What happened here:
Place Name(s): Federal Hall (previously known as City Hall)
Location: Lower Manhattan, New York City
Event(s) in Hamilton's Life:
The New York City Hall was converted in 1785 to Federal Hall for the use by the Confederation Congress (under the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution's predecessor). Alexander Hamilton served as a New York State delegate to Congress for the 1788-1789 session.
The building was further expanded in 1789 for the use of the US federal government under the US Constitution. Hamilton likely witnessed George Washington being sworn in to the office of the Presidency on April 30, 1789 on the balcony of Federal Hall. After Alexander Hamilton became Secretary of the Treasury (September 11, 1789), he submitted several important reports to Congress during the two sessions it convened at Federal Hall. Hamilton's reports were debated and turned into legislation, including the Tariff Act of 1790 that created the forerunner to the US Coast Guard.
As a lawyer, Hamilton argued law cases at Federal Hall, including the well-known "Manhattan Murder Trial" in 1804.
Get the Details: (to be added)
- National Park Service - Federal Hall History
- Manhattan Historic Sites Archives - Federal Hall
- New York Harbor Parks - Federal Hall
- The Congress at Federal Hall
- George Washington's First Inaugural Address
- Video clip - Washington's Inaugural Bible
How to visit:
Today, Federal Hall National Memorial is a National Park Service Site. Entrance to the building is free, as are regularly-scheduled ranger-guided tours. The building also hosts a visitor center for New York City attractions and several permanent exhibits, including one on Washington's inauguration. Make sure to look for the bible that was used to swear in Washington to the Presidency in 1789.
Note: The original City Hall/Federal Hall building was demolished in 1812. The building that stands on the site today was completed in 1842.
NOTE: When you visit any Hamilton place and sign in, please follow your name with “AHA!” That way the staff is aware of THE AHA SOCIETY’s support for their location. Share your discovery of Hamilton! We want to encourage them to support Hamilton by highlighting his role at their location. Thank you for your participation.