The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization has opened on West Park Row in Clinton at the site of the former Alexander Hamilton Inn. A nonprofit, public-benefit corporation, the AHI was founded by Doug Ambrose, the Sidney Wertimer Associate Professor of History; James Bradfield, the Elias W. Leavenworth Professor of Economics; and Robert Paquette, the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of American History, who also serve as charter fellows. Professor of Government Theodore Eismeier is a senior fellow.
The institute was first conceived as the Alexander Hamilton Center, to be affiliated with the College, but planning for the center ended in late 2006 when differences between the founders and the College regarding governance could not be resolved. In its current independent form, the institute seeks to promote "excellence in scholarship through the study of freedom, democracy, and capitalism as these ideas were developed and institutionalized in the United States and within the larger tradition of Western culture," according to its charter.
Programming will center on a three-year program of themed scholarly activities, with key first-year events focused on slavery and abolitionism, second-year events on property rights, and 2009 events on the relationship between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The institute's offerings "will seek to engage a broad community of informed citizens, including high school and college students, teachers, alumni, trustees and political officials," the charter says.