Haym Solomon, Who Knew? A Sequel to Hamilton?

Susan Cinoman

  • OnStage Connecticut Columnist

Oh wow, it’s almost here—Tony, I mean Hamilton time. Since there is such a mania sweeping the nation regarding all things A. Ham, I thought I’d share this old letter I found, while combing through Revolutionary War documents and linens. It’s from Haym Solomon, the Jewish, lesser known Founding Father, to his wife.  I think there might be some rich source material here for a Hamilton sequel or prequel or fan fiction musical, or something. So feel free to start rapping any section of this. How lucky we are to be alive right now, and able to read the following:

My Darling Lena,

So, I have just returned home after dining at the home of George and Martha Washington. The meal was lovely, very filling appetizer but the main course was only meh, and cannot hold a candle to your brisket. Martha is a doll, you would like her. She reminds me a little of your cousin, Gittel, except she does not draw, and she is much better about keeping gossip to a minimum. I still believe that Gittel was responsible for Lenord Balkman’s nervous breakdown that summer, though I know you will try to defend her, one of the many reasons I love you.

Try your best to keep calm, Lena-- you were right in that the discussion did eventually turn to money, and how I could procure more for the troops who are in need of butter, blankets, bandages and Scotch. The Scotch, who knows why, and I am not judging, but maybe the Generals are needing it for medicinal purposes. (I hope). BUT it is not the only reason that the Sons of Liberty count me in as one of them, I assure you. They do not care that I am Jewish, and they genuinely like my company. Many times they remarked that my ascot was gorgeous, and almost perfectly matched the hazel color of my eyes. Perhaps you will still doubt their motives for enlisting me in the cause, thinking that they are not truly as devoted to my equality as they are to their own, as you have mentioned on occasion. (By the way, next time we talk about it, let us wait until my mother departs, as the issue will only be amplified, and picked apart by the rest of the Solomons, like so many scales on fish.) 

Lena, rest assured that I will be at your side at the end of this noble war that is really about equality, and not at all about the other Founding Fathers wanting to build up their estates like you enjoy hocking me about all the time. I know what I am doing. My dear friend, Alexander Hamilton, says we Jews are the chosen people, so be good to us, or it will be bad for you. You know how well that usually works out. Just saying.

I love you forever, darling, Lena. See you in Philadelphia. They’re thinking of naming one of the sections of it Solomon’s mall. So you see? I have no doubt that will come true.

                                                  Equally yours.
                                                Haym Solomon