This Christiansted landmark church was built as the Dutch Reformed Church sometime before 1740 with the tower added in the early 1800’s. Later it was reconsecrated as the Christiansted Lutheran Church around 1835. The exterior of the building retains much of its original Dutch Renaissance appearance today.
Known as the Steeple Church it was the first Danish Lutheran church on St. Croix. It was at the time the official Danish religion and one of the few government facilities not involved with official international trade. From around 1750 to 1830’s all island government administrators along with the fort’s garrison were required to worship at the church. Official proclamations, like the abolition of Danish slave trade, were read from its pulpit. Today the altar, pulpit, chandeliers, baptismal font, and governor’s box are still much like they were 350 years ago.
The Steeple Church with Fort Christiansted, the Scale House, Guinea Company Warehouse, the old government house and many of Christiansted’s downtown buildings and colonnades are much the same today as when Alexander Hamilton walked these streets in 1765.
It was in May of that year that Alexander Hamilton and his parents arrived in Christiansted from St. Kits for business. His mother operated a store selling provisions to plantations and ships while they lived upstairs at No. 34 Company Street. Later Alexander apprenticed at Beekman and Cruger, as a clerk. While it was normal for a young man to clerk or apprentice in a trade in early adolescence, Alexander was left in charge of the business in 1771 and 1772 while Cruger was off island. It was in that job where young Alexander learned about business, accounting, finance and international trade.
That experience gave Alexander Hamilton the skills to become a gifted financier when he relocated to the “colonies”. During the American Revolution he became George Washington’s military aide and was appointed by President Washington to be the first Secretary of the Treasury becoming the architect of the financial structure of the United States and its instatutions.
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