“My Betsey”: The Remarkable Wife of Alexander Hamilton

Sunday, September 22
2:00-4:00 pm
Stone Ridge Library Activity Room

Elizabeth Schuyler (Eliza) Hamilton may be unknown to you unless you’ve seen the current Broadway production about her husband, “Hamilton,” or read Ron Chernow’s best-selling biography about him and his role in the formation of our country.

Historian Elizabeth Kahn Kaplan will share Eliza’s remarkable story with us. Born during the French and Indian War, married during the American Revolution, and an eye witness to the establishment of the United States, Eliza was a descendant of wealthy and influential Dutch patroon landholders near Albany. She fell in love with, and married, a penniless but brilliant, handsome, and ambitious immigrant orphan from the West Indies, and aide to General George Washington. Alexander became the right-hand-man of President Washington, established the financial footing of the new nation as its first Secretary of the Treasury, and then was cut down at the age of 47 with his reputation diminished by his political enemies. Eliza outlived her husband by 50 years. Determined to salvage her husband’s reputation, before she died at age 97 she’d accomplished all that she’d set out to do, and more.

Ms. Kaplan, and educator, writer and lecturer, has written curriculum guides for the New York Historical Society and for Stony Brook University. In addition to her presentation at the Hamilton’s home in upper Manhattan, The Grange, she has presented programs at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens and at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. Elizabeth was a Speaker in the Humanities for the NY Council for the Humanities for ten years. She offers five programs as an independent historian: America’s Eight First Ladies From New York State; Fact or Fiction in Television’s “Turn”: Washington’s Culper Spy Ring; Washington Crossing the Delaware: The Story Behind the Painting; Poking Fun: Political Puns and Social Satire in the Paintings of William Sidney Mount.

This entertaining yet informative talk will provide insight into the social, political, and economic world of Eliza Hamilton and her husband. The program is free and open to the public and will take place in the Library’s Activity Room.

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