[Portrait of Alexander Hamilton]

Alexander Hamilton

The Man Who Made Modern America

Historical Exhibit at Middletown Thrall Library

June 1 to June 30, 2007
at Middletown Thrall Library


About the Exhibit

Middletown Thrall Library is honored to host the national traveling exhibition Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York City. This exhibit and life size Hamilton/Burr statues will be displayed at the library the entire month of June.

Most Americans know that Hamilton's face is on the ten dollar bill and that he died in that famous duel with Aaron Burr but, beyond that, he has been overshadowed by other founding fathers. However, his views and ideas among all the founders were the most modern - the power of the press, the need for a strong federal government, the need for a strong treasury, a national banking system, a stock market, and a mixed economy, not one only focused on farming.

Using reproductions from the New York Historical Society's and Gilder Lehrman Institute's collections, this exhibit will examine Hamilton's central role during the Revolutionary War and Founding period in creating the economic, constitutional, social, journalistic, political, and foreign policy templates for modern America.

Dr. Robert McDonald, Professor of History, United States Military Academy at West Point will be our keynote speaker for this exhibit. Patrons may remember his lectures on George Washington when the library hosted that traveling exhibit The Great Experiment: George Washington and the American Republic in 2003.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, June 6, 2007, 7 - 8 pm: Grand Opening of the Exhibit with keynote speaker, historian Dr. Robert McDonald, United States Military Academy, at West Point. Lecture: Hamilton vs. Jefferson: A Battle of Ideas

Tuesday, June 12, 2007, 7:00 pm: Favorite Son. 57 minutes. Directed by Michael Bober. This documentary explores the life of Alexander Hamilton, his relationship with George Washington, his military and political superior who also served as a father-figure to young Hamilton. In addition to chronicling Hamilton's role in the American Revolution, it focuses on the ratification of the Constitution, creating the financial structure of the United States while acting as President Washington's Secretary of the Treasury. This film also considers the complex questions of slavery and racism, capitalism and industrialization.

Wednesday June 20, 2007 7 - 8 pm: Lecture: Hamilton vs. Jefferson: A Battle in Print by Dr. Robert McDonald, United States Military Academy at West Point

Wednesday, June 27, 2007, 7 - 8 pm: Lecture: Alexander Hamilton: Founding Father of America's Financial Institutions by Dr. James A. Griesemer, Associate Professor of Business, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, New York.

Thursday, June 28, 2007, 7:00 pm: Duel: Hamilton vs. Burr. 70 minutes. Did Hamilton really fire his shot in the air? Did Burr really intend to kill his long-time rival? Why did these two statesmen end up targeting each other on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River in 1804? Expert historians hosted by Richard Dreyfuss debate the many facets of this deadly exchange. This video was provided by The History Channel.

All programs are FREE, and the public is warmly invited to attend. Please contact the library for more information or if special accommodations are needed: 341-5479 or thrall16@warwick.net.

For more information, please call 341-5479 or use our Ask a Librarian service.

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Image credit (portrait): U.S. Treasury Department