A town probably named after Alexander Hamilton — renamed after Hamilton, actually — ought to attract some attention these days, don’t you think?
Unfortunately, interest in such noteworthy history as the Fort Branch Civil War site and a restored Rosenwald School has yet to show up in Hamilton’s population, which has dwindled to about half its 1890 peak of 781.
“Legend has it that Alexander Hamilton, the early American statesman [and current Broadway cynosure], gave the Outer Banks its colorful moniker, one that over time came to romanticize what mariners once dreaded. According to author Ben Dixon MacNeill in ‘The Hatterasman,’ published in 1958, Hamilton ‘passed Cape Hatteras on a summer night in 1773 and thereafter remembering the night’s terror, he spoke of that portion of the sea as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.’
“Hamilton’s story was a creation of the imaginative MacNeill, said Kevin Duffus, author of the 2007 ‘Shipwrecks of the Outer Banks, An Illustrated Guide.’
” ‘Nowhere in Alexander Hamilton’s personal writings did he ever say that he was in danger of being shipwrecked off the Outer Banks,’ Duffus said. ‘There is absolutely no credible evidence that he had anything to do with Cape Hatteras or concerning the phrase Graveyard of the Atlantic….
” ‘Unfortunately, many, many writers and historians have repeated this’….”
— From “What’s in a name? — Graveyard of the Atlantic” b