Photo of Weehawken via Michel G’s Flickr
Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator of the musical phenom Hamilton, tweeted in January that he changed three lyrics for the show’s London opening: John Adams, the Potomac River and Weehawken. According to Miranda, those words were too specific to America. According to Broadway Buzz, “Burr’s proposal of a duel in ‘Your Obedient Servant’ now specifically points to New Jersey rather than the town of Weehawken. The Broadway lyric “Weehawken, dawn, guns drawn” has become ‘New Jersey, dawn, guns drawn.’”
In July 1804, Alexander Hamilton was mortally wounded during a duel with Aaron Burr in Weehawken and died the following day in New York City. Tragically, Hamilton’s son was killed on the same spot three years earlier. One of the plaques in Alexander Hamilton Park describes many of the other unknown “duelists” who “all came to Weehawken to defend their honor according to the custom of the day. Located on the Hudson River, Weehawken does have a very “American” history but it should be highlighted, not diminished. Ahead, learn the ins and outs of Weehawken, from its historic waterfront parks and duel grounds to its burgeoning real estate scene.