Hamilton's Horn

posted on January 10, 2014
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Michael Ives

Born in the West Indies, Alexander Hamilton rose to prominence within the new American nation first by forming his own artillery company, then by serving as an aide and field commander for Gen. George Washington and, ultimately, by being selected to the Continental Congress from New York. As the first Secretary of the Treasury, he established a national bank, a national mint, a tariff system and even friendly trade relations with Great Britain.

One of the most intriguing artifacts directly associated with Hamilton, his powder horn, bears iconography derived from Sir Francis Bacon and Niccolò Machiavelli’s political philosophy. As a young man, Hamilton outlined his future path to wealth and means while retainingreputation and honor through a series of incised figures and representations. Even his eventual plan to develop the western Ohio territory is encompassed on the horn’s curved surfaces. Loaned by DeltaStar Associates, this horn is now on display at the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.

Interested in historic arms? Visit either of the two nra museums— the NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va., or our new NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo. Both locations include a timeline of American arms from the first colonists through modern day, with exemplary handguns, rifles and shotguns available for viewing seven days a week. Admission is free to both museums (donations gratefully accepted), and offers an unforgettable visitor experience. For more details, check out the museum website at www.nramuseum.com, call (703) 267-1600 or e-mail [email protected].

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