Hamilton Grange National Memorial
OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure
Welcome to the audio-described version of Hamilton Grange National Memorial’s official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Hamilton Grange National Memorial visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 20 minutes which we have divided into 20 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1-9 cover the front of the brochure, and sections 10-20 cover the back of the brochure.
OVERVIEW: Hamilton Grange National Memorial
Hamilton Grange National Memorial, located in St. Nicholas Park, Manhattan, New York City, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. This 32 acre park preserves the relocated home of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Each year, thousands of visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be found at Hamilton Grange. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.
OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure
The front of the brochure includes photographs of Hamilton’s estate. Most photos are black and white unless indicated as color. The text explains his transition to America, the experiences that shaped his life, his marriage and partnership with Elizabeth, and the dual that ended his life.
IMAGE: Alexander Hamilton's Summer Home Exterior
DESCRIPTION: This color photograph shows the nearly square house, with long covered porches on each side and a covered front porch. It is painted a pastel yellow with white trim and has a red brick foundation. A staircase with white banisters leads up to the front door, above which hangs a small portico supported by white columns. On either side of the doorway is a large window with white storm shutters. The windows are uniformly matched on the second floor, falling to each side of a larger glass window that opens to the top of the portico. On either side of the house, the multi-story porches stretch out like wings, running the entire length of the house. The top-level of these porches are supported by white columns that extend down to the main-level porches, which themselves have shorter white columns that extend down to the ground. Large red chimneys extend symmetrically from the roof, which is rimmed with white banisters.
RELATED TEXT: These words overlay the bottom of the photo: Immigrant, Constitutional Lawyer, Orphan, Military Officer, Publisher, Passionate Capitalist, Anti-Slavery, Political Philosopher, Author, Challenge, Bank of New York, Secretary of the Treasury, Federalist Papers, Aide de Camp, Kings
IMAGE and TEXT: Alexander Hamilton’s Summer Home
DESCRIPTION: A small black and white sketch of the boxy white building surrounded by trees, in the middle of a field. There are two cows in the foreground, one lying down and one standing. The building is visible through trees and has some shrubbery around its base. A chimney pokes out of the roof at the corner.
CREDIT: New York Public Library / George Hayward
RELATED TEXT: In the late 1700s, well-to-do city dwellers moved to Harlem Heights in summer, seeking its cool breezes. They also wanted to avoid yellow fever, a summer threat in lower Manhattan. Hamilton and his wife Elizabeth (of the influential Schulyer family) often visited friends here and decided to build their own retreat.
In 1802, they moved in, and Hamilton began commuting to his downtown law office, a 90-minute carriage trip. He and Elizabeth also began entertaining friends, colleagues, and leaders in their elegant home and gardens. Little did Hamilton know that his time at The Grange would be brief.
IMAGE and TEXT: Witness to Slavery
DESCRIPTION: An image of a sullen man of African descent, with no background. The man is in a seated position, his hands bound together in front of him. He wears short, ragged trousers and no shirt. His expression is tired and downcast. There appears to be netting draped over his short, cropped hair.
CREDIT: Musee De L'Homme
Alexander Hamilton (1755?–1804) grew up on Nevis and St. Croix, islands in the Caribbean, where thousands of enslaved African Americans labored in sugar cane fields. As a clerk for a shipping company, young Hamilton worked directly with ship captains bringing in their human cargo. This experience haunted him and led to his lifelong opposition to slavery.
TEXT: Saved by a Hurricane
Hamilton’s mother, Rachel, raised him and his brother alone. A shop owner, she died of yellow fever when Hamilton was in his early teens. That’s when he started working at the shipping company. He impressed his boss with his energy, ambition, and intelligence. Then the local newspaper published his letter describing a devastating hurricane. Townspeople were so taken by his writing that they helped pay his way to America to further his education. In the letter, he wrote:
. . . the ear-piercing shrieks of the distressed were sufficient to strike astonishment into Angels.
IMAGE and TEXT: In America
DESCRIPTION: A black-and-white drawing of a long rectangular building. The building's facade is covered from top to bottom in a grid of windows. The roof of the building is a trapezoidal shape, lined with triangular peaks. At either end of the building is a chimney. In the center of the building's roof there is a small rounded tower.
CREDIT: Columbia University Libraries / Butler Library
Hamilton plunged into American life. He enrolled in King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York. He wrote passionately about the revolutionary ideas of America’s rebels. When the fighting began, young Hamilton joined them. By the time he married at 25, he was a published writer, seasoned military leader, and close friend of George Washington.
TEXT: Family Man
Hamilton and Elizabeth loved children. They had eight of their own and took in others. Hamilton’s work as a lawyer helped pay bills while he served the country with little, if any, pay. His public career is described on the other side of this brochure.
IMAGES and TEXT: The Duel
IMAGE 1 of 2: Duel re-creation
DESCRIBING: A sepia-toned, horizontal drawing.
DESCRIPTION: This image shows five men standing in a clearing near some trees. The two men in the foreground stand stiffly with their feet together, about 10 feet apart, pointing pistols at each other. They are both wearing light-colored period clothing of the 18th century, including vests and long coats, as well as the triangular hats popular in this era, called tricorn or "cocked" hats. The man closest to the viewer wears a white knee-length jacket, worn open. Two of the men in the background wear white britches, dark jackets with long tails, and top hats. They are watching the scene impassively. A third man in the background wears dark clothing and blends in with the surrounding foliage. He appears to be making a comment to one of the onlookers.
CREDIT: The Granger Collection, New York
IMAGE 2 of 2: Two pistols
DESCRIPTION: A pair of pistols, laid on their side together, overlapping at the tips of their muzzles. Each pistol has a curved wooden handle, a delicate metal finger guard over the trigger and an ornate metal firing mechanism. The body of one pistol is deep lacquered red, while the muzzle is polished and brass-toned. The other pistol is largely identical, except its body is a lighter brown
CREDIT: JP Morgan Chase Archives
After years of differences, Aaron Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel in 1804. Burr, now the country’s vice president, felt he had to defend his honor. Friends tried to soothe both men, but failed. Facing possible death, Hamilton wrote letters to his friends and family. After he died from Burr’s bullet, Elizabeth read his letter and these final words: "Adieu, best of wives and best of women. Embrace all my darling children for me."
IMAGE and TEXT: Elizabeth Carries On
DESCRIPTION: A portrait of a woman sitting at a slight angle to the viewer. She faces slightly to the viewer's right, with her head turned back to look at the viewer. She has long, gray hair, that falls on one shoulder. She rests one arm on a green upholstered arm of the chair in which she sits. Her dress is white, with a black cravat and black cuffs at the sleeves.
CREDIT: The Granger Collection, NY / Ralph Earl
Family friends made sure Elizabeth had enough money to live with her children at The Grange. She preserved Hamilton’s thousands of letters, essays, and other writing. She also helped start an orphanage and was its director into her 80s. At age 91, she went to live with a daughter in Washington, D.C. She charmed presidents and other dignitaries until she died in 1854, at age 97.
IMAGES: Alexander Hamilton's Summer Home Interior
IMAGE 1 of 3: Parlor
DESCRIPTION: A representation of a residential parlor of this time period. In the foreground, four green-fabric-covered chairs surround a circular table. On the table, there are several glasses and coasters. In the background is a matching green couch, and several more matching green chairs in the area. There is a rectangular table along the rear wall, in front of two floor-to-ceiling windows with blue drapery. The walls are a creamy pastel yellow, and the ceiling is white. Above the green couch hangs a painting of George Washington, though the illustration is small enough that the details of the painting are obscured. The floor of the room is a green-and-white pattern.
CAPTION: George Washington oversees the parlor.
CREDIT: Grange interior and exterior photos NPS / Kevin N. Daley
IMAGE 2 of 3: Dining room
DESCRIPTION: A representation of the home's dining room. In the foreground is a rectangular dining table set for six, with a floral centerpiece and a white tablecloth. Three wooden chairs with teal cushions line either side of the table. The viewer stands at the head of the table. The walls of the room are a creamy pastel yellow, and the trim is white. To the left of the table, along one wall, is a chest of drawers. Two paintings hang on the wall above it. Built into the wall at the viewer's right is a fireplace, plastered in white, with a blue-gray interior. In the background, to either side of the room, is a doorway, trimmed in white.
CAPTION: The Hamiltons hosted many dinner parties.
CREDIT: Grange interior and exterior photos NPS / Kevin N. Daley
IMAGE 3 of 3: Entryway
DESCRIPTION: An oddly shaped chamber with white walls and a tile floor. A portrait of Alexander Hamilton hangs on the wall. A chandelier tip can be seen in the top of the frame. In the background, three doorways lead to different sections of the house. The tile pattern continues through the door on the left. Through the central door is an area with a green floor and yellow walls. Through the door on the right, there is a room with a wooden floor. Other details are obscured by the light pouring in through the window.
CAPTION: Hamilton's portrait and bust greet visitors.
CREDIT: Grange interior and exterior photos NPS / Kevin N. Daley
OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure
The back of the brochure consists of text, four images, and a map. The text discusses the life and times of our controversial founder Alexander Hamilton. The back side also includes information for planning your visit.
TEXT: Alexander Hamilton, Soldier, Founder, and Philosopher
This label represents the content on the back of the brochure: Alexander Hamilton, Soldier, Founder, and Philosopher
IMAGES and TEXT: Revolutionary War Days
IMAGE 1 of 2: Yorktown
DESCRIPTION: A young Hamilton in full military officer's garb leans with his arms crossed against a dirt mound. He wears a black hat with a stiff brim, a black jacket with gold epaulets, with red trim around the lapels and tails, a white shirt, white britches, and black boots. A sword hangs at his waist. Behind his head waves a green flag. In the immediate foreground, there are two shovels, one propped against the same mound that Hamilton is leaning on, another lying on the ground. In the background, there is a cannon supported by two large wheels, pointing away from Hamilton.
CAPTION: He was back in battle at Yorktown, where he led a daring, successful attack. CREDIT: The Granger Collection, New York / Alonzo Chappel
IMAGE 2 of 2: Meeting George Washington
DESCRIPTION: A small illustration of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, to the right, holds his hat in his hand while speaking to Washington. Washington stands with his hand on the saddle of a white horse. Both men wear blue jackets, white shirts, white britches and black boots. Washington wears his black hat on his head.
CAPTION: Hamilton met George Washington in 1776 and soon became his aide de camp.
CREDIT: Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library / Alonzo Chappel
By age 21, Alexander Hamilton identified himself with the revolutionary cause. He organized an artillery unit that defended New York City and fought in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. George Washington noticed Hamilton’s daring and intelligence, and appointed him as a personal aide.
Hamilton’s new job required him to be writer, diplomat, and advisor to Washington. Even so, Hamilton ached to return to battle. Eventually, Washington appointed him colonel of an infantry brigade. Hamilton led a major attack in the battle of Yorktown in 1781.
IMAGE and TEXT Bold Ideas for New Times
DESCRIPTION: A yellowing manuscript. The word FEDERALIST is legible at the top of the page. The rest of the writing is too small to distinguish.
As a lawyer after the war, Hamilton defended New York citizens who had been loyal to Britain. He argued the new treaties and laws protected all citizens, and that loyalists would help rebuild the city. He also led the New York Manumission Society, which protected and educated free and enslaved African Americans.
At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Hamilton argued for a strong central government. With James Madison and John Jay, he wrote essays explaining the new Constitution and urging citizens to vote for its ratification. Politicians and judges still consult “The Federalist Papers” about the meaning of the US Constitution.
TEXT: In the New Government
As first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton recommended the federal government pay off states’ debts, tax imported goods, establish a national bank, and promote manufacturing. His ideas worried Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who believed the federal government did not have such powers. But Hamilton argued the Constitution supported flexible “implied powers.” Congress and the Supreme Court agreed. By the end of Hamilton’s term, the country had excellent credit and a strong economy.
TEXT: A Controversial Citizen
Hamilton resumed his law practice in 1795 after leaving federal service. His clients included free and enslaved African Americans whom he helped for no pay. He also defended a newspaper editor sued for slander by Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton argued journalists had the same rights as citizens to freedom of speech. His victory strengthened United States citizens’ First Amendment rights.
Hamilton often criticized President Jefferson’s government and his vice president, Aaron Burr. His harsh words about Burr led to the duel that ended Hamilton’s life. Alexander Hamilton’s short and controversial life left the United States poised to become a powerful nation, something he dreamed of but did not see.
IMAGE: Statue of Hamilton
DESCRIPTION: A bronze statue of Alexander Hamilton. He is wearing a knee-length coat, a billowing cravat, and a tightly buttoned vest. Ruffles peak out from the ends of the sleeves of his coat. His trousers are tucked into knee-high boots. In the crook of his arm, he carries a folded garment. His expression is blank, as he stares into the distance.
CAPTION: James Earl Fraser’s statue of Hamilton is at the Treasury Building in Washington, DC.
CREDIT: NPS / Mark Muse
IMAGE: Wall Street Illustration
DESCRIPTION: A black-and-white illustration of a street scene. In the foreground, two men stand talking. A carriage pulls away in the distance. Several nondescript houses and a church fade into the background. Men and women walk up and down the sidewalk, most of them toward a large brick building with several columns on its facade. The building's front overhang creates a tunnel that covers the sidewalk. Several chimneys poke up from the roof of the building.
CAPTION: Hamilton worked on New York's Wall Street.
CREDIT: New York Public Library / MC Hyde
TEXT: Planning Your Visit
Hamilton Grange is on West 141st Street between Convent and St. Nicholas avenues —its third location. In 1889, the city began building new streets across the estate. A church bought The Grange and moved it to safety two blocks away. In 2008, the National Park Service moved it to its current location, still on the original estate.
Hamilton Grange is open year-round, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday except Thanksgiving and December 25. Exhibits and a film highlight Hamilton’s major achievements. Guided tours are first-come first-served and limited to 15 visitors. Enjoy quiet activities on the grounds.
MAP: Hamilton Grange National Memorial
A map of a section of upper Manhattan, pinpointing the location of Hamilton Grange National Memorial between Amsterdam Avenue and Nicholas Avenue, in Saint Nicholas Park. Several public transit stops are marked near the memorial, including the A, B, C, and D trains at the intersection of 145th Street and Nicholas Avenue, the M100 and 101 bus lines at 140th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, and the M4 and 5 bus lines at 140th and Broadway. The Hudson River is a few blocks roughly to the west of the Grange, a little more than a block west of Broadway. The Harlem River can be seen on the northeasternmost corner of the map.
We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For more information about our services, please ask a ranger, call, or check on our website.
OVERVIEW: More Information
Hamilton Grange National Memorial is one of over 390 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks, visit www.nps.gov.
Hamilton Grange National Memorial
414 West 141st Street
New York, NY 10031
Hamilton Grange is near bus routes and subway stations. Visit www.mta.info for routes and schedules. All applicable federal, state, and city laws and regulations apply here.