It is the time of the week when we revel in the glory that is Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton, "the ten dollar founding father without a father."
In chapter six, we see the relationship between Washington and Hamilton ice over a bit. Hamilton desperately wanted to actually fight in the war and Washington didn't want to let his best wordsmith get away. There is a section in this book that is pretty radically different from the musical, and it depicts the duel between Charles Lee and John Laurens. Lee did trash talk Washington, but Aaron Burr was not Lee's second for the duel. After Lee was shot in the side and declared that George Washington was actually pretty great, the dispute was over. This is not actually the point where Hamilton goes home to his wife Eliza. In fact, he had only met her once.
In chapter seven, readers discover that Alexander Hamilton was actually a high school girl who made a list of all the attributes he hoped for in a wife. Needless to say, Eliza was awesome. It's sad to note that while the musical portrays the wedding between Alexander and Eliza as an occasion marked by all of their friends, Hamilton was all alone in reality. Eliza's family was present, but all of his friends and colleagues were occupied with the war. (The greatest shame here is the lack of Hercules Mulligan as flower girl).
We are going to take a moment to talk about potentially the greatest event in this book so far and it doesn't even include Alexander. On August 7, 1781, Tories and Indians took over the Schuyler house. So we have Papa Schuyler shooting his gun out an upstairs window to signal for some help, we have rather pregnant Angelica and Eliza, and we have Mama Schuyler and Peggy. At some point, everyone realized that they had left newest baby Schuyler downstairs and not barricaded upstairs with everyone else. So Peggy goes downstairs, gets the baby, sasses the guy holding basically holding them hostage, ducks from a tomahawk thrown at her (you can supposedly still see the mark on the banister) and run back upstairs. I am so bummed this is not included in the musical. Let's give Peggy some props here.
The last chapter of this section has to do with the British surrender and the time right after the war. Things I didn't know or maybe forgot about the Revolutionary War: Britain surrendered after the Battle of Yorktown (mostly), but there were still pockets of Brits and loyal colonists for years after that. Also, there was almost a second round of war because Congress rather belatedly realized they couldn't actually pay the men who had been risking their lives for the past few years. Whoops. Angry troops stormed into Philadelphia and surrounded the State House. Hamilton faces an angry mob yet again. I get the feeling it won't be the last time...
That's all I've got for now. If you are debating picking up this massive tome, do it! It reads so well for a massive biography and we are having lots of fun reading it together. You can check out what other readers thought here.