Aaron Burr (1756-1836) was an American politician and lawyer who played a significant role in the early years of the United States. He was born in Newark, New Jersey, to a prominent family and was educated at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Burr became a lawyer in 1782 and was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1784. He went on to serve as New York State Attorney General and later as a United States Senator from New York.
Burr is perhaps best known for his role in the infamous Burr-Hamilton duel of 1804, in which he fatally wounded Alexander Hamilton, a political rival and former Secretary of the Treasury. The duel had been sparked by a long-standing personal and political feud between the two men, and it had far-reaching consequences for Burr’s political career. After the duel, Burr was charged with murder in both New York and New Jersey, although he was ultimately acquitted.
Despite the controversy surrounding the duel, Burr remained active in politics and was selected as Thomas Jefferson’s running mate in the 1800 presidential election. The two men won the election, but Burr’s reputation was further damaged by his involvement in a failed secessionist plot in 1804. Burr was accused of conspiring to create a separate nation in the western United States and was arrested and charged with treason. He was acquitted, but his political career was effectively over.
In his later years, Burr moved to Europe and became involved in various business ventures. He returned to the United States in the 1810s and attempted to revive his political career, but his reputation never fully recovered from the controversies of his earlier years. Burr died in 1836 at the age of 80 and is remembered today as one of the most controversial figures in American political history.
Here are 25 interesting facts about Aaron Burr that will give us more knowledge about him.
- Aaron Burr was born in Newark, New Jersey, on February 6, 1756.
- His father was the Reverend Aaron Burr, who served as the second president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).
- Burr attended the College of New Jersey and graduated in 1772 at the age of 16.
- He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
- After the war, Burr became a successful lawyer and was admitted to the bar in New York in 1782.
- He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1784 and served for two terms.
- Burr was appointed New York State Attorney General in 1789.
- He was elected to the United States Senate from New York in 1791 and served until 1797.
- In 1800, Burr was selected as Thomas Jefferson’s running mate in the presidential election.
- Burr and Jefferson won the election, but they tied in the electoral college vote, leading to a constitutional crisis that was resolved by the House of Representatives.
- Burr became the first vice president to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.
- Burr’s relationship with Jefferson deteriorated during their term, and he was dropped from the ticket in the 1804 election.
- In the same year, Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey.
- Burr was charged with murder in New York and New Jersey but was acquitted in both trials.
- After leaving office, Burr traveled to Europe and lived in various cities, including Paris and London.
- In 1807, Burr was arrested and charged with treason for allegedly plotting to establish a separate nation in the western United States.
- Burr was acquitted of treason in 1807 but was indicted on several other charges, including misdemeanor and contempt of court.
- Burr’s trial for misdemeanor and contempt of court was held in 1808, and he was acquitted on both charges.
- After his trial, Burr traveled to various parts of the United States, including the Louisiana Territory and Mexico.
- In 1812, Burr was briefly imprisoned in Spain for trying to start a rebellion in Mexico.
- Burr returned to the United States in 1812 and attempted to start a new career as a farmer in upstate New York.
- Burr was arrested in 1813 on charges of treason, but the charges were eventually dropped.
- Burr practiced law in New York City from 1819 until his death in 1836.
- Burr was married twice and had two children, a daughter named Theodosia and a son named Aaron.
- Theodosia was lost at sea in 1813 while traveling from South Carolina to New York.
- Burr was an early advocate for women’s rights and wrote a legal treatise arguing that women should be allowed to vote.
- Burr was a skilled duelist and fought several other duels in addition to the one with Hamilton.
- Burr was a talented linguist and was fluent in several languages, including French and Spanish.
- Burr was an accomplished musician and played the piano and violin.
- Burr was buried in Princeton Cemetery next to his father.
Aaron Burr was a complex and controversial figure in American history, with a legacy that remains the subject of debate to this day. He was a talented lawyer, politician, and military leader, but his personal ambition and political maneuvering often put him at odds with his contemporaries. His role in the death of Alexander Hamilton and his alleged involvement in a secessionist plot have overshadowed his other achievements and contributed to his lasting infamy. However, Burr was also a forward-thinking advocate for women’s rights and a skilled linguist and musician. Despite his flaws, Burr’s life and legacy are a testament to the complex and often contradictory forces that shaped the early years of the United States.