- "Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now"
- — Eliza to Alexander Hamilton in the musical
Elizabeth Schuyler was born in Albany, New York in 1757. Her first appearance in the musical is alongside her sisters, Angelica and Peggy (together known as the Schuyler sisters). They sing in the spirit of revolution in downtown Manhattan ("The Schuyler Sisters").
Later, Elizabeth's father, Philip Schuyler hosts a large ball ("A Winter's Ball"). Many revolutionary allies are invited, including a young Alexander Hamilton who is seeking opportunities to rise above his station. She sings of her fancy for him upon their meeting as her sister Angelica introduces him to her. They write each other letters, and eventually are happily married with her father's permission. ("Helpless").
As time passes, Alexander becomes more involved with the revolution and joins the Continental Army. He requests a command and a group of men to lead in the war from general George Washington, who in turn replies that people were counting on Alexander to stay alive, and sends him home to a waiting Eliza. She admits that she was the one who requested for Alexander to be sent home, and reveals that she is pregnant with their first son. Alexander is overcome with joy but is unsure of himself. Eliza assures him that he didn't need a legacy to be a great father; that staying alive during the revolution for her and his son would be enough ("That Would Be Enough").
When Alexander finally comes home from his work, Eliza tells him to come down for dinner and meet his son, Philip, who has composed a short rap that immediately amazes his father. Angelica travels overseas to meet her sister's family, and the two ask Hamilton to accompany them uptown for a short break for the summer. Hamilton declines, saying he must work on his debt plan for Congress. Eliza is disappointed, but leaves with her sister and Philip ("Take A Break").While they are away, Hamilton has an ongoing affair with Maria Reynolds ("Say No To This"), and is blackmailed by her husband in order to keep it a secret from Eliza. However, his political rivals Thomas Jefferson and James Madison find out, and tell him they will tell the public he has stolen the government's money ("We Know"). In a desperate situation, Hamilton chooses his reputation over Eliza's happiness and pride ("Hurricane") and publishes the affair publicly ("The Reynolds Pamphlet"). Furious and heartbroken, Eliza vows to permanently "erase herself from the narrative" and burns the letters Hamilton sent her from when they first met ("Burn").
After several years, their son Philip turns nineteen and graduates King's College. He meets George Eacker, who is degrading Hamilton's reputation, and challenges him to a duel ("Blow Us All Away"). Philip is mortally wounded and Eliza and Alexander are at his bedside when he dies ("Stay Alive (Reprise)"). Heartbroken, the couple moves uptown, where Alexander begs for Eliza's forgiveness, which she eventually gives him ("It's Quiet Uptown").
In a heavy disagreement over Hamilton's endorsement of Jefferson, Aaron Burr challenges him to a duel. The morning before leaving for the duel, Hamilton affectionately compliments her before setting off ("Best of Wives and Best of Women"). Hamilton is shot in the side and dies three days later, Eliza and Angelica at his deathbed. The musical closes, and Eliza sings about putting herself back in Alexander's narrative. She helps recognize people who fought in the war and tells their stories, and becomes the founder of the first private orphanage in New York City, where she helps raise children, doing everything she can to make use of the time she has left ("Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story").