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.


5. Chapter 4

Soon after Philip’s death, a funeral was orchestrated for him at Trinity Church. Theodosia was not notified of said funeral, and was busy at home with Mr. Burr, helping him with political business. At the service, Eliza Hamilton stood near the six-foot hole that her son’s coffin was being lowered into, holding a handkerchief up to her face and sobbing. Alexander walked up to his wife quietly and stood beside her. He looked at her, but Eliza kept her gaze focused on Philip’s coffin. Alexander spoke softly and with remorse to his wife,
“I know I don’t deserve you, Eliza, but hear me out...That would be enough…”
Eliza still didn’t look at him. Alexander continued, his voice cracking as he spoke,

“If I could spare his life...If I could trade his life for mine...He’d be standing here right now...And you would smile, and that would be enough…”
Eliza clutched her handkerchief tightly as Alexander looked at her. She used the cloth to wipe away her rapid-flowing tears.

“I know there’s no replacing what we’ve lost...And you need time,” Alexander said empathetically, “But I’m not afraid. I know who I married. Just let me stay here by your side...That would be enough.”

Alexander looked around the area for a short moment, then said, “Eliza, do you like it uptown? It’s quiet uptown…”
There was a pause. Then, Eliza reached for Alexander’s hand but kept her gaze forward. Alexander looked down at their hands, then at his wife’s tear-streaked face.
“It’s quiet uptown.” Eliza agreed, in a hoarse voice. Alexander smiled sadly. He rubbed his thumb against her hand with love. As Philip’s coffin was buried underneath the ground, Eliza hid her face in Alexander’s chest and sobbed uncontrollably. Alexander hugged her tightly, rubbing her back, and crying himself.


After the funeral, the Hamilton’s returned home. Eliza went into Philip’s bedroom for no particular reason. She stood just past the doorway, looking around, with her hand over her heart. She looked to his desk. There was an open bottle of ink, a quill lying down on the desk, and a few sheets of parchment. Eliza walked to his desk and started tidying the small mess. She noticed that the top desk drawer wasn’t closed all the way. Curious, she opened the drawer and was surprised to find a stack of four folded sheets of parchment-- all addressed to someone. The parchment on the top of the stack was addressed to her. Eliza reached for the small stack and picked it up. She picked up the parchment meant for her and unfolded it. She read a letter Philip had left for her before he departed to duel. She began to cry again, but softer this time. She set her letter down on the desk slowly. The next letter was for Alexander. These two letters made sense to Eliza but she was curious about who the other two were for. The next letter was for his younger siblings. The last letter is for Theodosia. Eliza’s eyes widened a bit. She grabbed her letter in haste and went to Alexander. She handed him the first three letters, keeping Theodosia’s in her hand.
“I must go somewhere. I will be back later, I promise.” Eliza told her husband. Alexander nodded in understanding and took the three letters. He noticed the fourth letter but decided against questioning her about it.


Eliza left home and headed for the Burrs. As she arrived, she knocked on the door and was greeted by Aaron Burr.
“Mrs. Hamilton! What a pleasant surprise,” he said politely. He noticed her black attire and thought she must be mourning. He gave her a worried look.
Eliza smiled at him through her emotional pain and kept her strength, “Hello, Burr. May I see your daughter, please? It’s urgent.”
“Theodosia? Has she done something wrong?”
“Oh no, not at all. I just need to speak with her, that’s all.”
Aaron nodded and allowed Eliza to step inside. He told her to wait there near the door as he retrieved his daughter. He left the room to Theodosia’s bedroom, and Eliza stood where she was, waiting patiently. Theodosia came into the room with her father, bearing a confused expression. She then, too, noticed Eliza’s mourning apparel.
“May I speak with her privately?” Eliza requested. Aaron allowed this after brief hesitation. He decided to go into his office and catch up on some work. Eliza led Theodosia outside.

Theodosia looked at Philip’s mother worriedly. Did she know about their relationship? Is she here to tell her to never speak to her son again? Are Eliza and Alexander finding out about their love the reason Philip has not been around to visit for a little while? Many questions were circling around in Theodosia’s head.
“This is for you,” Eliza said as she handed Theodosia the letter. Theodosia slowly took the letter from Eliza and unfolded it. She immediately recognized the handwriting.


“Dear Theodosia,


I am unaware if you were present during George Eacker’s Fourth of the July speech. He insulted my father and his legacy. I could not bear with it. I am a Hamilton with pride. Therefore, I have challenged him. The two of us will commence in a duel in about an hour, once his play his over with. I have never participated in a duel before… I am quite nervous, if I am honest. My thoughts are unorganized. My father has helped with advice. I pray that he is right.

Other than my family members, you are the person I think of the most in this moment. My heart longs for you, my love. All I desire is to hear your sweet voice and feel your gentle touch. The way your lips curl into a smile every time your captivating eyes gaze upon me sets my heart aflame. I am madly in love with you, Theodosia. Everything about you.


One day we will marry and share a home together. We will raise as many children as you desire together. Our love will be so powerful, that others will be envious. We will refuse to let them interfere. Our love is too strong to break. Too strong for us to give up on. I will not let you down and hurt you like my father did my mother.


I promise you, after the duel is finished, I will come visit you and overwhelm you with my admiration and love. I can’t wait to see you again. I love you with all of my heart and soul.


Yours forever and always,

Philip H.”


Theodosia’s eyes watered as she slowly realized what had happened. She didn’t really want to believe that it did, though. She slowly looked back up at Eliza.
“...Where is he?” Theodosia asked, her voice shaking. Eliza looked at her with sad eyes and began to cry herself.
“Philip….is dead…” Eliza said softly with a crack in her voice.

Theodosia felt herself become slightly light-headed. She stared ahead as this new information processed in her mind. gone. He lost the duel. All those lovely things he said in his letter, about marrying and living together happily, will never happen. Theodosia sobbed and let out a loud cry as she dropped to the ground. Eliza quickly caught her in her arms before she could fully hit the ground. Eliza and Theodosia stood there, hugging each other tightly, and sobbing with one another.
“I know, I know…” Eliza said in a whispered tone, still rubbing Theodosia’s back in a comforting fashion. Eventually, the two women stood up and Theodosia wiped her tears away. She fixed herself and thanked Eliza for visiting. Eliza nodded. They bid each other farewell, and Theodosia went back inside. She got herself a glass of water to try and calm herself down. Her father still didn’t know about the relationship she had with Philip. He wouldn’t understand why she was crying. He wouldn’t understand why she had received a letter from him. She realized that she had to hide the letter. Theodosia hurried to her bedroom as an idea sprouted in her head.


Theodosia walked to her bed and lifted the pillow. Underneath was a golden heart-shaped locket. On the back of the heart locket was engraved, “T.B.P.”-- her mother’s initials. This locket was given to Theodosia by her mother when she was just a smile child. Theodosia carefully folded the letter written by Philip into a tiny square small enough to fit inside the locket. She placed it inside the locket heart and clasped it shut. Then, she placed the necklace chain around her neck and hooked it together so that she’d be wearing it.


Many months after Philip’s death had passed. Theodosia wears the locket with his letter to her enclosed inside it every day. Whenever she misses Philip, she retreats to her bedroom alone and reads the letter, always crying by the time she’s finished. Mr. Burr still didn’t suspect a thing.

“Theodosia, may I speak with you?” Aaron said cheerfully to his daughter as she entered the living room.
“Of course you can, father,” Theodosia said in a tone that was as optimistic as possible.
“You’re getting to the age where you should be married,” Aaron said. Theodosia nodded, thinking about how she should be married to Philip. She nodded in agreement with her father anyway.
“I want you to marry Joseph Alston. I believe he would be a good match for you.” Aaron explained. Theodosia nodded again, though she was mostly thinking of Philip.
Aaron raised an eyebrow before speaking, “You’ll marry him? Already?”
“Yes, I’ll marry him. I need to be married, anyway. I am due to leave home and wed someone.”
Aaron agreed. He set up a meeting between the ‘couple’ and Theodosia played along. Aaron arranged the whole wedding. Theodosia gave empty vows to Joseph at the altar and didn’t enjoy having to kiss him. She kept thinking about how the man she should be looking at and kissing should be Philip. She went on a honeymoon with Joseph and enjoyed herself some, but only because of the location in which Joseph took her. Aaron Burr had moved to England after their wedding. Theodosia and Joseph moved to South Carolina and had one child: Aaron Burr Alston.


On December 31, 1812, Theodosia boarded the Patriot from Georgetown, South Carolina to visit her father. Sometime during the journey, something had happened to the ship, and no one ever found out what. The Patriot and all those on board were never heard from again.

Theodosia was finally reunited with Philip.

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