Born in Leacock Township, Lancaster County, Nov. 25, 1818, the son of Hugh and Isabella (Knox) Hamilton; country schools, farmer, at age 25 employed as a lien supervisor for the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1848, he married Louisa Slaymaker and moved to Williamstown. Originally a Democrat, aligned as a Know Nothing (American Party), and later joined the emergent Republican Party. Member of the House of Representatives, 1856 and 1857; a founder of the county Republican Party, elected to the state Senate 1861-1863, and a close friend of Thad Stevens. Senator Hamilton retired from politics to full-time farming at Octorara Creek and married a second time, to Ann Lemer Bailey, after the death of his first wife Louisa.