Aaron Burr, Jr., Vice-President of the United States (1801-1805)
Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury (1789-1795): Burr’s Federalist opponent.
In 1791, Aaron Burr defeated Hamilton’s father-in-law, General Philip Schuyler, for a seat in the United States Senate from New York. [Below: Philip Schuyler]
In the Election of 1800, Hamilton made it known among Federalists in the US House of Representatives that he supported Thomas Jefferson over Burr for the presidency.
Burr attributed his loss in the 1804 gubernatorial election in New York to a personal smear campaign by Alexander Hamilton and New York Governor George Clinton, who succeeded Burr as Vice-President in the second administration of Thomas Jefferson.
Theodosia Burr Alston (1783-1813): It has been alleged, although never confirmed nor documented, that one of the “despicable opinions” about Burr attributed to Hamilton was the charge that the Vice-President had an incestuous affair with his daughter, Theodosia.
Burr mortally wounded Hamilton in a duel outside Weehawken, New Jersey on July 11, 1804.
The pistols used in the Burr-Hamilton duel outside Weehawken, New Jersey on July 11, 1804.
Alexander Hamilton, aged 47 years, died on July 12, 1804 as a result of a gunshot wound inflicted in a duel with Vice-President Aaron Burr. [Below: Hamilton’s gravesite in Trinity Churchyard, Manhattan]
Under indictment for the murder of Alexander Hamilton, Burr resigned the vice-presidency and conspired with General James Wilkinson to establish a confederacy in the American southwest.
Burr was place on trial for treason in Richmond, Virginia in 1807.
US Supreme Court Justice John Marshall and District Judge Cyrus Griffin presided at trial.
The prosecution included future Attorney General William Wirt. George Hay and Gordon MacRae also prosecuted.
Burr’s defense team included: Edmund Randolph, Luther Martin, Benjamin Botts, and John Wickham.
Despite intense pressure from President Jefferson, Chief Justice Marshall strictly interpreted the clear wording of the Constitution leading to Burr’s acquittal.
Aaron Burr, Jr. suffered a stroke in 1834 and died in 1836. He is buried in Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, New Jersey.