The Alexander Hamilton Quiz

By: Kate Kershner

The Alexander Hamilton Quiz
Image: © Francis G. Mayer/Corbis

About This Quiz

You've read all the books. You've seen all the documentaries. You've memorized the all lyrics. Okay, you didn't, but you know all the words to the musical "Hamilton." Take this quiz to see if that's enough to give you an expert knowledge of Alexander Hamilton.
Where was Hamilton born?
the West Indies
He was born on the islands of Nevis.
New York state
New Jersey

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What year was Hamilton born?
1755
1757
Uh, 1755 or 1757?
There's evidence to support both 1755 and 1757 as Hamilton's birthdate, so guess away.

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What scandalous circumstances was Hamilton born into?
His father was an actor.
His mother was married to someone who wasn't his father.
She had left (or been kicked out) of her marriage when she met James Hamilton, Alexander's father.
His parents eloped without their folks' blessing.

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Hamilton's dad:
fought those who lodged charges of bigamy towards his wife
became a successful landowner
left the family when Hamilton was a child
He left the family destitute.

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Hamilton was orphaned at around 12 years old when his mother died. He was given up to a cousin who:
he later inherited a fortune from
committed suicide months later
Seriously, it's hard-knock life.
sent him to America for formal education

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After his mother's death, a wealthy merchant named Thomas Stevens became his guardian. What do some historians speculate about their relationship?
that Hamilton and Stevens had an enduring affair
that Hamilton and Stevens were half-brothers
that Stevens was Hamilton's biological father
Thomas Stevens' son and Hamilton looked uncannily alike, and it was long rumored that Thomas Stevens and Hamilton's mother Rachel had an affair.

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As a teenager, Hamilton was given what large responsibility?
He had to cook his company's books.
He was left in charge of the office he was clerking for while the owner went abroad.
Imagine being put in charge of the office you're interning for. As a 16-year old.
He was elected mayor of St. Croix.

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Hamilton came to America to study where?
Harvard
Columbia
Elizabethtown Academy
Elizabethtown Academy was a grammar school.

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Who else went to Elizabethtown Academy?
John Quincy Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Aaron Burr
Burr was there a bit earlier than Hamilton.

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Where did Hamilton study at university?
Princeton
Harvard
Columbia
Although it was King's College then, Hamilton attended what is now Columbia University.

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In the Revolutionary War, Hamilton was eventually asked to:
brainstorm a national anthem
join General George Washington as an aide
Hamilton became a senior insider with Washington.
stop annoying his other officers by breaking out in song

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During the Constitutional Convention, Hamilton proposed:
that all the states should be named after native birds
presidents and senators could serve life terms
The suggestion made a few people think he was getting suspiciously close to suggesting a monarchy.
that women should vote

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What important document did Hamilton sign?
the Constitution of the United States
Hamilton is the one leaning into Benjamin Franklin in Howard Chandler Christy's famous "Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States" painting.
the Declaration of Independence
both

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Hamilton married:
Elizabeth Schuyler, from a posh New York family
He and Eliza had 8 children.
Martha Washington's niece
no one, and had a reputation as a swinging bachelor his whole life

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After the war Hamilton worked briefly in what profession:
as a farmer
as a lawyer
But the lure of office kept calling…
as an accountant

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Who wrote The Federalist Papers with Hamilton?
John Jay and James Madison
Hamilton wrote the bulk of the papers, but Jay and Madison both contributed.
John Jay and Thomas Jefferson
John Adams and James Madison

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What was the pseudonym used for the Federalist Papers?
Hilarious
Publius
To honor Publius Valerius Publicola's founding of the Roman Republic.
Americanus Rex

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What was the main thrust of the Federalist Papers?
government should play a small, decentralized role
the Constitution should be ratified
Remember that Hamilton, Monroe and Jay were all trying to get the Constitution ratified, so the Papers were essentially campaign materials.
government should be for the people, but not by the people

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Hamilton also wrote letters to newspapers defending the Constitution. What pseudonym did he use?
Flintrock Dominus
Talemander Gamilson
Caesar
Too bad he chose Caesar, because Flintrock Dominus might've really whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

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What position was Hamilton given in George Washington's government?
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury
Hamilton became the Boy Banking Wonder. (No one called him that.)
Secretary of the Interior

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Hamilton proposed:
a National Bank
a National Mint
both
Although the National Bank didn't last long, the National Mint became an important part of the American economy.

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What party did Hamilton become the leader of?
the Federalist Party
Although he wasn't a fan of political parties, Hamilton eventually led the Federalists.
the Republican Party
the Democratic Party

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Who was Hamilton's rival in the Federalist Party?
John Adams
Hamilton even tried to subvert Adams' nomination for president, although they were members of the same party.
James Monroe
Thomas Jefferson

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To sabotage Adams' second candidacy for president, Hamilton did what?
published a hit piece on Adams' character
Although it was meant to be privately shared, good old Aaron Burr published "The Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq., President of the United States" — putting another nail in Hamilton's political coffin.
promised Aaron Burr he would help elect him
threw his own hat into the nominating ring

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Hamilton was one of the first American politicians to be embroiled in what kind of scandal:
embezzlement scandal
sex scandal
In 1797, Hamilton was outed for an affair with a married woman, whose husband was linked to financial fraud. By publishing his letters to her, Hamilton proved he didn't commit any crime — but did have to acknowledge the affair.
bribery scandal

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Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr were both tied to win the presidency in 1800. Who did Hamilton urge the Federalists to support?
neither
Hamilton
Jefferson
Jefferson was a nemesis of the Federalist Party (and Hamilton), but Hamilton was none-too-pleased with Burr's publication. While the Federalists elected Hamilton, they were largely dismissive and distrustful of him from that point on.

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But Hamilton wasn't done yet. How did he counter Burr once again, even after he was out of public office?
He drew a political cartoon portraying Burr as a weasel.
He had an affair with Burr's wife.
He supported Burr's Republican opponent when Burr ran for governor of New York.
Although Hamilton's opposition probably didn't influence the election, Burr did lose.

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Aaron Burr finally challenged Hamilton to a duel over what?
the lack of endorsement in the gubernatorial election
claims that Hamilton held a "despicable opinion" of him
A newspaper published that Hamilton claimed at a dinner party that he couldn't stand Burr.
a rumor that Hamilton was going to publish a pamphlet detailing Burr's ineptitude as a politician

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Who fired shots during the duel on July 11, 1804?
both men
Only Hamilton was hit, however, and died on July 12, 1804 of his wounds.
only Burr
neither; Hamilton was wounded by a bullet from Burr's son

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What's your name, man?
Just call me A-Ham.
Hamilton!
Alexander Hamilton. My name is Alexander Hamilton.
If you don't get the question, just you wait. JUST YOU WAIT.

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You Got:
/30
© Francis G. Mayer/Corbis

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