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.


4. Chapter 3

As the two grew older, Theodosia helped her father more with his political business in the shadows, and Philip became more flirtatious in personality. He managed to stay true to his love, though, and Theodosia managed to keep her amorous relationship with Philip a secret from Aaron.


Life at home for the Burr’s was completely comfortable and happy, but it felt like things were falling apart at the Hamilton residence for Philip. Ever since Alexander cheated on Eliza, she had burned every letter he wrote to her and demanded that he slept in his office instead of in their bed (in which he brought Maria Reynolds into). So he did. Alexander sadly kept his distance from his infuriated wife. This affected Philip emotionally but, used it as proper motivation to not do the kinds of things his father did to Eliza to Theodosia. Despite his familial issues at home, Philip was an amazing scholar. He always found the perfect ways to balance his work and writing letters to his beloved while he was away at boarding school. He never failed to give her proper good-bye’s before he left, and hello’s when he returned. By the age of eighteen, Philip graduated from Columbia College in 1800.


On the fourth of July in 1801, a young man by the name of George Eacker had made a speech. Philip and his close friend, Richard Price, had both happened to be in the crowd. In Eacker’s speech, he deprecated Alexander Hamilton, calling him degrading names and attempting to defame him in honor of Aaron Burr. Philip looked to Richard, an expression of anger and irritation plastered on his face. Richard didn’t look very happy either, but not quite as extreme. After the speech, Philip rushed to find George, but he had disappeared among the crowds. Philip waited a week.


Philip found a small group of women waiting around and chatting with each other. He lightly flirted with them and then asked them if they had seen George Eacker, the fourth of July speaker from just last week.

“I saw him just up Broadway a couple of blocks, he was going to see a play,” said one of the ladies.
“Well, I’ll go visit his box,” Philip replied. He flirted a little more before heading up to Broadway. Philip walked into every theater looking for George until he finally found him.


“George!” Philip yelled once he had found Eacker, causing several people to look at him and George shushing him. Philip called out his name again, but more aggressively.
“Shh, I’m trying to watch the show!” George said, irritated.

Philip bit back, “You should’ve watched your mouth before you talked about my father, though!”

“I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. Your father’s a scoundrel, and so, it seems, are you.” George looked proudly back at the stage, despite that the actors have all halted their play to watch what was going on, along with the rest of the audience.


Philip hesitated for a short moment before speaking, “...It’s like that?”

“Yeah, I don’t fool around,” said George, “I’m not your little schoolboy friends.”

Philip’s face became red with anger. He balled one hand up into a fist and pointed a finger with the other at George. Before he could stop himself to think, Philip exclaimed, “Well, see you on the dueling ground! That is, unless you wanna step outside and go now!”

Without looking at Philip, George responded coldly, “I know where to find you, piss off, I’m watching this show now.”

Enraged, Philip marched out of the theater and raced home.


Philip barged into his father’s office and explained the situation hastily, while pacing back and forth exasperatedly.
“Pops, if you had only heard the shit he said about you! I doubt you would have let it slide and I was not about to!” Philip exclaimed, pointing to himself.
“Slow down!” Alexander pleaded as he set down his quill and stood up.

“I came to ask you for advice, this is my very first duel. They don’t exactly cover this subject in boarding school…” Philip said awkwardly as he finally stood in one spot, looking at his father helplessly.


“Did your friends attempt to negotiate a peace?”

“He refused to apologize, we had to let the peace talks cease.”

“Where is this happening?”

“Across the river, in Jersey.”

“Everything is legal in New Jersey…” the two said in unison.


“Alright, so this is what you’re gonna do,” said Alexander, “Stand there like a man until Eacker is in front of you. When the time comes, fire your weapon in the air,” Philip looked confused as Alexander said this, but Alex shook his head and continued, “This will put an end to the whole affair.”

“But what if he decides to shoot? Then I’m a goner!” Philip said worriedly.

“No, he’ll follow suit if he’s truly a man of honor. To take someone’s life, that is something you can’t shake. Philip, your mother can’t take another heartbreak.”
Philip knew his father spoke out of experience (as Alexander had been in many duels in his youth), and he was right that his mother didn’t deserve any more emotional pain. But still, Philip was nervous and scared now that he was realizing what he had just put himself into.


“Father!” Philip exclaimed fearfully.

“Promise me,” Alexander insisted, “You don’t want this young man’s blood on your conscience.”
Philip paused, “Okay...I promise.”

Alexander nodded, “Come back home when you’re done,” he walked over to where he had two pistols stashed away, took them out, and handed them both to Philip, “Take my guns, be smart, make me proud, son.” Philip nodded slowly as he took the guns, his eyes a bit wide. Alexander pulled his son into a hug and patted his back. Philip meekly hugged back.


Philip left the room afterward and headed into his bedroom. The only things he did know about dueling was that there were guns, two duelists, seconds, doctors, and letters left for the people you love in case you don’t return. Philip set the two guns down on his bed and sat down at his desk. He grabbed a pile of parchment, an ink bottle, and a quill. He wrote a letter each to his parents. He wrote another letter addressed to all of his younger siblings. Lastly, Philip wrote a letter to Theodosia. He hid all four letters into his desk drawer and put his writing utensils away. Shakily, he stood up and gripped one gun in each hand. He stared at the pistols for a moment, examining them. He looked ahead and nodded. He was ready to take Eacker down. With confidence built back up into him, Philip headed out to gather his crew: Richard Price, and a doctor that he knew.


Philip returned to Broadway with Richard and a doctor at each side. He noticed George Eacker walking out of the theater, and grinned at him cockily.
“Mister Eacker, how was the rest of your show?” Philip asked cheerfully.

George looked at him with a raised brow and scoffed, “I’d rather skip the pleasantries, let’s go.” Philip followed George and a friend of his to the Hudson River. The five men boated their way across to New Jersey. They found a dueling ground.


Philip handed over one of his father’s guns to George. The doctor readied his equipment and turned around so he could have deniability. Philip and George sent in their seconds (Richard and George’s friend) to attempt to negotiate a peace. Philip and George loaded and cocked their guns. Philip looked up and watched their seconds converse. He heard nothing but his heartbeat pounding in his ears. He could only think about two things: How he must honor his father and his family’s name, and how after this he’d love to be held in Theodosia’s arms. He wanted to hurry up and get this over with. Philip watched as the seconds returned. Richard patted Philip’s shoulder. “Good luck,” he said. Philip sighed softly.
George took first position as the two stood seven feet from one another on the dueling ground. Philip and George’s gazes locked. They were practically staring into each other’s souls. They pointed their guns towards one another. Philip summoned as much courage as he could. The countdown began.




Philip slowly began to raise his arm.




George glared at Philip and tightened his grip on the gun.




Philip’s gun was pointing to the sky.




Philip felt a sharp pain in his side and fell down on his knees to the grass. He screamed out in agony loudly as he clutched his wound, dropping his gun down against the earth. His eyes began to fill and water with tears. He looked down at his hand and saw blood pouring throwing the spaces between his fingers. He looked up to see George returning the gun to Richard. Just then, Philip had realized what happened. George had shot him at seven. Before the countdown was even over, George had pulled the trigger on him. Philip’s worst fear about the duel had come true. He lowered his head as he felt himself growing weaker. He felt dizzy. He thought maybe someone was speaking, but all he could hear was muffled voices. Philip was hoisted up by Richard and the doctor. George and his friend waited at the dock. Carefully, Philip was put back into the boat. As everyone made their way back to New York, the doctor worked on Philip’s wound as much as he could with the medical technology they had at the time.


Philip was taken to a hospital in New York. He lied alone on a hospital bed, scared out of his mind of not only what was going to happen to him, but also what his parents might say. Especially his mother. She didn’t know about this at all. He was afraid she’d be angry with him. He was fearful for how Theodosia might react once she finds out, too. She didn’t know a thing about this duel, either. Philip lied there by himself, terrified, for about half an hour, until his father finally arrived.


Alexander raced into the hospital doors and ran up to the doctor. Everyone there could tell that Mr. Hamilton made haste as soon as he caught wind of what happened.
“Where’s my son?!” Alexander exclaimed loudly.
The doctor spoke in a reassuring tone, “Mr. Hamilton, come in. They brought him in half an hour ago. He lost a lot of blood on the way over.”
“Is he alive?!” Alexander asked, his voice beginning to crack.
“Yes. But you have to understand, the bullet entered just above his hip and lodged in his right arm.”
“Can I see him, please?!” Alexander pleaded.

The doctor continued, “I’m doing everything I can, but the wound was already infected when he arrived--” Alexander cut him off. He shoved past the doctor and ran into the hospital room where Philip lay. Philip jumped slightly at the sudden noise, causing himself to wince. Alexander kneeled down and grabbed his son’s hand, holding it tightly in his own.
“Philip…” he breathed.
Philip smiled weakly at his father and struggled slightly to speak, “Pa… I did exactly as you said, Pa. I held my head up high.”
Alexander nodded, “I know, I know. Shh…” Philip tried to speak more, with much difficulty, but Alexander nodded and shushed him again. “I know, you did everything just right,” he said.
“Even before we got to ten--” Philip was cut off by another shush by his father, but he insisted that he continue anyway, “I was aiming for the sky...I was aiming for the sky…”
“I know, I know… Save your strength and stay alive…” Alexander pleaded to his son. Philip began to have a minor coughing fit as his mother ran into the hospital room screaming ‘no.’ She was in mass hysteria, and as she raced over to the other side of Philip she screamed, “Is he breathing? Is he going to survive this?!”. Philip’s heart rate quickened as he looked up and saw her. Eliza grabbed his other hand and held it tightly as well. There were tears coursing rapidly down her cheeks as she looked up at Alexander, and he felt his heart break even more at the sight of this.
“Who did this? Alexander, did you know?” she yelled at him. Before he could respond, Eliza scowled at him, then looked back down at her son. Philip was looking up at her apologetically.

“Mom, I’m so sorry for forgetting what you taught me…” he said weakly.
“My son…” Eliza said desperately.
“We played piano…”
“I taught you piano…”

Alexander watched his wife and son converse with hoarse voices quietly. He never thought for a second that something like this would happen to his family.


“You would put your hands on mine…” Philip remembered.
Eliza nodded as she remembered too, “You changed the melody every time…”
“Ha,” Philip chuckled softly, “I would always change the line…” He began to feel his heart rate slowing down.

“Shh. I know, I know…”
“I would always change the line…”

“I know, I know…” Eliza repeated softly. She looked down at her son sadly for a short moment. Then, she began to count, “Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf…”
Philip nodded and rehearsed the numbers with her. He kept his gaze on his mother as much as he could. His vision began to blur. Eliza began to count again. Philip joined her, until he got to three. Then he wasn’t heard anymore. Alexander noticed this. Eliza didn’t. Not until she got to the final number, and there was a pause.
“Sept huit neuf… Sept huit…” she said softly. She looked into her son’s eyes. Lifeless. Slowly graying. She began to blubber. A piercing shriek left her lungs and she wrapped her arms around her son tightly. Alexander frowned, rested his head against his son’s shoulder, and sobbed with his wife.

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