The Burr—Hamilton duel is one of the most famous personal conflicts in American history. It was a pistol duel which arose from long-standing personal bitterness that developed between the two men over the course of several years.
See Article History Alternative Titles: Aaron Burr, in full Aaron Burr, Jr. While he was still a young child, both his parents died, and he and his sister, Sarah, were ultimately raised by an uncle. However, Burr halted his studies to fight in the American Revolution — He distinguished himself while serving with Benedict Arnold and was promoted to major.
He then joined the staff of Gen. George Washingtonbut both men reportedly developed a mutual dislike for each other, and he was soon transferred. Burr then became an aide to Gen. Israel Putnam and became known for his bravery. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, but in he resigned, largely because of ill health.
During this time he married a widow, and the couple was together until her death in In and he was elected to the state assembly, and in he was appointed attorney general by Gov.
By he had built a successful political coalition against Gen. Philip Schuylerfather-in-law of Alexander Hamilton then secretary of the treasuryand won election to the United States Senateincurring the enmity of Hamilton. Burr ran for vice president in but lost. The following year he failed to win reelection to the Senate—losing to Schuyler—and spent the next two years in state politics.
In Burr won the vice presidential nomination on the Jeffersonian Republican ticket. He carried New York state and thus helped bring about a national victory for his party. Under the electoral college procedures then prevailing, the electors had cast their votes for both Thomas Jefferson and Burr without indicating which should be president and which vice president.
Both men had an equal number of electoral votes, and the Federalist -controlled House of Representatives had to break the tie. In the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted, requiring electors to cast separate ballots for president and vice president.
American presidential election, Results of the American presidential election, Source: United States Office of the Federal Register.
Burr took office, but he was marginalized by Jefferson, who had come to believe that Burr had been engaged in secret dealings to secure the presidency for himself. That and other incidents left Burr deeply unpopular with party leaders, and his renomination as vice president seemed doubtful.
Shortly thereafter, Governor Clinton replaced him as the Republican vice presidential candidate. Although duels were illegal in both New York and New Jersey, the penalties were less severe in the latter state.
The two men faced off on July 11, There are conflicting accounts about what happened. It is uncertain who fired first and whether Hamilton missed on purpose or whether he shot wide after involuntarily discharging his pistol when hit by Burr.
In any event, Burr was unhurt, but Hamilton was fatally wounded and died the next day. Beacon Lights of History, Vol. XI, by John Lord, Arrest warrants were issued for Burr, whom many now viewed as a murderer, and he fled to Philadelphia, where he contacted his friend Gen. James Wilkinsona United States Army officer secretly in the pay of Spain and the governor of the northern Louisiana territory.
Expecting war to break out between the United States and Spain over boundary disputes, Wilkinson and Burr planned an invasion of Mexico in order to establish an independent government there.
Possibly—the record is inconclusive—they also discussed a plan to foment a secessionist movement in the West and, joining it to Mexico, to found an empire on the Napoleonic model.Alternative Titles: Aaron Burr, Jr.
American presidential election, Results of the American presidential election, Source: United States Office of the Federal arteensevilla.comopædia Britannica, Inc. Burr took office, but he was marginalized by Jefferson, who had come to believe that Burr had.
BURR, Aaron, (cousin of Theodore Dwight), a Senator from New York and a Vice President of the United States; born in Newark, N.J., February 6, ; graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in ; studied theology but soon abandoned it for the law; during the Revolutionary War entered the Continental Army .
Introduction: The Duel -- Hamilton and Burr, From the American Experience. On July 11, , two of the most famous men in America stood in a clearing at Weehawken, New Jersey, facing each other with loaded dueling pistols. Aaron Burr Aaron Burr was a central figure in American public life for nearly three decades, but is remembered mainly for two episodes in his life: his duel with Alexander Hamilton in and his schemes of empire-building that formed the basis for .
Nancy Isenberg is the author of New York Times bestseller White Trash, and Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr, which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in Biography and won the Oklahoma Book Award for best book in Nonfiction/5.
Aaron Burr Jr. was born in Newark, New Jersey, in as the second child of the Reverend Aaron Burr Sr., a Presbyterian minister and second president of the College of .