Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton
Born August 9, 1757
Died November 9, 1854
Sometimes called "Eliza" or "Betsey," the wife of Alexander Hamilton, and co-founder and deputy director of the first private orphanage in New York City.
Elizabeth was born in Albany, New York, the second daughter of Philip Schuyler, a Revolutionary War general, and Catherine Van Rensselaer Schuyler. The Van Rensselaers of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck were one of the richest and most politically influential families in the state of New York. She had seven siblings who lived to adulthood, including Angelica Schuyler Church and Margarita "Peggy" Schuyler Van Rensselaer
After her husband's death, Eliza was left to pay Alexander's debts and lost their house in a public auction, though she was later able to re-purchase it. Eliza defended Alexander against his critics in a variety of ways following his death, including by supporting his claim of authorship of George Washington's Farewell Address and by requesting an apology from James Monroe over his accusations of financial improprieties.
In 1805, the year after Alexander's death, Eliza joined the descriptively-named Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children. The next year, she along with several other women, including Joanna Bethune, founded the Orphan Asylum Society, and Eliza was appointed second directress, or vice-president.
In 1821, she was named first directress, and served for twenty-seven years in this role, until she left New York in 1848 to live with her recently widowed daughter, Elizabeth Hamilton Holly, in Washington, D.C.
By the time she left she had been with the organization continuously since its founding, a total of forty-two years. The New York Orphan Asylum Society continues to exist as a social service agency for children, today called Graham Windham.
Eliza remained dedicated to preserving her husband's legacy. She re-organized all of Alexander's letters, papers, and writings with the help of her son, John Church Hamilton, and persevered through many setbacks in getting his biography published. She was so devoted to Alexander's writings that she wore a small package around her neck containing the pieces of a sonnet which Alexander wrote for her during the early days of their marriage. Even in her nineties, she remained dedicated to charity work, and after moving to Washington, DC, she helped Dolley Madison raise money to build the Washington Monument.
Tomb at Trinity Church
Eliza passed away in Washington, D.C. on November 9, 1854, at age ninety-seven. She had outlived her husband by fifty years. She was buried near her husband and sister in the graveyard of Trinity Church in New York City.
Eliza was a dear friend of mine, almost like a sister.
I admire her in every way.
She was rich, she married the poor, she chose love over money.
And yes I know that Phillipa Soo isn't the REAL Eliza but since she played the role in the musical I don't see why she can't play the role now.