Susan Nagel, Ph.D

Patriotism and Profit: Washington, Hamilton, Schuyler, and the Rivalry for America’s Capital City

Author Susan Nagel, PhD, on her new book, Patriotism and Profit: Washington, Hamilton, Schuyler & the Rivalry for America’s Capital City, which examines “The Dinner Table Bargain” that would establish where the country’s capital would be located, ultimately separating the financial and political power houses.

[Publisher’s excerpt.]

The untold story of how America’s beloved first president, George Washington, borrowed, leveraged, and coerced his way into masterminding the key land purchase of the American era, which lead to the creation the nation’s capital city.

Contrary to the popular historical record, Thomas Jefferson was not even a minor player at The Dinner Table Bargain, now known as The Compromise of 1790. The real protagonists of the Dinner Table Bargain were President George Washington and New York Senator Philip Schuyler, who engaged in the battle that would separate our financial capital from our political seat of power. Washington and Schuyler’s dueling ambitions provoked an intense decades-long rivalry and a protracted crusade for the location of the new empire city. Alexander Hamilton, son-in-law to Schuyler and surrogate son to George Washington, was helplessly caught in the middle.

This invigorating narrative vividly depicts New York City when it was the nation’s seat of government. Susan Nagel captures the spirit, speech, and sensibility of the era in full and entertaining form—and readers will get to know the city’s eighteenth-century movers, shakers, and power brokers, who are as colorful and fascinating as their counterparts today. Delicious political intrigue and scandalous gossip between the three competing alpha personalities—George Washington, Philip Schuyler, and Alexander Hamilton—make this a powerful and resonant history, reminding us that our Founding Fathers were brilliant but often flawed human beings.

They were avaricious, passionate, and visionary. They loved, hated, sacrificed, and aspired. Even their most vicious qualities are part of the reason why, for better or worse, the United States became the premier modern empire, born from figures carving their legacies into history.

Not only the dramatic story of how America’s beloved first president George Washington created the nation’s capital city, Patriotism & Profit serves as timely exposé on issues facing America today, revealing the origins behind some of our nation’s most pressing problems.

[Recorded on October 7, 2021.]

History Camp Authors


    America's Summer Roadtrip 2020


      Susan Nagel, PhD

      Susan Nagel, PhD, is the author of Marie-Thérèse, Child of Terror and Mistress of the Elgin Marbles as well as a critically acclaimed book on the novels of Jean Giraudoux. She has written for the stage, screen, as well as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Town & Country. Susan received her PhD from New York University and lives in New York City.