A Cliff Before Dying

Alexander Hamilton

(1757–1804) His last day on Earth was spent in New Jersey. On the cliffs overlooking the North River (as the Hudson was called) and Manhattan Island, he was shot by the vice president of the United States, Aaron Burr, during a duel. But Hamilton’s connection to the state is not entirely morbid. The Great Falls in Paterson inspired him to write his famous “Report on Manufacturers,” in which he envisioned the United States not as a nation of yeoman farmers (take that, Jefferson), but as a mighty industrial power.

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