Richard Varick: A Forgotten Founding Father: Revolutionary War Soldier, Federalist Politician, and Mayor of New York

SUNY Press
Free sample

Born in 1753 to a prominent Dutch-American family in Hackensack, New Jersey, Richard Varick became a lawyer, then a Patriot officer in the American Revolutionary War. Colonel Varick served with distinction as aide to generals Philip Schuyler and Benedict Arnold. Later, George Washington entrusted him with the editing of his wartime papers—forty-four volumes now housed in the Library of Congress.

In peacetime Varick helped initiate the new Federalist-oriented government of New York City, becoming its mayor from 1789–1801. Next he turned his energies to the accumulation of lucrative real estate, all the while furthering the development of Columbia University and the Society of the Cincinnati, and starting the entity that became Jersey City.

His personal passion was to help promulgate the Christian message, especially through the founding of the American Bible Society and the New York Sunday School Union. A highly respected, multitalented businessman and national hero, he was returned to Hackensack for burial in 1831.
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About the author

Paul Cushman is a retired internal medicine physician. A graduate of Yale University (1951) and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons (1955), he devoted his medical talents to the field of endocrinology as well as the clinical, pharmacological, and neuroscience aspects of substance abuse medicine. He served on the faculty of five medical schools, usually as full professor of medicine, pharmacology, and psychiatry. Since retirement his interests have included historical research on the achievements of several ancestors, including Paul Cushman, an Albany, New York potter (1767–1833); William Gilbert, a New York silversmith and civil servant (1746–1831); and now Richard Varick (1753–1831). An avid bridge player, he also enjoys travel and savoring the visual and performing arts with his wife of fifty years, with whom he lives in New York City.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Feb 28, 2010
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Pages
322
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ISBN
9781438439860
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
History / United States / Revolutionary Period (1775-1800)
History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”

Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.

“Nobody has captured Hamilton better than Chernow” —The New York Times Book Review 

Ron Chernow's new biography, Grant, will be published by Penguin Press in October 2017. 
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