"How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence impoverished, in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?"
Hamilton: An American Musical is a brilliant production about one of country's most important historical figures. Through the music genres of Rap, R&B, and Hip-Hop, this work (written by Lin-Manuel Miranda) has shed a lot of light on the lesser known founding father: Alexander Hamilton.
With Hamilton's birthday coming up on January 11th, I think it would be fun to thin-out the myths facts addressed in the musical. Below, I've listed certain scenes from the production that are historically accurate or inaccurate.
1. Hamilton meets Laurens, Mulligan, and Lafayette at the same time (myth)
In the show, Alexander Hamilton meets John Laurens, Hercules Mulligan, and Marquis De Lafayette all at the same time in a tavern. Historically, this is not true. Hamilton meets his three friends at different points throughout his life but Lin-Manuel Miranda has him meet them all at once in order to save time in the show.
2. There were no boys in the Schuyler family (Myth)
"I'm a girl in a world in which my only job is to marry rich. My father has no sons, so I'm the one who has to social climb for one."
While this might be true for Lin-Manuel's Angelica Schuyler, the real Schuyler sister was actually one of fifteen. Angelica Schuyler had four brothers so she really didn't need to social climb for a husband even though she did end up marrying into wealth.
3. "Maratha Washington named her feral tomcat after him!" (That's true!)
Martha Washington did in fact name her cat after Hamilton. The one that she named after him was a male cat (a tomcat) that was always with the female cats. Maratha noticed just how much of a flirt Alexander Hamilton was with the ladies that she couldn't resist to name her "flirtatious" tomcat after him.
4. Jefferson and Washington resigned on the same day (Myth)
In the show, George Washington tells Hamilton that Thomas Jefferson has resigned from his position in the cabinet in order to run for president. When Hamilton makes a remark about how Jefferson doesn't stand a chance against Washington, he gets a rather big shock: Washington states that he too is resigning.
Just to be clear, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson did not step down from their positions on the same day. These two events happened about three years apart of each other. It's a slightly distorted fact (like the tavern scene that I mentioned above) in order to save time in the show.
5. "Hamilton wrote the other 51!" (True, but details have been left out)
In order to defend the new U.S. Constitution, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and John Jay got together to write a series of 85 anonymous essays to point out the strengths of the Constitution. Of these 85 essays, Hamilton is credited with writing 51 of them.
What many people don't know, is that he got help from his wife, Elizabeth "Eliza" Schuyler Hamilton. Alexander had such limited time in order to write the other 51 of the promised 85 essays, that he needed help. Eliza was not only well-educated, but because of her father, knew quite a bit about politics. Enough, at least, in order to aid her husband defend the Constitution.
Even though Alexander Hamilton has long since passed, this article is in honor of him for his birthday. So whether you knew these fun little facts or not, I sincerely hope you got something from it and have learned to appreciate our "ten-dollar, founding father."