Hamilton became a clerk at the local import-export firm of Beekman and Cruger, which traded with New York and New England. He and James Jr. were briefly taken in by their cousin Peter Lytton; however, Lytton committed suicide in July 1769, leaving his property to his mistress and their son, and the Hamilton brothers were subsequently separated. James apprenticed with a local carpenter, while Alexander was given a home by Nevis merchant Thomas Stevens. Some clues have led to speculating that Stevens may have been Alexander Hamilton's biological father: his son Edward Stevens became a close friend of Hamilton, the two boys were described as looking much alike, both were fluent in French and shared similar interests. However, this allegation, mostly based on the comments of Timothy Pickering on the resemblance between the two men, has always been vague and unsupported. Rachel Faucette had been living on St. Kitts and Nevis for years at the time when Alexander was conceived, while Thomas Stevens lived on Antigua and St. Croix; also, James Hamilton never disclaimed paternity, and even in later years, signed his letters to Hamilton with "Your very Affectionate Father. "