In honor of my favorite Hamilton character. In the greatest musical of our time, Angelica roasts Alexander, sings and raps like an angel of wordplay, and basically sets the bar impossibly high for sisters everywhere. But what DON’T you know about Angelica Schuyler?
- She was Dutch, or at least, descended from Dutch colonists. One of her ancestors, Kiliaen van Rensselaer, was a founder of the New Netherlands. By the time Angelica was born, his descendants in the Schuyler family had grown to amass considerable wealth and importance in the New World.
- Angelica actually had seven siblings who lived to be adults, not just Eliza and Peggy. One of her brothers, Phillip Jeremiah Schuyler, became a U.S. Congressman.
- Her husband, John Barker Church, was British, which caused her father to be suspicious and refuse to grant their marriage his blessing. To navigate around this inconvenient obstacle, Angelica eloped to Europe with her spouse.
- Angelica and John had eight children, one of whom was named Phillip (like Phillip Hamilton, he was named for Angelica’s father). Phillip Schuyler Church actually served as aide de camp to his uncle, Alexander Hamilton.
- When she first arrived in Europe, Angelica lived in France for several years while her husband worked as a U.S. envoy. While living in France, Angelica became a close friend of Ben Franklin, the U.S. Ambassador to the French, and later she befriended his successor, Thomas Jefferson, as well as the Marquis de Lafayette.
- She also lived in London, where she frequented extremely coveted social circles. If she had lived today, the prince of Wales, Whig party leader Charles James Fox, playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and the artists John Trumball and Maria Cosway would all be in her contacts.
- Her father loaned money to the Continental Army during the American Revolution. The new nation paid back the debt in land, some of which became Angelica, New York, named after the incredible (and, imho, best) Schuyler sister.
- Her letters to numerous notable historical figures have proved invaluable to historians. Writings of hers to Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and the Marquis de Lafayette are stored in the Library of Congress.