Like so many, I am enthralled with the music of Lin-Manuel Miranda and the semi-recent Broadway smash hit, Hamilton the Musical. For you unfortunate souls that don’t yet know, Hamilton the Musical is a hip-hop meets Broadway brilliant story telling of our founding fathers during the American Revolutionary War and following–specifically of course looking at the life of Alexander Hamilton, founder of the Coast Guard and national bank, George Washington’s right-hand man, and first Treasury Secretary of the United States of America. It has smashed all previous show records in both attendance and Tony awards, it has become a bit of an international phenomenon. I could ramble on and on and on about the musical, but that is not with this post is about!
Listening to the music led me to want to read the biography that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write direct and star and this theatrical masterpiece. In 2004 Ron Chernow wrote a thorough and masterfully told biography on Alexander Hamilton, and this girl got it on audiobook and has been listening to it during her drives!
One of my many takeaways from this biography is how INCREDIBLY BRILLIANT and HARD WORKING our founding fathers were. It’s easy to only remember snippets of each of their legacies, and sort of caricaturize them. George Washington-we love him! First President-wooden teeth, Delaware River, cherry tree chopping. Tommy J- third president, Monticello, Sally Hemings-oh my! James Madison- umm…what did I remember about him from History class…Bill of Rights, 4th President…that’s it actually (sorry James).
Reading this book I was IN AWE of the masterminds’ discipline in academia and commitment to excellence which was the foundation of our country. It seems obvious to me now, how could we have such beautiful and intricate documents like the United States Constitution or the Declaration of Independence without men who were enormously educated and culturally affluent. These men studied and worked and wrote and fought with such diligence and passion and diversity. Masters of the pen, religion and philosophy, language, war tactics, surveying and mathematics, horticulture and mechanics-we owe so much of America’s success to the well-rounded passionate brilliance of the men upon whose backs we were built.
This morning I read the Declaration of Independence, and I am so thankful for my country. Though many times, disappointed by it today, I yet am thankful that over 200 years ago we were crafted and shaped by (at times-immoral and foolish-yet brilliant and hard working) men in such a way that our country, by the grace of God, can withstand soooooo much and has so much going for it!
So the takeaways from all this is 1.) if you want to do anything great (like establish a National Bank or something like that) you have to work TIRELESSLY, learn relentlessly and “write like you’re running out of time”. And 2.) it is AWESOME that we were able to break free from the chains of tyranny that Great Britain had shackled on us. It was a good reminder to read what was happening that led to freedom being so necessary. Watch below to hear lil’ old me read the Declaration of Independence 🙂 and be thankful for the men and women who dedicated, and the many who still dedicate, their lives for this country!
Happy Fourth of July!