PM Dr. Denzil Douglas looks at a sculpture of Alexander Hamilton in the Museum of Finance during his private tour. (Arthur Piccolo image)
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. June 8, 2011: Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts/Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas joined his minister of Tourism and International Transportation for the Federation, Ricky Skerritt on Tuesday in a paying tribute to a son of Nevis and America’s greatest immigrant, Alexander Hamilton.

PM Douglas and Minister Skerritt were hosted by Arthur Piccolo, chairman of the Bowling Green Association and John Herzog, founder and chairman emeritus of the Museum of American Finance, as they lauded Hamilton some 207 years after his death.

The PM and Skerritt, who also chairs the Caribbean Tourism Organization, were taken on a private tour of the Museum at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning by Herzog, who has a room and several pieces at the museum dedicated to Hamilton, a U.S. founding father and first Secretary of the Treasury. The building in which the museum is housed at 48 Wall Street in NYC, Herzog explained, was a former bank where Hamilton did business and had an account.

The PM and Minister Skerritt were then taken to the tomb of Hamilton at Trinity Church on Wall Street where they were joined by Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Hugh Riley; several members of the Caribbean media and nationals of St. Kitts/Nevis, for the wreath ceremony.

The two laid a wreath at the gravesite of Hamilton even as Skerritt reflected on Hamilton’s many contributions to the U.S. as a Caribbean immigrant.
“He was just one of many Caribbean immigrants who continue to make significant contributions to the United States,” said Skerritt, while pledging to forge stronger ties between the Nevis Museum dedicated to Hamilton and the Museum of American Finance.

He added that in Caribbean American Heritage Month in the U.S., it is especially significant to remember one of the more famous Caribbean Americans in U.S. history.
The ceremony concluded with a flag raising ceremony at Bowling Green where PM Douglas raised the flag of Nevis next to the U.S. flag.

Born and raised in Nevis, Hamilton attended King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York. After the war, Hamilton was elected to the Continental Congress from New York, but he resigned to practice law and found the Bank of New York. He was among those dissatisfied with the first national governance document, the Articles of Confederation. While serving in the New York Legislature Hamilton was sent as a delegate to the Annapolis Convention in 1786 to revise the Articles, but it resulted in a call for a new constitution instead. He was one of New York’s delegates again at the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the new constitution in 1787, and was the only New Yorker who signed it. In support of the new Constitution, Hamilton wrote much of the Federalist Papers, still an important source for Constitutional interpretation. In the new government under President Washington he became Secretary of the Treasury.

An admirer of British political systems, Hamilton was a nationalist who emphasized strong central government and successfully argued that the implied powers of the Constitution could be used to fund the national debt, assume state debts, and create the government-owned Bank of the United States. These programs were funded primarily by a tariff on imports and a highly controversial excise tax on whiskey.

See more photos from the ceremony here: