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Hang Hamilton

The Execution of Alexander Hamilton


"Hang Hamilton!"Edit

-John Adams, July 4th, 1801, New York City Treason Trials


The new "government" of New York City decided they would hold off on a trial until the the country's messes could be sorted out. Hamilton, Adams, Tom Pinckney, Rufus King, and many others rotted in the Livingston Sugar House for several months, eating gut-wrenching gruel and moldy bread and moldy water. However, when Rufus King was let out of the prison for a few minutes to get some air following a breathing attack, a mob (mobs were present every day outside the prison) rushed the guards, seriously injuring one, and ripped King limb from limb. The gruesome scene was quickly ended by another platoon of guards, but King was well and truly dead.

Virginia seceded almost as soon as the new came of the overthrow. Several extremists had declared their county independent in 1800, and the "1800" on the seal of the Virginia Republic was used only so Virginia could say "we did it first." Uprisings in the Northwest Territory were just barely put down. Virginia helped itself to some of the land, and the "US government" didn't seem too upset about it.

Lynchings reached epidemic proportions. Federalists were seen as traitors to be killed immediately, even if most were innocent and were not aware of the ballot-stuffing plot. Hundreds fled to Canada, to seek refuge in Quebec City, joining many Royalist Americans who had fled there 20 and 30 years earlier.

Finally, the trial was agreed to be held on July 4th. The Federalists in the sugar house knew nothing good was going to come of it.

The blue-coated New York constables came and escorted them out of the jail. Professional soldiers formed a wall around them, making sure no radicals tried to kill them all before the trial. However, many of the citizens seemed willing to let the trial go on as planned, just so they could see Alexander the Ungreat and Octavian Adams answer for their deeds.

John Jay

John Jay

The trial was largely a joke. John Jay, the quite moderate judge in charge, tried to be fair, but he couldn't hold against the tide of revenge wanted by the Jeffersonians. The Democratic-Republicans sat in the boxes in the upper floor of the courthouse, cursing and blaspheming the Federalists' names.

Adams was marched to Jay first, where he was told to explain himself. He stammered and stuttered something about "love of country" and then, pointing at his Vice President, his voice rising to a falsetto Cockney-Bostonian screech, exclaimed, "Hang Hamilton! Not me! This was all his idea, the disgusting snake! He plotted it out at Fraunces Tavern in '96! He was the puppet-master, controlling and manipulating the party like some sort of evil maniac! Hang him, sir! I have only done what I believe or have been threatened or bullied into doing! I love this country! Hang Hamilton the Traitor!"

The cries that arose from the Federalists' area were furious, and they countered that Adams had been complacent and even helped as much as he could in the scheme. Hamilton, by all accounts, just sort of sat there, his face in his hands. The jury immediately voted to kill Hamilton, and he was dragged out, his body like a rag-doll, to the front of the courthouse. A noose was draped from a branch, and Willard Crawford's drummers sounded the death beats. Hamilton looked at the crowd gathered around him. Then, slowly, he spoke. "I wish I had something to say that would redeem me in all your eyes. That you would think of me as a Patriot. That I would go down as a hero to all. But I can't. And I'm beyond caring." His voice rose: You people don't deserve me! You all can go to Hell, and take this sorry country with you!" As soon as the words were out, Crawford twirled his sword blade downward as the signal, and Hamilton's neck was snapped. He hanged there limply for a few minutes, and was then cut down and thrown in a ditch.

The other Federalist leaders joined him over the next few hours, each hanging on the same branch. Finally, Adams' turn was up again. After speaking for ten minutes (Jay had allowed him twenty), the restless crowd stormed the courthouse and dragged Adams out. He was shrieking and screaming as tar and feathers were dumped on him, as fists hit him, and finally a radical ran up and stabbed him in the stomach with a dagger. Bleedy profusely, the noose was tightened around his neck, and the 17th and last President of the United States in Congress Assembled was executed. John Jay and the guards and soldiers barely put up a show of resistance to the mob action, as they knew they might get called "Federalist sympathizers." And thus the 4th of July, Independence Day, became "Liberty Day."

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