Thursday, July 16, 2015

the last book I ever read (Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, excerpt two)

from Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow:

Elizabethtown, New Jersey—today plain Elizabeth—was chartered by George II and ranked as the colony’s oldest English community. It was a small, idyllic village graced with orchards, two churches, a stone bridge arching over the Elizabeth River, and windmills dispersed among the salt meadows outside of town. Located on the grounds of the Presbyterian church, the Elizabethtown Academy occupied a two-story building topped by a cupola. Its headmaster, Francis Barber, was a recent graduate of the College of New Jersey (henceforth called Princeton, its much later name) and was only five years older than Hamilton. He was a dashing figure, with a high forehead, heavy eyebrows, and a small, prim mouth. Steeped in the classic and with reform-minded political sympathies, he was in many ways an ideal preceptor for Hamilton. He would see combat duty on the patriotic side during the revolution and would find himself at Yorktown, in a startling inversion, under the direct command of his West Indian pupil.

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