Hamilton’s NYC: Behind the Broadway Curtain

New York City, Yonkers

Calling all hardcore fans of “Hamilton: An American Musical!” Regardless of how the Ham4Ham Lottery goes, have an unforgettable experience in New York City! We all know tickets are hard to come by (as the show is fully booked months in advance), so do as our favorite Founding Father would and take your fate into your own hands. Channel the wide-eyed wonder of the Schuyler sisters, slip on some walking shoes, and queue up the original cast recording—we’re taking you around town where he lived, died, and told his story! Alexander Hamilton settled in NYC for 32 of his 47 years; lucky for us, a few of his old haunts are still standing in this ever-changing city.

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Updated a year ago

Hamilton Hall at Columbia University

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New York City, United States • Recommendation • 

Jumping off from the top of the musical, we have King’s College (now known as Columbia University). Listen to the first three opening numbers as you tour the campus. It’s easy to imagine a 19-year old, strong-willed student walking through the courtyards and giving his first public speeches. He joins five of the Founding Fathers on Columbia’s prestigious roster of alumni. It was a far cry from when Hamilton was growing up as an autodidact, teaching himself through whatever books he could get his hands on in the Caribbean. He didn’t graduate because the university closed during the British occupation. The school was mostly destroyed by invasion and lootings during the Revolutionary War. They started to rebuild, include new additions, and drop their English monarch-inspired name in the aftermath of conflict and in the dawn of independence. The university dedicated Hamilton Hall to its veteran and student, so cap off the visit with a picture of Alexander’s monument out-front!

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City Hall Park

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New York City, United States • Recommendation • 

After Hamilton dropped out of King’s College, he joined the army and eventually came under the leadership of George Washington. Together, they defended the East Coast settlements against Redcoats (British troops). In August 1775, as things were heating up on the battlefield, Hamilton along with Hercules Mulligan (a tailor and spy) and 100 comrades stole their adversary’s cannons from Battery Park. Under the rain of fire, the company successfully hauled 21 of the 24 guns over to City Hall Park. The breezy grove of trees and bubbling fountains make it hard to picture the stakes, but a good blasting of “Right Hand Man” through the headset ought to do the trick. Dwell on lovelier thoughts and know that just a year later, on July 9, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was first read aloud for the New York City people here, at what was called the Commons. General George Washington and his aide-de-camp, Alexander Hamilton, were both in attendance for the momentous occasion.

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Museum of American Finance

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New York City, United States • Recommendation • 

Hamilton established the Bank of New York, the city’s first. Where it once stood, the Museum of American Finance now proudly celebrates the nation’s financial history and those who helped write it. The Hamilton Room displays the statesman’s important documents and published works. Among many things, he envisioned the financial system, helped establish the U.S. Dollar and the U.S. Mint, and founded the first national bank. He was also a member of the Continental Congress, a champion of the Constitution, and author of the Federalist Papers (of which he wrote 51 essays in 6 months out of the entire 85-essay work). He was the very first U.S. Secretary of Treasury, and ultimately, the youngest Founding Father. The song that sums this up best? You already know, “Non-Stop!”

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Morris-Jumel Mansion

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Yonkers, United States • Recommendation • 

If the walls could speak in the Morris-Jumel Mansion, they’d have sizzling tales of the powerful men that resided within it once upon a time. That’s probably why Lin-Manuel Miranda (playwright of “Hamilton: An American Musical) sought inspiration here, writing “Wait For It” and “The Room Where It Happens” in the very quarters where it all conspired. He spent a bit of time in Aaron Burr’s old bedroom too, scribbling away plots and lyrics. George Washington lived here for little over a month in 1776. Later on in 1790, during his presidency, the house hosted the cabinet meetings. They were far from rap battles, like in the musical, but they were heated discussions between Hamilton, Vice President John Adams, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, and Secretary of War Henry Knox. Bring them to life and bop to “Cabinet Battle #1” and #2 while touring the stately home.

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Archibald Gracie Mansion

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New York City, United States • Recommendation • 

A little bonus: Archibald Gracie Mansion is never mentioned in the musical, but it was where Hamilton raised funds to found the New York Evening Post—the oldest running broadsheet in the nation. They’ve been continuously putting out the news since 1801 and have evolved into the New York Post. This just tops off the long list of achievements that Hamilton garnered under his belt. The Gracie Mansion itself is the official residence to the city’s Mayor; so you never know, you might just catch a glimpse of NYC’s most powerful official!

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Hamilton Grange National Memorial

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Yonkers, United States • Recommendation • 

Hamilton only ever owned one home, the Grange (named after his grandfather’s property in Scotland), while the rest they rented. Their uptown estate is now preserved as the Hamilton Grange National Memorial. Hamilton only got to enjoy it for two years before he died. Roam through recreated rooms and you’ll get an intimate look behind what were once closed doors. Join a tour (arrive half an hour before 10:00AM, 11:00AM, 2:00PM, or 4:00PM for a slot) or explore the exhibits by yourself. Afterwards, stroll along 141th Street in Hamilton Heights, Harlem; try not to tear up as you listen to “It’s Quiet Uptown.” The musical’s Hamilton fulfilled his promise to Eliza (in “Helpless”) and got them that “little place in Harlem” in real life.

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Weehawken Dueling Grounds

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New York City, United States • Recommendation • 

Overlooking the Hudson River and a sleeping city in the distance, Alexander Hamilton squared off against Vice President Aaron Burr at Weehawken Dueling Grounds in the dawn of July 11, 1804. The musical perfectly frames the dramatic irony: after a lifetime of springing toward opportunity, Hamilton raised his gun to the sky and threw away his shot (a move in duels called a “delope”). Burr, on the other hand, pulled the trigger. A bullet embedded itself through Hamilton’s abdomen and into his spine. He was rushed to a friend’s house where he died the next afternoon. Alexander suffered the same death that his son did just three years prior when Philip faced George Eacker (one of his father’s critics). Philip, too, aimed his pistol at the heavens and was killed by a gun wound above his right hip. A humble plaque commemorates the rocky ledge where the Hamilton men were shot. Spend a quiet moment or two, watching the waters. Let “The World Was Wide Enough” serenade you in your contemplation.

  • Hamilton Park, Weehawken, New Jersey, USA

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Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum

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Yonkers, United States • Recommendation • 

Eliza lived on for 50 years after her dear husband passed. In the end, they were reunited at the Trinity Church Cemetery. Alexander, Eliza, and their son Philip have finally found peace in the heart of Wall Street and Broadway. A special marble obelisk marks the Founding Father’s tomb, with an inscription recognizing his legacy: as a patriot, a soldier, and a statesman. Before the hit-Broadway musical, Alexander Hamilton was an unheralded genius and hero. Now, pilgrims come to Trinity Church to honor his memory. Thus, the perfect finale on-stage and on-trip is the finale, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.”

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