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Fanfic / appellation

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appellation is a complete Hamilton fanfiction written by talriconosco on Archive of Our Own. It takes place during the same time the musical events happen, but has Alexander Hamilton taken in by his uncle Laird John Hamilton, which leads to Alexander fighting for the British in the American Revolution. Despite Alexander's status as a redcoat, he and George Washington still end up with a pseudofamilial relationship with Alexander as son and Washington as father.


appellation contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Downplayed in Martha Washington's case. She gets a mention in the musical and later makes an appearance, but one wouldn't know it's her (she's not anywhere nearby Washington) unless they looked at the script. In the fic, Martha Washington is a supporting character. When she appears, she's clearly identified as herself.
  • Adapted Out: Inverted with Alexander's brother, and his uncle Laird John Hamilton. Neither are in the Hamilton musical, but both definitely existed in reality. Also inverted with Baron von Steuben, who trained the Continental Army to great effect and was a friend of Alexander Hamilton. He didn't make it into even a draft of the musical, although Lin-Manuel Miranda wanted to include him, but he makes it into this fanfiction.
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  • all lowercase letters: The title of the fanfiction is completely lowercase.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: It's tagged with "Alternate Universe" and "Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence." It's specifically an alternate universe of the What If? kind: what if Alexander Hamilton was taken in by his uncle John Hamilton instead of being left in the Caribbean?
  • Completed Fic: Completed in 2016.
  • Dark Secret: Hamilton tries to keep his status as a bastard secret when he can, knowing bastards are not afforded the same social privilege as legitimately born men. He knows officers are frequently concerned with honor, and thinks the Continental Army leaving him alive and sending him to Britain at the end of the war, as a matter of honor, hinges on whether think he's somebody's privileged legitimate son.
  • Disappeared Dad: James Hamilton.
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  • Gen Fic: Tagged as such (Category: "Gen"), and isn't focused on romantic pairings at all. The relationship it most focuses on is a pseudofamilial relationship between Alexander Hamilton and George Washington where Alexander is the son and Washington is the father.
  • Historical Domain Character: Part of the territory when writing fanfiction of Hamilton, whose named characters were all people who existed in real life. This fic also includes real life individuals who existed during Alexander Hamilton's time but didn't make it into the musical, especially from his biological family.
  • In-Series Nickname: “Jamie” for Alexander’s brother James.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: John Hamilton doesn’t know Rachel and James weren’t married, and that Alexander is a bastard and not a legitimate son.
  • Money Dumb: John Hamilton thinks James Hamilton’s most prominent failing is his inability to manage his money.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The Hamilton musical mentions both of Alexander's parents, but doesn't name them, while this fanfiction does: James Hamilton and Rachel Faucette.
  • Nephewism: James Hamilton, Alexander and James' absent father, writes his brother Laird John Hamilton after Alexander and James' mother, Rachel Faucette, dies, asking John to take in Rachel's sons. John pays for the two sons' transport to his place of residence, and takes in and raises Alexander. He would have done so with James too, if he hadn't died on the journey.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Alexander’s father is still alive when his mother died, but his father is also a Disappeared Dad. He ended up penniless, shamed on the streets, and not allowed into parish schools before John Hamilton took him in.
  • The Promise: Alexander promises God he’ll be honest and honorable in everything except revealing he’s a bastard and his parents weren’t married. He does his best to hold to this promise, even in wartime.
  • Title Drop: Twice.
    • In chapter 17, Washington tries to reassure Alexander that his uncle will still care for him despite the rift between them. Alexander tells him this wouldn't be true if his uncle knew the truth that he was a bastard born out of wedlock, and that James Hamilton and Rachel Faucette were not married. Washington replies:
      Washington: And I am a barren old man, unable to father children of my own blood. My wife loves me no less for it. Affection is built between people, and grows over time—it is neither a product nor a casualty of a simple appellation.
    • In chapter 20, after Washington addresses Alexander as "son," apologizes for it, and addresses him as "Colonel," Alexander thinks about how he hasn't heard "Colonel" used in a respectful tone towards him since the Revolutionary War.
      It hardly seems to matter, though, not when the other appellation is ringing in his ears. Colonel.