Broadway musical “Hamilton” offers somewhat accurate view of the life of first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton


Athena Brown

This photo, taken from the book “Hamilton: The Revolution,” shows Lin-Manuel Miranda and ensemble during Act 1, performing “Non-Stop.” “Hamilton” won a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album.

Athena Brown, Staff Writer

The hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” shows the life of founding father and first

Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Despite its popularity, some may question how historically accurate the musical truly is.

Recently, “Hamilton” received sixteen Tony Awards nominations. Some of these nominations include “Best Musical” and “Best Original Score”. The musical also won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Standard tickets start at $139, but all tickets are currently sold out. It also won a Grammy for “Best Musical Theater Album.” This musical does contain some explicit content.

“I think the musical tells a really good story, and I think it allows a younger generation to get a better idea about our American history and what went on a long time ago,” said eighth grader Grace Parker.

The beginning song, “Alexander Hamilton,” states many facts about Hamilton’s life. One line in the song calls Hamilton the “ten dollar founding father without a father.”  Since 1928, he has appeared on the ten dollar bill. Also, his father did leave him at age ten, and his parents never got married.

The eleventh song in the musical, “Satisfied”, talks about how the sister of Hamilton’s new wife, Angelica Schuyler, had a secret love for him. Hamilton married Elizabeth Schuyler in 1780. In this song, Angelica claims that her father has no sons. In actuality, he had 15 children and some of those included boys. In the same song, Angelica reveals her hidden love for Hamilton. In reality, she actually married John Barker Church before she even met Hamilton. This could possibly make some viewers question the writer’s credibility, considering most of this song is untrue.

The song “One Last Time”, in Act II, claims that Thomas Jefferson’s resignation and President George Washington’s farewell speech happened at the same time. In reality, this happened three years apart. This could create conflict because people will think that Jefferson stepped down so he could run against Washington for president, and acquire a higher status than him. He stepped down just to get a break, but now people may view him as selfish for trying to steal Washington’s presidential seat.

In Act I, a lyric in the song “Stay Alive” states that during the Revolutionary War, the U.S. army had a hard time moving along because “local merchants deny us equipment, assistance. They only take British money.” Once Congress declared independence from England and the war began, America started printing their own money, also known as Continental Currency. The value of it was not very high, so no one could accept the bills, leaving the army with few supplies.

Another false lyric comes from the song in Act II, “The Adams Administration.” The song says that John Adams fired Hamilton when he became president. In actuality, Hamilton left his position as Secretary of the Treasury before Adams became president. This could possibly create conflict. The people who listen to this song may now believe that Adams just fired Hamilton because he did not like him, which gives Adams a bad image.

If “Hamilton” contained too many false lyrics about Hamilton’s life, some listeners may learn about untrue facts. This impacts them because now they know false facts about American history. Although, if they listen to the accurate parts in the song, they will learn a lot of information about America’s founding fathers. This could help many students who want to know more about the beginning of their nation.

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