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Recap / Hamilton

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Alexander Hamilton: The entire cast narrates the early life of Alexander Hamilton, a “bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman” who lived impoverished in the Caribbean, abandoned by his father at age 10 and losing his mother to disease two years later, followed by his cousin committing suicide. Left completely on his own, the teenage Hamilton took a job as an import/export clerk and voraciously educated himself on every topic he could find books on. Eventually, his vivid account of a hurricane that devastated the town prompted the community to take up a collection and send him to America where he could make full use of his potential. The cast end by stating their own connections to Hamilton, with the main narrator revealing he’s none other than Aaron Burr, “the damn fool that shot him.”


Aaron Burr, Sir: Hamilton asks Burr to intervene with his friend, the bursar of Princeton College, after Hamilton got in a fight with him. Burr takes Hamilton for a drink and advises him to “Talk less, smile more,” keeping his personal opinions secret to not alienate anyone. Elsewhere in the bar are three agitators for revolution against England: French expatriate Marquis de Lafayette, anti-slavery crusader John Laurens, and tailor Hercules Mulligan. They take notice of Burr and mock his continued refusal to take a stand on the issue, prompting Hamilton to join in and catch their attention.

My Shot: Put on the spot by the others, Hamilton launches into a tirade against Britain’s abuse of its American colonies, which will inevitably lead to a revolution against them. The others are so impressed by his passion and eloquence that they decide to make him the public face of their movement, igniting the revolutionary spirit in front of whole crowds. Though privately, Hamilton also worries that a war could only lead to an endless cycle of violence and knows they need to think about how an independent America could actually function.


The Story of Tonight: The new-forged friends Hamilton, Lafayette, Laurens, and Mulligan stay in the bar late into the night, looking forward to their movement growing as resentment toward Britain spreads and Hamilton’s talents are turned toward the cause.

The Schuyler Sisters: Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy, the daughters of wealthy businessman Phillip Schuyler, head out for a day on the town in New York against their father’s rules. Burr propositions Angelica, but she turns him down in disgust at his assumption that she’s only looking for an “urchin” to slum with when in fact she’s highly intelligent and politically active. The sisters continue on simply enjoying getting to see “the greatest city in the world” at such an exciting time.

The Farmer Refuted: Samuel Seabury addresses the public trying to dissuade them from revolution, only for Hamilton to brutally heckle him and tear down every single one of his points. Burr tries to stop him as usual, but just as Hamilton starts to fight back, royal messengers arrive with a message from King George.


You’ll Be Back: King George’s message addresses the rebelling colonies as if they’re a disloyal lover, and warns that he’s sending an army to win back their “love,” all while ignorant of how he’s coming off as the bad guy.

Right Hand Man: As the British troops arrive, General George Washington addresses the newly formed Continental Army, laying out their bleak position as “outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, outplanned.” Hamilton and his friends launch a daring raid on the British position and steal several of their cannons, but the army is still quickly forced out of New York. Washington declares he needs an assistant so he can properly keep his mind on commanding the army. Burr is the first to apply, but doesn’t endear himself by praising Washington’s cautious movements that have actually been strongly against his will. Washington curtly dismisses him in favor of Hamilton, who’s been resisting various efforts to get him as a secretary, and sells the job as vital to winning the war, rather than Hamilton’s youthful fantasies about dying heroically. Hamilton quickly starts making plans to bring in his friends to help, and Washington introduces him to the army as his new right hand man.

A Winter’s Ball: As Hamilton’s star rises with Washington’s help, he also develops a reputation as a ladies’ man along with Burr. During a break in the fighting they attend a ball where the Schuyler sisters are the most eligible catches.

Helpless: Eliza falls for Hamilton at first sight, and immediately sets claim on him with Angelica. Her sister thus takes the job of introducing them, and over the next month they have a whirlwind courtship despite Hamilton’s painful awareness of how little he’s bringing to the relationship. Ultimately, Phillip Schuyler endorses their marriage.

Satisfied: Angelica raises a toast to her sister and Hamilton as the maid of honor, putting on a happy face while in fact she’s flashing back to the whole truth of her meeting with Hamilton before introducing them. She was dazzled to finally meet someone who could converse on her level and quickly became just as infatuated as Eliza. However, with her family obligation to marry a rich man and the knowledge of how Eliza would be destroyed to lose him, she stepped aside, contenting herself with how she’ll still be able to have him in her life.

The Story of Tonight (Reprise): Lafayette, Laurens, and Mulligan all rib Alexander on getting married, when Burr arrives to offer his congratulations. Hamilton in turn congratulates him on his battlefield feats, frustrated at being Washington’s secretary. He’s also surprised to hear Burr has fallen for the wife of a British officer, and urges him to approach her with his feelings.

Wait For It: Burr soliloquizes about his life philosophy, losing his parents at a young age instilling him with the idea there must be some purpose he was left alive for. He approaches his love the same way, believing it will happen if it’s meant to, and in the meantime all he has to do is wait, and not stir the pot unnecessarily.

Stay Alive: Things get even worse for the Continental Army, who are left starving and wanting for equipment with no help to be found. Washington reluctantly changes tactics to a pure war of attrition, making a series of hard and fast strikes until the British are convinced holding onto the colonies is simply not worth the trouble, though with a severe cost to their own side. Hamilton’s friends all separate to their own assignments, and he is still denied a command of his own. Washington instead promotes Charles Lee, who proceeds to retreat against orders at the Battle of Monmouth. Lee defends himself by insulting Washington’s leadership, which Washington himself doesn’t care about but Laurens is driven to challenge Lee to a duel.

Ten Duel Commandments: Laurens and Lee go through the complex rituals involved in fighting a duel, including picking their seconds in Hamilton and Burr. The two of them then have a last meeting to try to settle things, which Burr is eager to do, but Hamilton insists Lee has to answer for the men killed under his command. The combatants turn and fire.

Meet Me Inside: Lee is hit non-fatally, ending the duel. A furious Washington arrives and diplomatically insists Lee have medical attention, before ordering Hamilton into a private meeting. He again insists he doesn’t care about petty insults, which gets Hamilton going on how he doesn’t have the kind of reputation that can withstand them and he again demands his own command. Washington instead orders him to return home, with Hamilton forced to comply even with his growing anger at Washington’s paternalistic attitude.

That Would Be Enough: Upon returning home, Hamilton is shocked to discover Eliza is pregnant, and had actually requested Washington release him herself. She tells him that now he has the best reason of all to survive the war and not take chances with his life, and blows off his concerns about not being able to provide for her properly, saying she’s happy being his wife, and only wants a humble life with their family.

Guns and Ships: Lafayette has made a name for himself in several battles, as well as his negotiations with the French government for more supplies that have given the Continental Army a fighting chance again. Washington meets with the French army near the British stronghold in Yorktown, hoping to break it together. But first Lafayette convinces him to finally give Hamilton his long-desired command, saying they can’t do it without him.

History Has Its Eyes On You: Washington tells Hamilton about his own first time commanding men, which became a disaster which he bore the burden of surviving while so many of his men didn’t. Even now, he still has no control over how history will remember him, and warns Hamilton the same is true of him as he prepares to command his own men.

Yorktown: The Battle of Yorktown commences, with Lafayette positioned to cut off any British retreat and Hamilton shrewdly ordering his men to unload their guns and use bayonets to avoid giving away their position, all aided by information from Mulligan gathered as he works on the British soldiers’ clothes. After a week, the British surrender and are marched through the streets in defeat, as the Continental Army revels in their victory.

What Comes Next?: After the Battle of Yorktown and with other wars eating into Britain’s budget, King George is forced to recognize America as an independent country. However, he leaves a parting shot that the people in charge have no idea how hard his job really is, but are about to find out.

Dear Theodosia: Hamilton’s son Phillip and Burr’s daughter Theodosia are born shortly after the end of the war, and both look forward to them growing along with the new country, swearing to continue fighting for them until they in turn can “blow us all away” with their own accomplishments.

Tomorrow There’ll Be More of Us: America’s victory is soured for Hamilton when a letter arrives revealing that Laurens was killed in a battle against a British regiment, before word could reach the area that the war was over. The survivors of the black army he created are being returned to their masters, prompting Hamilton to say he has much more to do.

Non-Stop: Hamilton and Burr both return to university, with both becoming lawyers and even working together on America’s first murder trial. However, Hamilton’s star soon eclipses Burr’s until he’s chosen for the convention to create a Constitution laying out their new government, though his proposals aren’t received well. Hamilton asks Burr’s help in publishing the Federalist Papers to defend the Constitution, but he refuses to take a stand as always, causing Hamilton to explode at how he can still continue this way after the war. Angelica finds a husband who’s rich enough to give her a comfortable life and moves to England with him, though acknowledging Hamilton will always be her true love. After the Federalist Papers are completed with Hamilton writing more than half, the newly elected President Washington asks him to be the Secretary of the Treasury, which he eagerly accepts. Eliza isn’t so happy to be losing him to work again, and soon all the characters join in asking him to slow down, to which he simply repeats “I am not throwing away my shot!”

What’d I Miss: Thomas Jefferson returns to America after years as an ambassador in France, and finds that Washington wants him as Secretary of State. Upon arriving in New York, his friend James Madison warns him about Hamilton’s plan to create a National Bank, which they fear would give the central government too much control, and Jefferson promises to help fight it.

Cabinet Battle #1: Hamilton and Jefferson debate the plan for a National Bank where the central government assumes the states’ debts from the war. Jefferson argues that with most of the South’s debts paid up it’s unfair to ask them to help the North, which will end up benefitting Hamilton himself as head of the Treasury. Hamilton responds that they were only able to pay due to their free slave labor and moves to personal attacks as Jefferson didn’t fight in the war. Washington breaks the argument up, and urges Hamilton his aggressive arguing will never get the South’s votes and he needs some other way to do it.

Take a Break: On Phillip’s ninth birthday, Hamilton is busy writing to Angelica about his job problems. Eliza gets him to take a break by revealing Phillip wrote a poem, showing he’s also interested in becoming a writer to Hamilton’s delight. Angelica writes back that he should try to compromise with Jefferson and Madison, also revealing she’s coming back so they can all stay with Phillip Schuyler upstate. But when she arrives, Hamilton insists he has to keep working and the sisters reluctantly leave him alone in the house.

Say No To This: After days of nonstop work alone in the house, the exhausted Hamilton answers the door to find Maria Reynolds, who begs for help against her abusive husband. Hamilton gives her some money and walks her back home, where he succumbs to sleeping with her. The affair continues for a month, when Maria’s husband James sends him a letter revealing he knows, and blackmails Hamilton against telling Eliza. Hamilton confronts Maria, who denies that it was a plan from the start, and agrees to make the payments.

The Room Where It Happens: Hamilton admits to Burr that he’s going to have to play nice to get the National Bank made, though he throws in a barb pointedly excluding Burr from the dinner he’s headed to with Jefferson and Madison. He comes out of the dinner with them agreeing to make the Bank, but with no one else in the room, it’s a mystery how he actually did it. This is followed by moving the nation’s capital from New York to the Potomac, to which Burr accuses Hamilton of selling their city out. Hamilton retorts that he got everything he wanted, and Burr has no right to complain given he never even tries to play the game. Burr responds by at long last taking a stand for his own desire to be a power player, and make the kind of moves that can only be guessed at by anyone not in “the room where it happens.”

Schuyler Defeated: Burr runs for office as a Democratic-Republican and defeats Phillip Schuyler to become a Senator, specifically on the tide of Hamilton’s unpopularity in New York. Eliza doesn’t care much, seeing it as just the natural course of politics, but Hamilton takes great offense even as Burr says he doesn’t see why this has to affect their friendship, accusing him of being an opportunist who doesn’t actually have any firm beliefs to advance with his power.

Cabinet Battle #2: Washington arranges for Hamilton and Jefferson to make their cases on whether America should help France in their new war with Britain. Jefferson argues that France gave them invaluable assistance in the Revolution and only asked for similar help in return. Hamilton responds that the King they made that agreement with was killed in the country’s own revolution. Washington agrees with Hamilton, saying the new country is too fragile to interfere with others, especially with the turmoil France’s government is in. Afterwards, Jefferson accuses Hamilton of betraying his promise to Lafayette, and says he’d be nothing without Washington’s support.

Washington On Your Side: Burr goads Jefferson and Madison on in their frustrations with Hamilton, until finally they decide to leave their positions to form their own political party, the Democratic-Republicans. Jefferson also gets the idea that Hamilton must have some skeleton in his closet that can be used against him, and they decide to root through all his finances to find it.

One Last Time: Washington tells Hamilton that Jefferson is running to become President, and makes the shocking reveal that he is not going to run for another term. Against Hamilton’s objections, he says that after he was such an important figure in America’s beginning, he has to teach it to go on without him so it will continue past his death. Hamilton helps him draft a farewell address with advice for the Presidents to follow, and he retires to Mount Vernon.

I Know Him: Even King George is somber at the news of Washington’s retirement, and his towering historical achievements that no one else can hope to match. But he snaps back upon being told John Adams has been elected as the next President, seeing him as having no hope in the job and looking forward to America going down in flames.

The Adams Administration: With Adams as President and Jefferson as Vice President, Hamilton finds himself suddenly with much less power and is fired, only able to write a public essay insulting Adams for it. This is just what Burr, Jefferson, and Madison wanted as it leaves him even more isolated within his own party, and they decide it’s time to twist the knife with what they’ve discovered in his finances.

We Know: Burr, Jefferson, and Madison confront Hamilton with the payments he’d made to James Reynolds, assuming it means he was embezzling from the Treasury. Hamilton hits back with the truth of his affair, and reveals that he even kept a full account of the blackmail payments showing they came entirely from his own pocket. The three are shocked at the story and Jefferson and Madison promise to keep it secret, but Burr implies he’ll be holding on to the information for the proper time.

Hurricane: Hamilton thinks back to how he’s spent his whole life using his writing to advance himself, getting to America with his letter about a hurricane, doing Washington’s correspondence during the war, and creating a whole new financial system. He decides to do the same thing now, and writes the Reynolds Pamphlet to publicly acknowledge the affair before his enemies can use it against him.

The Reynolds Pamphlet: Hamilton’s tactic backfires horribly, with his reputation destroyed by telling the public all the details of his affair. Burr, Jefferson, and Madison revel in how he now has no chance of becoming President, before sparing a thought for Eliza.

Burn: Eliza bitterly condemns how Hamilton opened up their private lives just to secure his own legacy, and takes back the only control she can by destroying all her letters to him that she’d been saving to leave no historical record of her private thoughts.

Blow Us All Away: The newly graduated Phillip confronts George Eaker at the theater for insulting his father. Eaker refuses to apologize, and so they arrange for a duel. Hamilton advises Phillip to aim at the sky, saying if Eaker is honorable he’ll do the same and honor will be satisfied, without Phillip having to become a killer which will devastate Eliza. Unfortunately, Eaker cheats and turns to shoot Phillip before the count of ten finishes.

Stay Alive (Reprise): The doctor tending Phillip gives Hamilton the news that the wound is already infected and nothing can be done. Hamilton has a brief talk affirming that Phillip followed his advice before a horrified Eliza barges in and demands to see him. They reminisce about his childhood before he expires, at which Hamilton tries to take her hand but she pulls away and screams.

It's Quiet Uptown: Hamilton and Eliza move with their remaining children away from the busy part of New York to an estate uptown, where they can deal with their grief in the relative quiet. Hamilton takes up his long-discarded religion and turns to gardening, and eventually starts to approach Eliza again saying he now truly wants nothing more than their family just like she’s always wanted for them. Eliza finally takes his offered hand, showing her forgiveness for everything.

The Election of 1800: With John Adams becoming so unpopular, Aaron Burr becomes Jefferson’s biggest opponent in the next election. The public sees Jefferson as off-puttingly elitist, which Madison suggests could change with an endorsement by Hamilton. The still grieving Hamilton doesn’t participate, and the votes end up in a tie leaving the delegates to choose. Hamilton now does step forward, declaring he supports Jefferson because despite disagreeing with him on so much, at least he has beliefs he fights for unlike Burr. Jefferson is chosen as the third President, and promptly sets about changing the law so that Burr won’t even be his Vice President.

Your Obedient Servant: Burr declares that Hamilton has destroyed his advancement for the last time, and writes a letter challenging him to a duel. Hamilton refuses to apologize, and even lists out all the disagreements between them saying Burr is being too vague about it. Burr is so impatient he picks out the site himself against proper procedure and they are set to meet at Weehauken.

Best of Wives and Best of Women: The morning of the duel, Eliza finds Hamilton writing a letter for her in the early hours in case he’s killed. He doesn’t tell her about the duel and she irritably says she’s going back to sleep.

The World Was Wide Enough: As the duel commences, Burr sees that Hamilton is wearing his glasses and takes it as a sign he intends to make a fatal shot. In the second before the shots are fired, Hamilton flashes through all the steps of his life and the role he played in creating a whole new country, as well as the people he’s lost that he now sees on “the other side.” He aims at the sky, but Burr takes aim and makes a deadly hit. Hamilton is taken away by a doctor and dies with Eliza and Angelica at his side, while Burr laments that he’ll now go down in history as the villain of Hamilton’s story, his legacy destroyed forever.

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story: Washington repeats his advice from Yorktown that no one can control how history views them. Jefferson and Madison give grudging credit to Hamilton for his invaluable role in giving America a strong economy as it was just getting started. As everyone wonders who will tell Hamilton’s story, the answer arrives: Eliza, who lives fifty more years after his death and fills that time fighting for all the causes he believed in, telling the stories of veterans of the Revolution, raising funds for the Washington Monument, and campaigning against slavery. But she’s proudest of all of creating New York’s first private orphanage, raising hundreds of children in the same position Hamilton had been in and helping them reach their potential. When her own time comes she still wonders if she’s done enough, and meets with Hamilton again. He shows her the audience, and she gasps at the realization that their story is still being told and they are remembered.


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