Hot Ticket: Tracing Alexander Hamilton’s New Jersey Connections

NJTV News | July 6, 2016 | More Issues
The huge success of the ‘Hamilton’ musical has sparked new interest in the American revolutionary’s Garden State links

The unprecedented success on Broadway of the musical “Hamilton,” winner of 11 Tony Awards, has sparked new interest in historical sites related to the musical’s main subject, Alexander Hamilton.

“Hamilton” lyrics about Princeton University and the Battle of Monmouth made many ears prick up. And, indeed, the story of Alexander Hamilton as an American revolutionary starts and ends in New Jersey. As a result, a number of sites in the state with Hamilton connections are getting more visitors.

Hamilton studied at the Academy of Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth). And he stayed at what’s now Liberty Hall in Union. Aaron Burr, Hamilton’s arch-rival, who killed him in a duel in Weehawken, was also a student at the academy. Within a few years of attending the school, Hamilton led troops in the battles of Trenton and Princeton.

Burr, the man with whose name he is forever entwined, is buried at Princeton Cemetery. Within the past year, his grave has become the most popular among visitors, according to Princeton Cemetery Digitization Project Manager Allen Olsen. “It used to be Grover Cleveland, but in the past year, with the ‘Hamilton’ musical, it’s definitely been Aaron Burr.”

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