Karen Quinones, author and tour guide, is the author of Theodosia Burr: Teen Eyewitness to the Founding of the New Nation.
“Theodosia is a fascinating person and grew up radically different from the girls around her. I think this is appealing to all teens today who are different. Her story is inspiring,” says the author.
The book is about Theodosia’s journey and how she impacted women’s education in America. She was the first young woman in New York City to be educated in the same manner as the young men. This biography uses her family’s personal correspondence and the recollections of those who knew her to recreate life in the 1780s and 1790s in New York City and the story of an independent and highly educated young woman at a time when women were not fully educated and were considered in many ways to be a lower class.
“Her mother was also a well educated woman, but not in a formal manner as was Theodosia. Her father, Aaron, was very radical in his ideas about women and loved to be around intellectual women,” Quinones continues. “He set out to prove that women were able to achieve the same intellectual status as men.” Theodosia was educated by the same tutors and teachers as Alexander Hamilton’s sons, the author Washington Irving and other elite young male New Yorkers of the time.
Quinones says she wrote the book as a way to celebrate the historically accurate and incredible life of an extraordinary young woman in New York City during the 1780s and 1790s. The book is coming out in time to celebrate Women’s History Month in March. Theodosia was the daughter of third vice-president of the United States, Aaron Burr, and is known to fans of the musical Hamilton as the subject of the song “My Theodosia,” a duet sung by Burr and Hamilton.
Quinones believes that a movement is currently in works. “As a result of the Hamilton musical, many American girls and women know a little about Theodosia,” she says. Quinones has spent 15 years immersed in NYC’s early history. What began as a hobby, reading original documents, became a passion when she uncovered the stories of people long forgotten who did amazing things to create the city. ◊