Dear Theodosia

What if Phillip Hamilton, firstborn son of Alexander Hamilton, and Theodosia Burr, firstborn daughter of Aaron Burr, had a secret romance because their fathers were constantly at each other's neck and wouldn't approve of their love? How might've Theodosia reacted to the news she received on November 24, 1801? This story is a historical fanfiction; A forbidden love story between Philip Hamilton and Theodosia Burr.

DISCLAIMER: I will be using points in time from U.S. History, and a few lines from the Broadway musical, 'Hamilton.', including some lyrics from Off-Broadway songs from the play. None of the lyrics belong to me, and are property of writer and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, and other copyright holders.

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3. Chapter 2

Theodosia and Philip had been together in an amorous relationship for about a year in secret. Theodosia was nervous most of the time, as she was afraid the couple’s fathers would find out and tear the two apart. Philip was always supportive and reassured her often. In reality, Alexander and Aaron didn’t mind their friendship very much. If they were to find out their children were together in a relationship, however, they might each lose it.

Theodosia and Philip had their ups and downs, of course. Like any relationship, they had their disagreements. But by the end of the day, they were still madly in love with each other. Aaron eventually found out that Theodosia had been spending a lot of her time with Philip, but he never once anticipated that there was a romance between them. Theodosia was just starting to calm down and believe that she’d be allowed to be with Philip in a less secretive manner.

 

That is, until Alexander made the worst mistake in his entire life.
In that year, 1797, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison accused Hamilton of illegally spending government money. All the three were trying to do were get some dirt on Alexander, and make him confess his financial crime (Theodosia found this to be rash, but there was no stopping her father at his current momentum. Philip was gone with his mother and siblings at the time, visiting his grandfather). The three Southern Democratic-Republicans found out what Alexander was really doing with his own money, and ‘promised’ they wouldn’t use this information against him.
Alexander didn’t believe them, though. Instead of letting three other politicians destroy his reputation, Hamilton decided to do it himself. He had published a ninety-eight-page article entitled, Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No. V & VI of “The History of the United States for the Year 1796,” In Which the Charge of Speculation Against Alexander Hamilton, Late Secretary of the Treasury, is Fully Refuted. Or, as it’s now known as, the Reynolds Pamphlet. In short, Alexander Hamilton published his sexual affair with Maria Reynolds.

 

“The charge against me is a connection with one James Reynolds, for purposes of improper speculation. My real crime is an amorous connection with his wife for a considerable time, with his knowing consent. I had frequent meetings with her, most of them at my own house. Mrs. Hamilton with our children being absent on a visit to her father.”

 

It was the very first sex scandal in the United States. Many people were shocked and appalled, but recognized that he at least didn’t use government money to pay Mr. Reynolds. The one person who was the most affected by this was Eliza Hamilton. After skimming through the papers himself in utter disgust and disbelief, Philip found his mother clutching the pamphlet furiously and sobbing into it. His younger siblings didn’t understand what had just happened, but Philip did. As they all hugged her to try and help calm her down, Philip consoled her and apologized for this having to happen to her.

 

“Philip,” Eliza said through her sobs, “promise me you won’t do this to your future wife. I know you look up to your father, but don’t you dare do this.”
Philip immediately thought of Theodosia. He thought about how he, too, would be incredibly devastated if he did something like this to her, or her to him. He nodded and spoke softly, “I promise.”

 

As soon as Angelica Church, Philip’s aunt and sister to Eliza, found out about what Alexander had done, she boarded a ship from London to New York. As Eliza sat in front of the fireplace at home, burning love letters given to her by Alexander in the beginning of their relationship, all while sobbing and muttering angrily, Angelica scolded Alexander for what he had done. Philip leaned against a wall, hidden, and eavesdropping in on their conversation.

 

“Congratulations!” Angelica exclaimed sarcastically. She continued, “You have invented a new kind of stupid. A 'damage you can never undo' kind of stupid. An 'open all the cages in the zoo' kind of stupid. 'Truly, you didn't think this through?' kind of stupid.”
She wasn’t done, and probably wasn’t going to be for a while, “Let's review-- You took a rumor a few, maybe two, people knew and refuted it by sharing an affair of which no one has accused you. I begged you to take a break, you refused to. So scared of what your enemies will do to you...You're the only enemy you ever seem to lose to!”
She decided to hit him at his ego. There was no holding back at this point, “You know why Jefferson can do what he wants? He doesn't dignify school-yard taunts with a response! So yeah, congratulations!” She said the last word of praise in bitter sarcasm.

 

Philip could feel the wrath coming from both his mother and aunt. He continued listening…

 

“Angelica…” Alexander begged helplessly.
“You've redefined your legacy. Congratulations.” she snapped.

“It was an act of political sacrifice!” Alexander protested.

 

There was a pause before Angelica spoke. The silence was deadly. Philip could hear his heart pounding in his ears. He knew then to never piss off aunt Angelica, and if he ever did, he had better consider himself dead.

 

“...Sacrifice?” Angelica repeated to Alexander, sounding quite offended.

“I languished in a loveless marriage in London. I lived only to read your letters. I look at you and think 'God, what have we done with our lives and what did it get us?' That doesn't wipe the tears or the years away. But I'm back in the city and I'm here to stay! And you know what I'm here to do?”

“Angelica…” Alexander said again, with the same helpless tone.

“I’m not here for you,” Angelica responded coldly. Philip thought for a second he could hear his father’s heartbreak in that moment.

 

Angelica had picked up momentum. She raised her voice at Alexander and reminded him of her sister; his wife, “I know my sister like I know my own mind, you will never find anyone as trusting or as kind! And a million years ago she said to me, 'This one's mine.' So I stood by. Do you know why? I love my sister more than anything in this life, I will choose her happiness over mine every time! Eliza is the best thing in our lives, so never lose sight of the fact that you have been blessed with the best wife! For the rest of your life, every sacrifice you make is for my sister. Put what we had aside, I’m standing at her side. You could never be satisfied. God, I hope you’re satisfied!”

 

Angelica marched out of the room. She stopped in the hallway as she noticed Philip standing there against the wall.
“Don’t you ever even think about doing something like this,” she warned him in a stern voice. Philip gulped and nodded. He watched as Angelica rushed to the next room to hug her sister tightly. Eliza sobbed as she wrapped her arms around her sister. Angelica rubbed her back sympathetically. Philip hurried out of the house.

 

He didn’t know what to think or say. He headed towards the Burr household. The only person he could think about seeing right now was Theodosia. Philip loves and adores his father, but he has to show Theodosia that he wouldn’t dare do a thing like this to her. He’d never try to hurt her.

 

As soon as Aaron had read Alexander’s publications, he was shocked. He was positive that he had reassured Alexander he wouldn’t use this information against him. Yet, Hamilton decided to write about his affair and put it in the newspapers anyway? Well, at least he was honest with the government's money, right? Technically, he didn’t do anything illegal. He sure did commit quite an infidelity, though...and that’s bad enough. Aaron looked up from his own paper to see his daughter reading the same thing. She looked just as surprised as everyone else, and confused, too.

 

“Don’t waste your time on that,” Aaron said to her. Theodosia looked up at him.
“The Hamilton’s are dangerous. There’s no need for you to fill your mind with their rubbish,” he said. Theodosia furrowed her eyebrows.
“Father, if you hadn’t gone to him--”
“Theodosia, you don’t understand.”
“But what is the point of--”
“Theodosia! That is enough!” Burr snapped. Theodosia sighed. She paused before standing up.
Burr sat up straight, “Where are you going?”
“I need to take a walk. I must clear my mind,” she responded, and walked out of the house. Aaron sighed as she walked out through the door and rubbed his temple.

 

Theodosia and Philip were thinking nearly the same things as they both strolled down the pavement, headed towards each other’s homes.

 

‘Why would he do that? What has gotten into him?’

 

They were both thinking about their father. Theodosia was wondering why her father would push Hamilton’s buttons so much. Philip was wondering why his father cheated in the first place.

Eventually, the two saw one another in the distance. Their paces grew quicker and quicker. Philip began to jog towards Theodosia, and Theodosia began to walk with haste. The moment they met in between, Philip wrapped his arms around Theodosia’s waist, and she rested her hands on his biceps.

 

“Are you alright?” Philip asked her, as if she had been the victim of a crime.
“I should be asking you that,” Theodosia said. Philip sighed and looked down.
“I’m fine, but,” he said, “my parents aren’t. My mother has been sobbing for days, and burning letters father wrote to her in their youth in the fireplace. My aunt Angelica just recently finished yelling at my father. Father didn’t say much, but he seemed heartbroken…”
Theodosia nodded as she listened.
Philip continued, “Everyone keeps telling me not to do what he did. I promise you, Theodosia, that I will never hurt you like my father did my mother. I look up to him, but… I wouldn’t do something like this. You trust me enough to believe that, right?”

Theodosia smiled up at Philip. “Of course I trust you, Philip.” she said, “We have been with each other for a year now. I doubt your father’s infidelity could harm what we have.”
Philip grinned at her. He was overwhelmed with joy to know that his love trusted him and had so much faith in their relationship. She was what drove him forward to such positivity. He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her.
“I love you,” he said after he had pulled his lips away from hers. She smiled at him once more.
“I love you, too.”

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