Sunday, July 19, 2015

the last book I ever read (Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, excerpt five)

from Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow:

At noon on December 14, 1780, Alexander Hamilton, twenty-five, wed Elizabeth Schuyler, twenty-three, in the southeast parlor of the Schuyler mansion. The interior of the two-story brick residence was light and airy and had a magnificent curving staircase with beautifully carved balusters. During the ceremony, the parlor was likely radiant with sunshine reflected from the snow outside. The ceremony followed the Dutch custom of a small family wedding in the bride’s home. At the local Dutch Reformed Church, the clerk recorded simply: “Colonel Hamilton & Elisabeth [sic] Schuyler.” After the ceremony, the guests probably adjourned to the entrance hall, which was nearly fifty feet long and twenty feet wide and flanked by tall, graceful windows. Except for James McHenry, Hamilton’s friends on Washington’s staff were too busy with wartime duties to attend. For all the merriment and high spirits, few guests could have overlooked the mortifying contrast between the enormous Schuyler clan with their Van Cortlandt and Van Rensselaer relatives, and the lonely groom, who didn’t have a single family member in attendance.

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