Me? I Loved Him

Me? I loved him. Four simple words spoken by three women. One who married him. One who wrote him. One who saw him at night. This is the story of these women: Elizabeth Schuyler-Hamilton, Angelica Schuyler-Church, and Mary/Maria Reynolds.

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1. The One Who Married Him - Elizabeth Schuyler-Hamilton

 

When Elizabeth Hamilton stayed with her aunt, Gertrude Schuyler Cochran, in Morristown, New Jersey, she wasn’t prepared for her life to change. Elizabeth (Eliza) was 23, and the colonies were at war. She sighed, walking into her aunt’s grand home, her sister Margarita (Peggy) trailing behind.

“There’s troops stationed here ya’know.” Peggy remarked, her voice almost sounding frightened. She was only about a year younger than Eliza, but the war had her scared like a 10 year old.

“I’m aware. We could run into them at aaaany moment…” Eliza teased, causing the younger Schuyler to bristle.

“No way!” She cried, running ahead of Eliza and into Aunt Gertrude’s grand mansion. Eliza followed, and her eldest sister, Angelica, wasn’t far behind.

Life in Albany was so-and-so. Her father was General Philip Schuyler, who keep their family safe from harm. However, Eliza was rather frustrated. How desperate she was to find a man who would love her like a husband could! Eliza settled into the home, smiling to herself.

Eliza was the second eldest Schuyler child. 2nd out of 14, most of which were brothers. Eliza would find herself running amok with them. She enjoyed climbing trees on their estate, where nothing but the birds could reach her. Her sisters and mother called her crazy. Her brothers merely cheered and she once saw her father smile as he looked up at her.

She looked out her window. It was late winter, lazy snowflakes smattering the ground and melting so quick that she barely saw them at all. Her hand pressed against the cold glass, a soft smile gracing her petite lips.

Two figures walked down the road in front of her. A man in a white powdered wig, a military uniform, a commander’s uniform at that, with his tricorn hat. A man, maybe her age or so, trailed him. His fiery red hair blazed in a short ponytail on the nape of his neck, a standard military uniform clothing his body. Eliza recognized them as Commander George Washington of the Colonial Army and Colonel Alexander Hamilton, his aides-de-camp. She saw him look up at her for just a few seconds. He was handsome. He looked worn down more since she had last seen him. He had stayed and dined at their home in Albany once. The winter was most likely hard of the young soldier. Elizabeth found herself blushing, Alexander turning away and continuing on.

They crossed paths again that night. He was next door, so she found herself meeting him outside.

“Elizabeth Schuyler. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She said nervously, bowing.

“Alexander Hamilton. The pleasure is all mine, I assure you.” He said. Eliza found herself entranced in his eyes. Little did she know, this man would make her life.

He would let it grow and burn it.

Their relationship grew quickly. They found themselves drawn to each other, their friendship turning into love, love for one another. Eventually Alexander left Morristown, Eliza dismayed. Would she ever see him again? She had only known him for a month. They wrote each other, both clinging to the words they were given.

And by early April, Alexander had Philip Schuyler’s blessing for him to wed Eliza. They both were therefore engaged, and Eliza could never be happier. By December 14th, they were both husband and wife.

Nearing the historic Battle of Yorktown, Eliza became overjoyed more than she could begin to express. She had discovered she was pregnant with their first child. Alexander was even more driven to win the war and be home with his wife and child.

Eliza, Angelica, and Peggy were staying at the Schuyler mansion in Albany that autumn. Angelica was thrilled to reveal she was also pregnant with her second-born.The family celebrated, the mansion filled with joy.

Suddenly there was slurred, rough knocking at the door. Everyone turned, staring at the door. The women became engulfed in fear. They could hear the yelling and whoops of the Indians and Tories.

The war had come to the Schuyler mansion.

Eliza was overcome with terror. Was Alexander alright? Would this be her end? Philip herded the women upstairs into the attic, firing his pistol out the window. They were prepared for an attack, General Schuyler had just sent out a call for help. Eliza, Angelica, and their mother held onto the General’s body, weeping. Suddenly, Peggy stood.

“Oh Lord. No.” She murmured, walking to the door.

“Margarita!” Mrs. Schuyler cried out as Peggy opened the door.

She looked at her mother, her eyes glistening with unshed tears. “Catherine’s down there. We left Catherine down there.

Catherine was their baby sister, who had been born months ago.

And with that, Peggy rushed out, closing the door behind her, leaving her family screaming for her. She ran down the stairs, reaching the cradle. Peggy let out a sigh of relief, seeing her little sister safe. She gathered her up in her arms, whispering sweet nothings, and fled up the banister.

“Wench!”

Peggy froze at the voice calling to her. She turned, seeing Tories and Indians flooding the house. “Where is your master?”

She stood there, staring at the men. She could hear her blood pulsing in her ears. Peggy then looked down at sweet Catherine, who had fallen asleep in her arms.

Peggy looked up at the men calmly.

“He has gone off to warn the town.”

Once the words left her mouth, almost all the invaders ran, fearful for the oncoming riot of townspeople. Peggy turned and continued up the stairs. She heard and Indian yell. A tomahawk flew at her head, burying itself deep in the banister.

Peggy kept walking up the stairs until Catherine was safe in her mother’s arms.

Alexander was relieved. Soon after the war was over. Eliza and Alexander’s firstborn son, Philip Hamilton, was born.

They were a family.

 

 

 

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