It’s the “Summer of Hamilton,” or so The New-York Historical Society has proclaimed it, and it’s hard to argue with them. After all those Tony awards for the Broadway musical and with everyone vying for tickets, it seems that Founding Father Alexander Hamilton has never been so popular. It would kill the fame-hungry hero to know he wasn’t alive to enjoy it. Or something like that.
We’ve been tracking down Hamiltonian locations and sprinkling them into our team building scavenger hunts ever since our first hunt in the Wall Street area in 2000. Here are our picks for the top five places to go in New York City if you want to walk in Hamilton’s footsteps.
1. The Wall Street Area: His grave, his home, his workplace
This was basically New York City in the era of the revolution, and if you want to find the ghost of Hamilton you should start here. In many ways Hamilton’s economic policies made Wall Street the powerhouse it is today. So it’s fitting that he was laid to rest at the head of the street in the graveyard of Trinity Church.
A block away stands Federal Hall, the site of the city hall building that served briefly as the nation’s capitol. Hamilton attended George Washington’s presidential inauguration on the balcony here. Later, when a mob gathered here to protest the Jay Treaty with England, Hamilton tried to speak out and was pelted with rocks.
Hamilton lived farther down Wall Street and had an easy walk south to Fraunces Tavern, where upstairs he had his office as Secretary of the Treasury. At the end of the war he attended a party here at which Washington said farewell to his officers. Today a small museum shows a re-creation of the dining room and features other revolutionary-era exhibits.
A few blocks north of Hamilton’s residence on Maiden Lane stood Jefferson’s home while Congress was camped in New York. According to Jefferson, his parlor was “the room where it happens,” as the Broadway show Hamilton musically puts it: the place where Jefferson and Madison agreed to endorse Hamilton’s economic policy in exchange for his agreeing to back the relocation of the capitol to the future Washington, D.C. A plaque on a bland office building marks the site today.
These locations and more are featured on Hamilton: The Scavenger Hunt. Don’t worry: no previous knowledge of Hamilton is required to have fun—and win.
2. Hamilton Grange, his home in the country
Hamilton’s elegant home, which he dubbed Hamilton Grange, now sits in a park at 141st St., near City College. Grange is a British term for a country house, which suited Hamilton’s aristocratic aspirations. In the subsequent two centuries, as the city grew around it, the house was increasingly hemmed in and had to be moved twice. The house is featured on our Harlem Renaissance Scavenger Hunt. The National Park Service gives tours of its period-decorated first-floor rooms, and the basement level has a one-room museum that provides a compressed Hamilton biography, from his Caribbean birth to his gun-duel death.
3. The New-York Historical Society
Normally this treasure chest features artifacts any Hamilton fan needs to see, particularly pistols identical to the ones used in the fateful duel and Aaron Burr’s disturbing death mask. But during the “Summer of Hamilton,” the museum will also display an array of fascinating artifacts and documents, including life-size bronze statues re-creating the Hamilton and Burr duel, Hamilton’s desk, and a love letter to his fiancée, Elizabeth Schuyler, in which he called her his “nut brown maid”. The museum will also display the infamous pamphlet in which he admitted to having an affair with a married woman, Maria Reynolds. You can see these and the rest of the best of the museum on our special edition of the New York History Mysteries Scavenger Hunt in July and August.
4. Where Hamilton died
Hamilton and Aaron Burr went across the Hudson River to duel in Weehawken, New Jersey because the laws were more favorable to dueling there. After Hamilton received his mortal wound, his friends rowed him back across the Hudson, and he was brought to a house that stood where 82 Jane St. is today, just south of what would later become the Meatpacking District. He died there the following day. The site is featured on our High Line at Sunset Scavenger Hunt, aka the Meatpacking District Dash Scavenger Hunt.
5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
After Hamilton’s death, demands for his portrait picked up, and painter John Trumbull made replicas. You can spot it on the Met Madness Scavenger Hunt in the American period rooms, where the museum has perhaps puckishly hung it pairing off with a portrait of De Witt Clinton. Hamilton often vied with the Clinton family for control of New York politics. In 2013 Credit Suisse donated the Trumbull’s important full-length portrait of Hamilton to the Met, which now co-owns it with the Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art in Arkansas.
Find more fun on your hunt for Hamilton
Don’t throw away your shot at visiting these great Hamilton locations—especially on one of our weekend public scavenger hunts or private hunts available any time. Visit the Public Hunt schedule, or ask us about arranging online or at 877-946-4868, extension 11.