Sunday, 21 August 2016

Hamilton and Burr Duel



    On July 11th in 1804, there was an epic duel between Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr. Hamilton was the first secretary of treasury ("Alexander Hamilton." Wikipedia 4), so yes, you could say he played a very influential role in America's economic system. The duel between these two frenemies commenced in Weehawken, New Jersey because "everything is legal in New Jersey."(The Official Page For The Music of Hamilton 7) Little did Burr know, near this spot a mere 3 years ago Philip Hamilton, Alexander’s eldest and dearest son had died. Not only did Philip's death happen in this Weehawken itself, but Philip also died defending his father's honor. Burr wondered if this was why, Hamilton "examined his gun with such rigor...I watched as he methodically fiddled with the trigger" (The Official Page For The Music of Hamilton 7) Even though both men served under George Washington in numerous battles their skills regarding weaponry were vastly different. Apparently Hamilton was an amazing shot and had great aim, "This is a soldier with a marksman's ability." (The Official Page For The Music of Hamilton) Whereas Burr, was known by his soldiers as a terrible shot. So before the duel even began, Burr was nervous about Hamilton making an orphan out of his precious daughter, Theodosia. Attempt to imagine Burr's anxiety when Hamilton appears wearing his glasses. "Hamilton was wearing his glasses. Why? If not to take deadly aim? It's him or me, the world will never be the same." (The Official Page For The Music of Hamilton 7) Hamilton's desire to kill Burr, may not have been the case. Many historians believe now that because "Philip's death devastated the Hamilton's, ... many historians believe is led to Hamilton's own reluctance to fire directly at Aaron Burr during their legendary duel just three years later." (History.com Staff. 3)

Nevertheless, Burr did indeed fatally shoot Hamilton which may or may not have lead to drastic changes throughout America. Although Burr was the one that lived through this historic duel, "When Alexander aimed at the sky he may have been the first one to die. But I'm the one who paid for it. I survived but I paid for it." (The Official Page For The Music of Hamilton 7) This shows us that after the duel Burr faced discrimination. He was charged for murder in both New York and New Jersey, but was dismissed in both cases. He soon fled to Georgia, but had to return to Washington D.C in order to complete his term as vice president . On March 2nd 1805, Burr leaves the senate and therefore left D.C. Post vice presidency, Burr was accused of trying to make a new "independent empire" (Burr-Hamilton Duel 5) his fellow colleagues betrayed him and told President Jefferson about his supposed plans. Although Burr wasn't charged for treason, his already poor reputation took yet another fatal blow. Leading to Burr fleeing out of the states and into Europe. Spending "the remainder of his life in relative obscurity". (Burr-Hamilton Duel 5)  So I guess the question is how would America's economy be different today, if Burr died in 1804 and Hamilton got to live.


"Aaron Burr." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2016  (1)
"Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton: The Terrible Consequences of an Ugly Insult ." The Bowery Boys: New York City History. N.p., 11 July 2014. Web. 21 Aug. 2016. (2)
"Alexander Hamilton." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 21 Aug. 2016History.com Staff.  (3)
"Alexander Hamilton." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2016 (4)
"Burr-Hamilton Duel." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2016. (5)
"Burr Slays Hamilton in Duel." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2016. (6)

"The Official Page For The Music of Hamilton: The Musical." The Official Page For The Music of Hamilton: The Musical. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2016. (7)


Saturday, 6 August 2016

Truman Capote

     It's a known fact that after the completion of In Cold Blood, Capote became a raging and notorious alcoholic. This abrupt change in his lifestyle could've been implicated by many factors. Such as his sudden wealth, all the limelight associated with being a number one author, or maybe it was because of Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, the murders of his book. Given the research and discussions conducted in class we've come to the conclusion that Capote preferred the company of Perry rather than Dick. This may be because Perry was highly intelligent even though he didn't complete his schooling. Anyone could tell Capote preferred Petty compared to Dick,  due to the fact that a good amount of In Cold Blood was from Perry's perspective. Regardless of who he preferred, he still spent around 6 years with them conducting research and interviews.  So it's only natural that once they actually received the death penalty, Capote was present and afterwards a complete and utter mess. Capote himself has mentioned in interviews that after their death he spent sometime crying over it. 
     As he partakes in interviews after In Cold Blood he mentions many interesting facts, telling us how the book altered his life. He states that,"A pale and pathetic shadow remains" of the person he once was. Capote died a month before his 60th birthday."Whether his fatal overdose was suicide or accident will forever be an unanswered question". Maybe it wasn't even the death of Perry and Dick that affected him so negatively, but maybe it was just the book as a whole. A quote stated by Capote in his biography shows us how severely it altered his life. "No one will ever know what In Cold Blood took out of me. It scraped me right down the the marrow of my bones. It nearly killed me. I think, in a way, it did kill me." 
     So maybe what lead Capote to possible suicide wasn't the newfound money or fame, or being under the spotlight. Maybe it wasn't even the case itself, but more so the people involved. Capote spent years with Perry and Dick, he sent them numerous parcels while they were in prison. He stayed in Kansas and attended every single court case they had. Not necessarily just for his book, but also to look out for the well being of his possible friends.

"The Book That Killed Truman Capote." The Seattle Times. N.p., 2005. Web. 07 Aug. 2016.