#HamAlong – Post Three

GOD SO MUCH INFORMATION.

  • Balthazar de Haert is almost a great as name as Hercules Mulligan.
  • I had some major feels for Burr in this section. I mean, he’s definitely a worm. BUT, him and wife Theodosia (whose husband conveniently died in Jamaica) have dinner parties with Hamilton and Eliza and man I wish I was a fly on those walls back then.
  • And POOR BURR. A bunch of family dies before he’s even 2 years old. And he feels all burdened by their legacy.

  • It’s shit like this that I REALLY don’t appreciate from Chernow–> “Alexander and Eliza produced eight children in a twenty-year span. As a result, Eliza was either pregnant or consumed with child rearing throughout their marriage, which may have encouraged Hamilton’s womanizing.”  This is exactly the kind of speculating I really hate in biographies. You’re a historian Chernow, not a fucking psychologist. That extra “might have encouraged his womanizing” line is absolute bullshit.
  • Hamilton’s brother only writes when he wants money. Also feeling some sads for Hamilton.
  • We see a little bit of Hamilton’s abolitionist views here, so that’s nice. I still don’t like that Chernow makes him seem like it was something that Hamilton felt passionately about and worked hard for. By this point it seems obvious that he disagreed with slavery and would like to see it eradicated, but he doesn’t seem to attack slavery with nearly as much gusto as he does basically any other issue he finds important (so far).
  • The New York Manumission Society sounds like a joke. The members couldn’t even agree to get rid of their own slaves by a certain date. GTFO.

 

  • I think we can all agree that Governor George Clinton sounds like he was a major ass hat.
  • On pg 275 it says that at Clinton rallies, Hamilton’s essays were hurled under the tables as marks of contempt, and the image of people sitting around just angrily throwing papers under the table cracks me up.
  • The story of the Constitutional Conventions and getting the Constitution ratified was crazy fascinating – way more interesting than I remember it being in school. I don’t have much to comment on specifically, other than it’s nuts that Hamilton works his ass off on getting The Federalist Papers written and published, and then spends six weeks speaking on and debating the Constitution in NY trying to get his own state to accept it.

werk

  • I really want to read The Federalist Papers. I have my own copy, but I probably won’t get to it until later because damn this book takes up a lot of time already.
  •  John Adams really needed to get over himself. Anything less than being Vice President would be “beneath you”? And then almost declined it because you got less votes than you wanted?

  • I’m very happy to see Washington and Hamilton being all friendly again. 🙂
  • I love that the BIG QUESTIONS after the election of the first President were like “what do we call him” and “how should we all dress” and “what the hell how do we even do this thing”.
  • Hamilton and Angelica were WAY too flirty. Like, Eliza totally should’ve broken his kneecaps for saying some of the shit he said to her sister. Buuuuut I guess they were just all happy and super fond of each other so it wasn’t weird? Though apparently seemed so weird to others that they assumed Hamilton and Angelica were a thing? I’m so confused.
  • Hamilton has pissed off some new people – Aedanus Burke and Robert R. Livingston – and I can’t wait to see how that comes back around later. Poor Hamilton, never knew when to TALK LESS, SMILE MORE. (pun intended but seriously)
  • So now Jefferson Secretary of State and Hamilton is Secretary of the Treasury and OMG I’M SO EXCITED for all the drama that’s still ahead of us.

~Sarah

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5 comments

  1. So I sort of love Burr from this section, though I’m sure that is HIGHLY based by the Burr in the musical (who is the best character!). He’s so angry and cynical and yeah, he said his wife said something stupid but you know, maybe she said something stupid?

    I am looking forward to the Jefferson/Hamilton battles. And this also sorta made me want to pick up the Federalist Papers except I’m sure if I try I’m going to totally not follow/get bored. Maybe I need an edition that explains them to me.

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  2. I’m gonna go ahead and not read the Federalist Papers. All the respect in the world to Hamilton for writing THE OTHER FIFTY-ONE, but even just reading Chernow’s recap of them made me exhausted and bored, so I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to read the full things.

    CHERNOW: WHAT WITH THE ELIZA PREGNANT THING. That’s enough out of you, sir, on this topic. Yeesh.

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  3. SO MANY THINGS could have been edited out, like Chernow’s unnecessary commentary on Hamilton’s extramarital activities. I definitely found the BIG QUESTIONS to be the most interesting part. The idea that they were like YAY INDEPENDENCE followed immediately by “oh shit. we’re independent. now what?” HOW DO WE NATION?! What do we call our leader and stuffs? Was equally funny/fascinating. I am becoming more and more curious about Washington as we read, especially as I continue to feel like he is reluctant to DO THE THING and yet ends up being the president and has to figure out WHAT THAT EVEN MEANS. I kinda want to read a Washington bio but I feel like my biography quota will be exhausted after this monstrous novel.

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    1. Same. I want to know more about the mysterious Washington, but damn biographies are intense. Chernow wrote a Washington one and it’s EVEN LONGER than this one. Good lord I can’t even.

      I am however going to start that Lafayette book by Sarah Vowel soon because it’s short and her books seem humorous & because LAF-AY-ETTE!

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  4. Clinton sounds like THE WORST. I wonder if anyone has ever written a positive biography about him.

    Also, I am well pleased at the excellent GIF usage in these posts, both Hamilton and otherwise.

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