Alexander Hamilton to receive honorary degree from Albany Law School
Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — More than two centuries after his death, Alexander Hamilton is finally getting a law degree.
Douglas Hamilton, the fifth-great-grandson of the nation’s first treasury secretary, will be accepting the honorary degree from Albany Law School at the school’s May 18 graduation ceremony.
“We use degrees to recognize achievements, and he was an outstanding lawyer,” Douglas Hamilton, 67, told ABC News. “He never graduated from college, and he taught himself the law.”
Hamilton practiced and studied law in the Albany area, said Douglas Hamilton, who lives outside of Columbus, Ohio.
“Alexander Hamilton’s ties to the Albany area are significant,” Alicia Ouellette, president and dean of Albany Law School, said in a statement. “He wrote Federalist #1 while traveling between Albany and New York City.”
“By conferring this degree,” she added, “we are acknowledging his impact on the Capital Region and New York’s legal community.”
Hamilton wrote the majority of the Federalist Papers and served as colonel to George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
“You can understand how proud we are that we have an ancestor that played such a significant role in a lot of things,” Douglas Hamilton said.
Hamilton also married Elizabeth Schuyler in Albany, where his in-laws lived. Hamilton would stay with the Schuyler family when his legal work brought him to New York’s high courts in the state capital. He was admitted to the bar by 1783.
“Laws have changed so much since Hamilton was around,” added Douglas Hamilton, who said he’s excited to talk with members of Albany Law School’s graduating class about their legal pursuits. “Having an ancestor that was instrumental in creating the law, making sure that it survives is the most important thing. The young people are the future and they are going to set the direction for our country.”
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