July seems to have become the unofficial month to honor Alexander Hamilton: statesman, soldier, hero of the American Revolution, signer of the Constitution, first Secretary of the Treasury, founder of America's financial system, the United States Mint, the Federalist Party, the Coast Guard, two banks, and a newspaper - and he was the husband of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, the heroine of my current historical novel, I, Eliza Hamilton. (He's also "Ten Dollar Founding Father" on the ten dollar bill, and the star of the award-winning Broadway show that bears his name; John Adams would be sick with envy.)
But until Lin-Manuel Miranda put Hamilton's life to music several years ago, what most people knew about Hamilton was that he was shot in a duel by then-Vice President Aaron Burr. (Read more about that tragic event in my blog posts here, here, and here.) The duel took place on July 11, 1804, and Hamilton died the following day. For better or worse, this is the reason for July being "Hamilton Month" - and with that in mind, I'll be participating in two events that will focus less on Alexander, and more on his wife Eliza.
On Thursday, July 12, 6:00-7:30 pm, I'll be the guest of the Friends of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. I'll be speaking about Eliza and Alexander and how I came to write Eliza's story in the Benjamin Franklin Museum - only a few blocks away from where the Hamiltons lived while Alexander was serving in the new Federal government. We'll share a toast in honor of Alexander (not you, Colonel Burr), and I'll be signing copies of I, Eliza Hamilton as well. The talk will benefit the Friends of INHP. See herefor more information and for tickets.
And on Saturday, July 14, 3:00-5:30 pm, I'll be part of the Schuyler Sisters Book Slam, hosted by the historic Schuyler Mansion (the beautifully restored and furnished 18thc home of the Schuyler family, and the site of Eliza's wedding to Alexander) in Albany, NY. I'll be discussing my research about Eliza that inspired I, Eliza Hamilton. Also participating will be author and scholar Danielle Funiciello, who will share her research regarding the oldest Schuyler sister, Angelica Schuyler Church. Rounding out the program will be L.M. Elliot, author of the young adult historical novel Hamilton and Peggy!, who will discuss the third Schuyler sister, Margarita "Peggy" Schuyler Van Rensselaer. A reception and booksigning will follow. See here for more information.
Hope to see you there!
Top left: Alexander Hamilton by James Sharples, c1796, New York Historical Society.
Right: Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA.
Lower left: Schuyler Mansion, Albany, NY.
All photos by Susan Holloway Scott.