#hamildays: A Hamilton-Inspired Journey Through the Stacks

Act 1

Home | Introduction | Act 1 | Act 2 | Bibliography

Act I, Track 1
Alexander Hamilton
Original post: Oct. 20, 2015

"And me? I'm the damned fool who shot him."

I listened to the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording on the train the other week and just kind of kept listening because it's amazing. And then I got back from vacation and decided that one of the (many) awesome things about working at @americanantiquarian is that I'm surrounded by contemporary material, some of it signed: Your obedient servant, A. Hamilton.

tl;dr - I started looking in our collections for #hamilton-inspired material. To quote Charles Lee: Wheeeeeee!

#hamiltunes #hamildays #americanantiquarian #ilovemyjob

Top: detail from In Memory of Genl. Alexr. Hamilton, Engraved by Cornelius Tiebout (Philadelphia: James Savage, [1804]). (Hand-colored! Full image linked in the catalog record: bibId 427233.)

Bottom left: frontispiece of Memoirs of Aaron Burr. By Matthew L. Davis (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1836), v. 1. Portrait signed: J. Vanderlyn pinx't. G. Parker sculp't.

Bottom right: frontispiece of The Life of Alexander Hamilton. By His Son John C. Hamilton (New-York: Halsted & Voorhies, 1834). Engraved by A.B. Durand after a bust of Alexander Hamilton sculpted by Ceracchi.

Act I, Track 1
Alexander Hamilton
Original post: October 21, 2015

“Then a hurricane came and devastation reigned, / our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain, / put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his
brain, / and he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain.”

My #hamilton-inspired wander through our stacks continues, today with a copy of Hamilton’s letter on the St. Croix hurricane reprinted by Isaiah Thomas in the Massachusetts Spy.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #americanantiquarian #massachusettsspy #newspapers #hurricanes

The Massachusetts Spy, or, Thomas’s Boston Journal (Boston, Mass.), Dec. 10, 1772, p. 167.

the tl;dr - Hamilton’s account of the hurricane that hit St. Croix was published in the Oct. 3, 1772, issue of the Royal Danish American Gazette. This is not that issue; our holdings of the Gazette comprise three issues: one from 1776, one from 1788, and one from 1796. However! Newspaper editors often picked up and reprinted articles from other newspapers, and Isaiah Thomas reprinted Hamilton’s letter in the Dec. 10, 1772, issue of The Massachusetts Spy, which is in our stacks! The letter in said issue is pictured above, albeit with a rather substantial gap; the letter itself is long, and this is the first bit (columns 1 and 2) and the last bit (column 3). Sir Not Appearing In This Instagram is the middle bit, concerning God, death “com[ing] rushing on in triumph, veiled in a mantle of tenfold darkness,” and how “that which in a calm unruffled temper we call a natural cause, seemed then like a correction of the Deity.”

Act I, Track 2
Aaron Burr, Sir
Original post: October 22, 2015

“Well, if it ain’t the prodigy of Princeton college!” / “Aaron Burr!” / “Give us a verse, drop some knowledge!”

Today’s #hamilton-inspired jaunt through the stacks was actually in search of #aaronburr, sir, and his time at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). He gave an address titled “Building Castles in the Air” at his commencement in 1772, and one wonders if he took the advice that William Paterson offered in the above missive: to speak more slowly and to “distinctly pronounc[e]” each word.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #letterstoburr #collegeofnewjersey #schooldays #manuscripts #newspapers #americanantiquarian

Left: William Paterson to Aaron Burr, Jan. 17, 1772, Aaron Burr Papers, 1772-1842, Mss boxes / oversize folders B, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA.

Upper right: Nassau Hall. Frontispiece of William A. Dod, History of the College of New Jersey (Princeton, N.J.: J.T. Robinson, 1844).

Lower right: description of commencement exercises at the College of New Jersey, including a list of degrees conferred, from the New York Journal (New York, N.Y.), Oct. 22, 1772, p. 761.

Act I, Track 3
My Shot
Original post: October 26, 2015

"Wait till I sally in / on a stallion with the first black battalion"

I chanced upon this article in the Massachusetts Spy (July 5, 1781) while searching for #hamilton-related material and immediately thought of #johnlaurens. The newspaper summarizes an intercepted letter claiming that South Carolina will start “making soldiers” of black men. However, the author of the letter, Sir Henry Clinton (the British Commander-in-Chief), “was ill-informed: Carolina did not adopt the measure.” Laurens tried multiple times to raise a black battalion in South Carolina, but his plan never came to fruition.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #newspapers #engravings #americanantiquarian

Left: detail from The Battle at Bunker’s Hill, or the Death of General Warren. Painted by John Trumbull Esqr. Engraved by J. Norman ([Boston?: s.n., 1789?]). The man is unidentified, although he is sometimes tentatively identified as Peter Salem; several African Americans, including Peter Salem andSalem Poor, enlisted in the American forces and fought at Bunker Hill. (High quality scan linked from catalog record: bibId 478928.)

Right: excerpt from Thomas’s Massachusetts Spy or, The Worcester Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), July 5, 1781, p. [2].

Act I, Track 4
The Story of Tonight
Original post: October 23, 2015

“Let’s have another round tonight.” / “Raise a glass to the four of us.”

To taverns! And songs! It seems appropriate for a Friday night. And yes, there’s even a song about taxation (“Essentially, they tax us relentlessly, / then King George turns around, runs a speeding spree”*).

#hamiltunes #hamildays #greendragontavern #singasongofsixpence #broadsides #woodcuts #drawings #americanantiquarian

Upper left: facsimile edition of Americans to Arms. Sung to the Tune of, Britons to Arms ([Salem, Mass.?: Ezekiel Russell?, 1775?]). Facsimile by Johnson, Wilson & Co. (New York: 1875).

Lower left: “A new song,” one of four songs printed in Four Excellent Songs (Norwich, Conn.: Judah Spooner, between 1774 and 1776).

Upper right: Taxation of America (United States: s.n., between 1777 and 1810).

Lower right: John Johnston (1753-1818), Green Dragon Tavern, 1773. Pen and ink with watercolor wash. Caption: “Green Dragon Tavern. Where we went to plan the consignment of a few shiploads of tea. Dec. 16, 1773. John Johnson, 4 Water Street, Boston, Mass., 1773.”

Act I, Track 5
The Schuyler Sisters

Original post: October 24, 2015

“History is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world!”

Today’s #hamilton search took me to New York City. Unsurprisingly, maps printed in 1776 show a rather different landscape than google maps, although it was surprisingly entertaining making them line up and realizing how different the waterfront is now (see the tl;dr comment for details).

#hamiltunes #hamildays #newyorkcity #kingscollege #maps #handcoloring #woodcuts #almanacs #1776 #americanantiquarian

Upper left: John Montresor, A Plan of the City of New-York & Its Environs ([London]: Andrew Drury, [1776?]). Dedicated “[t]o the Hon[ora]ble Tho[ma]s Gage, Esqr. Major General and Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s forces in North America.” (Hand-colored! High quality scan linked from its catalog record: bibId 488638.)

Lower left: “A view of the present seat of war at and near New York” from Nathan Daboll, Freebetter’s New-England Almanacks, for the Year of Our Lord Christ, 1777 (Hartford, Conn.: Nathaniel Patten, 1776), title page.

Upper right: “New buildings not finished” (approx. Mulberry St. between Bayard and Broome [I think]), detail from A Plan of the City and Environs of NewYork in North America ([London: s.n., 1776]). (High quality scan linked from its catalog record: bibId 488633.)

Lower right: detail from Montresor, A Plan of the City of New-York & Its Environs, including “Colledge” [i.e., King’s College], on the large block of green; “St. Paul’s Church” (R); and “The intended square or common,” where (so far as I can tell) City Hall Park is now.

the tl;dr (the first) - Thank you, Chernow, for telling us where King’s College used to be located using the modern street names, W. Broadway, Murray, Barclay, and Church (Alexander Hamilton, p. 49); that’s the bit of information that made everything fall into place when I was trying to compare the historical maps to Google maps and figure out if the block of greenery and trees labelled “Colledge” on the Montresor map was, in fact, King’s College. (It was!) I admit to being a bit surprised to see how far south the northern edge of the city was in 1776; it looks like present-day Warren and Chambers are at the border. (Note: the Montresor map is not oriented so that up is north; the tree-lined street by “The intended square or common” is Broadway.) There’s also less land; in the detail of the Montresor map, the Hudson River is in the upper left, about at present-day Greenwich St. The map is hand-colored, and the tiny, green trees sold me on it.

the tl;dr (the second) - Almanacs! Things I can say I was truly not expecting: to find a map on the title page of an almanac, much less one showing the “present seat of the war;” the same map also appeared in another almanac, Nathanael Low’s An Astronomical Diary; or, Almanack, for the Year of Christian Aera, 1777 (Boston: John Gill and T. & J. Fleet, [1776]). The peanut shape in the middle is Manhattan Island, bordered by North [Hudson] River and East River, with Long Island on the lower right and New Jersey on the left. The legend, which is on the verso of the title page, points out “General Washington’s lines on New-York Island” (labelled A); the illustration at the tip of the island, which looks a bit blobby, is actually buildings; and “Bunker-Hill, near New-York” (labelled C), which also looks like a blob, is just above them at what is now Centre, Broome, Mott, and Grand streets.

Act I, Track 6
The Farmer Refuted
Original post: October 27, 2015

"My dog speaks more eloquently than thee!"

For today’s #hamilton exploration, I visited his writings in our stacks. Hamilton wrote two pamphlets in response to #samuelseabury, A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress (1774) and The Farmer Refuted (1775). A Full Vindication expresses exasperation at Seabury’s Loyalist writings, which “contai[n] nothing else” but “ridiculous quibbles” and bad logic, but it focuses more on Seabury’s arguments than Seabury. However, Hamilton wields a much sharper pen in The Farmer Refuted, which was his response to A View of the Controversy Between Great-Britain and Her Colonies, Seabury’s response to Hamilton. (Pamphlet wars ftw! In the meantime, I suspect that James Rivington, the publisher of both Seabury’s and Hamilton’s pamphlets, cheerfully sold them all.)

#hamiltunes #hamildays #pamphletwars #frontispieces #pamphlets #americanantiquarian

Upper left: portrait of Samuel Seabury. The frontispiece of Discourses on Several Subjects by Samuel Seabury (Hudson, N.Y.: William E. Norman, 1815), v. 1.

Upper right: title pages from: A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress by Alexander Hamilton (New York: James Rivington, 1774); A View of the Controversy Between Great-Britain and Her Colonies (New York: James Rivington, 1774); The Farmer Refuted by Alexander Hamilton (New York: James Rivington, 1775).

Bottom: excerpt from The Farmer Refuted, p. [1].

tl;dr - The Farmer Refuted opens as above, calling the “spirit that breathes throughout [A View of the Controversy] so rancorous, illiberal and imperious” and its arguments “so puerile and fallacious,” et cetera. In the second paragraph, Hamilton continues, “You have not even imposed the laborious task of pursuing you through a labyrinth of subtlety. You have not had ability sufficient, however violent your efforts, to try the depths of sophistry; but have barely skimmed along its surface.” Ouch. (Hamilton gets to the political theory, history, and current events, it just takes a few pages to do so, and comments about Seabury’s abilities pop up throughout.)

Act I, Track 7
You’ll Be Back
Original post: October 28, 2015

"Cuz when push comes to shove, / I will kill your friends and family to remind / you of my love. / Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da / Da da dat dat da ya da!"

Dear #kinggeorge:
Unsurprisingly, anti-British media often pointed that out.

Today’s #hamilton-inspired search took me to our #broadside drawers — this was not a hardship — where I found #woodcuts and songs. (I’ve read a lot of moderately terrible political poems and songs; it has, perhaps, done some interesting things to my sense of what rhymes.) Then I wandered into #engravings and #almanacs to see what else I could see.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #americanantiquarian

Top: A Bloody Butchery, By the British Troops: or, The Runaway Fight of the Regulars (Salem, Mass.: Ezekiel Russell, 1775. Second ed.). Relief cut of forty-two coffins with the names of the dead.

Right: Title page of Freebetter’s New-England Almanack, for the Year 1776, by Nathan Daboll (New London, Conn.: Timothy Green, 1775).

Bottom: The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in King-Street Boston on March 5th, 1770, by a Party of the 29th Reg[imen]t, by Paul Revere (Boston: Paul Revere, 1770). (High quality scanned linked from The Illustrated Inventory of Paul Revere’s Works at the American Antiquarian Society, Box 8 .)

Left and center: A Poem on the Late Distress of the Town of Boston, by Elisha Rich (Chelmsford, Mass.: Nathaniel Coverly, 1776). The relief cut is at the top of the broadside, and the verses are from the middle.

Act I, Track 8
Right Hand Man
Original post: October 29, 2015

"Now I’m the model of a modern major general, / the venerated Virginian veteran whose men are all / lining up, to put me up on a pedestal"

#georgewashington was subjected to a fair amount of pomp and circumstance, including this procession at Trenton on the way to his inauguration in 1789. It’s impossible to see in the picture, but the banner above Washington reads: "Battle of Trenton Dec. 26th, 1776. The defender of the mothers will be the protectors of the daughters." Matrons and young ladies sang the above chorus, and the published descriptions suggest that many baskets of flowers were involved.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #sheetmusic #lithographs #americanantiquarian

Upper left: Washington’s Reception by the Ladies on Passing the Bridge at Trenton, N.J. April 1789, On His Way to be Inaugurated First President of the United States (New York: N. Currier, [1845]). (High quality scan linked to catalog record: bibId 149390.)

Upper middle, upper right, and lower image: Chorus Sung Before Gen. Washington as he Passed Under the Triumphal Arch Raised on the Bridge at Trenton April 21st 1789 Set to Music and Dedicated by Permission to Mrs. Washington by A[lexander] Reinagle (Philadelphia: Henry Rice, [1789]).

Act I, Track 9
A Winter’s Ball
Original post: October 31, 2015

"Washington hires Hamilton right on sight, / But Hamilton still wants to fight, not write."

The Jan. 25, 1777, issue of the Pennsylvania Evening Post carried the above note: “Captain Hamilton … by applying to the printer of this paper, may hear of something to his advantage.” Chernow speculates (Alexander Hamilton, p. 85) that said notice referred to the note #washington wrote #hamilton inviting him to become an aide-de-camp.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #alonzochappel #booksinparts #fascicles #steelengravings #newspapers #americanantiquarian

Top: excerpt from Pennsylvania Evening Post (Philadelphia, Penn.), Jan. 25, 1777, p. 41.

Bottom left and middle: front cover and accompanying engraving of Life & Times of Washington by J.F. Schroeder (New York: Fry and Chappel, 1857), pt.

Bottom right: "A. Hamilton from the original painting by Chappel, in the possession of the publishers" from E.A. Duyckinck, National Portrait Gallery of Eminent Americans (New York: Johnson, Fry & Company, 1862).

the tl;dr - While hunting around for materials about the working relationship between Hamilton and Washington, I followed one of those winding trails that starts in the catalog and ends—after a few searches, several excursions into the stacks, and a bit of lugging things around—in a fun bit of mid-19th-century printing. (At least, it entertained me.) Fry and Chappel, New York publishers, issued Life & Times of Washington by J.F. Schroeder, D.D., illustrated by Chappel, in parts. Each part came in its own printed paper covers, had 32 pages, contained 1 steel engraving, and cost 25 cents;forty-six parts later, the subscriber would have a rather weighty tome that they could bind into volumes as they pleased. It turns out that #americanantiquarian still has the original parts in the original wrappers, and I had a fun time looking through them and hunting for the “First Meeting of Washington & Hamilton” engraving. (It was in part 7; unsurprisingly, the order of the engravings didn’t have any particular relevance to the 32 pages of text that I could discern.)

(It’s possible I am ridiculous, but whatever, I enjoyed finding it. Although the best part might be the liberal use of exclamation points at the top of each part’s cover: “Revolutionary biography!!! With original illustrations by Chappel!!”)

Act I, Track 10
Original post: November 1, 2015

"We were at a revel with some rebels on a hot night"

For today’s #hamilton -inspired dive through our collections, I found myself in our #ephemera collections looking at dance tickets. None of them are for a 1780 Morristown ball, but they’re still pretty neat. As a bonus, if you collected enough of them you might have a full deck. (Or, there are infinite numbers of ways that the little things surprise me; this time, it was discovering that the versos of the #dancetickets often appear to be playing cards. ♠️♥️♣️♦️)

#hamiltunes #hamildays #americanantiquarian

Top: Scholar’s Ball ticket of Miss Clarrissa Snow, Hartford, Aug. 6th, 1787.

Bottom, left to right: verso of Exhibition Ball ticket of Miss Lucy Watson, Leicester, July 9, 1801; verso of Exhibition Ball ticket of Rev. E.L. Bascom, New Salem, Oct. 22, 1800; verso of Miss Polly Huntington’s ticket to the ball at Mr. John Staniford’s, May 30, 1797; verso of H. Collimore’s(?) ticket to a
ball at Stockbridge’s Hall on Dec. 6, 1810.

Act 1, Track 11
Original post: November 14, 2015

"He’s penniless, he’s flying by the seat of his pants."

Today we skip forward in time to #elizabethschuylerhamilton after Hamilton’s death. Elizabeth’s financial situation was tight after Hamilton’s death in July 1804, which was soon followed by her father’s death in November. She appealed to Congress for her husband’s military pension, which he had waived to avoid a conflict of interest. In 1810 they denied her claim as being "like all other claims of this description, barred by the statute of limitation.” However, they reconsidered in 1816, declaring that "to reject the claim under the peculiar circumstances by which it is characterized, would not comport with that honorable sense of justice and magnanimous policy, which ought ever to distinguish the legislative proceedings of a virtuous and enlightened nation."

#hamiltunes #hamildays #govdocs #americanantiquarian

Left: Report of the Committee of Claims, on the Petition of Elizabeth Hamilton. January 11, 1810 (Washington, D.C.: A. & G. Way, 1810). Quotation from p. 4 [i.e., p. 3 -- there’s an error in the pagination].

Right: Report of the Committee on Pensions and Revolutionary Claims on the Petition of Elizabeth Hamilton. February 24, 1816 (Washington, D.C.: William A. Davis, 1816).

Act I, Track 12
The Story of Tonight (Reprise)
Original post: November 3, 2015

"She's married." / "I see." / "She's married to a British officer."

However, said British officer, James Mark Prevost, died in 1781, and Theodosia Bartow Prevost and Aaron Burr wed, as the above certifies, on July 2, 1781.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #theodosiaprevost #aaronburr, sir #manuscripts #americanantiquarian

Marriage certificate of Aaron Burr and Theodosia Bartow Prevost, July 2, 1781, Aaron Burr Papers, 1772-1842, Mss boxes / oversize folders B, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester MA.

Act I, Track 13
Wait For It
Original post: November 5, 2015

"My grandfather was a fire and brimstone preacher, / But there are things that homilies and hymns won't teach ya."

Burr's grandfather Jonathan Edwards was very much a fire and brimstone preacher, and I, at least, had to read his Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God my junior year of high school.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #jonathanedwards #aaronburr #engravings #reliefprints #americanantiquarian

Lower left and middle right: Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (Boston: S. Kneeland and T. Green, 1741), title page and excerpt from p. 15.

Upper left: frontispiece of Jonathan Edwards, The Works of President Edwards (New York: S. Converse, 1829), vol. 1.

Upper right: detail from the title page Jacob Green’s A Vision of Hell, and a Discovdry [sic] of Some of the Consultations and Devices There, in the Year 1767 (Boston: John Boyle, 1773).

Lower right: A Warm Place - Hell (Boston: Matthias Darly, [1768]). (Scan linked from catalog record: bibId 520971.)

the tl;dr - I tried to find material related to Esther Edwards Burr, Jonathan Edward's daughter and Aaron Burr's mother, but I was generally unsuccessful. In Samuel Hopkins' The Life and Character of the Late Reverend, Learned, and Pious Mr. Jonathan Edwards (Northampton, Mass.: Andrew Wright, for S. & E. Butler, 1804), she's described as: "exceed[ing] most of her sex in the beauty of her person, and in a decent and easy gesture, behavior, and conversation; not stiff and starch on one hand, nor mean and indecent on the other; in her unaffected, natural freedom with persons of all ranks, with whom she conversed. Her genius was much more than common. She had a lively, sprightly imagination, a quick and penetrating thought, and a good judgment. She had a peculiar smartness in her make and temper, which was consistent with pleasantness and good nature; and she knew how to be pleasant and facetious without trespassing on the bounds of gravity, or strict and serious religion. In short, she seemed to be formed to please.... But what crowned all her excellencies, and was her chief glory, was her religion” (p. 93).

Act I, Track 14
Stay Alive
Original post: November 6, 2015

"Local merchants deny us equipment, assistance, / they only take British money, so sing a song of sixpence."

Today’s #hamilton-inspired excursion took me to a collection I’d never visited before: currency! It’s so neat! At the top, in red and black, is a note worth three dollars issued by the Continental Congress(!) and printed by Hall and Sellers in 1779. Below is the aforementioned British money, a sixpence printed by Samuel Loudon in 1776. (I… had never particularly thought of a sixpence as paper money before, but lo, that is indeed a printed sixpence "being equal to one sixteenth of a Spanish milled dollar, or the value thereof in gold or silver.")

#hamiltunes #hamildays #currency #colorprinting #threedollarbill #sixpence #americanantiquarian

Act I, Track 15
Ten Duel Commandments
Original post: November 15, 2015

"Hang on, how many men died because Lee was inexperienced and ruinous?"

And today, in #hamilton -related adventures, I handled printing plates! Pictured above is the plate for Battle of Monmouth after a painting by Alonzo Chappel (Albany: James B. Lyon, [1868?]). On the right is the plate; on the left is the image as printed on the wrapper which stored said plate, allowing the printer to see what he had. I’m not entirely positive who the man on horseback is — I’ve seen some identifying him as Anthony Wayne — but it’s definitely not all triumphant glory as the troops sweep forth; there are also many casualties on the ground.

Side note: this is an awesome recent acquisition, which I am totally going to take as a sign that my posting these as I go instead of mapping things out early, even if it leads to inadvertent hiatuses, is totally the thing to do. Right? Right.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #alonzochappel #battleofmonmouth #printingplates #steelengraving #americanantiquarian

the tl;dr (featuring Sir Not Appearing In This Instagram) - The tally of how many men died may have been as high as 862: there were 362 American casualties (killed, wounded, or missing) and 380 to 500 British casualties (Chernow, Washington, p. 344). Charles Lee faced a court martial for his actions in summer 1778, and on August 12th, after weeks of testimony, the court found Lee "guilty of disobedience of orders, in not attacking the enemy on the 28th of June, agreeable to repeated instructions…. [G]uilty of misbehavior before the enemy on the 28th of June, by making an unnecessary, and in some few instances, a disorderly retreat…. [And g]uilty of disrespect to the Commander in Chief in two letters dated the 1st of July and the 28th of June" and sentenced him "to be suspended from any command in the armies of the United States of North-America, for the term of twelve months" (Proceedings of a General Court Martial, Held at Brunswick, in the State of New-Jersey, by Order of His Excellency General Washington … for the Trial of Major General Lee (Philadelphia: John Dunlap, 1778), p. 62).

Act I, Track 16
Meet Me Inside
Original post: November 16, 2015

"Charles Lee, Thomas Conway, these men take your name and they rake it through the mud.”

Today’s exploration yielded what might be the earliest likeness the AAS has of #georgewashington. (It was certainly the earliest I could identify, although that's not an absolute guarantee.) 'Tis from the title page of an almanac, and it depicts both Washington and General #horatiogates, neither of them looking quite like I tend to envision. (Okay, Washington looking not-quite-like I tend to envision; I must admit that I hadn’t had a mental image of Gates at all prior to this.) Gates was part of the so-called Conway Cabal, a loosely-affiliated group advocating for George Washington’s replacement by Gates during 1777/78. (The eponymous Thomas Conway was, in fact, shot in the mouth by John Cadwalader in a duel over Conway’s insults to Washington.)

#hamiltunes #hamildays #almanacs #mezzotints #engravings #reliefprints

Center: Bickerstaff's Boston Almanack, for the Year of Our Redemption, 1778 (Danvers: E. Russell, [1777]).

Left: George Washington Esqr. … E. Savage Pinx. et Sculp. (London: E. Savage, 1793). (High-quality scan linked from the catalog record: bibId 477891.)

Right: General Gates … Painted by G. Stuart. Engraved by C. Tiebout (New York: C. & A. Tiebout, 1798). (High-quality scan linked from catalog record: bibID 477908.)

Act I, Track 17
That Would Be Enough
Original post: November 17, 2015

"And if this child / Shares a fraction of your smile / or a fragment of your mind, look out world!"

Today’s #hamilton-inspired post features my very first #shelfie — of the works of another Alexander Hamilton (no relation). #doctoralexanderhamilton (1739-1802) was a professor of midwifery at Edinburgh University, member of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, and founder of the Edinburgh General Lying-In Hospital. When I was looking for Alexander Hamilton's books, I pulled one of Dr. Hamilton's off the shelf and was rather surprised to be reading about obstetrics! (A. Ham is shelved immediately following Dr. Hamilton in our collection.)

#hamiltunes #hamildays #obstetrics #engravings #18thcenturydoctoring #americanantiquarian

Bottom, 1st and 4th from left: title page of Outlines of the Theory and Practice of Midwifery by Alexander Hamilton … To Which Are Added Smellie's Anatomical Tables, with Explanations (Philadelphia: A. Bertram, 1806). Smellie’s Anatomical Tables, which includes the pictured plates, has a separate title page, but it was paged continuously with Outlines of the Theory and Practice of Midwifery.

Bottom, 2nd from left: plate VIII showing the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy (facing p. 327).

Bottom, 3rd from left: plate IX showing the eighth or ninth month of pregnancy (facing p. 330).

Act I, Track 18

Guns and Ships
Original post: November 18, 2015

"Ev'ryone give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman!"

I didn't quite realize how much everyone did give it up for America's favorite fighting Frenchman until I was staring at a rather huge number of objects commemorating his 1824-1825 visit to the U.S. We have pitchers and playing cards, watch papers (I now know what a watch paper is!) and platters, plates and a bright yellow mug.

Two bits of random: First, to my untutored eye, it looks like the playing cards and pitcher are both after the Ary Scheffer's portrait of Lafayette (scan of engraving linked from catalog record: bibId 395612). Second, Lafayette's authorized heading in the Name Authority File, which is used by libraries to ensure that the same name is used for people across different libraries, is the rather long "Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de, 1757-1834."

#hamiltunes #hamildays #marquisdelafayette #lafayettecombidek #butiwantthemtobespectacular #pottery #playingcards #newspapers #americanantiquarian

Top: Marquis de Lafayette commemorative playing cards! Manufactured by Jazaniah Ford in 1824 or 1825. The image of Lafayette was on the ace of spades; the rest of the deck likely consisted of Ford’s standard deck of cards. (Although looking at the Lafayette cards, all aces in a row, brings to mind a very sad game of go fish or a very easy game of memory.)

Bottom left: Farmer's Cabinet (Amherst, N.H.), Jan. 1, 1825, p. 4.

Bottom right: Staffordshire pottery pitcher "in commemoration of the visit of Genl. La Fayette to the U.S. Of America in the year 1824." To see the other pottery (mugs! plates! more pitchers!), follow the link from the Staffordshire pottery record: bibId 507898, which takes you to GIGI, our digital image archive. Go to page 7 of the results, which is where I started finding Lafayette, and just browse through. It's awesome, albeit sometimes a bit gaudy for my tastes.

Act I, Track 19
History Has Its Eyes on You
Original post: November 19, 2015

“You have no control:" / "Who lives, who dies, who tells your story."

Well, one way the stories of #georgewashington and #alexanderhamilton were told was in #dimepublications. Washington featured in the inaugural number of the Lives of Great Americans #dimebiography published by Beadle and Adams, standing majestically on a delightfully colorful cover. Washington also appeared as a character in #dimenovels, and at least once he appeared alongside Hamilton. I must confess to being rather fond of Hamilton’s description in said dime novel, wherein he is described as a "young cavalier" with "silken curls" and an "intellectual head." (Notwithstanding the oddness of seeing Hamilton, who was not pro-monarchy, described as a cavalier.)

#hamiltunes #hamildays #americanantiquarian

Left: cover of The Life of George Washington: A New Biography of the Father of His Country. By C.H.H. Pannell (New York: Beadle and Adams, 1876).

Right: Bald Eagle; or, The Last of the Ramapaughs. A Romance of Revolutionary Times. By Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith (New York: Beadle and Company, 1867), p. 23-24. @valentinewiggin, who is cataloging our dime novels, tells me that this is the only instance of Hamilton as a character that she’s encountered thus far in a dime novel (although that doesn’t mean that he's not elsewhere).

Act I, Track 20
Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)
Original post: November 22, 2015

"The code word is 'Rochambeau,' dig me?"

So, the Battle of Yorktown (or, as LCSH* calls it, “Yorktown (Va.)--History--Siege, 1781”) took me once more to our #maps collection, where I found a 1787 map from London depicting the siege. British troops are in red, French troops are in blue, and American troops are in yellow. (Primary colors are important.) My attention was caught by the sea of sunken ships, their masts just peeking out of the water like grave markers, and the "park of French artillery."

#hamiltunes #hamildays #battleofyorktown #maps #engravings #handcolored #americanantiquarian

Plan of the Siege of York Town in Virginia (London, 1787). (High-quality scan linked from catalog record: bibId 488848.)

*LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings, which are used across libraries so that we’re consistent in what terms we use as subjects.

Act I, Track 21
What Comes Next?
Original post: November 20, 2015

"I’m so blue."

We know, #kinggeorge, we know. However, you weren't the only one sad at losing the war. Britannia wept, too, as one sees in the frontispiece of an almanac printed in 1781, where she’s both weeping and attended by an evil genius, and an illustration at the head of a broadside ballad, where, after much staring, I figured out she’s being offered a handkerchief by a gallant gent in order to dry her tears. (At least, I think that’s what’s going on — it's not the sharpest of cuts.)

#hamiltunes #hamildays #sadfacedbritannia #attendedbyevilgenius #almanacs #frontispieces #engravings #reliefcuts #broadsides #americanantiquarian

Left: frontispiece of Weatherwise’s Town and Country Almanack, for the Year of Our Lord, 1782 (Boston: Nathaniel Coverly and Robert Hodge, [1781]). The legend describes Britannia as "weeping at the loss of the trade of America, attended with an evil genius."

Right: relief cut at the head of Britannia in Tears, for the Loss of Her Children ([United States: s.n., between 1775 and 1783?]). One verse declares "When my children were united, / What a pleasant dame was I, / How I smiled, and was delighted, / When they made their foes to fly. / Britons every where did conquer, / In every quarter how they run, / Then was not I a happy mother, / Was not George a charming son." Needless to say, Britannia hopes that her children get over their silly squabbles and become united once more.

Act I, Track 22
Dear Theodosia
Original post: November 23, 2015

"Dear Theodosia, what to say to you?"

#theodosiaburralston (Burr’s daughter) and Aaron Burr said many things to each other during the course of their voluminous correspondence. Burr made sure Theodosia had a classical education, and she was instructed in languages by Michael Martel, a Frenchman, who dedicated his 1796 book on education, Martel’s Elements, to her. She wrote Joseph Alston, her future husband, a missive thanking him for the "books and note [which] were received with pleasure," and stating that "the latter would have honored Petrach as much as it would have flattered Laura."

#hamiltunes #hamildays #deartheodosia #manuscriptmondays #manuscripts #americanantiquarian

Left: Martel’s Elements. Containing, I. New Essays on Education … II. An Introduction to the French Language, … III. A Selection of Delicate Bon-mots … (New York: C.C. van Alen & Co. for Michael Martel, 1796), p. iii.

Right: Theodosia Burr to Joseph Alston, 1801, Aaron Burr Papers, 1772-1842, Mss boxes / oversize folders B, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester MA.

Act I, Track 23
Original post: November 24, 2015

"Gentlemen of the jury, I’m curious, bear with me. / Are you aware that we’re making hist’ry? / This is the first murder trial of our brand-new nation."

And lo, #hamildays Act I concludes with murder most foul. On January 2, 1800 Gulielma Sands was found dead in a well dug by the Manhattan Company; an account in the Jan. 11, 1800, issue of the Weekly Museum indicates that she was "accidentally discovered by some children who were led to the place by curiosity." Her lover, Levi Weeks, was accused of her murder, and he went on trial that spring. Defended by Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, and Henry Brockhurst Livingston, Weeks was acquitted, and three pamphlets were swiftly published following the trial and purporting to faithfully relate the facts of the case (although the first named neither Sands nor Weeks). Random information: Sands’ name appears in the newspapers (and in the trial transcript) in a variety of ways, including: Juliana Elmore Sands; Juliana Gilmore Sands; Julian Elmore Sands; G. Sands; Gulielma Sands; Juliane Elmore Sands; Elma; and Elmore.

#hamiltunes #gulielmasands #leviweeks #murder #woodcuts #newspapers #americanantiquarian

Article: excerpt from the Jan. 4, 1800, issue of The Spectator (New York, N.Y.), p. 3.

Headpiece: from A Funeral Elegy, on the Revd. and Renowned George Whitefield (Boston: [John Kneeland and Seth Adams], 1770).

Coffin: from A Tribute to the Memory of Catherine Berrenger, of the Town of Rhinebeck, Who Fell A Victim to Death … by Swallowing a Potion of Arsenic, Supposed to be Administered to her by John Benner, to Whom She Was Promised in Marriage … ([Poughkeepsie, N.Y.?: 1800]).

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