Hamilton 7-year Anniversary

Elise Economou and Madeline Moldrem

Hamilton: An American Musical was among the first of its kind, breaking boundaries of representation on Broadway and annihilating award shows. Hamilton catapulted its writer, director, and lead Lin-Manuel Miranda (LMM) to stardom—but also spurred a mass mob of teenage historians who yearned for a simpler, romantic, (significantly less scientifically and socially advanced) era in America. The production’s popularity amongst the young and impressionable of 2015 swelled to a worrying, generation-defining degree. We now celebrate Hamilton’s legacy today, in honor of its 7 year and 2 week anniversary. 


Merch Madness 

The Hamilton phenomenon spawned a lot of merch, to say the least. Middle schools across America became populated with ‘Immigrants: We Get The Job Done’ shirts and ‘Young, Scrappy, and Hungry’ hoodies. Gold stars speckled hats, socks, jackets, pins, and shoes. Many bought the $50 Urban Outfitters edition Hamilton: The Revolution, an essential coffee-table book to complement the musical. Phone cases with Miku Binder Thomas Jefferson, a drawing of Thomas Jefferson wearing a Hatsune Miku chest binder (that can still be seen haunting countless Instagram explore pages), sold like hot cakes. Caroline Allan ‘23 mentioned they owned the Hamilton CD, which flew off the shelves faster than you could rap ‘Guns and Ships’. For some, however, this explosion of paraphernalia spawned envy. Jinho Lee ‘22 commented, “[I was] extremely jealous. How could a shirt with such as strong a message as ‘Work, Work, The Schuyler Sisters’ end up in the hands of someone who didn’t even know the extent to which those sisters went through trials and tribulations.” 


Standing on the Prow of a ‘Ship’

Lams. Jeggy. Marliza. Hamburr. Jamilton. Jeffmads. While these might seem like gibberish, they’re actually ‘ship names’ used by ‘Hamiltrash.’ A ‘ship’ is when a fandom brings two characters together in a romantic relationship. These ships are often quite violating, and have ‘ship names’, a portmanteau of characters’ names. In fact, the Hamilton legacy is arguably characterized by its fan’s ‘shipping’ of two characters—original fanfiction sprouted like weeds the moment any two characters made eye contact. Perhaps the most popular—and homoerotic—‘ship’ was between ‘Lams’, John Laurens and Alexander Hamilton, which amassed 36,000 likes on Wattpad. The previously mentioned Jinho Lee denied having ‘shipped’ Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in a romantic, homosexual way. This denial of ‘shipping’ reflects the larger shame society places on fanfiction consumers, not just ‘Hamilfans’. We should not normalize anti-fanfic rhetoric.


[AP US] History Has its Eyes on You 

If nothing else, Hamilton has been a godsend to history teachers everywhere ever since they realized LMM did what they couldn’t: garner excitement for musicalized facts. Elaine Wen ‘24 attests to this, saying “I think they used it [the Hamilton soundtrack] to seem ‘hip with the youngsters’.” Indeed, LMM’s dedication to accurate lyrics plays to Hamilfans’ benefit in educational settings. Luckily, mumbling “The Battle of Yorktown” under one’s breath during a high-pressure exam isn’t cheating, technically. And for an event for future history books, the Hamilton cast performed at the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.