiday weekend, on american history tv on c-span 3, tonight at 8:00 p.m. david talks about how the founders, particularly john adams valued education, viewed slavery and persevered in the face of hardship. >> he grew up on a farm where they had no money. his mother was illiterate. his father could read the bible in the house because that was the only book. and they worked hard every day from childhood on. but because he got a scholarship to this little college in cambridge called harvard and as he said discovered books that read forever, he became the john adams that helped change the world.
5:35 pm
>> go to >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and the brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. each week, american history tv's american artifacts visits museums, archives and historic places. on every day of the year except december 25th, thousands of tourists from the united states and around the world take a short boat ride from either lower manhattan or new jersey to visit the statue of liberty and ellis island. up next, american history tv visited the national historic landmark to learn the story behind the gift from france, wh


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on