On This Date in History: If Tiger Woods could have had the skill of Alexander Hamilton, he might not be in the situation that he finds himself in now. But, not only would he need the skills of one of our founding fathers, he also need someone like Hamilton’s accomodating wife.
Alexander Hamilton’s face is on the $10 dollar bill. He was a confidant of General Washington and served as the first Secretary of the Treasury. He had a strong political disagreement with Thomas Jefferson as Jefferson favored a weak central government and Hamilton wanted a strong central government in relation to the power of the states. But, Hamilton had a way of rubbing people the wrong way beyond politics. He was known to duel to end disputes and was eventually gunned down in a duel by Aaron Burr, who was the sitting Vice-President at the time. What caused Hamilton to get in so many scrapes and raise the ire of so many people? This little tale may shed some light and make one ponder how he got to have his face on our money.
Hamilton apparently had flowing red hair and deep blue eyes and ladies found him quite aluring. He was married with children but his reputation as a ladies man persisted. In 1791, a woman came to his door asking for money, claiming that her husband had left she and her child destitute. Maria Reynolds did not receive money during that visit. Instead, Hamilton went to her boardinghouse room with $30 and then proceeded to take advantage of the situation. That was the beginning of a long affair. Eventually, she even visited him at his home when his family was away. All was fine until Mr. Reynolds showed up again.
Reynolds demanded financial satisfaction for his wife’s favors. On this date in 1791, Alexander Hamilton paid Reynolds $1000 to keep quiet. This did not end the affair though as Reynolds even encouraged Hamiton to continue as he wrote, “I find when ever you have been with her she is Chearful and kind. but when you have not in some time she is Quite the Reverse.” (note the grammatical errors) All was still fine until Reynolds got arrested for his involvement in a scam involving phony veterans claims. In an effort to gain his freedom, he hinted that the Secretary of the Treasury had been involved. Three Congressmen, including James Monroe, confronted Hamilton who produced 20 blackmail notes as a way of showing his innocence, claiming that he had but one mistaken dalliance. Hamilton must have had some pretty good bull because they bought it and the matter was dropped…until a drunken publisher who was not fond of Hamilton, James Callender, printed a widely circulated pamphlet detailing the sordid affair.
Curiously, Hamilton did not have a duel with Callender but instead published all of the blackmail letters. That did nothing but elevate suspicions that extend to this day. While the letters did have some grammatical and spelling errors, the vocabulary used was of a very educated indivicual which Mr. Reynolds was not. Speculation is that Hamilton may have forged the letters in an attempt to cover up his own corruption. Nevertheless, I suppose that all went away with the gunshot from Aaron Burr. All was forgotten and Hamilton ended up on the $10 bill. It is quite interesting what scandals are remembered by history and which are forgotten. One who seemed to forget was Hamilton’s wife, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton.
On this date in 1780, the Hamilton’s were newlyweds, having married just 8 days before. But, Alex’s eye for the ladies was not blinded. Nevertheless, Elizabeth not only seemed to look the other way, she publically defended her husband against charges of philandering. She also demanded for years that James Monroe apologize for his charges of Hamilton’s malfeasance in the Reynolds affair. Somehow, I don’t think that Tiger’s wife is taking the same route as Elizabeth Hamilton and that may not be too bad. See, Elizabeth outlived her gunned-down husband by 50 years.
Weather Bottom Line: Get your Christmas shopping done today when we see some sunshine and moderating temperatures. That’s because it all goes down from here. Rain chances increase as a storm system comes around the bend out of the southwest and ejects northeast. It will pass us to the west and we stay in the warm sector….which means rain. It’s a deep low that will probably bring blizzard conditions to the plains. Our rain chances go up with the temperatures on Wednesday and Christmas Eve looks to be especially wet and dreary. Christmas morning we’ll see wet streets, not white lawns. Now,this guy looks to become occluded and sluggish so we may see some snow for Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the GFS advertises a lot of wrap around moisture broadly spread through the Ohio Valley. Most likely it would be extremely light and largely insignificant except that it indicates that we return to colder than average temperatures after the brief, milder and wetter holiday from the chilly conditions we’ve seen.