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Guide to the Alexander Morgan Hamilton Family Photograph Collection
[1895]-1948, n.d.
(Bulk 1905-1948)
 PR 103

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Jennifer Lewis

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on December 13, 2011
Description is in English.

Biographical Note

Alexander Morgan Hamilton, grandson of financier John Pierpont Morgan and great-great-grandson of the first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, was active in New York City government, the New York Republican Party and a variety of civic and social clubs. Born in New York City in 1903, he graduated from St. Paul's School in 1921 and Harvard in 1924. He served as President of the New York Young Republicans Club and made an unsuccessful run for the state senate in 1930. Hamilton was appointed as Deputy Commissioner in Charge of Weights and Measures in New York City's Department of Markets in 1934; he was referred to as "one-dollar Hamilton" after requesting only a symbolic salary of one dollar per year for the position. A rift with Mayor LaGuardia prompted him to resign from the position in 1935. Hamilton served in the Marine Corps during World War II, eventually rising to the rank of major. In his later years he took an interest in conservation and preservation work, serving as president of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society and as secretary-treasurer of the American Museum of Immigration at the Statue of Liberty National Monument. He received an award from the United States Department of the Interior for his efforts.

Alexander Hamilton received a divorce from his first wife, Katherine Comly Hamilton, in Reno in 1935, and later that same day married Elizabeth Peltz Warburton Wanamaker, the daughter of wealthy Philadelphian George Mifflin Dallas Peltz and widow of department store magnate John Wanamaker, Jr. In 1923, at the age of seventeen, Elizabeth Peltz was expected to make her debut in society, but instead eloped with C. Egerton Warburton, the son of Major Barclay Warburton, the mayor of Palm Beach, Florida. She was active in the Philadelphia social scene, taking part in charity events and drawing the attention of the press. Soon after divorcing Warburton in 1932, she married John Wanamaker, Jr. on the same day his divorce from his first wife was finalized.

Alexander Hamilton's family maintained a high profile in society and politics. Hamilton's older brother, Pierpont Hamilton, served in the Army Air Corps during World War I and won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force serving in Africa during World War II. In 1946, Harvard University awarded him an honorary Master of Arts, citing his military accomplishments. Another older brother, Laurens Hamilton, was a New York state assemblyman. Hamilton also had two sisters. Helen Hamilton Woods married Police Chief Arthur Woods; Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton died tragically at the age of eleven in 1919 as a late victim of the Flu Pandemic of 1918. Hamilton's parents, William P. Hamilton (1869-1950) and Juliet Morgan Hamilton, daughter of John Pierpont Morgan, were wealthy New Yorkers who owned and operated Thirlstane Ranch in Salisbury Cove, Maine.