Friday, August 26, 2016

Burr & Hamilton Duel

July 11, 1804

In the early morning hours, Burr & Hamilton sat down in separate boats in Manhattan and rowed across the Hudson river to Heights of Weehawken, NJ. This location had long been a popular dueling ground. Both men agreed on the location because dueling had been outlawed in NY.

Burr reached the site first with his second, William P. Van Ness. Ness started clearing the underbrush for the duel. The weapons arrived separately to prevent them being used on the river. Burr & Ness arrived at 6:30 AM, Hamiliton, his second, Judge Nathaniel Pendleton and Dr. David Hosack arrived a few minutes before seven.

Lots were cast to choose position. Two shots was the preferred arrangement. Hamilton fired first into the air. Burr fired back and hit Hamiliton in the lower abdomen. Hamilton died the following day.

Burr fled to South Carolina but soon returned to Washington. His political career apparently over he went out west and became involved with a filibuster to establish the Louisiana territory as it's own empire. Burr was charged with treason and later acquitted. Years later he returned to NY was tried and acquitted for his role in the duel. He died in NY and never apologized to the Hamilton family.

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