What happened here:
Place Name: Boxwood Hall
Location: Elizabeth, New Jersey
Event in Hamilton's life:
Alexander Hamilton regularly visited and stayed with the Boudinot family at Boxwood Hall while he was attending the Academy at Elizabethtown, New Jersey in the winter of 1772 and the spring of 1773 to prepare for college.
Get the details:
15-year-old Alexander Hamilton moved from St. Croix in the Caribbean to the American mainland in October of 1772 to attend college. Since he had had little if any formal schooling prior to his move, he first enrolled in a preparatory school - the Academy at Elizabethtown, located in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It is believed that Hamilton attended two semesters at the school in the winter of 1772 and the spring of 1773.
Hamilton arrived from the island of St. Croix with letters of introduction written by the Rev. Hugh Knox, an alumnus of Princeton (the College of New Jersey, which was founded in Elizabethtown). One of those letters was addressed to Elias Boudinot. At the time of Hamilton's arrival to Elizabeth, Elias Boudinot lived in Boxwood Hall with his wife Hannah Stockton Boudinot, their six year-old daughter Susan (who as an adult married William Bradford, the second US Attorney General), and their six-month old daughter Maria. While a student in Elizabethtown, Hamilton spent a great deal of time at Boxwood Hall with the Boudinot family.
After two school semesters in Elizabethtown, Hamilton moved to New York City to attend King's College, but he remained friends with the Boudinots for the rest of his life. About a year after Hamilton had moved to New York, the Boudinot's daughter Maria died at two and a half years old. When Hamilton heard the news, he composed a heartfelt poem on her passing, which can be read in full here.
Besides a lifelong friendship, Hamilton and Elias Boudinot often crossed paths professionally. Both were lawyers, though in different states. During the war, Boudinot and Hamilton worked together on prisoner exchanges and exchanged letters relating to the war while Boudinot was in Congress. When Hamilton served his first term in the Congress (1782-1783), Boudinot was serving as its President. Boudinot also served as the third Director of the US Mint, which Hamilton helped establish.
Links to Related Websites:
- Boxwood Hall - Go Elizabeth, NJ
- Boxwood Hall - Get NJ
- Boxwood Hall - Hidden New Jersey
- Elizabeth - Revolutionary War NJ
How to visit:
The original Boxwood Hall still stands today and is run by the State of New Jersey. The house is open to the public for tours.
Visiting Hours: Boxwood Hall is usually open Monday-Friday, 9-12; 1-5, last tour at 4 pm. Due to small staff size, visitors should call to confirm hours. Weekends by appointment. Closed State and Federal holidays.
Visiting Tip: There is a small parking lot for the site, accessed by a small drive just to the right of the house.
Address: 1073 East Jersey Street, Elizabeth NJ 07201
Phone number: (908) 282-7617
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