#hamildays: A Hamilton-Inspired Journey Through the Stacks

Act 2

Home | Introduction | Act I | Act 2 | Bibliography

Act 2, Track 1
What’d I Miss
Original post: December 9, 2015

"Not so fast. Someone came along to resist him / Pissed him off until we had a two-party system"

My #hamilton-inspired quest through our stacks resumes with Act 2! Perhaps unsurprisingly, the politics of the day lent themselves to political cartoons, and I took the opportunity to explore a collection that was totally new to me — the American Political Cartoon Collection! (Our naming conventions tend to be descriptive.) Behold, #thomasjefferson holding forth with a Hamlet-esque oliloquy ( #yayhamlet!) in this #etching , which is very definitely not impressed by Jefferson and his political allies, variously known as Anti-Federalists, Jacobins, Jeffersonians, or, as Jefferson et al. put it in Washington on Your Side (Act II, Track 8), “Southern motherf[------]’ Democratic-Republicans!”

Jefferson’s speech bubble: “To be or not to be, a Broker is the question / whether tis nobler in the mind to knock down dry goods with this hammer: or with this head / Contrive some means of knocking down a Government / and on its ruins raise myself to Eminence and / Fortune. Glorious thought thus to Emerge from dirt to Gold.”

#hamiltunes #hamildays #1790spolitics #etchings #politicalcartooncollection #americanantiquarian

Details from A Peep Into the Antifederal Club (New York: 1793). (High-quality scan linked from catalog record: bibId 153014.)

a tl;dr - While searching JSTOR articles about an association between Jefferson and Hamlet - I've stumbled across it twice, but I don't know if it was a thing or just everyone refers to Shakespeare - I came across descriptions of this cartoon. At least one scholar has argued that the man on the soapbox is Aaron Burr, not Jefferson.

ETA (May 17, 2016): While working my way through the #hamildays text in order to archive it, I decided to see if I could excavate the citation for the article where I read about the figure being identified as Burr, not Jefferson, even though it’s been several months since I read it. I was successful—it’s in “Thomas Jefferson: His Friends and Foes” by James C. Kelly and B.S. Lowell—but backtracking citations led to more uncertainty.

So far as I can tell, Thomas Jefferson remains a popular identification for the figure (Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 26, p. xliii). The Burr identification comes from Noble Cunningham, who believes that “the figure could as easily be Burr” (The Image of Thomas Jefferson in the Public Eye, p. 113). William Pencak argues that the figure was Israel Israel, a member of the Democratic Society of Philadelphia (Jews & Gentiles in Early America, 1654-1800, p. 233). Finally, Nancy Isenberg believes the figure to be one John Swanwick, a Democratic-Republican Pennsylvanian congressman (Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr, p. 129).

Act 2, Track 2
Cabinet Battle #1
Original post: December 10, 2015

"In Virginia we plant seeds in the ground. / We create."

#thomasjefferson had a lot to say about the awesomeness of #virginia, and I enjoyed looking at it for today's #hamilton-inspired adventure in our collections. He published Notes on the State of Virginia while the ambassador to France as a limited, private edition. Sadly, we do not have that Paris publication. However! We do have several subsequent editions, including a spine that reminds me of copper on the 1786 French translation (par M. J***, although I gather his authorship was an open secret) and an interesting fore edge on the 1787 London edition. #bookweightcat even joined the festivities with the first American edition.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #bindings #foreedges #maps #engravings #americanantiquarian

Left: Notes on the State of Virginia. Written by Thomas Jefferson. (Philadelphia: Prichard and Hall, M.DCC.LXXXVIII. [1788]).

Upper and middle right: spine and map of Virginia from Observations sur la Virginie, par M. J***. Traduites de l'anglois. (Paris: Chez Barrois, 1786).

Bottom right: fore edge from Notes on the State of Virginia. Written by Thomas Jefferson. Illustrated with a Map, Including the States of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. (London: John Stockdale, M.DCC.LXXXVII. [1787]).

Act 2, Track 3
Take a Break
Original post: December 14, 2015

“Un deux trois quatre / Cinq six sept huit neuf” / “Good!”

So I started my quest through the stacks in search of #hamilton-inspired materials thinking that I would look for sheet music or French primers or something along those lines, because I think young Philip, Eliza, and A. Ham are delightful in this scene. However, instead I fell into our #childrenslit collection, which contains rather a lot of didactic fiction intended to guide young children to learning, grace, and good behavior. Nurse Truelove’s New-Year’s Gift is such a book, combining maxims such as “an honest man is an honour to his country” and “a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband” with “The A, B, C Song,” a catechism, and “The House that Jack Built.”

#hamiltunes #hamildays #thehousethatjackbuilt #wethinkthosearegardenplots #woodcuts #18thcenturybooks #americanantiquarian

Nurse Truelove’s New-Year’s gift: or, The Book of Books for Children. Adorned with Cuts. And Designed for a Present to Every Little Boy Who Would Become a Great Man, and Ride Upon a Fine Horse; and to Every Little Girl, Who Would Become a Fine Woman, and Ride in a Governour's Gild Coach. But Let Us Turn Over the Leaf and See More of the Matter. The First Worcester Edition. (Worcester, Mass.: Isaiah Thomas, MDCCLXXXVI [1786]).

the tl;dr - If you haven’t read A. Ham’s letter to Richard Meade that describes wee Philip, you really should. The passage about Philip concludes: “His attitude, in sitting, is, by connoisseurs, esteemed graceful, and he has a method of waving his hand that announces the future orator. He stands, however, rather awkwardly, and as his legs have not all the delicate slimness of his father’s, it is feared he may never excel as much in dancing, which is probably the only accomplishment in which he will not be a model. If he has any fault in manners, he laughs too much. He has now passed his seventh month.” The entire passage is delightful, and the letter in full can be found here:

From Alexander Hamilton to Richard Kidder Meade, 27 August 1782, Founders Online, National Archives


Act 2, Track 4
Say No to This
Original post: December 16, 2015

“Dear Sir, I hope this letter finds you in good health, / and in prosperous enough position to put wealth / in the pockets of people like me: down on their luck. / You see, that was my wife you decided to” / “Fuuuu--”

So, #hamilton disclosed his relationship with #mariareynolds — and the subsequent blackmail from her then-husband, #jamesreynolds — in Observations on Certain Documents, Contained in No. V. & VI of ‘The History of the Unites States for the Year 1796’ (Philadelphia: John Bioren for John Fenno, 1797), commonly called the #reynoldspamphlet. Hamilton spends 37 pages defending himself against charges of speculation by admitting to adultery. He then spends another 58 pages providing supporting documentation about how his affairs were in total order and hewas in no way corrupt (and do you really think he would be that incompetent at being corrupt because he’s not stupid).

#hamiltunes #hamildays #americanantiquarian

the tl;dr — two quotations that embody the tenor of the Reynolds Pamphlet. Hamilton on his first encounter with Mrs. Reynolds: “Some conversation ensued from which it was quickly apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable” (p. 18). Hamilton on having to pay out $1000 to Reynolds (see above) over two payments: “It is a little remarkable, that an avaricious speculating secretary of the treasury should have been so straitened for money as to be obliged to satisfy an engagement of this sort by two different payments!” (p. 22).

Act 2, Track 5
The Room Where It Happens
Original post: December 21, 2015

"The immigrant emerges with unprecedented financial power, / a system he can shape however he wants. / The Virginians emerge with the nation’s capital."

Today I return to #politicalcartoons, which continues to be a delightful collection for the 1790s.

It turns out that the capital went to D.C. via years in Philadelphia. (Random fact, per Chernow (Alexander Hamilton, p. 325), NYC was being called “Hamiltonopolis” by Hamilton’s political enemies, whose opinions on the capital remaining in NYC until Washington, DC was up and running could be summed up as DNW.) The above shows Robert Morris, senator from Pennsylvania and Hamilton’s predecessor in federal finances, taking the capital to Philadelphia while being led by the Devil. (There are a lot of devils urging people on in these cartoons.)

#hamiltunes #hamildays #robertmorris #engravings #handcoloring #americanantiquarian

Detail from: [Robert Morris moving the Capitol] ([S.l., ca. 1790]). (High-quality scan linked from catalog record: bibId 53084.)

Act 2, Track 6
Schuyler Defeated
Original post: December 22, 2015

"Look! Grampa’s in the paper! 'War hero Philip Schuyler loses Senate seat to young upstart Aaron Burr!'"

#aaronburr , sir, defeated #philipschuyler for the senate seat on Jan. 19, 1791, and the following day the #dailyadvertiser reported on the event. However, one must admit that the article is less engaging than Philip Hamilton’s recap, as it consists of a dry recounting of the sequence of votes to fill the seat: first, the NY House of Assembly voted on Schuyler as the Senator (27 ayes - 32 noes), then on Burr (32-27), then on one Egbert Bensen, Esq. (24-35). (The article includes a list of who voted aye and no.) Finally, they agreed on Burr. The NY State Senate’s vote to concur was 14 ayes to 4 noes. And so Burr became the state senator for New York.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #newspapers #americanantiquarian

Daily Advertiser (New York, NY), Jan. 20, 1791, p. [2].

Act 2, Track 7
Cabinet Battle #2
Original post: December 23, 2015

“We signed a treaty with a King whose head is now in a basket. / Would you like to take it out and ask it?”

#loiusxvi lost his head on Jan. 21, 1793, during the #frenchrevolution. I didn’t find an image of his head actually in a basket, but I did find several of his execution. If you look closely at this one, you can just see the basket on the other side of the guillotine.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #engravings #woodcuts #frontispieces #broadsides #americanantiquarian

Left: woodcut from The Tragedy of Louis Capet: Being a True and Authentic Narrative of the Horrid and Barbarous Execution of the Late Unfortunate Monarch, Louis XVIth of France, Who Was Beheaded, on the Twenty First of January, 1793 ... (Springfield, Mass.: Edward Gray, 1793). (High-quality scan available in GIGI, the American Antiquarian Society’s Digital Image Archive: scan 346048 .)

Right: frontispiece of The Trial, &c. of Louis XVI. Late King of France, and Marie Antoinette, His Queen (Lansingburgh, N.Y.: Silvester Tiffany for Thomas Spencer, 1794).

Act 2, Track 8
Washington on Your Side

Original post: January 30, 2016

“The emperor has no clothes.”

And so the weavers pointed at the empty loom and the emperor gushed over the non-existent cloth in this illustration of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by #hanschristianandersen.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #19thcenturybooks #childrenslit #americanantiquarian

Top: Stories from Hans Andersen. First Series (Boston: J.E. Tilton & Co., 1868), plate between p. 94 and 95. This is the earliest (only) illustration of the story that I could find in our collections. (That doesn’t preclude there being others!)

Bottom: The Dream of Little Tuk, and Other Tales. By Hans Christian Anderson. Translated by Charles Boner (Boston and Cambridge: James Monroe and Co., 1848) ; A Picture-Book Without Pictures: and Other Stories. From the Danish of Hans Christian Andersen. Translated by Mary Howitt (New-York: C.S. Francis & Co.; Boston: J.H. Francis, 1848). These are the earliest editions of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (Kejserens nye Klæder), which was originally published in 1838, that I could locate in our holdings.

Act 2, Track 9
One Last Time
Original post: January 31, 2016

"I wanna sit under my own vine and fig tree. / A moment alone in the shade”

This actually wasn’t my initial selection for #georgewashington’s farewell song, but I kept coming back to it — the quietness of the image fit Washington’s farewell and yearning for #mountvernon. (And I couldn’t resist the combination of the trees, albeit not figs, with Washington’s profile.)

#hamiltunes #hamildays #lithographs #americanantiquarian

Mount Vernon, on the Potomac Feby 22d. 1832, lithographed by Henry Inman (Philadelphia: Childs & Inman, [c1831]).

Act 2, Track 10
I Know Him

Original post: February 1, 2016

“That’s that little guy who spoke to me / all those years ago ./ What was it, eighty-five?”

It was indeed 1785, #kinggeorge, and #abigailadams reported on your first meeting in a letter to her sister, albeit obliquely. However, she reported in more detail on her interactions with you and your queen at the “Queens circle” presentation later in the same letter. (One must admit that her observations are not always the most complimentary to Your Majesties.) “The king is a personable man,” she reported, “but my dear sister he has a certain countenance which you & I have often remarked, a red face & white eyebrows. The queen has a similar countenance, & the numerous royal family confirm the observation. … When [the king] came to me, Lord Onslow said Mrs. Adams upon which I drew off my right hand glove & His Majesty saluted my left cheek then asked me if I had taken a walk today. I could have told his Majesty that I had been all the morning preparing to wait upon him, but I replied, no sire. Why don’t you love walking says he? I answered that I was rather indolent in that respect. He then bowed & past on.” [Transcription not 100% faithful to spelling or punctuation.]

#manuscriptmonday #manuscripts #americanantiquarian

Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, 24 June 1785, Abigail Adams Letters, 1784-1816, Mss. boxes A, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA. This excerpt is from p. 7 of a 9-page letter; the letter is available as a digital edition, along with other Adams family correspondence, at: Abigail Adams to Mary Smith Cranch, June 24, 1785, Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses

Act 2, Track 11
The Adams Administration
Original post: January 29, 2016

"Hamilton publishes his response." / "Sit down, John, you fat motherf-"

#yourobedientservant #adotham

I'm getting my ducks in a row for the final run of #hamildays, my exploration of our stacksinspired by the delightful #hamiltunes, and#hamilton's letter to #johnadams is too perfect for #finisfriday.

We have five editions of Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States that were printed in 1800 (+1 from 1809!). There are four New York editions published by John Lang, the 1st printed by George F. Hopkins, the 2nd by John Furman, and the 3rd and 4th by Furman & Loudon. Additionally, there's a Philadelphia re-print by William Duane.

#18thcenturyUSpolitics #18thcenturybooks #datedpamscollection #americanantiquarian

Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States (New-York: Printed for John Lang, by George F. Hopkins, 1800), p. 54.

Act 2, Track 12
We Know
Original post: February 18, 2016

“Alexander, rumors only grow. And we both know what we know.”

Rumors do only grow, and the rumors of #alexanderhamilton’s improper financial dealings kept right on growing. He was investigated for financial improprieties in 1792, and during the course of that investigation he handed over papers documenting his dealings with the Reynolds to Frederick Muhlenberg, Abraham Venable, and James Monroe.

These documents made a very public reappearance when James Thomson Callender published pamphlets no. V and VI of The History of the United States for 1796. Said publication occurred sometime in mid or late June 1797 — I found one advertisement stating that no. V (and presumably no. VI) was published the Monday before June 24 (i.e., June 19) and one stating that it was published the Monday after June 24 (i.e., June 26) — and kicked off quite a scandal. The individual pamphlets were re-published as a single volume by Snowden & M'cockle in 1797 (above). To the best of my knowledge, none of the pamphlets have survived the intervening centuries.

Alexander and Eliza Hamilton both blamed the leaking of these documents on James Monroe. The matter came close to becoming an affair of honor, and a duel between Hamilton and Monroe was only averted due to the actions of Aaron Burr, sir. Eliza never forgave Monroe, and when he visited her decades later she remained unbending.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #18thcenturybooks #politicalscandals #datedbookscollection #marbledboards #americanantiquarian

The History of the United States for 1796; Including a Variety of Interesting Particulars Relative to the Federal Government Previous to That Period. (Philadelphia: Snowden & McCorkle, 1797).

Act 2, Track 13
Original post: February 19, 2016 (1/2)

“I’ll write my way out… / Write ev’rything down, far as I can see… / I’ll write my way out… / Overwhelm them with honesty.”

#alexanderhamilton , unsurprisingly, did not take well to Callender’s accusations of speculation in The History of the United States, and he quickly penned a letter, dated July 6, 1797, protesting his innocence, citing his earlier exculpation by Muhlenberg, Monroe, and Venable. He closed the missive by stating that “It is my intention shortly to place the subject more precisely before the public.” The letter was addressed to Mr. Fenno of the Gazette of the United States (Philadelphia, Penn.), but it was reprinted by other papers (dare I say widely so).

#hamiltunes #hamildays #18thcenturynewspapers #politicalscandals #newspapers #americanantiquarian

Gazette of the United States, and Philadelphia Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia, Penn.), July 8, 1797, p. [3].

Act 2, Track 13
Original post: February 19, 2016 (2/2)

"Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, wait..."

#jamescallender , of course, did not let #alexanderhamilton’s letter go unchallenged. Callender wrote a reply dated July 10, 1797, which was also circulated in newspapers.

He refuted Hamilton’s account of the 1792 investigation and claimed that the Reynolds letters were forgeries created by Hamilton. “According to my information,” Callender stated, “these written documents consisted of a series of letters pretended to be written relative to your alleged connection with Mrs. Reynolds. You told the members a confused and absurd story about her, of which they did not believe a single word, and which, if they had been true, did not give a proper explanation as to your correspondence with her husband.” He further challenged Hamilton to obtain a certificate from Muhlenberg,Monroe, and Venable stating that they were satisfied of Hamilton’s innocence to the charges of speculation.

Finally, he suggested that Hamilton “reprint the whole original papers on which the suspicion [of speculation] is grounded [which] should be done by the same medium in which your defense is to appear … [because] [n]o extract from the papers, or general reference to them can be satisfactory, and many thousands will undoubtedly see your publication, who may not have an opportunity of consulting The History of the United States for 1796, wherein they have been first published.” The zinger: “You [Hamilton] are in the right, for [the public] have at present some unlucky doubts. They have long known you as aneminent and able statesman. They will be highly gratified by seeing you exhibited in the novel character of a lover.”

#hamiltunes #hamildays #18thcenturynewspapers #politicalscandals #newspapers #americanantiquarian

The Minerva, & Mercantile Evening Advertiser (New York, N.Y.), July 15, 1797, p. [2].

Act 2, Track 14
The Reynolds Pamphlet
Original post: February 20, 2016 (1/2)

"Alexander Hamilton had a torrid affair. / And he wrote it down right there.”

Remember Fenno? The newspaper publisher to whom #alexanderhamilton addressed his July 6 letter expressing his dismay upon reading The History of the United States for the Year 1796 and claiming that his answer was forthcoming?

Well, in the July 27, 1797 issue of the Gazette of the United States Fenno published a #copyrightnotice for Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No. V. and VI. of “The History of the United States for the Year 1796,” in Which the Charge of Speculation, Against Alexander Hamilton, is Fully Refuted—Written by Himself. The pamphlet is now commonly known as the #reynoldspamphlet (in which A. Ham failed at portraying himself as the best of lovers).

#hamiltunes #hamildays #18thcenturynewspapers #politicalscandals #newspapers #americanantiquarian

a tl;dr — U.S. copyright law before 1831 required copyright holders to publish copyright notices in newspapers for four weeks. My understanding is that this requirement was often not followed although, as demonstrated above, it wasn’t universally ignored.

Act 2, Track 14
The Reynolds Pamphlet

Original post: February 20, 2016 (2/2)

“Hey! At least I was honest with our money!”

However, the Reynolds Pamphlet didn’t appear in print until late August. The August 25 edition of Fenno’s Gazette of the United States announced: “This day published and to be sold by William Young, corner of Second and Chestnut streets, price 3-8ths of a dollar, Observations on Certain Documents Contained in No. V and VI of “The History of the United States for the Year 1796,” in Which the Charge of Speculation Against Alexander Hamilton, Late Secretary of the Treasur [sic], is Fully Refuted. Written by Himself. A discount of one third from the retail price will be made in favor of wholesale purchasers, for cash.Orders to be addressed to Mr. Young.” You, too, could read A. Ham's self-defense for a mere 37.5 cents! Although I don't think it worked out quite how #hamilton was hoping.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #alexanderhamilton #reynoldspamphlet #mariareynolds #jamesreynolds

(I know the Reynolds Pamphlet is a repeat from “Say No to This.” However, it’s a second pic for the track, so it’s totes not a real repeat, right? I just couldn’t resist once the back and forth between Callender and Hamilton started emerging.)

a tl;dr -- As for #jamescallender, well, his career as a pamphleteer and muckraker continued until his death by drowning on July 17, 1803. As an article in the [Richmond?] Examiner (reprinted in the American Citizen, New York, N.Y., July 26, 1803) put it: “The verdict of the jury was as follows: ‘The jury say, upon their oath, that James Thompson Callender … did go into the river, commonly called James River, with an intent to bathe, but being in a state of intoxication, as appears to the jury, the said James T. Callender came to his death by an accidental drowning, and not otherwise.’ Such was the verdict of the jury. But there is much difference of opinion on this subject. Our own opinion is, that Callender’s drowning was not ‘accidental,’ but voluntary—and for this opinion we shall state our reasons in the next Examiner.” The river was no more than three feet deep.

Act 2, Track 15
Original post: February 21, 2016

“You, you, you… / I’m erasing myself from the narrative. / Let future historians wonder / how Eliza reacted when you broke her heart.”

#elizabethschuylerhamilton is difficult to find in the archive, but she’s not entirely a ghost.

After her husband’s death, she did not fade away. Amongst her many other activities, she collected and preserved #alexanderhamilton’s papers and reputation — Chernow describes her as “embark[ing] on a single-minded crusade to do justice to her husband’s achievements” (Alexander Hamilton, p. 727). After her “earnest entreaty,”* Francis L. Hawks agreed to edit Hamilton’s papers for publication, and in 1842 Eliza registered the copyright for The Official and Other Papers of the Late Major-General Alexander Hamilton: Compiled Chiefly from the Originals in the Possession of Mrs. Hamilton, Vol. I (New York and London: Wiley & Putnam, 1842). (Unfortunately, this was the only volume published.)

*Hawks describes how he came to edit the work on p. [iii]-iv of The Official and Other Papers of the Late Major-General Alexander Hamilton.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #copyrightnotice #americanantiquarian

Act 2, Track 16
Blow Us All Away
Original post: February 23, 2016

“I saw him just up Broadway a couple of blocks. / He was goin’ to see a play.”

And so Philip Hamilton ventured to the Park Theatre to seek out George Eacker, who had criticized his father in a Fourth of July speech that that he gave.

Construction on the theater was begun in 1795, and it opened in 1798. The first theater, shown in exterior, burned to the ground in 1820, and it was rebuilt and reopened in 1821. The second building, shown in interior, burned to the ground down 1848, and it was not replaced.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #parktheatre #newyorktheaters #engravings #americanantiquarian

Exterior view, 1798-1820 theater: Longworth's American Almanack, New-York Register, and City Directory, … (New-York: Printed for the editor, by T. & J. Swords, 1797), frontispiece.

Interior view, 1821-1848 theater: The Rejected Addresses; Together With the Prize Address Presented for the Prize Medal, Offered for the Best Address, on the Opening of the New Park Theatre, in the City of New-York (New-York: Nathaniel Smith; J. Johnson & Co. printers, 1821), frontispiece.

Act 2, Track 17
Stay Alive (reprise)
Original post: February 24, 2016

“Shh. I know you did / ev’rything just right.”

Then we all bawled. And then we read #philiphamilton’s obituary, which closes with a call to outlaw dueling, and bawled some more.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #newspapers #engravings #americanantiquarian

At top and bottom: first and last paragraphs from the obituary of Philip Hamilton, printed in the Nov. 24, 1801, issue of the New York Evening Post (New York, N.Y.). The Evening Post, by the by, was the newspaper established by Alexander Hamilton.

Center: Detail from Satisfaction. Engraved Expressly for the New York Mirror. Painted by W.R. Buss. Engraved by J. Halpin (New York: 1841).

Act 2, Track 18
It’s Quiet Uptown
Original post: February 26, 2016

“I spend hours in the garden.”

Today’s venture into our collections, inspired by Hamilton’s gardening, took me to the 1801 issue of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed and its beautiful, hand-colored(!) plates.

The Hamilton family resided on thirty-five acres of land bounded by present-day West 140th St., West 147th St., Edgecombe Ave., and Hamilton Place; eighteen acres were purchased in 1800, and an additional seventeen were purchased in 1803, although not paid off until after Hamilton’s death. Chernow describes the property, at present-day West 143rd St. and Convent Ave., as “picturesquely wooded and watered by two streams that converged in a duck pond. It had outlying buildings, including stables, barns, sheds, gardens, orchards, fences, and a chicken house” (Alexander Hamilton, p. 641). Remember Levi Weeks, the man tried for the murder of Gulielma Sands (“Gentlemen of the jury, I’m curious, bear with me. Are you aware that we’re making history? This is the first murder trial of our brand-new nation?”*) His brother, Ezra, was the main contractor, and the building of the Grange, the Hamiltons’ new residence, was completed by the summer of 1802.

*Non-stop, Act I, Track 23.

Hamilton spent a significant amount of money on the Grange, including seeing to its gardens. He appealed to more knowledgeable individuals for guidance, and he looked to both other gardens and, apparently, politics for inspiration.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #botany #botanicalillustrations #flowers #engravings #handcoloring #handcoloredengravings #periodicals #americanantiquarian

Curtis’s Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed (London: Printed by Stephen Couchman, published by T. Curtis), vol. XV. Left: plate no. 546, Monarda Didyma. Scarlet Monarda, or Oswego-Tea. Right: plate no. 526, Cornus Florida. Great-Flowered Cornel, or Dogwood.

Details on the Grange can be found at: “Introductory Note: From Philip Schuyler, [17 July 1800],” Founders Online, National Archives

Act 2, Track 19
The Election of 1800
Original post: February 29, 2016

"And they say I’m a Francophile: at least they know I know where France is!”

They do say you’re a Francophile (or, often, a Jacobin), and you caught a fair amount of flack for that, #thomasjefferson. For example, in this #politicalcartoon you’re depicted as trying to burn things like the Constitution & Independence [of the] U.S.A. on the altar to Gallic despotism. (The unknown cartoonist was not subtle, but was anything about early USian politics subtle?) But the trusty eagle was there to snatch it from the flames! Whereas the devil lurks in the corner, presumably egging you on.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #politicalcartoons #18thcenturypolitics #engravings #americanantiquarian

The Providential Detection ([United States: s.n., between 1797 and 1800?]). (High-quality scan, including the all-seeing eye of providence that I cropped out, linked from catalog record: bibId 411656.)

Act 2, Track 20
Your Obedient Servant
Original post: March 1, 2016

“Weehawken. Dawn. Guns. Drawn.” / “You’re on”

It’s a T-Rex vs. a very grumpy badger in a wizard’s duel!

Okay, actually it’s two frogs with guns at the head of an anti-dueling broadside, wherein the duelers are characterized as frogs and lampooned. “For now, so polish’d have we grown, / No frog of common breeding / Can for an insult e’re atone, / But by a copious bleeding.” One of the closing verses reminds me of The World Was Wide Enough: “Sometimes, this world is rather small, / And there is certain weather / When some can scarcely breathe at all— / Much less—two breathe together.”

#badgerwins #soisBurrthebadger #hamiltunes #hamildays #broadsides #woodcuts #americanantiquarian

The Duel: or An Affair of Honor Settled by a Peaceable Quarrel. Alias—the Battle of the Frogs! (Providence: Thomas Flange, [between 1810 and 1830?)].

Act 2, Track 21
Best of Wives and Best of Women
Original post: March 2, 2016

"Hey. Best of wives and best of women."

One last time I made my way to the Engravings Collection during my #hamilton-inspired exploration of the stacks. There I found this lovely hand-colored engraving, The Solemnity of a Wedding and Brilliancy of a Married Life When Lived According to Christian Examples Our Saviour Wrought His First Miracle at a Marriage Supper by E. Jaques ([United States, between 1800 and 1850?]).

Above the heart the banner reads "We are one."

Underneath the heart, not seen in this shot, is the following advice to young men: "We are commanded to love and cherish our wives not in a dissembled but unfeigned manner even as Christ loved his church (Eph. 5.25.29). Hang this in your room, and when provoked to anger look at it and ask yourself the question, Am I not wrong? If so, adobt [sic] this short prayer, God forgive. On the other hand, if your companion acknowledge by words or action, then forgive and be mild in her presence. My young friends be careful in your choice of companion; choose not for riches, oft they take their flight, and the happiness that is founded upon them will be as fleeting. Choose not for beauty, age or sickness will soon blast it, then farewell all the pleasing prospects that are built upon it. If your love is founded on virtue, and supported by a rational lively sense of accountability to God, who has enjoind [sic] it as a duty when those many, fluctuating, and deceptive charms cease to influence, you will find yourself a partaker of substantial joys. Then will you rise in bright prosperity, live by faith, love, and charity, lean on hope and plenty, and your numerous offspring around you will be harmless as the innocent lamb: you will cross the chequer’d scene of life in peace to the enjoyment of that durable felicity which is beyond the grave."

#hamiltunes #hamildays #handcoloring #engravings #americanantiquarian

(High-quality digital copy linked from the catalog record: bibId 449059.)

Act 2, Track 22
The World Was Wide Enough
Original post: March 3, 2016

"I imagine death so much it feels like a memory. / Is this where it gets me, on my feet, sev’ral feet ahead of me?"

Today's #hamilton-inspired post is from #childrensliterature, and it features the dance of death (after Holbein). In the woodcuts, death doesn't discriminate and takes people of all stations in life, leading them, sometimes reluctantly, away from earthly concerns. The book is "intended ... for the information of the curious, and the instruction and entertainment of youth.”

I've encountered a fair number of writings that recommend that one comes to terms with the inevitability of death (and, often, of sin and hell) during the course of cataloging, and A. Ham contemplating death until it's utterly familiar would fit right in.

#hamiltunes #hamildays #danceofdeath #woodcuts #19thcenturybooks #americanantiquarian

Emblems of Mortality; Representing in Upwards of Fifty Cuts, Death Seizing All Ranks and Degrees of People; Imitated from a Painting in the Cemetery of the Dominican Church at Basil, in Switzerland: With an Apostrophe to Each; Translated from the Latin and French. Intended as Well for the Information of the Curious, and the Instruction and Entertainment of Youth. ... First American edition. (Hartford: John Babcock, 1801), p. 88.

Act 2, Track 23
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
Original post: March 4, 2016

“Oh. Can I show you what I’m proudest of?” / “The orphanage.”

On March 15, 1806, #elizabethschuylerhamilton and several other women, including Isabella Graham and Johanna Bethune, met at the City Hotel in New York City at 11 o’clock in the morning. By the end of that meeting, the Orphan Asylum Society of New York had chosen its board of directors, including Elizabeth Hamilton as the second directress, and adopted resolutions for its governance until the next general meeting. Eliza served on the board of the Orphan Asylum Society until 1848, as second directress until 1821 and then as first directress until 1848.

The Orphan Asylum Society continued to evolve, and is now Graham Windham, which “strives to make a life-altering difference with children, youth and families affected by abuse, neglect and delinquency by providing each child we serve with a strong foundation for life: a safe, loving, permanent family
and the opportunity and preparation to thrive in school and in the world.”

#hamiltunes #hamildays #orphanasylumsociety #grahamwindham #19thcenturypamphlets #americanantiquarian

The Constitution of the Orphan Asylum Society. Established in New-York, March 1806. (New York: D. Longworth, 1807). This pamphlet was actually the start of the #hamildays quest, my #hamilton-inspired dive through AAS’s collections. I’ve done a lot of work in the Institutions Collection, which holds many constitutions, minutes, and proceedings of orphanages and other organizations, and so I wondered if, perhaps, material from the Orphan Asylum Society was available. And it was! Then I kept looking, and the #hamildays project evolved from there.

Original post: March 4, 2016

Almost five months ago, I listened to the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording on the train to New Jersey. I returned home listening to #hamiltunes non-stop and inspired to explore #americanantiquarian’s collections in search of #hamilton-related material. Thus, the #hamildays series was born — one instagram post (occasionally two) inspired by every song in the Hamilton cast recording.

And now, nineteen weeks, forty-nine posts, and innumerable searches of the catalog later, #hamildays has drawn to a close. It’s been an amazing adventure, and I visited so many AAS collections that I’d never ventured into before and got to see so many amazing materials.

Huge thanks to Brenna Bychowski ( @valentinewiggen), who introduced me to Hamilton, loaned me most of the books pictured above, and was always willing to offer an opinion when I dithered about which iteration of shots to post.

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