Hamalong Pt IV

Yes, yes, that should be a V.   But sadly, it is not.   And even sadder, I was only 3 days behind.   I finished the reading on Sunday, but I didn’t write about it and so didn’t start reading the next section and now I’ve got 12 chapters to read by next Thursday.   Soooo not gonna happen, but I will try to be better.  I seem to manage to be good only for 3 or 4 days and then I just pick up something else to read and here we are.   Where is that?   Darned if I can remember.   A. Hamilton compromised once in his life (was that this section?) and it was a Good Thing.   He worked out a deal with Jefferson and Madison and Progress was made.   This never happened again, apparently.  This is a shame because Hamilton had some excellent ideas.   Like having a bank.   I see this, of course, as a two-edged sword.   Banks can be all the bad things their detractors think they are.   On the other hand, do I want to keep my money in my mattress?  I do not.

Hamilton had some interesting blind spots, and by interesting, I mean annoying and stupid.   One of these was his dear friend William Duer who, when hired at the Treasury speculated in bank scrip.   Far from seeing any need to be disinterested he used his insider information for all it was worth.   And then some.   He eventually speculated far too much and Alexander refused to pull his ass out of the fire.   Good for you, Alexander, but how much better if you’d kept your friend out of your business.   Duer’s rampant speculation helped destroy Hamilton’s attempt at a textile factory and factory town.   Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.   The children were so busy laboring they could only be schooled on Sunday.   In some things, it’s not good to be ahead of your time.

Hamilton’s next biggest blind spot, or maybe biggest, hard to tell, was when he started catting around with freaky chick Maria Reynolds.   It seems pretty sure that she showed up with the whole idea of compromising him sexually and then blackmailing him, that she and her husband planned this together and that Hamilton was a complete and total patsy.   We all know he liked the ladies, but he seemed to like this one an awful lot and as is usual with these things, it’s very difficult for anyone who is not him to see why.  He was a chump and he paid dearly for it.   I feel rather sorry for him as she writes him clinging, desperate letters all about how her husband discovered the truth.   Shouldn’t this sordid West Indies childhood have armored you against falling for this, Alex?

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I’m sure I’m forgetting important stuff.   He founded the treasury and the mint, which was given to Jefferson, much to Hamilton’s annoyance.   Helped found the Bank of the United States and steered us all into the great capitalist experiment that became the U.S.A.  He did so much to help form the early government that it’s difficult to remember it all.  And I forgot to even mention how Jefferson hit on Angelica Church.   Jefferson really doesn’t come off well in this book.   And like others in this group I feel I should read books about Jefferson, Adams and others to get a more complete picture, though I probably won’t, even though this book is giving me a far more complete picture of early American history than I have ever had.

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