Hamilton & Burr: The Duel
Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, And The Future Of America
Burr-Hamilton duel , duel fought between U. Vice Pres. Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton , former first secretary of the U. Treasury , on July 11, , in Weehawken , New Jersey , that resulted in the death of Hamilton the following day. The two men had long been political rivals, but the immediate cause of the duel was disparaging remarks Hamilton had allegedly made about Burr at a dinner. Philip John Schuyler , for a seat in the U. Burr incurred the enmity of Hamilton, who subsequently tried to thwart his political aspirations on numerous occasions.
The circumstances surrounding that encounter and its aftermath are more obscure and provide the subject for the latest book by Thomas Fleming. Concentrating on a single year, the author leads the reader through the morass of New York and national politics at a time when passions, inspired as much by personality as principle and fueled by a vitriolic press, created an overheated political environment scarcely imaginable today. Presiding over a declining Federalist Party and in private law practice, Hamilton was roused to action by Vice President Burr, whom he detested. Burr, also despised by President Jefferson and rejected by most New York Republicans, sought to salvage his political career by seeking the governorship of the Empire State with Federalist help. According to standard interpretation, following his electoral defeat, Burr accused Hamilton of defaming his character. The duel did rid Burr of a potential military rival. The negative public reaction, however, led Burr to undertake a desperate and still somewhat ill-defined scheme to detach Western territory from the United States.
It occurred on July 11, ,  and was the culmination of a long and bitter rivalry between the two men. Vice President Burr shot Hamilton, while Hamilton's shot broke a tree branch directly above Burr's head. Hamilton was carried to the home of William Bayard Jr. 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. Tension rose with Hamilton's journalistic defamation of Burr's character during the New York gubernatorial race, in which Burr was a candidate. The duel was fought at a time when the practice was being outlawed in the northern United States, and it had immense political ramifications.