Sunday, January 29, 2023

When Lin-Manuel Miranda said that he’s working on a concept album about someone who embodies hip-hop – Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, the Obamas laughed. Well, apparently, Hamilton’s life was so eventful, that is made into a two and a half-hour musical, with enough adventures for a second installment. Here are the fascinating facts that were not in the show.

He Lied About His Age

The first of the many bold moves that Alexander pulled at the tender age of 13. The musical tells us that he went on “working, clerking for his late mother’s landlord”, however, the fact that he lied about his age is (un)intentionally missed. Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1755, but told around that he was born in 1757.

What made him do this was his belief that if he was younger (11 years old to be more precise) would land him an apprenticeship far easier. All this was required by the fact that James Hamilton – Alexander’s father, abandoned him along with his family in extreme poverty. 

An amazing writer

It is briefly mentioned that “this kid is insane, man!”. Indeed, young Alexander Hamilton was a superb writer from the start. So, as sang, they “took up a collection just to send him to the mainland”. Among those people was a Presbyterian minister named Hugh Knox, who was a friend and mentor to young Alexander.

Knox was very impressed by Hamilton’s writing abilities. So impressed that he made Alexander publish it in a local newspaper. Then, to put it in a more modern manner – the letter went viral. Several wealthy citizens of St. Croix found out who he was, gathered money, and sent him to King’s College (which is now Columbia).

The New York Bar Exam

Well, Hamilton passed it after studying for just six months. Talk about smart investment by those St. Croix businessmen.

Hamilton’s vision of the newly-formed United States of America included a strong central government. So, he decided to pay his tall by becoming one of the nation’s first lawyers. So, after the war “he went back to New York, he finished up his studies and he practiced law”. He left Gen. Washington’s side and went on to pass the NYC bar exam after studying for just half a year, passing it in 1782. 

He Worked With Aaron Burr

These two share a very weird connection. I can’t even use the modern term frenemies. The two clashed on multiple occasions but obviously shared a lot of mutual respect along with resentment and hatred.

In one case they even worked together.  The Manhattan Well Murder – the “first murder trial of our brand-new nation” saw the two pair up, along with Henry Brockholst Livingston. As the case goes – Levi Weeks murdered his fiancée Elma Sands. Levi’s brother was a rich and prominent citizen, so he did his best to keep his brother from harm’s way. The three men he hired were amongst NYC’s finest. The trial took until after midnight, and in the end, Levi Weeks was deemed a social pariah and was forced to leave the city.

The New York Post

Fun fact – Alexander Hamilton founded The New York Post purely to use it as an outlet against President Thomas Jefferson. Despite endorsing him in the “Elections of 1800”, Hamilton never had much love about the former ambassador in France and Secretary of State. And vice versa – Jefferson never had much, if any love, for the hot-headed Federalist. 

So, in order to give his attacks a powerful outlet, Alexander Hamilton founded the New York Post in November 1801. I guess the modern social network was not the cradle of trolling. Still, the newspaper is still in print today and is one of the most popular sources of information, outliving both its creator and its target by centuries. 

Well, if Lyn-Manuel Miranda wants to create a prequel/sequel, he’ll have more than enough material to do it. These facts that were not in the show prove that his bold statement in the White House was more than true! 

Along with the facts that were not in the show, Hamilton got a lot of things right!

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