Happy Independence Day!
On July 4th, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to accept the Declaration of
Independence, officially separating the United States from Britain. Over the course of the weeks that followed, there were a total of 56 signatures added to our nation’s founding document. I am even related to one of those signers -- Oliver Wolcott, from Connecticut. Wolcott has been the subject of July 4 conversations with our daughters in this and past years. Whether you have family connections to the Founding era or not, it can still be eye-opening and meaningful to study and remember Independence Day, the Declaration of Independence, and the Revolutionary War period in general.
If you need a place to start, here are two videos for you this Independence Day. The first video lasts 14:25, which might be longer than some of you want to spend. If so, I’d encourage you to at least listen to the first 4:30 introduction:
This second video is an explanation of the Declaration of Independence for Kids (probably best for ages 5-9), for those of you with children in your lives:
I hope you make this day, Independence Day, a special one!
My chosen topic this week for you though is Alexander Hamilton. I know what you are thinking: “Jonathan, he had NOTHING to do with the Declaration of Independence!” You are correct, though he was an artillery captain in New York fighting for the Americans at the time. But here’s the thing: this man has invaded my home!
Are you aware of “Hamilton” the musical? It’s been on Broadway for the past five years, has toured the country, and the soundtrack has been playing nearly non-stop for the past three months in my house!! My daughters will be glad to sing the ENTIRE musical for you: word for word (they skip over the bad words) – just ask. This Hamilton phenomenon did not stop with just the soundtrack either. There is a video production of the entire musical that was released on Disney+, yesterday, July 3rd. Needless to say, this news did not concern me at all (at first). We’ve been on vacation this past week to Camp Aldersgate on Leesville Lake (near Carrollton, Ohio). I’ve had to walk about a half mile to get the remotest amount of cell signal and have enjoyed the change. It’s been a good week, so I was a bit dismayed to walk into the cottage to have Heather tell me, “They got the WiFi working better, so we need to sign up for a month of Disney Plus to watch Hamilton on Friday.” I told you this Hamilton guy has invaded my life!
In an attempt to free myself of this man, I am making him my topic this week. He was the first Secretary of the Treasury afterall, and he basically created our financial system. I’ll give the man his due and then (maybe? possibly?) put him to rest. Besides, we don’t really celebrate “Constitution Day” (September 17th by the way) when it would be appropriate to include Hamilton in my musings.
Here is a link to a short read on Alexander Hamilton:
One major part of Hamilton’s story is that he was killed in a duel by Aaron Burr. History has told us that Hamilton did not shoot at Burr but fired off target on purpose. Burr then returned fire and his aim was true. Hamilton died of his wounds a few days later. I came across a story that refutes the accuracy of this narrative. If you ever want to hear, just ask me the next time we talk. I personally found it fascinating.
Please remember that we are “here” and available for you. If you have any questions or concerns, financial or otherwise, please do not hesitate to call or email. If you have friends, family, or neighbors you feel would benefit from a conversation with me, I’m more than happy to have a call or jump on a Zoom meeting with them.
As always, I hope that you are doing well, and staying safe & healthy!