Connect with the Hamilton Musical!
“And so the American experiment begins…”
“Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down),” Hamilton
Laurie Halse Anderson and Hamilton: An American Musical’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda share a passion for the founding events of the United States of America and for the nation and her people today.
Laurie has heard from a number of educators and families who use the songs* from Hamilton in their teaching and enjoyment of Chains, Forge and Ashes. There have also been documented reports of school libraries filled with students singing along to the music….At the top of their lungs…. As the librarians beam with pride and the history teachers weep with joy.
How does Laurie feel about that?
This page was created to help you create magical mash-ups with the musical and books.
Your starting point to incorporate Hamilton into the teaching/enjoying of the Seeds of America trilogy should be the astounding annotation project to the Hamilton lyrics at Genius.com. These annotations have been approved by Lin-Manuel Miranda and are embedded on the Hamilton musical’s website and on Spotify. If you or your class have annotations that they want to add to the site, the Hamilton project editors make it easy to do.
There is also an entire page devoted to Hamilton Apocrypha on Genius.com.
And you can check out Hamilton’s own papers at the Alexander Hamilton Papers Collection from the Library of Congress.
List of Hamilton songs with direct connections to the Seeds of America books
Note: several characters, places, and incidents crop up several times in both the musical and the trilogy. This list highlights the most significant parallels. If you find something that you feel should be added to this list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to give your name and school, so we can give you the credit you deserve!
Act I (Largely composed of songs about the Revolution)
AARON BURR, SIR:
* New York City in 1776
* Chapter 43 – John Laurens is discussed
* Chapter 54 – Laurens appears at Moore Hall
* Chapter 56 – mention of Laurens’ enslaved valet, Shrewsberry
* New York City in 1776
* Chapter 58 – Marquis de Lafayette appears at Moore Hall
* Chapter 62 – Lafayette and his troops
* Chapter 21 – Curzon’s argument with Isabel centers around some of the same feelings as this song
* Chapter 45 – Alexander Hamilton and Lafayette both mentioned by Isabel
THE SCHUYLER SISTERS:
* New York City in 1776
* Chapter 20 – Isabel is in the crowd when the Declaration of Independence is read and the statue of King George III is torn down
* Chapters 37 & 40 – Isabel reads Common Sense (which is quoted several times in epigraphs throughout the trilogy)
YOU’LL BE BACK:
*Chapter 19 – Isabel and Ruth hear prayers for the Royal Family in Trinity Church
Forge (AND Fever 1793!)
* Chapter 38 – Curzon meets the cook at Moore Hall who is the great grandmother of the about-to-be-born Mattie Cook, of Fever 1793, and King George, the parrot
* Chapter 57 – Curzon meets William Cook, who is seen in Fever 1793 where he is Mattie Cook’s grandfather
RIGHT HAND MAN:
* Chapters 19, 21, 25, 26, 28 – 45 – British invasion of New York, 1776
* Chapter 27 – Battle of Brooklyn
George Washington is mentioned many, many times, seen a few times, and quoted throughout the book
* Chapters 20 – 23, 36 – mentions of George Washington
* Chapter 38 – Isabel and Ruth see General Washington at the ceremonial first firing of the cannon at the British holed up in Yorktown
* Chapter 40 – Isabel and Ruth watch the shadows of Washington and his aides in his marquee tent (which you can see at the new Museum of the American Revolution
* Chapter 43 – Isabel and Ruth observe Washington at the surrender ceremony
* Chapter 45 – Curzon tells Isabel that Washington ordered formerly enslaved people who had fled to the British to be held as prisoners until they could be reclaimed by the people who enslaved them
* Chapters 14 – 62 take place at the Valley Forge winter encampment. This song is largely based on the challenges faced by the Continental Army at Valley Forge, as well as the development of Washington’s new battle strategies, Hamilton’s letter writing campaign to members of Congress, and John Laurens’ plan to free men held in slavery so they could join the army (which sadly never happened). After the army marched out of Valley Forge in June, 1778, they fought at the Battle of Monmouth.
GUNS AND SHIPS:
* Chapters 17 – 29 take place in Williamsburg, VA in the weeks leading up to the Siege of Yorktown, and on the road with the army (mostly) to get to the American and French encampments surrounding Yorktown. The involvement of the Marquis de Lafayette was critical to getting the French to side with the Patriots. The British could not have been defeated at Yorktown without the significant amount of help provided by the French.
* Chapters 30 – 45 take place during the Siege of Yorktown, the final battles, and the weeks after as the British army was marched away to prison camps, and the American Army divided to continue fighting their enemy.
* Chapters 17 – 29 take place in Williamsburg, VA in the weeks leading up to the Siege of Yorktown, and on the road with the army to get to the American and French encampments surrounding Yorktown
* Chapters 30 – 45 take place during the Siege of Yorktown, the final battles, and the weeks after as the British army was marched away, and the American Army divided to continue fighting their enemy.
* Chapter 39 Isabel learns that Curzon is a member of the troops led by Alexander Hamilton to attack the redoubt held by the British
* Chapter 40 – 42 The attack is successful, but Curzon was wounded.
* Chapter 43 The British surrender
Act II (Events after the Revolution)
CABINET BATTLE #1:
Chains, Forge & Ashes
* Be sure to read the Genius.com annotations for this song that discuss how the men who fought the war for freedom and founded the American government dealt with the issue of American families held in slavery. This is an ongoing issue through the trilogy.