History of Hamilton in LA
In 1801, Philip Hamilton got into a heated and very public argument with an arro-gant Republican politician, George I. Eaker. The latter had given a Fourth of July speech calling Jefferson a hero and Hamilton the schemer trying to bring them down – not a comment on the Reynolds Affair but a public insult of Hamilton nonetheless. In a strange coincidence, historically Philip actually did interrupt the play The West Indian, paralleling his father’s origins, to challenge Eaker to a duel (Chernow 651). Of course, his interrupting a play leans on the fourth wall. Onstage, as he seeks Eaker, it’s the woman who plays the Bullet who, significantly, tells Philip where to find his opponent. As emotional and reckless as young Alexander Hamilton was, the musical version of Philip challenges Eaker then goes to see his father who, all in black now, has become an elder statesman like Washington at last. Time keeps turning onwards. Freeman adds:
Duels – affairs of honor – in this time period are very ritualized and of course, they need to be because they are potentially deadly and because everything is at stake. If your honor is at stake, that’s pretty much the entire game. So apparently, Philip went to his father and described what had happened and, and sort of asks his father for advice. Now what happens dad, what do I do? (Alexander Hamilton: American Experience).
Hamilton carefully advises his son to delope fire in the air. Historian Karl F. Walling explains, “And Hamilton says, look, we’ve envisioned this great political career for you. You know you might be president someday. But you know if you turn down the challenge, you’ll be considered a coward and your political career will be over. You’ll be a social outcast” (Alexander Hamilton: American Experience).
Find more info on hamiltontickets.org/los-angeles/