This post will probably surprise some of you. My husband’s family is related to Alexander Hamilton, our country’s first Secretary of the Treasury. He was born on Nevis, an island in the Caribbean. The house is now a museum and island treasure.
Hamilton, the illegitimate son of a Scottish Laird, was the assistant to a merchant’s agent, and also helped his mother with her general store. John Adams would some day call him, “the bastard brat of a Scottish peddler.” Starting to work when he was only 11 years old, he ran the office for several months while the owner was away in Paris. Hamilton might have done business with British ship captains, and possibly pirates looking to sell their booty! Who knows who he could have met?
My Danish relatives on my father’s side had a contingent that settled in the Caribbean around that time as well. Ever since I began writing romance, I wondered if a relative of mine could have fallen in love with a relative of my husband’s? Possibly the great man himself?
So, I bought a book on the islands, and oddly enough, found an old letter tucked in the pages, from another relative of Alexander Hamilton, asking for the author’s help in locating certain family members they’d lost track of during WWI. Sad to say, I don’t recognize the names, but a plot was forming in my writer’s brain.
An old book purchased online through Amazon. An old letter. A young man who leaves the islands and becomes embroiled in a revolutionary war that wasn’t his country’s. Who befriends the first President of the United States. Who dies in a gun duel over the honor of a woman.
And then yesterday, I was emailing other authors on a writer’s loop, and had a chance encounter with a lovely writer from Nevis. She’s written several romances in the Caribbean, and is somewhat of an expert on Alexander Hamilton. A family member owns property nearby.
I would have never made this connection with her without the writer’s loop on the internet. I would have never found this book without Amazon and the online order I placed. What a wonderful time we live in.
So, this 4th of July I’ll be thinking about our young country and the many players that sacrificed so much to see to it that we grew into the great nation we are today. There are plenty of other days for politics. We always remember those men and women who serve to protect and have helped us carve this legacy with the blood of their bodies.
But today, I’m thinking about what was, and what could be, and how connected we all are. And what a small world it is, after all. And how exciting to celebrate the birth of a new story.