Alexander Hamilton already rules Broadway. Now, starting over the July 4 weekend, the nation’s first treasury secretary will also be taking over the New-York Historical Society, which has announced a museumwide “Summer of Hamilton” celebration.
The event, inspired by the runaway success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton,” will feature an exhibition of Hamilton-related artifacts like his desk and life-size statues depicting his duel with Aaron Burr. There will also be important documents from the collection of the historical society and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, including a love letter from Hamilton to his fiancée; the infamous pamphlet in which he admitted to an extramarital affair with Maria Reynolds; the first federal budget printed in his Report on Public Credit; and a letter supporting Thomas Jefferson over Burr in the election of 1800.
There will also be Hamilton-themed group tours, a weeklong Hamilton-themed summer camp for middle-school students, Friday-night screenings of musicals that influenced Mr. Miranda, and even appearances by a living historian dressed as Hamilton.
The “Summer of Hamilton” is not the historical society’s first big bet on the man. “Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America,” a $5 million exhibition mounted in 2004 in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute, drew some 150,000 visitors, according to the society, as well as criticisms from some scholars who thought that the show exaggerated his impact.
Since then, “we never could have expected that Hamilton, the man, would have captured the popular imagination in the way that he has,” Louise Mirrer, the president and chief executive of the historical society, said in a statement. “Now admirers of the Broadway hit and those interested in learning more about one of New York City’s most influential citizens can decide for themselves, as the show says, ‘who…