January 11th, 2017

book cover - tpbol

Cabinet: Alexander Hamilton

Today is the anniversary of Alexander Hamilton's birth, though we're not quite sure which anniversary it is. The first US Secretary of the Treasury (1789-95), was born on January 11 in either 1755 or 1757 in Charlestown, the capital of the Caribbean island nation Nevis (at the time, part of the British West Indies). When he took office, therefore, he was either 32 years 243 days old, or 34 years 243 days old, the youngest or the second-youngest Cabinet Secretary ever (8th Attorney General Richard Rush was 33 years 165 days old when he took office in February 1814). Hamilton was killed in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr in 1804, and is pictured on the ten dollar bill.
book cover - tpbol

Presidential parents: James Knox Polk

On this date in 1852, Jane Knox Polk died at the age of 75. She was the fourth woman to live long enough to see her son become President of the United States (James was President from 1845 to 1849). She was the first Presidential parent to outlive her President-son. James died three months after leaving office, while Jane outlived seven of her ten children.
book cover - rtvp

Second Lady Sophia Dallas

On this date in 1869, Sophia Chew Nicklin Dallas (the widow of 11th Vice President George M. Dallas) died at the age of 70. Philadelphia-born, she married George in 1816, and had eight children. She spent most of her husband's term of office (1845-49) in Philadelphia, because of her dislike of the capital, and made only occasional visits to Washington.