The Volokh Conspiracy

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The Bigger Problem With The Hamilton Performance At the Capitol On January 6

"Dear Theodosia" is sung by Aaron Burr, who was an accused insurrectionist.


Yesterday, a ceremony was held at the Capitol to mark the first anniversary of January 6, 2021. During the proceedings, Speaker Pelosi invited Lin Manuel Miranda, and cast members of Hamilton, to perform the song "Dear Theodosia."

This song, which is one of the most beautiful in the show, is performed by Aaron Burr. Of course, the Jefferson Administration charged Burr with treason. According to some accounts, Burr actually hatched a plan to conquer North America, and overthrow the American government. The history is muddy. In Trump v. Vance, Chief Roberts offered a sanitized version of this background. In any event, celebrating an accused insurrectionist is not the right symbolism for January 6.

I am a huge fan of the Hamilton musical. I saw it during the original Broadway run, alas, with Miranda's understudy. It was very disconcerting to see the actor who usually portrayed Madison playing the role of Hamilton. In 2018, Miranda was also kind enough to sign my pocket Constitution at the Supreme Court.