Two figures stood on a dock in Boston's wharf, looking out into the ocean. One was a tall man, with strikingly handsome features; the second figure was a young woman, and obviously smaller. The two looked to be in deep conversation, ignoring those in their periphery.
"So, I guess this is the last time I'll be seeing you for a while," Beatrice said, shuffling her feet. "I'll be leaving tomorrow for New York City to stay for the entire summer, seeing my mother's family. I'll write you to you though – but I'm not sure anything exciting will happen."
Alan chuckled. "Exciting events or no, I'd still love to hear what happens to you. I hear New York is quite a different place than Boston," he said, and gestured his arm around the area to illustrate his point.
"Well, I hope they won't be too terrible. It definitely won't be fun to be in a house full of sour-faced ninnies."
"Do you know anything about them?," Alan asked.
"Well, all I know is that my uncle is a well-known tailor who lives on Water Street, and that my cousin goes to King's College. Apparently my aunt is a socialite of sorts, from what I hear. So I suppose they aren't so sour-faced," Beatrice replied with a shrug. Beatrice looked up and noticed the darkening sky and added, "I think I should be going now – my parents will wonder where I've been, and I have much packing to do. I'll see you when I come back in September."
Beatrice and Alan embraced, and she walked as fast as she could to her house, hoping she wouldn't be scolded for the umpteenth time for wandering about the city unescorted. Beatrice reached the front door and knocked, and quickly ran up the stair to her room as soon the maid opened it. She heaved a long sigh took off her sun hat, placing it on a table. Beatrice flopped on her bed and wondered about her upcoming visit to her family.
What will they be like? Will they welcome me, or shun me? What about New York? Will I be lost in it – or be completely at home? These and a million more thoughts swam in her head into the coming hours, invading her thoughts throughout dinner.
"Beatrice, I hope you know how important this visit will be," her mother said. "It's good to establish contact between family members, especially with all these terrible events occurring. Family should always come first before all else, isn't that right James?"
Beatrice's father spoke, "I wholeheartedly agree. It's also a good opportunity to see places outside of Boston – I hear New York is a completely different world!"
Beatrice had heard these conversations countless times in the coming weeks of her trip, as if to constantly remind her about how important everything was. She had learned to block everything out, saying "of course" and "u-huh" to show she was somewhat engaged in the conversation. One topic, however, piqued her attention.
Beatrice's father continued, "I hear they have a guest staying at their house – a student from the West Indies, I believe. He goes to King's College with John – your cousin. You may possibly get to meet him Beatrice."
Beatrice hadn't heard this before. Now she was more intrigued than ever. Who was this mysterious student?
"What's his name?," she asked, trying not to sound to curious.
"All I know is that his name is Alexander Hamilton. He seems to be quite a bright fellow, from what your uncle Hercules has written of him." Her father added, "And before you ask me anything more, do know that it is all I know of the young man. Your uncle was uncharacteristically vague on the matter."
"Maybe he wants it to be a surprise," her mother added.
"Possibly," her father concluded, and with that the conversation changed to more mundane topics. Beatrice was lost in thought over the revelation she just had. Her visit to New York might have become much more interesting.
When she went to sleep, she dreamed of a huge, thriving city, with blank faced people everywhere.
The days of her travel were uneventful. It took a whole week to get from Boston to New York, and the inns were nothing remarkable. All Beatrice had to keep herself occupied were copies of Pamela and Clarissa a friend had given her for her fifteenth birthday and her thoughts. When she had finished reading both the books, she often daydreamed about the city, her family, and the mysterious guest. However, she noticed the change of scenery as the carriage neared its destination. The closer she got to the city, the more urban it became. She passed by villages, farms, and towns; by the time she reached her destination, she could spy an urban sprawl, dotted with houses and ships and docks, full of people – possibly even more than Boston. There were definitely more types of people here – she saw people of all colors and creeds, quite different from the homogenous society of Boston. The carriage finally came to a stop in front of a modest house on Water Street. She stepped out as the servants carried her belongings into the house, and looked around her.
The streets were much more crowded, and it was definitely noisy. There were so many people walking and speaking to each other, in different languages and sounds she couldn't understand. She stood in awe of what she saw until she heard a noise behind her. She turned and saw a tall, rotund man who appeared to be her father's age, and had reddish gray hair with twinkling blue eyes. He was well dressed, and looked the kind of man who always had a surprise up his sleeves.
He went to Beatrice and said, "Hello, Beatrice! I'm so glad to have met you. I'm your uncle Hercules, as you know, and I will be more than happy to be your host." He took Beatrice's hand and kissed it. "Let me show you the family."
He escorted her through a hallway to a parlor, and sitting there were a woman and two young men. All of them were equally well dressed. One of the young men didn't look too overjoyed to be there and was slouching, while the other looked perfectly at ease. The woman-her aunt- looked like her mother, but had a more handsome look to her chestnut hair and green eyes. She looked at Beatrice and walked towards her. "Good day to you, Beatrice. I'm your aunt Elizabeth. I hope your journey went well."
"It did, ma'am." Beatrice was suddenly tongue tied. She added hesitantly, "New York is very different from Boston."
This earned a laugh from both Hercules and Elizabeth. Hercules motioned for Beatrice to sit on the sofa, which she gladly sat on, even if it was too stiff for her taste. She noticed that the parlor was well built, and was fashionable, and saw a family portrait on the opposite wall, over the mantle. The slouching young man stood up and walked towards where Beatrice sat. He looked like a younger version of Hercules with his strawberry hair and blue eyes, and Beatrice deduced that he was her cousin. He looked rather embarrassed, and said, "Hello Beatrice. I'm your cousin, John. I hope you have a pleasant stay." He quickly grasped her hand and walked quietly back to where he sat.
"Now that you have met the family," Hercules said, "I suppose you should meet another guest of ours. Beatrice, may I introduce you to Alexander Hamilton."