Revolutionary Revelations: My Commute with Alexander Hamilton

Okay, I admit it.

I am part of a cultural phenomenon. I am one of the over 1,000,000 people who now own the Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording. That’s right, the album went Platinum and I am one of the addicted. It is a bit like a plague in my head. The songs whirl through my mind all day, as the co-workers who sit next to me can attest. Sometimes I can’t help but blurt out lyrics, sorry marketing mates.

I have taken to listening to it as I walk to work, paying attention to the lyrics, casually trying to commit them to memory. It was on one such morning that the lyric “32,000 ships in New York Harbor” hit me. Our office overlooks New York Harbor!!! Imagine that sight.

Wait…I work in the oldest part of New York City. Wait…Alexander Hamilton’s grave is right up the street at Trinity Church. Wait…how many landmarks are in my everyday commute that connects with this musical that I am painfully addicted to?

Well, how many indeed? And how many of these locations can I link to Hamilton lyrics? Let’s see:


Our Office Building 

By August 1775, British General William Howe had landed 32,000 troops on Staten Island, including 9000 Hessian mercenaries.

British Admiral Howe’s got troops on the water
Thirty-two thousand troops in New York Harbor – Hamilton Company

St. Francis Tavern

Just a stone’s throw from our building, is this where Hamilton and he compatriots raised a glass to freedom? After all, it is the tavern where George Washington bade farewell to his troops at the end of the Revolutionary War.

Battery Park

Hamilton’s company and other infantrymen tried to seize 24 cannons from the British stronghold at the southern tip of Manhattan. 

Let’s take a stand with the stamina God has granted us.
Hamilton won’t abandon ship,
Yo, let’s steal their cannons – Hamilton

St. Paul's Chapel

Right up the Street from One New York Plaza, Trinity Church's historic chapel, built in 1766,  is NYC's oldest church building. During the Revolutionary War, Alexander Hamilton drilled troops in its churchyard.

Let’s have another round tonight - Mulligan
Let’s have another round tonight - Lafayette
Let’s have another round tonight - Hamilton
Raise a glass to freedom
Something they can never take away
No matter what they tell you
Raise a glass to the four of us - Laurens
Tomorrow there’ll be more of us – Laurens and Mulligan
Telling the story of tonight – Laurens, Mulligan & Lafayette
They’ll tell the story of tonight – Hamilton

I was younger than you are now
When I was given my first command
I led my men straight into a massacre
I witnessed their deaths firsthand
I made every mistake
I felt the shame rise in me
And even now I lie awake
Knowing history has its eyes on me – Washington to Hamilton

Federal Hall

Hamilton likely witnessed George Washington being sworn in to the office of the Presidency on April 30, 1789 on the balcony of Federal Hall.  Fun fact, in 1804 Hamilton tried the US first murder case here. Another fun fact, in 210 years later, 2014 Spacesmith provided a site analysis and programming study developed with the purpose of reinvigorating Federal Hall as a venue for exhibitions and events.

Bowling Green

Following the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in New York State, Continental soldiers and patriots toppled the park's statue of King George III, and parts were melted down and made into ammunition.

Oceans rise, empires fall
We have seen each other through it all
And when push comes to shove,
I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love – King George

Gentlemen of the jury, I’m curious, bear with me. 
Are you aware that we’re making hist’ry? 
This is the first murder trial of our brand-new nation - Hamilton

Hamilton's Grave

Alexander Hamilton was a member of Trinity Church, but whether he attended services is not known. His funeral was held there and he was buried near the southern fence.

I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory Is this where it gets me, on my feet, sev’ral feet ahead of me? I see it coming, do I run or fire my gun or let it be? There is no beat, no melody Burr, my first friend, my enemy Maybe the last face I ever see If I throw away my shot, is this how you’ll remember me? What if this bullet is my legacy? – Hamilton

I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory
Is this where it gets me, on my feet, sev’ral feet ahead of me?
I see it coming, do I run or fire my gun or let it be?
There is no beat, no melody
Burr, my first friend, my enemy
Maybe the last face I ever see
If I throw away my shot, is this how you’ll remember me?
What if this bullet is my legacy? – Hamilton

So, if you work near Battery Park or the Exchange like we at Spacesmith do…take stock of all the Hamilton history around us and take a walk!

Do not throw away your shot!

Kristen Persinos - Marketing Director