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)


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