TDOH: Hamilton and Washington

Note: This is Day Seven of Ten Days of Hamilton. Read this for an explanation.

Thanks to the musical Hamilton, people who care are aware that Alexander Hamilton served as an aide to George Washington during the Revolutionary War. But Washington’s patronage of Hamilton extended beyond this role. According to accounts of the day, Hamilton didn’t encounter Washington until they met during the war. This shouldn’t be unexpected; Washington was older and lived in Virginia, far away from Hamilton in New York.

Washington probably first heard of Hamilton after the latter stole some cannons from the British during the Battle of Princeton. Hamilton became a hot commodity, and others sought him out for “promotion” from the field to their side as an aide, including Nathanael Greene, the American commander in the Southern theater. Fortunately for Washington, Hamilton didn’t want to be a secretary and longed to stay in the field with his men striving for glory. An offer from Washington, however, was too enticing to pass up, and Hamilton served at Washington’s side for just over 4 years.* Continue reading

TDOH: Ranking the Characters of Hamilton

Note: Take a look at this post to know what I am trying to do with these posts over the next two weeks – and beyond!

The musical Hamilton is very fluid with some of the facts surrounding the man himself, and some of the choices that Lin-Manuel Miranda made in moving the timeline around a bit and making different people do the things that others did in real life help tell a better story. Two big changes jump out: Angelica Schuyler’s appreciation of Alexander Hamilton the man is presented as almost a missed connection in a sense, whereas in real life, she was already married with a couple of kids by the time that Alexander met Eliza. Second, the Reynolds Affair was discovered by James Monroe and a couple of others in real life, whereas the musical presents Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as being the prompt for the Reynolds Pamphlet.

But in this post, I want to rank the “main” characters in the musical, based solely on the songs they sing and all that (seeing as how I’ve yet to actually see the musical). The musical has four double-use roles, where the same actor plays a different character in Act 1 than they do in Act 2. I will be ranking the characters and not actors, so there are 14 total roles to rank, and like most ranking we’ll go in reverse chronological order.

Continue reading

TDOH: Hamilton and Jefferson

Note: Check out this post for what is going on this month on this very blog! 

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd POTUS and general pain in the ass to everyone around him

As a person present at the founding of our nation, it should be expected that Alexander Hamilton crossed paths with all the names and faces we know and remember. George Washington. John Adams. James Madison. Even Benedict Arnold makes an appearance close to Hamilton during the Revolution and around the time he became probably the most famous traitor in history.

But no man – even including the man that eventually murdered him in a duel – was more anti-Hamilton than our third president Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson is revered in this country for the things he did before and during his presidency. He wrote the Declaration of Independence. He was our first Secretary of State. While president, the Louisiana Purchase greatly increased the size of our fledgling nation, allowing westward expansion (but also the murder and displacement of our Native people). He founded the University of Virginia. He even died, symbolically, on July 4th, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, hours before BFF and also former president/Founding Father John Adams.  Continue reading

TDOH: Hamilton and Madison

Note: Check out this post for what is going on this month on this very blog!

Madison

James Madison

James Madison was the 4th president of the United States, so most people recognize the name, if not the image included with this post. But as he does not have a musical written about him – though he is a pretty prominent character in the second act of Hamilton – a lot of folks may not realize how important Madison was to the founding of our country.

Prior to ascending to the presidency on the heals of friend and fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson, Madison was perhaps the first person to serve in Congress that truly helped to define what role that particular branch of our government would have in our fledgling nation. But even before that, he played an instrumental role with building the structure of our government in drafting the Constitution, as well as campaigning for its ratification through the The Federalist Papers. But he, along with Jefferson, may have been primarily responsible for the advent of political parties in this country, and this was primarily due to their rivalry with a man named Alexander Hamilton.  Continue reading