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"I am not throwin' away my shot!"
— Alexander Hamilton ("My Shot")


Alexander Hamilton's House in St. Nicholas Park, Manhattan, New York City.

Alexander Hamilton is the titular main protagonist of the musical Hamilton.

Biography

Act One

Alexander Hamilton was born in the West Indies region of the Caribbean. According to the musical, Hamilton's father left him and his mother, who died from a fever when he was 12. He then moved in with a cousin who committed suicide, which left him to fend for himself as he had no one else.

A room inside Alexander Hamilton's House.

A room inside the Hamilton Grange.

When he became older, a hurricane destroyed his town. In others' time of need, and due to his exceedingly brilliant intelligence, the citizens of the town collected funds so that Hamilton could book passage on a New York-bound ship ("Alexander Hamilton"). When Hamilton arrived in New York he became interested in the up-and-coming American revolution. There he first meets Aaron Burr in New York City ("Aaron Burr, Sir") and is then introduced to the rest of Burr's revolutionary friends and impresses them with his oratory skills ("My Shot"). He has long dreamed of laying down his life for a cause such as the revolution ("The Story of Tonight") and studied furiously before joining the Revolution, and becoming George Washington's secretary during the war. ("Right Hand Man").

Hamilton then attends a winter ball ("A Winter's Ball"), where he meets Elizabeth Schuyler. They talk to each other through letters for two weeks and eventually marry ("Helpless"). Her sister also had feelings for him, but Angelica allows Eliza to marry Hamilton, because she 'loves her sister more than anything in this life'. ("Satisfied").

General George Washington sends Hamilton home during the war for disobeying direct orders and engaging in a duel with General Charles Lee ("Meet Me Inside"). However, soon after he was summoned back, ("Guns And Ships") to finish the war at the Battle of Yorktown. ("Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)").

After the war, Eliza gives birth to a baby boy named Philip Hamilton, whose innocent brilliance leaves him astounded ("Dear Theodosia").

Hamilton returns to New York to finish his studies and pursue a law career. Hamilton is then chosen as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787. Hamilton enlists James Madison and John Jay to write The Federalist Papers after Aaron Burr refuses. The newly elected President Washington enlists Hamilton for the job of Secretary of Treasury, despite Eliza's pleas. ("Non-Stop").

Act Two

After Thomas Jefferson returns from France in 1789, Jefferson and Hamilton debate over the merits of Hamilton's financial plan during a Cabinet meeting. Washington pulls Hamilton aside and tells him to figure out a compromise to win over Congress. ("Cabinet Battle #1").

Hamilton's son turns nine, and he corresponds with Angelica in England, where she advises him to sway Jefferson so that Congress accepts his plan. Angelica travels back to New York to go upstate with his family but he refuses insisting he has to work. ("Take A Break").

Portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull c. 1806

While alone, Maria Reynolds visits Hamilton, who seduces him by claiming that her husband mistreats her. They continue to have an affair for a month until Maria's husband James Reynolds blackmails Hamilton into paying him money. In return, Reynolds will not tell Eliza about the affair. Hamilton agrees to pay Reynolds and continues the affair. ("Say No To This").

Hamilton discusses his plan with Jefferson and Madison over a private dinner, which results in the Compromise of 1790, giving support to Hamilton's financial plan in exchange for moving the United States capital from New York to Washington, D.C., a site that is much closer to Jefferson's home in Virginia ("The Room Where It Happens").

In another cabinet meeting, Jefferson and Hamilton argue over whether the United States should assist France in their revolution. Washington ultimately agrees with Hamilton's argument of neutrality ("Cabinet Battle #2"). 

As Washington steps down from his presidential position, Hamilton drafts his farewell address. ("One Last Time").

Now having no political office since the election of John Adams, Hamilton is outraged by Adams's "unprepared" nature according to Hamilton. They get in a fight with Adams bashing Hamilton for being an orphan; Hamilton's response being very harsh to Adams's weight. Hamilton's reputation takes a blow from this, and his political enemies, Burr, Jefferson, and Madison, think that it is the perfect time to destroy him ("The Adams Administration").

Thinking they have discovered a scandal capable of destroying Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison and Burr accuse him of embezzling government money and committing treason. In reality, however, they found the transactions from his affair with Maria Reynolds. Hamilton, knowing that the truth is the only way out, tells them about his affair and begs them not to tell anyone ("We Know"). Still worried that they would, Hamilton thinks about how writing openly and honestly has saved him in the past ("Hurricane"), and publicly writes "The Reynolds Pamphlet" to come clean about the affair, hoping to save his political legacy ("The Reynolds Pamphlet"). 

After his eldest child, Philip Hamilton, challenges George Eacker to a duel, he is mortally wounded and dies from infection ("Blow Us All Away"). Hamilton and Eliza become increasingly depressed after their loss and they move uptown ("It's Quiet Uptown").

As the Election of 1800 approaches, Alexander Hamilton is frequently asked about who he will promote for president. Shockingly, Hamilton selects Jefferson, claiming that Burr has no beliefs and stands for himself. ("The Election of 1800").

Burr, angry at his absent endorsement, challenges Hamilton to a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey ("Your Obedient Servant"). As a gunshot sounds, Hamilton soliloquizes on death, his relationships, and his legacy. He aims his pistol at the sky and is struck by Burr's shot, dying soon after. Burr laments that even though he survived, he's cursed to be the villain in history, remembered only as the man who killed Alexander Hamilton ("The World Was Wide Enough").

He now lies in Trinity Church, right near Angelica after she passed away. ("Who Lives Who Dies Who Tells Your Story")

Casting Changes

Vassar Workshop

Gallery

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Trivia

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted that the role of Alexander Hamilton was created by him and Javier Muñoz together.
  • Alexander had an older brother, James Hamilton Jr.
  • When Alexander Hamilton was on his way to New York, his ship caught fire.
  • There is a fringe theory that Hamilton's "real" father was Thomas Stevens, who took him in as a child. Hamilton and Stevens' son, Edward, looked eerily alike, according to some. Apparently there is no such thing as a coincidence.
  • Alexander Hamilton was denied admission to College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton, where Burr had studied and graduated in two years. He later got admission to King's College, now known as the Columbia University.
    • An accelerated course of two years was denied to Hamilton at College of New Jersey, as in the previous semester, a student had become mentally unstable for a considerable period of time due to long study hours and undue stress. The student was none other than the fourth U.S. President and Founding Father, James Madison.
  • Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens wrote many letters to each other. However, many were destroyed.
  • One letter Hamilton wrote to Laurens started with ‘My Dearest Laurens.’
  • During his revolutionary days, George Washington made John Laurens and Alexander Hamilton share a bed.
  • During the Revolutionary War, Hamilton wrote an entire letter detailing why he didn't want a convicted spy, John Andrè, to be hanged. Unfortunately though, John was hanged anyway.
  • Charles Lee had reported Alexander Hamilton dead, and when General Washington and his comrades did a toast in his memory, Alexander came to the camp, dripping wet, as he had swam to save his life.
  • George Washington's attempts of being a father figure to Alexander were strongly disliked by Hamilton. He even wrote a letter to his father in law, the decorated war hero and politician, Philip Schuyler, stating how annoying he founded the General's attempts to be a stand in father for him. This was slightly ironic as his wife, Eliza Schuyler, was like a surrogate daughter to Martha Washington, George Washington's wife. However, Hamilton and Washington together faced and braved many horrors of war.
  • Alexander was shot at the same spot as his son. His fashion of death also mirrored his son's untimely demise. Philip as well as Alexander were both killed in their first duel, when neither of them had the intention of shooting their opponents.
  • The night before the fateful dawn, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were both at a party where, Alexander was standing on the bar and leading the men in a song with robust gusto. By all accounts present, Burr was sitting alone, in a quiet corner.
  • He was distantly related to figures like William the Conqueror and Robert E. Lee
  • Hamilton Grange, Alexander's home in Harlem mentioned in the song Quiet Uptown was the only house he ever owned and where they shifted after Philip died.

References

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