Hamil-Parenting: Rules for Philip Hamilton

After his oldest son, Philip, graduated from Columbia and began training as a law clerk in his father’s office, Hamilton laid out a detailed schedule for his study.  The schedule accounted for almost of all of Philip’s waking hours, from 6 am to 10 pm.  Under Hamilton’s rules, Philip would read Law for seven hours a day, and study other subjects for another three hours a day, with some breaks for eating. and some leisure time for “innocent recreations” on Sundays after church.  That is some intense scheduling!

Drawing of Philip Hamilton.
Image of Philip Hamilton from PBS

The full text of the rules, apparently from 1800, is reprinted below and available on Founders Online.

Rules for Mr Philip Hamilton from the first of April to the first of October he is to rise not later than Six Oclock—The rest of the year not later than Seven. If Earlier he will deserve commendation. Ten will be his hour of going to bed throughout the year.

From the time he is dressed in the morning till nine o clock (the time for breakfast Excepted) he is to read Law.

At nine he goes to the office & continues there till dinner time—he will be occupied partly in the writing and partly in reading law.

After Dinner he reads law at home till five O clock. From this hour till Seven he disposes of his time as he pleases. From Seven to ten he reads and Studies what ever he pleases.

From twelve on Saturday he is at Liberty to amuse himself.

On Sunday he will attend the morning Church. The rest of the day may be applied to innocent recreations.

He must not Depart from any of these rules without my permission.

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