Broadway show sends more visitors to Hamilton sites This Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, shows Hamilton Park in Weehawken, N.J., on the Hudson River across from Manhattan. The plaque and bust of Alexander Hamilton is near the dueling grounds where Hamilton was fatally shot by Aaron Burr in 1804. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Broadway show sends more visitors to Hamilton sites
Lexile

Historic sites connected to Alexander Hamilton are getting a lot more visitors than they used to, thanks to a little Broadway show you might have heard about.
 
Fans of the musical "Hamilton," which won 11 Tony Awards, are hunting down every Hamilton spot they can think of. The spots include his home in Harlem, to his burial site in Lower Manhattan, to Hamilton Park in Weehawken, New Jersey. The latter is near the dueling grounds where he was shot by Aaron Burr.
 
Kerissa Bearce, 35, is an instructional technology coach from Fort Worth, Texas. She visited all those sites and many more when she came to New York to see the show with two friends.
 
"I pretty much don't remember anything about the founding of my country. But now I'm learning all of it," Bearce said.
 
Bearce is among thousands of "Hamilton" fans boosting visitor numbers at historic sites that in the past were barely on tourists' radars. Hamilton Grange is his Harlem home and a National Park site. It had as many visitors in the first five months of this year as it did in all of 2015. It had more than 35,000 visitors. That's a 75 percent increase over the 21,000 visitors who toured the Grange in 2014. That was the year before "Hamilton" opened. Artifacts at the site include a piano that Hamilton's daughter Angelica played. A replica of the instrument is featured in the show.
 
But fans are also finding their way to more obscure spots, like the Schuyler-Hamilton House. It is in Morristown, New Jersey. That's where Hamilton courted his wife Eliza.
 
"We have 5-year-olds, 16-year-olds, 30-year-olds coming here now," said Pat Sanftner, who gives tours of the Schuyler-Hamilton House. "We did not have that audience in our museum before. We had 60-year-olds. It's wonderful to have these conversations now with visitors. We're not just teaching. They're questioning us and they're thinking."
 
Tourists have always visited Hamilton's tomb. It is in the graveyard at Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan. But now, not only are more people paying their respects, but they're also looking for the graves of Hamilton's wife, sister-in-law, son and his buddy Hercules Mulligan. "Visitors also now leave flowers, stones, coins, notes, even a potted plant, at Hamilton's monument and on Eliza's stone just in front of it," said Trinity spokeswoman Lynn Goswick.
 
The show's star and creator is Lin-Manuel Miranda. He wrote part of "Hamilton" at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Manhattan's Washington Heights. The mansion's executive director, Carol Ward, estimates that half of their visitors now come because of the show. "We've been riding the wave," Ward said. "The show has gotten people interested in history in a completely new, fresh way."
 
The Morris-Jumel Mansion is known for a dinner party hosted there by President George Washington for his cabinet. The party was attended by Hamilton, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. (A different dinner party depicted in the show's song "The Room Where It Happens" took place at Jefferson's residence. It is marked with a plaque at 57 Maiden Lane in Lower Manhattan.) But the mansion has a Burr connection, too. Burr married the rich widow who owned the house. She later divorced Burr. Her lawyer was Hamilton's son.
 
A truly obscure spot on the Hamilton trail is a well where a woman's body was found in 1800. It is in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood. Hamilton and Burr defended the woman's lover against a murder charge. While the well isn't mentioned in the musical, the trial is referenced in one song. That was enough to send Bearce and her friends looking for the well. It is now located inside the COS clothing store on Spring Street.
 
"We were in pursuit of that well," said Bearce.
 
Other pilgrimage sites include Hamilton statues in Central Park and at Columbia University. A sign outside 82 Jane St. in Greenwich Village marks the site where Hamilton was taken to die after the duel left him mortally wounded.
 
Some destinations are advertising in the Broadway Playbill for "Hamilton."  These include the Caribbean island of Nevis. It is where Hamilton was born. In addition, the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street advertises. It's where Hamilton founded the Bank of New York. The museum has an Alexander Hamilton Room.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are so many Hamilton sites in New York?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (15)
  • william1108-yyca
    6/17/2016 - 04:30 p.m.

    I have been to the Hamilton auditorium before. And there I had a lot of fun. At Hamilton we did our fifth grade graduation there. That was the place where our parents came to see us graduate 5th grade in our school and that we are finally going to middle school. Also at the Hamilton auditorium we gave out roses to our families to thank them for what they had done for us. But also, by looking at the picture in the article it looks like a person and other people are putting together a show. It also looks like they are fighting. I don't know what they are doing but it looks like a lot of fun. Also their clothes looks pretty weird. But from what I read I think that this kind of Hamilton looks pretty different or probably sounds different. But there the students like us, got flowers because we did a great job at the graduation and we also ate cookies there.And also I never knew that fans of the musical "Hamilton," which won 11 Tony Awards. I also wonder what Tony awards are. The Tony award sounds like iron man Tony Stark. I don't know yet. Also again by looking at the other picture, it looks like this Hamilton is way different than what we went to. The Hamilton that I went to was a place with a lot of grass and there was not a lot of buildings in sight. But by looking at the article picture there are a lot of buildings and like a ocean out there. Maybe one day I will find out weather or not I went to the same Hamilton as this or not one day.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    6/17/2016 - 04:58 p.m.

    The Broadway show had been able to send more visitors to Hamilton sites where he had dueled and where he had dueled someone in one of the parks that people had been able to think of where he had dueled at. The Hamilton sites had been able to get more visitors which had been able to get some Tony awards for its Hamilton sites. The sites were Hamilton had been dueling to had been places where he had been doing before he had been shot in his last duel. The places where Hamilton had dueled in had been part of the places where people would be putting together as places of where he came from and his death.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why are so many Hamilton sites in New York?
    Answer: I know why there are so many Hamilton sites in New York because they are places on where he had been traveling through in the United States.

  • ben0424-yyca-byo
    6/20/2016 - 02:09 p.m.

    Having people getting interested about history by play is amazing. This is a very unique way to do this. By this reaction, I think many people were moved and enjoyed the play. I hope that many more plays can have an influence on people. Because of all these reactions, I would like to see the play. But, this will probably not happen. Going to many different historical sites can teach many things to people. I hope that if I do, I will learn more things about our history.
    Critical Thinking Question Answer: So many Hamilton sites are in New York, because most of Hamilton's work was in New York.

  • keewon0801-byo
    6/29/2016 - 02:15 p.m.

    It's cool on how they managed to make a musical on this fight / murder. I wonder how they musical is like demonic, dark, cheerful, straight, serious E.T.C. They had visitors but ever since the broad way musical was created , Their normal customers x2. That's alot of people. Plus, They got that much people just from the musical. When the musical is done, the visitors go see the facts and story of Hamilton.

  • sierrab-ste
    9/07/2016 - 02:56 p.m.

    The play is now making people excited about this part of history and people are going around to all the places that Hamilton had ever dueled.

  • julial-pav
    9/12/2016 - 10:09 a.m.

    I think that it is great that a musical can get so many people interested in a historical topic like this, but I also think that it is putting too much attention on one area in American history, and if people are interested in the events in "Hamilton," they should try to expand their knowledge and learn more about other topics instead of only focusing on the revolution.

    • morganm-dix
      3/27/2017 - 10:51 a.m.

      I respectfully disagree with you because I do not believe that Hamilton is putting too much attention on one area of history. It is about his story after all, not the rest of history.
      However, I do think that Lin-Manuel Miranda should make more historical musicals because he did a great job with Hamilton.

  • devinf-rey
    9/13/2016 - 04:25 a.m.

    So many Hamilton sites are located in New York because so many events, at those sites, have relation to Alexander Hamilton. Also, there are so many Hamilton sites in New York because of the fact that there are so many fans who want to learn and discover new things about Hamilton.

  • briellel-rey
    9/13/2016 - 10:42 a.m.

    Probably because Hamilton was important and did many things there. It helps that Hamilton lived there.

  • lexieh-stu
    9/27/2016 - 03:07 p.m.

    I love the fact that Hamilton is making people more interested in history, and that it is helping people learn more about history

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