Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Alexander Hamilton Comes Alive In Exhibit, Play, Lectures

KINGSVILLE - February 22, 2007

Contact: Julie Navejar
kajam03@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

KINGSVILLE (February 22, 2007) — The Jernigan Library at Texas A&M University-Kingsville will host a national traveling exhibit that tells the remarkable story of Alexander Hamilton, the Revolutionary War-era patriot and soldier. The exhibit, Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America, will be on display in the library lobby, Thursday, March 1, through Friday, April 20.

Hamilton’s face is on the $10 bill, but most Americans know more about his death in a duel than his remarkable life as one of the most brilliant and influential figures in United States history. Born in 1757, he was the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury for George Washington when he was 32. However, he came from humble beginnings rising from a 15-year-old orphaned immigrant from the West Indies to Washington’s wartime aide in five years.

Several events, from lectures to re-enactments, will be held to compliment the exhibit. The communications and theatre arts department will produce a play, Alexander Hamilton: In Worlds Unknown. Performances are at 3 p.m. Monday, March 26, and Wednesday, March 28, and at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27. All performances are in the ballrooms of the Memorial Student Union Building.

Jack Cowan, president and founder of the Texas Connection to the American Revolution Association, will be on campus Tuesday, March 6, to discuss Hamilton’s role in U.S. history. His presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. in the third floor atrium at the Jernigan Library. A reception will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Students from Academy High School in Kingsville will read passages from Hamilton’s works and writings about Hamilton from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, March 2, in the University Bookstore in the Memorial Student Union Building.

Alexander Hamilton stories will be read during a children’s story hour from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, in the Education Materials Center on the second floor of the library.

Student papers will be presented in Alexander Hamilton: In Historical Perspective at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the third floor atrium of the library.

Bilingual students and attorneys will be present to assist in the citizenship application process on Citizenship Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 14, in the library lobby.

The calendar will be turned back at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 16, as two local high school teachers portray Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson in Great Minds Meet: Dinner, Madeira and Dueling Intellects at Monticello. Jennifer Borrer, Calallen High School teacher, will play Hamilton and Twila Johnson, H.M. King High School teacher, will play Jefferson in the re-enactment on the third floor atrium of the library. This presentation was originally prepared as an assignment for the course taught by Dr. J.D. Phaup, political science professor, entitled Conflicting Ideas: Founding Fathers.

A series of lectures also will be held during the time the exhibit is in place. They will all be held in the third floor atrium of the library.

Dr. Roger Tuller, associate history professor, will start things off with his presentation, The Duel. He will give his presentation at 1 p.m. Friday, March 9, and again at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 28.

Hamilton: Lawmaker/Policymaker will be presented as a lecture and panel discussion by Dr. Mary Mattingly, political science professor. The lecture and discussion will be presented at 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, and again at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 21.

Dr. Susan Roberson, associate professor and chair of language and literature, will present Rhetoric of Nation and Nation Building at 7 p.m. Monday, March 26, and Thursday, April 5.

The exhibit was organized by the New York Historical Society, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the American Library Association. The traveling exhibition has been made possible in part through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to expanding American understanding of human experience and cultural heritage.

The traveling exhibition is based on the New York Historical Society’s exhibition commemorating the 200th anniversary of Hamilton’s death as well as the 200th anniversary of the founding of the society in 1804.

Hamilton was a complex and controversial figure who was a Revolutionary War patriot and soldier, financial and legal genius and an ardent opponent of slavery. He was the chief architect of many of the financial, political and legal institutions familiar to Americans today.

His journalistic campaign through the Federalist Papers, to convince the American people to ratify the Constitution equals in importance to his creation of the Bank of the United States and the New York Stock Exchange and his pioneering efforts in the area of constitutional law.

The young Treasury Secretary’s economic strategies saved the country from staggering Revolutionary War debts, and by the time Hamilton retired in 1795, the country was fiscally sound and poised to become a major world economic and political leader. In the opinion of many historians, Hamilton made the early republic work and set the agenda for its future.

           

For more information about the exhibit or any of its components, call 361-593-2918.


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