Account Share

 

Thread by @JayCostTWS: "THREAD. OTD in 1804, Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, NJ. Their correspondence leading up to that fateful event is […]"

15 tweets
THREAD. OTD in 1804, Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, NJ. Their correspondence leading up to that fateful event is fascinating.
Aaron Burr had run for governor a few years prior, and a letter published by Charles D. Cooper said in part, "I could detail to you a still more despicable opinion which General Hamilton has expressed of Mr. Burr."
So, Burr wrote to Hamilton to ask what was meant by this. founders.archives.gov/documents/Hami…
Hamilton more or less gave him the runaround. Basically, he says, "Well ... who is to say what is actually a despicable opinion?"

founders.archives.gov/documents/Hami…
Burr responds basically challenging Hamilton to a duel, unless he comes clean on what he said to Cooper. founders.archives.gov/documents/Hami…
Hamilton responds by telling him to go stuff it. founders.archives.gov/documents/Hami…
Burr responds by saying, "Let's do this." From which point, the details are worked out by intermediaries.
But Hamilton leaves a final present for Burr. He writes a letter saying that he plans to throw his shot away. This all but ensures that Burr is seen as the murderer, for who doubts the final testimony of a dead man? founders.archives.gov/documents/Hami…
For such a consequential life, Hamilton gave it up for a trifling matter. It boggles my mind.
The duel itself is shrouded in mystery. The skunk in the "Burr murdered Hamilton" garden party is that AH's pistol was fitted with a hair trigger.
The general consensus is that the facts fit the "AH threw his shot away" thesis, but it is not a perfect fit. AH being AH, he might have been keeping his options open with the hair trigger.
As a point of contrast, James Madison was in politics for forty years, and never once had himself challenged to a duel ... because he was more judicious than AH about what he said.
Hamilton, on the other hand, almost got into a duel with James Monroe of all people.
And if you read Hamilton's letter to Burr of June 20, 1804, you can see that it is almost perfectly constructed to needle Burr. founders.archives.gov/documents/Hami…
Basically, Burr said, "I heard you were speaking ill about me. Care to clarify?" And AH said, "It depends on the definition of 'speaking ill' is." In an honor-oriented culture like that, this was guaranteed to provoke a response.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.
This content can be removed from Twitter at anytime, get a PDF archive by mail!
This is a Premium feature, you will be asked to pay $30.00/year
for a one year Premium membership with unlimited archiving.
Don't miss anything from @JayCostTWS,
subscribe and get alerts when a new unroll is available!
This is a Premium feature, you will be asked to pay $30.00/year
for a one year Premium membership with unlimited subscriptions/alert.
Did Thread Reader help you today?
Support me: I'm a solo developer! Read more about the story
Become a 💎 Premium member ($30.00/year) and get exclusive features!
Too expensive?
Make a small donation instead. Buy me a coffee ($5) or help for the server cost ($10):
Donate with 😘 Paypal or  Become a Patron 😍 on Patreon.com
Using crypto? You can help too!
Trending hashtags
Did Thread Reader help you today?
Support me: I'm a solo developer! Read more about the story
Become a 💎 Premium member ($30.00/year) and get exclusive features!
Too expensive?
Make a small donation instead. Buy me a coffee ($5) or help for the server cost ($10):
Donate with 😘 Paypal or  Become a Patron 😍 on Patreon.com
Using crypto? You can help too!