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Hamilton’s Faith

Bishop Benjamin Moore


            As an illegitimate son of a “fallen” woman, Alexander Hamilton must have been sensitive to the chill of pious church goers.  His presumed father, an itinerant merchant, left the family when he was ten.  His mother died three years later.  Young Hamilton keenly felt the sting of organized religion when his mother was denied a church burial because she was “stained.”  Only thirteen, Hamilton worked as a clerk along the docks in St. Croix, dealing with crusty old sea captains and slavers. Full story Hamilton’s Faith

Jack Casey

July 12, 2021

The Hamilton-Burr Duel

(From HAMILTON’S CHOICE by Jack Casey © 2020, All Rights Reserved)

As Van Ness starts back down the path from the ledge, he sees Hamilton and Pendleton climbing up.  He turns and dashes back to Burr.  “They’re here!”

“Good.”  Burr bends three times at the knees and extends his arms out and in, out and in, to limber up. Full story The Hamilton-Burr Duel

Jack Casey

July 11, 2021

The Night Before the Duel

On Saturday, July 7, 1804, General Alexander Hamilton and his wife Eliza hosted a lavish gathering at their new home, the Grange.  They invited 70 notables to dine al fresco and amble on pathways behind their mansion.  Musicians were hired and placed outside to fill the woods with music. Full story The Night Before the Duel

Jack Casey

July 10, 2021

Hamilton, Burr and the Origins of the Duel

On the frontier, “fastest gun in the West” was a coveted title young men risked their lives to win.  Wild Bill Hickok catapulted to fame by killing Davis Tutt who challenged him over a $20 gambling debt.  This time-honored custom of a “showdown” to settle disputes descended from the European dueling ritual.  How did dueling evolve? Full story Hamilton, Burr and the Origins of the Duel

Jack Casey

July 9, 2021

The Progressive Mr. Burr


Aaron Burr is known as a villain and surely he was that.  He lured Alexander Hamilton into a duel over some unspecified insult, and killed him.  Then he fled New York to evade an indictment, and escaped over the mountains to the Ohio River Valley where he conspired with a rich Irishman to rule over the entire Louisiana Territory.  This ill-fated plot got Burr indicted for treason, but he won an acquittal, and wouldn’t give up.  He took his plan for a western empire across the Atlantic, hoping to entice England or France to join him, but he was rebuffed, and he nearly starved in Paris. Full story The Progressive Mr. Burr

Jack Casey

July 8, 2021

Hamilton’s Last 4th of July—The Cincinnatus Society

On two occasions Cincinnatus left his farm to protect his beloved Rome.  Each time, the Roman Senate sent emissaries to his farm to call him away from his plow, dress him in the robes of office and vest him with dictatorial powers. In 458 and again in 439 BCE, General Cincinnatus crushed Rome’s enemies in a matter of weeks and saved the Republic, but when the Senate invited him to rule Rome, he declined power and returned to his plow.  This ability to put public service above personal gain echoed down the centuries as a model of good citizenship. Full story Hamilton’s Last 4th of July—The Cincinnatus Society

Jack Casey

July 4, 2021

COVID in the Time of Hamilton – Part II


In 1799, the year George Washington died, Aaron Burr served in Albany as an Assemblyman.  Since 1795, yellow fever had killed thousands in New York City and the city was paralyzed by fear of the disease which magically appeared each spring, then just as magically disappeared with the first frost.  New York needed a cure, and Aaron Burr saw how he could benefit himself. Full story COVID in the Time of Hamilton – Part II

Jack Casey

May 28, 2021

COVID in the time of Hamilton – Part I


As much as the world has, and continues to suffer from the Coronavirus known as COVID-19, we can be thankful that it is not the Black Plague, leprosy or the flu pandemic of World War I.   Before widespread sanitation and health care, diseases raged through our cities unchecked.  The deadly plague in Alexander Hamilton’s time was yellow fever, a disease that mysteriously killed large percentages of Americans each summer. Full story COVID in the time of Hamilton – Part I

Jack Casey

May 11, 2021

Aaron Burr As Villain

I learned long ago that the villain drives the story.  If the villain is weak or compliant, there is nothing at stake.  The hero has nothing to overcome to win victory or suffer defeat, and the story is bland.  Aaron Burr was one of history’s most compelling villains, as Hamilton found out. Full story Aaron Burr As Villain

Jack Casey

February 6, 2021

Thoughts on Eliza

Hamilton’s Choice is the only adult novel about the life of Alexander Hamilton though many have been written about Eliza, who bore eight children and was an exemplary mother and spouse.  Eliza was at his side through all the ups and downs of war and politics and she tirelessly supported her husband’s work, including helping to prepare The Federalist Papers for publication and transcribing his draft of Washington’s Farewell Address as well as his plan for the First Bank of the United States. Full story Thoughts on Eliza

Jack Casey

January 31, 2021