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American Scandal: Alexander Hamilton’s Great Grandson Falls Prey to a Courtesan Con Artist


You’ve heard of Alexander Hamilton, the infamous American Founding Father whose face graces the $10 bill. More recently, he was the subject of a hit Broadway musical, thanks to actor/producer Lin Manuel-Miranda.

But you may not be familiar with Alexander’s great-grandson, Robert Ray Hamilton, who was involved in a tabloid scandal that shocked the world during the Gilded Age.

On the latest episode of Dirty Money, hosts Dan Bova and Jon Small talk to writer Bill Shaffer about his book “The Scandalous Hamiltons,” which tells the mostly forgotten tale of how Ray was tricked by a sex worker named Evangeline Steele into thinking he got her pregnant.

Related: From Rags to Riches to Ruin: Inside the Twisted World of Con Man “Clark Rockefeller”

The two met in a Manhattan brothel in 1885 and had a relationship for a few years. The conniving Steele purchased a baby at a so-called “Baby Farm,” where unwanted kids were brought to be adopted. Then she convinced Hamilton that the kid was his.

Reluctantly, he agreed to marry her, bringing her into his wealthy family. It would seem that Steele had achieved the ultimate fairy tale. But this story is no real-life Pretty Woman.

Listen to the podcast to find out what happened.



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