Who tells his story: Alexander Hamilton’s 5th great-grandson loans heirlooms to museum

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

He may have died in a dual 200 years ago, but Alexander Hamilton, the 10-dollar founding father, is more popular than ever.

Now his fifth great-grandson is not missing his shot to shine a light on his relative’s history and is loaning a handful of heirlooms to a museum in Philadelphia.

The Museum of the American Revolution will now temporarily house a ring with a lock of his hair inside, a handkerchief embroidered with Mrs. A. Hamilton (Eliza in the hit musical) and a ribbon and Society of the Cincinnati Eagle insignia worn by the first secretary of the treasury himself, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The ring was worn by Elizabeth Hamilton around her neck for 50 years after he died in the duel with Aaron Burr in 1804.

Elizabeth Hamilton died more than 50 years after the duel, on Nov. 9, 1854. She was 97.

The mourning ring and the medal will go on display Tuesday. The handkerchief and a baby's dress sewn by Elizabeth will go on display next year after conservation, according to the Inquirer.

>>Photos: Alexander Hamilton descendant loans heirlooms to museum

The items were loaned to the museum by Doug Hamilton, a descendant of John Church Hamilton, Alexander and Elizabeth's fourth son, and will be part of the exhibit "Hamilton Was Here" that will run through March 17.

Doug lives in Ohio and says that his father didn't talk to him about being descended from the man who has become famous thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony Award-winning musical "Hamilton," The Associated Press reported.

The box that contained the heirlooms were passed from generation to generation and put away each time.

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But since the musical has been seen by fans all over the country, Doug has been sharing his family’s stories and their connection to the birth of our country.

One of Doug Hamilton's grandsons is even named Alexander and was born on what may be his six-time great-grandfather's 250th birthday. Some believe that his namesake was born on either Jan. 11, 1755 or Jan. 11, 1757, the AP reported.

"These items give us a glimpse into the personal lives of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton and we're honored and delighted that Doug and his family have chosen to loan them to us," Philip Mead, the chief historian and director of curatorial affairs of the Museum of the American Revolution, told the AP.

“He just called me one day out of the blue and introduced himself and I said, ‘Boy, this doesn’t happen every day that a Hamilton calls you and offers to loan national treasures,” Mead said.

Doug Hamilton started to embrace his famous grandfather.

"I kew about Hamilton and a little about his history. In 2004, I took part in the reenactment of the duel at Weehawken [New Jersey] against a distant Burr descendant. Three thousand people or so showed up -- 10 times more than they expected," he told the Inquirer.

He said that during his first Hamilton-related interview with the Wall Street Journal, he couldn’t answer all of the questions they had about his great grandfather. Since then, he has read hundreds of books on the Founding Father to make sure he knew everything about him.

After the book that inspired Miranda's musical was written, the author, Ron Chernow, asked Doug Hamilton to take a DNA test to make sure that he was in fact descended from Alexander. The test came back positive, the Inquirer reported.

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