Since Disney+ was kind enough to release Broadway’s Hamilton this weekend I decided it was my American duty to watch it. I never quite got to the theater to see it; and now with everything going on who actually knows if we every will be able to do that again.
In theory, I knew what it was about. I mean, I get it Alexander Hamilton and the Independence of America. But after watching it there were so many facts I have to admit I didn’t know. I felt like on the 4th of July it would be appropriate to share them today. How many of these things did you know?
- Alexander Hamilton did not go to school. He was the “illegitimate” child of James Hamilton and Rachel Faucette and at the time you couldn’t attend school in this state.
- Alexander Hamilton founded the New York Post (although in 1801, was known as the New York Evening Post).
- Alexander’s son Philip also died in a duel. A teen with a bit of a temper, he found himself mortally wounded during a battle of honor and his defense of his father’s work.
- Hamilton inspired the formation of the first political party he called the Federalist Party. It was followed up with Madison and Jefferson’s Democratic Republican party.
- Hamilton passed the bar exam in New York after only studying for 6 months.
- There were sex scandals even in 1791! Hamilton was victim of one with Maria and James Reynolds. This was a marital affair joined by financial blackmail and for sure caused Hamilton to be looked at in a way like never before.
- Hamilton left his family in debt. The first Secretary of the Treasury left his family with much debt at the time of his death and his wife actually had to ask Congress for funds.
- Hamilton is one of only two non-presidents to be honored on American currency.
- We really should all enjoy the play and its beautiful music; it took creator Lin-Manuel Miranda a full year to write the first song and then another year to write the second.
- It was very important for Miranda to have people of color play the leading roles. As this production is a story about America, the casting brilliantly eliminated any distance.
History is an amazing thing. You can read on forever and never really have the whole, true story.