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The Scandalous Hamiltons with Bill Shaffer

interviews Aug 02, 2023


You've heard of Alexander Hamilton -- either in history class or the Broadway musical. But what do you know about the Hamilton family tree? If an author pitched a book proposal with as many twists and turns as this true story holds, it would likely be considered too far-fetched to be believable. Sharon sits down with author and historical researcher, Bill Shaffer, to learn untold stories of a Hamilton descendant in his gripping book, “The Scandalous Hamiltons: A Gilded Age Grifter, a Founding Father's Disgraced Descendant, and a Trial at the Dawn of Tabloid Journalism. Learn how curiosity from a fountain in Riverside park led to a deluge of court records, newspaper articles, and this turn-of-the-Century scandal.

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About the Guest:

Bill Shaffer holds an M.A., History of Design and Curatorial Studies from Parsons, The New School. He is the author of Baranger Motion Displays: 55 Moving Scenes of Love, Courtship and Surrender, published by Vitra Design Museum. Shaffer has also been published on

He has worked as a Research Assistant for Paul Goldberger on his book, Ballpark: Baseball in The American City, (Knopf, 2019) and for Laura Auricchio’s contribution to A True Friend of The Cause: Lafayette and the Antislavery Movement (Grolier Club, 2016).

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