Hamilton probably had the first modern political scandal with a woman whose name was Maria Reynolds. This scandal also probably only happened, because Maria and her husband decided that they should use the media to blackmail Hamilton and get some money.

Hamilton found Maria while visiting the city of Philadelphia in 1791 when she was an age of 23. Hamilton was 34 at the time, but he pitied her after she said that her and her young daughter had been abandoned by her husband.

Later that evening, Hamilton brought Reynolds some money and one thing led to another, and Hamilton found himself cheating on his wife, Elizabeth. However, Maria and her husband, whose name was James, had really set up Hamilton.

Instead of challenging Hamilton to a duel over this incident, which was usually how things were settled for husbands who had been cheated on at the time, James Reynolds saw a much larger opportunity than to try to kill a politician.

He threatened to go to the press with with the story of Hamilton’s affair if he didn’t give him some money in order to keep quiet. The strangest thing is that even though they set Hamilton up, Maria kept seeing him for over two years.

This eventually added up to around $1000 in order to keep Maria’s husband from telling the public. However, a few years after this affair, Hamilton admitted to the affair publicly to prove he was not part of another supposed scandal of his. Somewhere between these times Maria divorced James.

The weird part is that Hamilton kept seeing Maria for two years, ultimately paying around $1,000 to her husband in blackmail money. A few years later, Hamilton admitted the affair publicly to prove he was not part of another scandal.

At some point along the way, Maria divorced James. The person to help with the divorce papers was actually Aaron Burr, the man who would later on kill Hamilton in their famous duel in the year of 1804.

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