Why Martha Washington Named Their Cat after Alexander Hamilton

Why Martha Washington Named Their Cat after Alexander Hamilton

Posted on 26/06/2016 by | 1 comment

A tomcat named after Alexander Hamilton – Rumor has it that founding father Alexander Hamilton was a bit of a dog when it came to the ladies. Actually, you could say he was more of a tomcat; or at least George Washington’s wife, Martha, thought so.

That’s apparently why Martha Washington named their feral tomcat “Hamilton,” after Alexander and his reputation as a woman-chaser.

Actually, this historical rumor is mentioned in the Broadway show Hamilton, and explained in a tweet by creator Lin Manuel Miranda:

Hamilton (“A Winter’s Ball”) Lyrics Mention Martha Washington Naming Her Feral Cat After Him

[all men] Ladies!

Aaron Burr
“There are so many to deflower…

[all men] Ladies!

Looks! Proximity to power …

They delighted and distracted him.
Martha Washington named her feral tomcat after him!”

Hamilton
“That’s true!”

Curiosity Killed Hamilton’s Quest to Be President

“When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation.” – Alexander Hamilton

(Ummm… double entendre?)  It was apparently Alexander’s curiosity with the ladies (and not observing the “bounds of moderation”) that killed his political career, which was derailed when he admitted to a lengthy affair with a married woman in the Reynold’s Pamphlet of 1797.

Although Hamilton did seem to always land on his feet, he apparently didn’t have 9 lives like his feline namesake. In 1804 he was killed in a famous duel with Aaron Burr.

Although not much is known about the Washington’s cat, Hamilton, bones found around Mt. Vernon confirm that cats were present at the time.

Hercules Mulligan & Other Ideas for “Revolutionary” Cat Names

Looking for a good cat name? The names of historical figures (and NFL players) are often a good resource for potential cat names. While Alexander Hamilton is good choice, I can’t but help think that Hercules Mulligan (an Irish spy for George Washington) might be the best cat name produced by the Revolutionary War.

Other ideas for cat names from the Revolutionary War:

  • Rochambeauwar cat uniform
  • Zebulon Pike
  • Abraham Buford
  • Elijah Clarke
  • Horatio Gates
  • Israel Putnam
  • Crispus Attucks
  • Paul Revere
  • Molly Pitcher
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • John Paul Jones
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One comment

  1. Anne says:

    What an odd story. It’s a good thing cats are neutered these days. Not sure it would be a bad move for some politicians either 😉

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