Friday, November 11, 2016

Aaron Burr's Bethlehem Connection

Hey Yo, I'm just like my country
I'm young, scrappy and hungry
And I'm not throwing away my shot!
Alexander Hamilton

I'm the damn fool that shot him.
Aaron Burr


Thanks to the Daughter, I have been obsessed with Hamilton the Musical for weeks now.  My other obsession, of course,  is local Bethlehem history.  Maybe I can connect the two? Yes I can thanks to Aaron Burr and the Nicoll family of Cedar Hill.   And thanks to Alice Begley, historian for the town of Guilderland, I don't even have to write much of an article.

Pop on over and read this...
https://altamontenterprise.com/opinion/columns/historians-desk/02112015/aaron-burr-and-richard-sill-were-law-partners

According to Begley's article,  Aaron Burr visited the Nicoll family at their Cedar Hill estate in April 1785, just before Richard Sill's marriage to Elizabeth Nicoll (which happened on May 2, 1785.) Elizabeth's parents are Col. Francis Nicoll and Elizabeth Salisbury and their home, known as Bethlehem House, is where Burr was a guest.  It still stands in all of its brick elegance on Dinmore Road.

Francis, a stalwart of the Revolution in his own right, is the son of William Nicoll and Anna Van Rensselaer.  And through the Van Rensselaers, the Nicolls are connected to the Schuylers.  Yes those Schuyler Sisters from the musical.  Begley's article notes that Peggy, Angelica and Eliza Schuyler were cousins and friends of Elizabeth.
Aaron Burr, circa 1809. Painting by John Vanderlyn

So now my task is to look for the Alexander Hamilton connection.  He did marry Eliza Schuyler after all.  I bet he was a guest at Bethlehem House as well.



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