Aaron Burr

Aaron Burr

Aaron Burr was born in Newark, New Jersey, was born on 6th February, 1756. He studied theology and law at the College of New Jersey. He served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

Burr became a lawyer in Albany in 1782. The following year he moved to New York City and in 1784 was elected to the State assembly. Burr served as attorney general of New York (1789-1790). In 1791 Burr was elected to the Senate.

In the presidential election of 1800, Burr and Thomas Jefferson each had 73 votes. The decision was then passed to the House of Representatives on the 36th ballot elected Jefferson as president. Burr served as Vice President under Jefferson (1801-1805).

In 1804 Burr asked Alexander Hamilton to support his campaign to become Governor of New York. Hamilton refused saying that Burr was "a man of irregular and insatiable ambition... who ought not be trusted with the reins of government." Burr was furious and challenged Hamilton to a duel in Weekauken, New Jersey. Hamilton accepted and on 11th July, 1804 was shot by Burr. Hamilton died the following day. Burr fled to South Carolina and although indicted for murder he was never brought to trial and eventually returned and completed his term as Vice President.

After leaving office Burr was involved in a conspiracy with James Wilkinson, the governor of Louisiana Territory, to establish an independent nation in the south-west. Wilkinson betrayed Burr was on 20th February, 1807, he arrested and charged with trying to dismember the Union. Burr was acquitted after Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that acts of treason must be attested by two witnesses. After his release Burr spent four years in Europe.

Burr returned to America in June 1812. He spent the rest of his life as a New York attorney.

Aaron Burr died in Port Richmond, Staten Island, on 14th September, 1836.