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Did Alexander Hamilton Have an Affair With Angelica Schuyler?

July 4, 2020
3 min read

Hamilton‘ is now on Disney+. The story of the popular Broadway musical adaptation follows the life of Hamilton from the time he arrives in the US, to his work in the political arena and his marriage to Eliza Schuyler. We also see Hamilton’s post-war work as the first US Secretary of the Treasury and his eventual death due to the infamous duel with Aaron Burr. While Hamilton has been fondly remembered and his legacy has been kept alive, he has had his share of scandals. For example, Hamilton has long been romantically linked to Angelica Schuyler, Eliza’s elder sister. So, did the two have an affair?

Alexander Hamilton and Angelica Schuyler’s Real Story

In ‘Hamilton’ we see Angelica introducing the titular character to her sister, Eliza, and later regretting that she did not take him for herself. However, in reality, she did not introduce the two and couldn’t have married Alexander anyway. By then, she was wedded to John Church and shared two young children with him.

However, it did not stop Angelica from maintaining a flirtatious relationship with her brother-in-law, which led many to believe that the two were lovers. Hamilton and Angelica forged a very close correspondence and exchanged letters fervently. In one of these letters, Angelica wrote, “I am sensible how much I trouble I give you, but you will have the goodness to excuse it when you know that it proceeded from a persuasion that I was asking from one who promised me his love and attention if I returned to America.” On yet another occasion, Angelica told her sister that she loved and admired Hamilton very much, and if Eliza were as generous as the old Romans, she would lend him to her for a while.

Despite the suggestive overtones in Angelica’s letters, Hamilton indeed enjoyed matching wits with sharp-tongued ladies, including his three sisters in law. Moreover, the late eighteenth century was less prudish than the Victorian era, which followed, which might explain the content of some of the letters, for example, Angelica referring to Hamilton as her ‘dear and naughty Brother.’ Ron Chernow, the biographer, also noted Angelica and Hamilton’s shared correspondence, saying, “It is hard to escape the impression that Hamilton’s life was sometimes a curious ménage à trois with two sisters who were only a year apart. The attraction between Hamilton and Angelica was so potent and obvious that many people assumed they were lovers. Where Eliza bowed reluctantly to the social demands of Hamilton’s career, Angelica applauded his ambitions and was always famished for news of his latest political exploits.”

In conclusion, while it might appear that the two were lovers, there is no concrete evidence to support Alexander Hamilton had an affair with Angelica Schuyler. However, from the letters, the chemistry between the two is undeniable.

Read More: True Story Behind Hamilton

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