Bar Graph of Fact, Fiction, and Ambiguity:

Click to zoom in on graph.



The bar graph above shows the division of factual, fictional, and ambiguous lyrics as percentages. In the musical, we tagged a total of 208 lyrics; 160 were factual, 36 were fictional, and 12 were ambiguous. The lyrics were chosen by team members as lines that suggested further research or raised questions of authenticity.


Fact Fiction Ambiguous
Alexander Hamilton 11 0 1
Aaron Burr, Sir 1 2 1
My Shot 4 0 1
The Story of Tonight 1 1 0
The Schuyler Sisters 3 0 1
Farmer Refuted 2 2 0
You'll Be Back 4 0 0
Right Hand Man 13 0 0
A Winter's Ball 4 0 0
Helpless 5 3 1
Satisfied 1 2 1
The Story of Tonight (Reprise) 2 2 0
Wait for It 4 1 1
Stay Alive 11 0 1
Ten Duel Commandments 1 0 1
Meet Me Inside 1 2 0
That Would Be Enough 0 1 0
Guns and Ships 4 0 0
History has its Eyes on You 1 0 0
Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) 8 2 1
What Comes Next? 2 0 0
Dear Theodosia 2 0 0
Tomorrow There'll Be More Of Us 1 1 0
Non-Stop 8 1 0
What'd I Miss 6 0 0
Cabinet Battle #1 2 0 0
Take A Break 2 1 1
Say No to This 5 0 0
The Room Where it Happens 3 0 0
Schuyler Defeated 1 1 0
Cabinet Battle #2 4 0 0
Washington On Your Side 3 1 0
One Last Time 2 1 0
I Know Him 1 0 0
The Adams Administration 4 1 0
We Know 1 1 0
Hurricane 2 2 0
The Reynolds Pamphlet 2 0 0
Burn 0 1 1
Blow Us All Away 4 1 0
Stay Alive (Reprise) 2 0 0
It's Quiet Uptown 2 0 0
The Election of 1800 4 1 0
Your Obedient Servant 2 1 0
Best of Wives and Best of Women 1 0 0
The World Was Wide Enough 7 2 0
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story 6 2 0
Total: 160 36 12

Looking at the Lyrics

Want to see the lyrics we grabbed to investigate? Click on the links below to see the lists!

- Fact - Fiction - Ambiguous -


The stacked bar graph of fact, fiction, and ambiguity in the lyrics of "Hamilton" offers great insight into the historical accuracy of the musical. When choosing lyrics, we focused on the ones that raised questions of authenticity. From there, we used "Alexander Hamilton," a biography by Ron Chernow, to determine whether a lyric was fact or fiction. In cases where Miranda merged fact and fiction together, didn't include the whole truth, or featured information that is debated by historians, we used the label of ambiguous.

As seen above, he musical is mostly factual. This was surprising as it seemed, when we were marking up the text, that we were labelling most lyrics as fiction. When we actually pulled the data and saw the overwhelming amount of facts, we thought it was safe to say that the musical is fairly reliable as a historically accurate source. Although many of the lyrics were deemed as historically truthful, it is interesting to note that we were creating the timeline at the same time and we found that while the events Miranda included were factual, they were historically out of order.

The lyrics that were fictional were either due to the limited amount characters, the character of Angelica, or humor. The median of the stage limited Miranda with the amount of characters that appeared onstage. Often he attributed actions to the main characters he selected that were actually performed by other historical figures who are only mentioned or do not appear at all in the musical. The most historically inaccurate character, though, was Angelica. Onstage, Angelica is a figure of feminism, an intelligent woman, and in love with Alexander. In reality, Angelica was married several years before she met him and happiily live with her husband, John Church, and they had eight children together. While she was definitely charming and intelligent, there is no evidence to suggest a proto-feminism mentality.

Some of the most interesting lyrics were the 12 ambiguous oncs. Some lyrics highlighted things that are debated by historians, like the possiblity of Alexander and Angelica sharing romanitic feelings or Alexander and John Laurens' friendship extending into homosexuality. Another thing to note is the decision to not include the whole truth. For example, it is never mentioned that there were actually five Schuyler sisters that survived into adulthood.

Overall, the graph and the underlying research suggest that the musical can be a wonderful starting source for people who wish to learn more about Alexander Hamilton and the American Revolution, but for complete historical accuracy, further research is required.