If your only exposure to Alexander Hamilton has been via the popular Broadway musical (either the live show, the Original Broadway Cast Recording, or the Disney Plus film), then you might be under the impression that the Founding Father had only one child. His son Philip plays a major role in the musical — he’s born at around the same time as Burr’s daughter Theodosia and dies trying to defend his father’s honor.
Obviously, we know that Hamilton’s Hamilton and history’s Hamilton are not one and the same. The Broadway musical is, of course, a dramatization that gets some things wrong (you know the Founding Fathers weren’t big hip-hop fans, right?). One of those things is the number of kids Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler had together. How many children did Alexander Hamilton have? Here’s what we know.
How many children did Alexander Hamilton have?
Historians (and devoted Ham4Ham fans — more on that in a sec) will know that the real-life Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler had eight children. Eight! Philip, who is featured in the show, was their first child. He was also their first Philip — they had two of ‘em in total (more on that in a sec, too!).
Back when Hamilton was on Broadway, the show hosted the Ham4Ham Lottery, wherein lucky entrants could exchange a Hamilton (that is, 10 bucks) for a Hamilton (the show!), ergo “Ham4Ham.” During some lottery drawing events, cast members would perform special shows at the stagedoor. On one such occasion, Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced Philip Hamilton, along with his seven siblings (played by the cast of Fun Home).
In introducing the kids, Lin-Manuel explained that his show only features one of the Hamilton kids (in the “Hamiltome,” he says that “if you want to see a musical with eight kids, go watch The Sound of Music”). Still, he wrote a couple of bars for each kid to perform and share their story, and the result is absolutely delightful (even if the sound quality is decidedly not):
In case you can’t watch the video at the moment, here’s a quick breakdown:
Philip Hamilton - Hamilton's oldest child, who died at the age of 19 after being fatally shot in a duel.
Angelica Hamilton - Hamilton fans may have caught a reference to his oldest daughter in “Take a Break,” where Philip says “I have a sister, but I want a little brother.”
Alexander Jr. - Became a famous attorney and actually represented Aaron Burr’s second wife in the couple’s divorce.
James Alexander - Also became a lawyer, had five kids, and became the acting Secretary of State for Andrew Jackson.
John Church - Fought in the War of 1812 as a second lieutenant. He also wrote a two-volume biography of his father’s life.
William Stephen - Moved to California in 1849 on the heels of the California Gold Rush, where he died (most likely of cholera).
⭐️ Let’s learn about the youngest Hamilton child, Philip “Little Phil” Hamilton! ⭐️— Schuyler Mansion (@SchuylerMansion) May 18, 2020
Philip Hamilton was born to Elizabeth Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton (both below) on June 1 or 2, 1802 in NYC. He’s named for his older brother, who died in November. pic.twitter.com/lVEF7SUikT
Eliza - Remained very close to her mother throughout her life, even living with her after her own marriage.
Philip aka Little Phil - Named after his oldest brother, who had died the year before Little Phil was born. Happily, Little Phil had a nice, long life — he died in 1884 at the age of 82.
Although the rest of Hamilton's kids don't make an appearance in the musical, there's no denying that they were a huge part of his and Eliza's life. Now, we know just a little bit more about them.