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  • Writer's pictureLynn

From Orphan to Founding Father

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

MW268 - IMMIGRANTS, WE GET THE JOB DONE - St. John's - History

In early 2022, the Sea & Learn Foundation was lucky to have Graydon Kelch hanging out with us at the Trail Shop. Graydon, former Sea Saba dive instructor, returned to Saba to escape the Canadian winter. But if you hang out with us for more than a short while, we put you to work! Graydon, a history major, proved a great asset. He was instrumental in creating our introductory video and a stock of storyboards. We set him loose to find many of the key Saba stories, churn through what information could be found---many attributable to Will Johnson--and summarize. From this initial effort, a collection of storyboards became available for adopters to choose from...including Alexander Hamilton!

The storyboard on Hamilton was one of the first we created and put out for adoption. It got the attention of the Radicans who are fans of this rags-to-riches story. Although everyone admires this storyboard, a few have asked why it's included in Saba's Adopt-A-Box project. The simple answer is that Alexander Hamilton is a prime example of an "island boy" making it on the big stage. Plus, the location of the story board with a view to Statia, St. Kitts and Nevis, is very appropriate for the viewer to understand how close (or far) these islands are. But a sit down with Saba's history buff made us realize there's an even bigger Saba connection!

The house Alexander Hamilton was born in on Nevis

Alexander Hamilton spent time on a number of islands. Rachel Faucette, Alexander Hamilton's mother, had escaped an abusive relationship while living in St. Croix. James A. Hamilton gave his name to the boy born out of wedlock when he was born on Nevis. The family of 3 then spent time on the island of Statia (St. Eustatius), where Alexander's mother originates. As Statia is only 18 miles from Saba, it should come as no surprise that a number of families here have bloodlines going back to Horton (a prevalent name on Statia at that time), including Will Johnson, Saba's unofficial historian. Read more about Will's research of the possible ties between the Hortons and Hamilton as well as the Saba connection Hamilton had via his mentor the Reverend Hugh Knox.

At the end of this blog post, a full-size digital version of the letter Hamilton wrote to his father describing the Great Hurricane of 1772 is included. This proved to be a life-changing initiative and young Hamilton's ticket to the USA (more about that on the storyboard) --and as they say, "the rest is history". Most recently lauded with a Broadway musical bearing his name, Hamilton fought in the American Revolutionary War, helped draft the United States Constitution, and served as the first Secretary of the Treasury. He was the founder and chief architect of the American financial system before dying in the famous duel with Aaron Burr.

This storyboard was actually a birthday present from Casey to her husband, Steve, a long-haul pilot--hence, the name of their rental property. The Radican family is the proud owner of Cloudbreak Villa--which can accommodate up to 7 people, has fantastic views, gourmet kitchen, dipping pool, decks off two bedrooms and so much more! Be sure to be watching our social media as October approaches--Cloudbreak is a fantastic supporter of our program--and the raffle :-)

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