Marriage of Elizabeth Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton

Elizabeth Schuyler married Alexander Hamilton in the midst of the Revolutionary War on 14 December 1780. Despite Hamilton’s obscure heritage and lack of wealth, General Philip Schuyler had welcomed him to court his daughter. Though he lacked many things, Hamilton was a close aide to General Washington and had already begun making a name for himself with his fiery combination of courage, intellect, and patriotism for his adopted country. General Schuyler’s acceptance of Hamilton is clear in a letter written upon the couple’s engagement. ‘You cannot, my dear sir, be more happy at the connexion you have made with my family than I am. Until the child of a parent has made a judicious choice, his heart is in continual anxiety; but this anxiety was removed the moment I discovered on whom she had placed her affections.’

Elizabeth, called Eliza or Betsy by friends and family, was enraptured as well. Being married to Alexander Hamilton would bring challenges and heartbreak into her life, but she never wavered in her loyalty to him, even when she outlived him by a half century. 

As Hamilton’s wife, Eliza attended America’s first Inaugural Ball and danced with George Washington. She also endured public scandal with Alexander’s publication of the Reynold’s Pamphlet. They had eight children together, the eldest of whom died in a duel less than three years before his father did in eerily similar circumstances.

After Alexander’s death, Eliza became one of America’s early female activists. She was deeply devoted to her work for New York City’s first orphanage, and she also began a free school and was involved in other charitable works. 

She passionately defended her husband’s name until her death on 9 November 1854.


Learn more about Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton in Women of the American Revolution, coming from Pen & Sword in July 2022.