In the engraving, the books on a shelf beside Hamilton resemble the two-volume 1802 edition of The Federalist, of which he was a primary author, and nearby is a document entitled "Report on Funding the Public Debt." Above these are shown Hamilton's sword, military cap, and a rolled map, commemorating his Revolutionary War service as George Washington's aide-de-camp. In pose and setting, it is reminiscent of John Trumbull's 1804 portrait of Hamilton.
Archibald Robertson was born in Scotland, and received his initial art training there before moving to London, where he studied with both Sir Joshua Reynolds and Benjamin West. He was invited to America by Dr. John Kemp of Columbia College and arrived in 1791. In 1792 his brother Alexander, also an artist, joined him, and together they operated the Columbian Academy of Painting, one of the earliest art schools in America. The Academy is given as one of the two addresses from which the present print was available. The other address is that of English-born engraver William Rollinson.
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