Summer of Hamilton is a new celebration of the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton and his close connection to NYC. Hamilton is hot, thanks to the history-making Broadway musical Hamilton. The Founding Father takes over the New York Historical Society with museum-wide family-friendly exhibits, talks, films and more throughout the summer.
Explore “the room where it happens” in nearly every room of this museum.
Summer of Hamilton opens – appropriately – on July 4th, with a day of Hamilton-themed family fun. The schedule includes a costumed Hamilton living historian, a dueling history tour, revolutionary tales and songs from renowned musical troupe The Hudson River Ramblers, and a Hamilton family trivia contest by Big Quiz Thing.
There also will be special Hamilton on Friday family events, a Hamilton Summer Camp, and more in July and August. We’ll have that schedule for you next week.
Summer of Hamilton Exhibition highlights
Explore “the room where it happens”. And let’s give some credit also to the best-selling biography of Hamilton by Ron Chernow, which inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write the blockbuster musical.
Among the Summer of Hamilton highlights on view:
- life-size bronze statues depicting that famous duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr, with pistols drawn and aimed at one another;
- the monumental tall case clock presented by Hamilton in 1797 to the Bank of New York, which he founded;
- Hamilton’s desk, at which the prolific writer penned numerous correspondence (on loan from the Museum of the City of New York);
- a portrait of the statesman by John Trumbull, painted shortly after Hamilton’s untimely death in 1804 in that famous duel;
- documents that help answer the question posed in the musical―“who tells your story”―focusing on Hamilton’s relationships with other Founding Fathers including Washington and Jefferson, and his widow’s campaign attempt to secure his place in history;
- his famous “nut brown maid” love letter to his fiancée, Elizabeth Schuyler;
- the infamous pamphlet admitting to his scandalous affair with Maria Reynolds;
- the plan for the federal government he proposed during the Constitutional Convention;
- a letter supporting Thomas Jefferson over Aaron Burr in the Election of 1800: “In a choice of Evils let them take the least – Jefferson is in every view less dangerous than Burr.”
- other documents and artifacts exploring Hamilton’s deep connection to New York City, and his lasting influence on U.S. government.
Summer of Hamilton related artifacts and documents from the Collections of the New-York Historical Society and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Alexander Hamilton quick history
More than just the face on the $10 bill, Alexander Hamilton played a leading role in the Revolutionary War and the early years of the founding of the United States.
- took part in the Revolutionary War as an aide-de-camp to General George Washington,
- authored the majority of the Federalist Papers,
- became the first Secretary of the Treasury,
- created the Bank of the United States,
- founded the Bank of New York and The New York Post.
- Mired by scandal and controversy in later years, he died on July 12, 1804, in Greenwich Village, succumbing to wounds suffered at the hands of Vice President Aaron Burr during their infamous duel.
You’ll need a couple of Hamiltons to see the exhibit. Admission is $20 for adult, $12 for seniors and students. Friday nights are FREE/pay-as-you wish.
The New York Historical Society is at Central Park West at 76th St., closed Mondays, except open on Monday, July 4th to launch the Summer of Hamilton museum-wide exhibit.
photos courtesy New York Historical Society and Amazon