Contrasting: Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton  vs. Hamilton: An American Musical

 

 

Contrasting the material in Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton and the genius Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit musical Hamilton.

 

I have currently finished Ron Chernow's biography Alexander Hamilton in preparation for seeing Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton. I soon realized that some things were changed due to time, plot, and characters. I mean no insult to Hamilton: An American Musical, I simply want to point out some interesting facts about America's first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton.

 

1.The Hamilsquad

 

Many Hamilton fans refer to the group of four friends in Hamilton as “The Hamilsquad”. Or, squad goals. In the musical, it consists of Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette, Hercules Mulligan, and John Laurens. However, in Chernow’s book, it’s actually a trio. Hamilton, Lafayette, and Laurens. Mulligan and Hamilton were friends early in the Revolution, stealing cannons and whatnot. But Mulligan’s important part of the Revolution was being a spy. As British soldiers came in with repairs to their uniforms, Herc smuggled information.

 

2. Samuel Seabury

 

In the beginning of the song “Farmer Refuted”, Seabury begins with, “Here yea! Here yea! My name is Samuel Seabury, and I present: Free Thoughts on the Continental Congress.” Back in the good ol’ days, nobody came out and said: Flowers for dummies, by Jessi Anderson. No, instead you used a pseudonym. I think that’s what it’s called. Anyways, it means they used a fake name. Guess guess, Seabury’s was A Farmer.

 

3.  Helpless- Eliza meets her hubby

 

There was no Winter’s Ball.

Eliza first met Hamilton when he was staying in a house next door to where she was visiting her Aunt. Ham wrote to Margarita Schuyler, Eliza’s younger sister who you know as Peggy, asking to write Eliza/ meet her/ become her hubby.

 

4. Angelica in Satisfied

 

“My father has no sons so I’m the one who has the social climb for one.” Phillip Schuyler had many children, most of them sons. Believe me Angie, he’s good.

 

5. We Know

 

Guess what? When Hamilton was approached about extorting money and revealed the Reynolds Affair to three people, the musical says those people were Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. However, the people confronted Hamilton were Congressmen Muhlenberg, Venable, and James Monroe, who Eliza Hamilton blamed for Hamilton writing the devastating Reynolds Pamphlet.

 

6. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7-

 

In the duel of Phillip Hamilton v. George Eacker, there’s a rather funny yet heart-wrenching fact to the duel. Eacker didn’t shoot early. Instead they kind of just stood there, guns aimed, for a while. Both seemed to hesitate until Phillip raised his gun to the sky and George shot him. Something sad? Phillip sat hours alone dying, scared he wouldn’t see his parents again and Eacker was never tried for murder.

 

7. A forgotten spot in the Caribbean

 

Fun fact: Alexander Hamilton was born in Nevis, an island in the Caribbean. He also had a brother and invited his brother, who remained most likely in Nevis and his father to his wedding with Eliza. Both didn’t show up.

 

8. Congratulations

 

There was a cut song in Hamilton called Congratulations between The Reynolds Pamphlet that was pretty much a whole 2:30 song where Angelica mercilessly roasted Hamilton.

 

9. … And Peggy!


A cool Peggy Van Rensselar story: A one point in the Revolution, some Indians and Tories broke into the Schuyler Mansion. The Schuyler daughters, Mrs. Schuyler, and Phillip Schuyler hid upstairs, waiting for help to arrive. Then they remember they had left baby Catherine Schuyler by the door. Since Eliza and Angelica were both pregnant, Peggy ventured downstairs and grabbed the baby. She was walking back when one of the tories approached her, asked where Phillip Schuyler was. She simply replied he was in town getting help and calmly walked up the stairs. Many fled in fear, and one Indian threw a tomahawk at her, which embedded in the banister. She calmly proceeded upstairs, both the baby and Peggy safe. There’s still a mark in the banister to this day there the tomahawk laid.

 

10. Alexander’s Birthday

 

It is actually unclear what year Alexander Hamilton was born. Most authors/ historians say he was born to Rachel Faucette and James A. Hamilton either in 1755 or 1757. The one thing for sure: his birthdate is January 11th.

 

11. Lams

 

Many fans like to ship characters with one another. Shipping is the act of imagining a couple by making an “OTP”, one true pairing. For example, Hamliza, Hamilton x Eliza. Or Lams, Laurens x Hamilton. Many people have had fun on Tumblr shipping Lams and having a ball. I pushed it away as unreasonable, until it was expressed that Hamilton and Laurens would often write with affection and expressed their love for each other. Usually this was uncommon for men, as they treated each other as brothers. But there were some exceptions to these letters between the two. It is a theory out there that there were homosexual relations among the two, however few Historians agree.

 

12. Maria and Alexander

 

Fun Fact: The Reynolds Affair between Alexander and Maria Reynolds (Previously named Mary) only lasted about nine months.

 

13. Angelica Hamilton


The eldest daughter between Eliza and Hamilton, who was hinted at existing in Take A Break, was named Angelica Hamilton. Angelica and Phillip Hamilton were very close, and were almost inseparable. When Phillip died in a duel in 1801, Angelica was so distressed and distraught that she actually went insane. She had to be put in a hospital, and was cared for the rest of her life.

 

 

 

 

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