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How does an illegitimate orphan from the Caribbean grow up to become the man on the ten-dollar bill, and now the hottest thing on Broadway? That’s the story behind “Hamilton,” a hip-hop musical based on the life of Alexander Hamilton. With tickets that are nearly impossible to snag your options are: patiently waiting for the next batch to be released or for its national tour to begin, trying your luck at the daily pre-show lottery or stomaching super high resale prices. Yet much of Hamilton’s life in New York City can be told beyond the stage, so go ahead and visit these six locations in NYC linked to this Founding Father without a father.


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Hamilton Hall

Hamilton Hall | Photo courtesy of Bruce Gilbert/ Columbia University

 

Hamilton Hall, Columbia University

Born on the island of Nevis and raised in St. Croix, Hamilton was sent to the Colonies to get an education and was admitted to King’s College in 1774 (what Columbia University was called before the American Revolutionary War). As resistance to staying under British rule grew, Alexander left school and joined in the fight for independence. As for King’s College, its name changed to Columbia a decade after Hamilton’s enrollment and later moved up to Morningside Heights. Yet Columbia will always be connected to its alumnus: a building and statue in his honor are on campus at 116th Street and at Amsterdam Avenue.

Fraunces Tavern

Fraunces Tavern | Photo courtesy of Sean Donnelly

Fraunces Tavern

During the American Revolution, General George Washington needed a right hand man and Hamilton became that guy. After the war, this tavern/museum in the Financial District was where Washington bid farewell to his officers in 1783 and temporarily housed the new government’s foreign affairs, war and treasury departments. As for Hamilton, he and Aaron Burr, a political revival, attended a formal dinner here in 1804, set a week before their fateful duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. Andnow until December, the tavern has an exhibit on another key player: America’s favorite fighting Frenchman, Marquis de Lafayette, who joined the U.S. in its battle against British forces. See the bloody slash he wore in battle!

Plaque on Maiden Lane

Plaque on Maiden Lane

57 Maiden Lane

Though the house Thomas Jefferson rented is no longer around, the address is still a pretty big deal. Here in 1790 is where two Virginians – Jefferson and James Madison – and the immigrant Hamilton cut a compromise over dinner that would set our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. in exchange for having the federal government assume the states’ post-war debts. Imagine being in the room where it happened (which Burr sings about in the musical, but totally missed out on.)! Today, a visual reminder marks this site.

Hamilton Grange Memorial

Hamilton Grange Memorial | Photo courtesy of theNational Park Service

Hamilton Grange National Memorial

In 1802, Hamilton, his wife, Eliza,and their children (eldest son Philip was killed in a duel the year before) moved uptown to this Federal-style country home. Sadly, Hamilton got to enjoy living in the only house he would own for just two years before meeting his tragic death. Today, the Grange belongs to the U.S. National Park Service — and its been moved twice! The second time in 2008 involved using hydraulic power to lift and steer the home to its place in Saint Nicholas Park in Harlem.

Jane Street

Jane Street

82 Jane Street

This location in Greenwich Village features a plaque saying it was the home where Alexander Hamilton died on July 12, 1804, the day after being wounded in his duel with Burr. But apparently this address didn’t exist back then. According to a history book, the actual residence would have been set closer to what’s now Horatio Street. However, what is true is that the now long-gone home belonged to a man named William Bayard, Hamilton’s friend, and was where Hamilton passed away.

Trinity Church Wall Street

Trinity Church Wall Street | Photo courtesy of Leo Sorel/ Trinity Church Wall Street

 

Trinity Church

In life,the Hamiltons belonged to this Lower Manhattan church near Wall Street. Alexander, Philip, and Eliza Hamilton have all been laid to rest at its cemetery. Eliza’s sister, Angelica Schuyler Church, is buried here as well. Yet it’s pretty easy to spot the grave of the guy who founded our national banking system and what would become the U.S. Coast Guard. His white marbled tomb is shaped like a pyramid.

Inside the Museum of American Finance

Inside the Museum of American Finance | Photo courtesy of Elsa Ruiz

 

Museum of American Finance

It’s fitting that this Wall Street museum on the site of New York City’s first bank (which Hamilton founded) has an exhibition room just for A. Ham. The gallery traces his lifespan and shows his contributions to America’s financial system, which were all first publicly thought of as extreme. Find documents signed by Hamilton, some of his published works and medals and currency designed in his honor.

 

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Michele Herrmann

Michele Herrmann

Michele writes about women's travel, destinations, culinary, and cultural topics for various outlets and has ventured as far as Fiji, to date. She also muses her tales on She Is Going Places.

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