Happy Birthday, A(dot) Ham!

His name was Alexander Hamilton….and there were a million things he didn’t do because of the now infamous duel in Weehawken, New Jersey, with Aaron Burr. Or as one of the creators of Hamilton: An American Musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda affectionally calls him, A (Dot) Burr.

A.Ham was not the greatest guy however he was an amazing guy. He had a lot of flaws, but who of us doesn’t? He was poor, survived a hurricane and because he was smart, and given opportunity, he was able to write about his experience during that hurricane (at the urging of some of the townspeople) and wound up getting sponsored to come to The Colonies.

Me, I mean, we know that he was the first Secretary of the Treasury, fought in the Revolutionary War and died from the wounds received from the duel with Burr, on July 12, 1804. Yes, blah blah blah I know all the musical by heart (most of it anyway) and I am reading the Ron Chernow biography on A.Ham and it’s fascinating and long….but really, really interesting. I’ve gotten as far as the British surrendering at Yorktown and Hamilton going to work as a lawyer.

I, similar to Hamilton am stubborn, a leader, want the best for our country, and flirted. However he had at LEAST one affair, but the thing that blows me away is his flare for writing.

Later after his death, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton found thousands of pages of writing. So not only did he write more than most of us will ever read (especially the Federalist Papers), he was just meticulous about finances and documenting EVERYTHING including letters exchanged between a lover, and the lover’s husband so that he could prove that he never stole money from the U.S. Treasury. He kept notes and writings maybe to the point of obsession.

That he is admired is not surprising. He accomplished so much which is amazing since his life was cut short. When he was younger, I especially admire how he was basically self-taught and never stopped reading and writing. When my depression and anxiety get me down, I’m paralyzed. It’s too much energy to write, to think, to read — and he found a way to continue on, even with being rather sickly for most of his life. Think, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s tenacity for life and law and love of this country — and he still accomplished so much in 47 years!

On hearing Miranda’s musical, and this current political climate has done two things for me. First, I have never been more engaged in the workings of the government — I’ve even read some of the aforementioned Federalist Papers . I am so excited to learn more about US History than I ever did in school. Second, I wanna write. I wanna write non-stop, but maybe not to the point of obsession, maybe I’ll pull back just a little on that.

No, I don’t need money, or have some legacy to go forward. I want to do good, for as long as I can. That would be enough. Let’s raise a glass to writing, but away from the computer. And raise another for A(dot)Ham and his birthday.

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