Eliza Schuyler Hamilton outlived her famous husband Alexander by fifty years and went on to make her own mark on history.
Many people have heard of Elizabeth (Eliza) Schuyler Hamilton from the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical Hamilton about her husband Alexander but, as she plays a secondary role in the production, most people know little of her life and legacy. Eliza lived for 97 years — and outlived her famous husband by 50 years — during a tumultuous period that included the American Revolution and the establishment of American government and democracy, as well as personal dramas and tragedies, including the deaths of both her oldest son and her husband in duels. Despite it all, she went on to devote her life both to preserving Alexander’s legacy and to charitable causes, including the creation of the first private orphanage in New York City, even while her own family struggled with financial hardship. "I think anyone else would have been broken," says Ron Chernow, the author of Alexander Hamilton, the biography that inspired the hit musical. "Not only did she live, she prevailed." Continue reading Continue reading