Why did Alexander Hamilton promote the development of Paterson so near to the falls?
The first U. S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) knew that the energy harnessed by the Great Falls of the Passaic River would help the area economically and create industrial growth for the new city that was to be built near the falls. Hamilton was a founding member of the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures (SUM), and Paterson itself originated through the society's funding, creating the new nation's "cradle of the industrial revolution in America." Originally, power was to be created by use of a channel and an aqueduct, but a reservoir was eventually used for a water flow for the new factories that were built nearby. Paterson was designed by planner Pierre L'Enfant, who had planned the development of Washington, D. C., and the city used the power of the falls to generate the local mills for more than a century.