"History is Happening in Manhattan"
By Caitlin Hawke
"And we just happen to live in the greatest city in the world."
If you recognize these phrases, most likely you've just been to see "Hamilton" by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and you know the song as "The Schuyler Sisters." I have dug up a couple of videos for you to delect, in case, like me, you have a slight addiction and can't spring for another ticket.
Cherchez la femme! Or les femmes, as the case may be. Pivotal characters in Alexander Hamilton's life, the Schuyler sisters turned out to have had it bad for the father of our Treasury and Federalist extraordinaire. Hamilton married one, Elizabeth, aka Eliza. And it seems he may have had an affair with another, Angelica, the eldest of the sisters. The musical will explain that all to you.
These femmes fatales were, of course, daughters of Philip Schuyler, revolutionary general and senator of New York.
In recognition of his service during the war and his stature, Schuyler Square was named for him. Alas, Schuyler Square is hard to find these days. But from 1899 until it was renamed about 10 years later, it referred to the triangle that is the current location of Straus Park. Eventually, it was renamed Bloomingdale Square as a nod to the Bloomingdale Road that once ran up through this neighborhood. And if you look carefully, there is still signage indicating that name.
I wrote about Straus Park here, but failed to mention the park was an urban palimpsest that harkened back to this historic figure.
"The Schuyler Sisters" number to the delight of the #ham4ham crowd.