Excellent story at the Journal of the American Revolution site (By Ruud Stelten and Alexandre Hintom) about the Hamiltons. Apparently his father James collected debts.
In 1765, the Hamiltons moved to St. Croix, 105 miles west of St. Eustatius. Here, James first worked as a sailor aboard the ship Jægeren from approximately February 20 to April 6, 1765. Records indicate that his family followed James in April of that year. While on St. Croix, Rachel was able to turn a profit running a store, providing her sons with a comfortable life. This can be corroborated by the fact that she retained enslaved persons, which she likely brought with her from St. Eustatius. After his sailing contract ended, James became employed as a debt collector. James and his family’s paths diverged sometime in 1766. It is unknown how long James was on St. Croix, but it is believed he left between 1766 and 1768. However, in 1766 and 1767 James is still present in the St. Eustatius census records, filling in two years that were previously unknown. He may not have changed his place of residency from St. Eustatius to St. Croix because he frequently traveled or he was not sure where he would spend most of his time due to his profession. His departure from St. Eustatius in early 1765 may only have been temporary and he might have planned to return before the end of the year. In 1766 and 1767, James is listed by himself and exempt from head tax. After 1767, he disappears from Statia’s census records.