The truth about Angelica Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton’s relationship


One of the most memorable and heartbreaking songs of Hamilton, the revolutionary Broadway hit newly released on Disney +, is satisfied. “It is a moving, sensual and painful ode to an attraction that can never be fulfilled between Angelica Schuyler and her future brother-in-law Alexander Hamilton. But what was the truth about the relationship between the immigrant without the penny “flying by the seat of his pants” and the New York socialite?

For the uninitiated, Hamilton recounts the rise of the titular founding father from his humble beginnings to political power. Infused with a hip-hop touch, historical figures such as Aaron Burr, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson populate the musical. But perhaps the most compelling characters are Schuyler’s enterprising sibling trio. Although Alexander ends up marrying Eliza, it is the older sister Angelica (played by Renée Elise Goldsberry) who first catches her attention. Below is a guide to Angelique’s real life and those lingering romance rumors.

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She was born into one of the most influential families in New York State.

Angelique Schuyler was born in Albany, New York, on February 20, 1756, to relatives who “Represented two of New York’s most prominent landowner families.” Her father was Continental Army General Philip Schuyler and her mother was Catherine Van Rensselaer. His sentence in “Satisfied” which says: “My father does not have a son so / it is me who must make the social rise for one”, is not exact; Angelica was one of Schuyler’s fifteen children, eight of whom survived infancy. It had three brothers and two sisters not represented in Hamilton.

A portrait of Catharine Schuyler Van Rensselaer, circa 1795.

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Angelica was a well-known socialite in the area. In 2015, the three actresses who play the Schuyler sisters (Phillipa Soo is Eliza and Jasmine Cephas Jones is Peggy) visited Morristown, NJ Schuyler-Hamilton House, where Hamilton initially pursued Eliza, with the New York Times. There, historic site guide Patricia Sanftner referred to the Schuyler sisters as “the Kardashians” of 1780.

The Schuylers also faced controversy. Philippe, the patriarch of the family, rivaled Aaron Burr before his fatal duel with Hamilton; Schuyler lost his Senate seat in a 1791 re-election to Burr. He recovered it in 1797 but fell ill soon after and retired. Last month, the mayor of Albany announced that the city would remove a statue of Philip Schuyler in front of city hall; the Union of times reports that in the late 1700s Philip was “Albany’s largest slave owner”.

Angelica was already married when she met Alexander.

At 21, Angélique married British politician and businessman John Barker Church. In Ron Chernow Alexandre hamilton, which inspired the Broadway musical, the author calls the Church “strange choice” for Angélique. The two met in 1776 when Church was working for the army department headed by General Schuyler. “While he was there he managed to woo Angelica and upset his father,” Chernow wrote. The family were suspicious of Church and discovered he was operating as John B. Carter and left the UK under suspicious circumstances. The couple fled against their family’s wishes in 1777 and “the Schuylers were predictably enraged,” Chernow noted.

Alexandre hamilton

Ron chernow

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By the time Angelica first watched Hamilton, she was already married and the mother of the first two of her eight children. (This is conveniently excluded from his romantic solo in the musical.) Hamilton would marry his younger sister Eliza in 1780. Angelica would move to Paris with Church, who later became a member of the British Parliament.

Like Philip Schuyler, Angelica and Church were slave owners, according to a New York Times verification of the facts of Hamilton. Hamilton is said to have even helped the couple “with their slavery-related transactions, including the $ 225 purchase of a mother and child.” Church also in duel with Aaron Burr in 1799, before his clash with Hamilton.

Angelica and Hamilton exchanged flirtatious letters.

Even though Angelica was already engaged when she met Alexander, the duo developed “an unusually warm friendship,” Chernow written in his 2005 book. The author described their letters as “catchy and flirtatious” and the dynamic between Angelica, Eliza and Alexander as a “curious threesome”.

In a letter, Angelique wrote to Eliza, “If you were as generous as the old Romans, you would lend it to me for a little while.” Hamilton explores the subtle sentimentality of their exchanges via comma placement: In the musical, Angelica spirals after Alexander writes, “My Dearest, Angelica,” suggesting it was his beloved. But it was actually Alexander who analyzed Angelica’s punctuation. in a 1787 letter. “There was a most critical comma in your last letter. I had better get it crafted, but I guess it was accidental. Debunk that if you can. Proof that you’re doing it right. can be given by the omission or repetition of the same error in your next one, “he wrote, after she wrote the sentence,” Indeed, my dear, sir ” in his own letter.

54th New York Film Festival
Goldsberry, who played Angelica Schuyler, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who played Alexander Hamilton, in 2016.

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There has never been any evidence that Angelica and Hamilton’s textual flirtation ever jumped off the page and turned into a full-blown affair. But Chernow wrote in his bio, “It seems plausible that Hamilton would have proposed to Angelica, not Eliza, if the older sister had been eligible. Angelica was more Hamilton’s counterpart than Eliza.”

Angelica boasted of having an elite group of friends and a New York village named after her today.

When Angelica wasn’t engaging in a thirsty correspondence with her brother-in-law, she made dates with prominent figures. At her wedding, she often traveled between Great Britain and America, and included Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette like friends. She also attended The investiture of George Washington in 1789 and returned to New York for good in 1797.

Church and Angelica installed on 100,000 acres of land, provided by the US government in lieu of loans owed to Church in western New York along the Genesee River. The couple’s eldest son, Philip, named a village on Angelica Land after his mother. Angelica Schuyler died on March 13, 1814 at the age of 58. As explained in Hamilton, she was buried in the cemetery of Trinity Church in New York City alongside her sister Eliza and her brother-in-law Alexander.

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