His name is Alexander Hamilton

  

His name is Alexander Hamilton

Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton is the multi award-winning inspiration for Lin-Manuel Miranda's Pulitzer-winning musical, HamiltonHamilton launches in London later this year so we've taken a journey through the hits of the musical and their background. Read on to get to know the forgotten founding father and his world a bit better.

Alexander Hamilton

Well, the word got around, they said, “This kid is insane, man”
Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland
“Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came, and
The world's gonna know your name.

“Hamilton did not know it, but he had just written his way out of poverty. This natural calamity was to prove his salvation. His hurricane letter generated such a sensation—even the island’s governor inquired after the young author’s identity—that a subscription fund was taken up by local businessmen to send this promising youth to North America to be educated. This generosity was all the more remarkable given the island’s dismal state.”


The Schuyler Sisters

Excuse me, miss, I know it’s not funny
But your perfume smells like your daddy’s got money
Why you slummin’ in the city in your fancy heels
You searchin for an urchin who can give you ideals?

“The [Schuyler] daughters in particular—all smart, beautiful, gregarious, and rich—must have been the stuff of fantasy for Hamilton. Each played a different musical instrument, and they collectively charmed and delighted all visitors to the Schuyler mansion in Albany.”


Non-Stop

Even though we started at the very same time
Alexander Hamilton began to climb
How to account for his rise to the top?
Maaaaan, the man is non-stop!

“A good-natured legal rivalry arose between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Sometimes they worked on the same team, more often on opposing sides. Hamilton did not drag political feuds into dinner parties and drawing rooms, and so he mingled with Burr cordially. Later on, Hamilton said that in their early relationship they had “always been opposed in politics but always on good terms. We set out in the practice of the law at the same time and took opposite political directions. Burr beckoned me to follow him and I advised him to come with me. We could not agree.”


The Room Where It Happens

What did they say to you to get you to sell New York City down the river?
Did Washington know about the dinner?
Was there Presidential pressure to deliver?
Or did you know, even then, it doesn’t matter
Where you put the U.S. Capital?

“The dinner consecrated a deal that was probably already close to achievement. The sad irony was that Hamilton, the quintessential New Yorker, bargained away the city’s chance to be another London or Paris, the political as well as financial and cultural capital of the country. His difficult compromise testified to the transcendent value he placed on assumption [of state debt]. ”


The World Was Wide Open

If I throw away my shot, is this how you’ll remember me?
What if this bullet is my legacy?

“Once a duel was agreed upon, Hamilton had to reconcile the two glaringly incompatible elements of the situation: his need to fight to preserve his political prestige and his equally powerful need to remain true to his avowed opposition to dueling. He opted for a solution chosen by honorable duelists before him: he would throw away his fire—that is, purposely miss his opponent.”


Alexander Hamilton is available now in hardback, paperback and ebook.