Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hamilton Meets Burr

Since Ashley was a one-year-old, I have taken her to Little Acres for her annual Halloween picture. I was a little sad this year when I noticed they were not reopening for the summer. With Don going in for surgery, and Ashley being indecisive about what to be for Halloween, add in she is in high school now maybe it is time for a new tradition? Maybe the annual Halloween picture is a thing of the past?

Sort of last minute, Ashley decided she wanted to be Alexander Hamilton for Halloween. She has this cool coat that was Maia's, and is really meant as a winter coat for a small girl, she added her Captain Hook boots, one of Don's old button down shirts, a strange combination of a Colonial pocket and an apron to give the illusion of a ruffle, and she was set.

For a backdrop we went to the Princeton Cemetery, where Aaron Burr is buried. Yes, THAT Aaron Burr, along with his father (Aaron Burr, Sr.) who was one of Princeton University's presidents. A couple of years ago we went on a cemetery tour and learned this, but promptly forgot it until we saw the making of Hamilton special on PBS.
With Ashley dressed like this, it was easy to find Aaron Burr's final resting place -- someone told us where to look. We had been studying the really nice, color map, which we later used to find other notables.

For Ashley seeing Burr's grave was clearly the highlight. I paused a moment at Bob Goheen's marker. Bob was a Princeton University president, and ran the Mellon Fellowship out of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation before I worked there in the mid-1990s. I noted the fresh grave next to him. Turns out that is the final resting place for Bill Bowen -- who was also a Princeton University president and involved with the Mellon Foundation.

A little further in the cemetery was the other really famous person buried there -- President Grover Cleveland, plus his daughter Ruth (of Baby Ruth candy bar fame) and his wife, Frances. He was the president when Hawaii became a state, so there are often cowrie shell necklaces on their tombs. In the background is Witherspoon Church (hold that thought).

Closer to the center of the cemetery, in the formerly traditional "white"
section is Rev. Robeson -- the earliest and longest serving pastor of Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, and father of Paul Robeson the actor and activist.

Another Princeton University President was John Witherspoon, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

It was a lovely fall day for a stroll through the cemetery. We were certainly not the only ones doing this. Close to Halloween, it seemed like the right time of year to visit Hamilton's adversary. We topped off the visit to Princeton with some lavender and chocolate ice cream from The Bent Spoon.

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