Aaron Burr

From New World Encyclopedia

Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr

3rd Vice President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1805
President Thomas Jefferson
Preceded by Thomas Jefferson
Succeeded by George Clinton

United States Senator
from New York
In office
March 4, 1791 – March 3, 1797
Preceded by Philip Schuyler
Succeeded by Philip Schuyler

Born February 6, 1756(1756-02-6,)
Newark, New Jersey
Died September 14, 1836 (aged 80)
Staten Island, New York
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse Theodosia Bartow Prevost
Eliza Bowen Jemel

Aaron Burr, Jr. (February 6, 1756 – September 14, 1836) was the third Vice-President of the United States (1801–1805) and one of the most controversial political figures in U.S. history. In 1804 he dueled with Alexander Hamilton, mortally wounding him. In 1807 he was tried for treason, but acquitted. Although an Revolutionary War hero and a respected politician, controversy dogged his footsteps, most of which centered on his obvious ambition.

As a legislator, Burr was a formative member of the Democratic-Republican Party. With his political base in New York, Burr served in the New York State Assembly (1784–1785, 1798–1801), as New York State Attorney General (1789–1791), United States Senator (1791-1797), and for one term as Vice President of the United States (1801–1805) under President Thomas Jefferson. A candidate for U.S. President in the election of 1800, Burr tied Jefferson with 73 electoral votes, sending the election into the U.S. House of Representatives. After 36 ballots, Jefferson was elected President and Burr elected Vice President. As Vice President, Burr was President of the Senate, and in such role, presided over the impeachment trial of Samuel Chase.

During an unsuccessful campaign for election to Governor of New York in 1804, Burr was relentlessly defamed in the press, often by the writings of Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), his long-time political rival. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel with pistols, and on July 11, 1804, the enemies met outside of Weehawken, New Jersey. Hamilton was mortally wounded. Burr was charged murder but was never tried. He finished out his term as Vice President.

After Burr left the Vice Presidency at the end of his term in 1805, he journeyed into what was then the American West, particularly the Ohio River Valley area and the lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. While historians are uncertain as to Burr's particular activities, he was accused in turns of having committed treason, of a conspiracy to steal Louisiana Purchase lands away from the United States and crown himself a King or Emperor, or of an attempt to declare an illegal war against Spanish possessions in Mexico (a process known then as filibustering). Burr was arrested in 1807 and brought to trial on charges of treason, for which he was acquitted. After several years in self-imposed exile in Europe, Burr returned to practicing law in New York City and lived a largely reclusive existence until his death.

As a politician, a soldier, and a man, Burr has been both zealously defended and bitterly denounced. On balance, he appears to have allowed his ambition to get in the way of his ability, and of his commitment to the public good.


Early life

Burr was born in Newark, New Jersey, to the Rev. Aaron Burr, Sr., who was a Presbyterian minister and the second president (Mary Claire) of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University; his mother, Esther Edwards, was the daughter of Jonathan Edwards, the famous Calvinist theologian. The Edwards also had a daughter, Sally, who married a scholar named Tapping Reeve, who had a son named Aaron Burr Reeve.

In 1772, he received his B.A. in theology at Princeton University, but changed his career path two years later and began the study of law in the celebrated law school conducted by his brother-in-law, Tapping Reeve, at Litchfield, Connecticut. His studies were put on hold while he served during the Revolutionary War, under Gens. Benedict Arnold, George Washington, and Israel Putnam.

Military service

During the American Revolutionary War, Aaron Burr took part in General Benedict Arnold's expedition into Canada in 1775, an arduous trek of over 500 miles in winter. Upon arriving before the Battle of Quebec, Burr was sent up the Saint Lawrence River to make contact with General Richard Montgomery who had taken Montreal, and escort him to Quebec.

Montgomery promoted Burr to captain at age 14[1] and made him an Aide-de-Camp. Although Montgomery was killed in the attack, Burr distinguished himself with brave actions against the British.

His courage made him a national hero and earned him a place on Washington's staff in Manhattan, but he quit after two weeks because he wanted to return to the field. Never hesitant to voice his opinions, Burr may have set Washington against him (however, rumors that Washington then distrusted Burr have never been substantiated). General Israel Putnam took Burr under his wing, and by his vigilance in the retreat from lower Manhattan to Harlem, Burr saved an entire brigade from capture.

Alexander Hamilton was an officer of this group. In a stark departure from common practice, Washington failed to commend Burr's actions in the next day's General Orders (the fastest way to obtain a promotion in rank). Although Burr was already a nationally-known hero, he never received a commendation. According to Burr's stepbrother Matthew Ogden, Burr was infuriated by the incident, which may have led to the eventual estrangement between him and Washington.[2][3]

On becoming Lieutenant Colonel in July 1777, Burr assumed the command of a regiment called the "Malcoms." During the harsh winter encampment at Valley Forge, he guarded the "Gulph," a pass commanding the approach to the camp, and necessarily the first point that would be attacked.

On June 28, 1778 at the Battle of Monmouth, his regiment was decimated by British artillery, and Burr suffered a stroke in the terrible heat from which he would never quite recover. In January 1779, Burr was assigned to the command of the lines of Westchester County, a region between the British post at Kingsbridge and that of the Americans about 15 miles to the north. In this district there was much turbulence and plundering by the lawless elements of both Whigs and Tories, and by bands of ill-disciplined soldiers from both armies. Burr established a thorough patrol system, rigorously enforced martial law, and quickly restored order.

He resigned from the Continental Army in March 1779 on account of ill health, renewing his study of law. Burr did continue to perform occasional intelligence missions for Continental generals such as Arthur St. Clair and on July 5, 1779 he rallied a group of Yale students at New Haven along with Capt. James Hillhouse and the Second Connecticut Governors Foot Guard in a skirmish with the British at the West River. The British advance was repulsed, having to enter New Haven from Hamden.

Despite this brief interlude, Burr was able to finish his studies and was admitted to the bar at Albany in 1782. He began to practice in New York City after its evacuation by the British in the following year. He lived in Richmond Hill, an area just outside of Greenwich Village.


That same year, on July 2, Burr married Theodosia Bartow Prevost, the widow of James Marcus Prevost, a British army officer who had died in the West Indies during the Revolutionary War. She was nearly a decade older than her 26-year-old husband.[4] They had four children, of whom the only to grow to adulthood was Theodosia Burr Alston. Born in 1783, she became widely known for her education and accomplishments. She married Joseph Alston of South Carolina in 1801, and died either due to piracy or in a shipwreck off the Carolinas in the winter of 1812 or early 1813. Burr and the elder Theodosia were married for 12 years, until her death from stomach cancer.

In July 1833, at age 77, Burr married again, this time to Eliza Bowen Jumel (age 57), the extremely wealthy widow of Stephen Jumel. When she realized her fortune was dwindling from her husband's land speculation, they separated after only four months.[5]

Legal and early political career

Burr served in the New York State Assembly from 1784 to 1785, but became seriously involved in politics in 1789, when George Clinton appointed him New York State Attorney General. He was commissioner of Revolutionary War claims in 1791, and that same year he defeated a favored candidate, General Philip Schuyler—for a seat in the United States Senate, and served in the upper house until 1797.[6]

While Burr and Jefferson served during the Washington administration, the Federal Government was resident in Philadelphia. They both roomed for a time at the boarding house of a Mrs. Payne. Her daughter Dolley, an attractive young widow, was introduced by Burr to James Madison, whom she subsequently married.[7]

Although Hamilton and Burr had long been on good personal terms, often dining with one another, Burr's defeat of General Schuyler, Hamilton's father-in-law probably drove the first major wedge into their friendship. Nevertheless, their relationship took a decade to reach a status of enmity.

As a U.S. Senator, Burr was not a favorite in President George Washington's eyes. He sought to write an official Revolutionary history, but Washington blocked his access to the archives, possibly because the former colonel had been a noted critic of his leadership, and possibly because he regarded Burr as a schemer. Washington also passed over Burr for the ministry to France. After being appointed commanding general of American forces by President John Adams in 1798, Washington turned down Burr's application for a brigadier general's commission during the Quasi-War with France. Washington wrote, "By all that I have known and heard, Colonel Burr is a brave and able officer, but the question is whether he has not equal talents at intrigue." Hamilton, who by then despised Burr, still had Washington's ear at this time. Earlier, Burr had told Hamilton that "he despised Washington as a man of no talents and one who could not spell a sentence of common English." However, Washington's wartime strategies may have colored Burr's opinion of the General.[2]

Bored with the inactivity of the new U.S. Senate, Burr ran for and was elected to the New York state legislature, serving from 1798 through 1801. During John Adams's term as President, national parties became clearly defined. Burr loosely associated himself with the Democratic-Republicans, though he had moderate Federalist allies, such as Sen. Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey. Burr quickly became a key player in New York politics, more powerful in time than Hamilton, largely because of the Tammany Society, later to become the infamous Tammany Hall, which Burr converted from a social club into a political machine to help Jefferson reach the Presidency. In 1796, Jefferson chose Burr as his Vice Presidential running mate, but they lost to John Adams. In 1799, Burr founded the Bank of the Manhattan Company in 1799, which in later years evolved into the Chase Manhattan Bank and later JP Morgan Chase while also helping Jefferson and Madison with a second run for the presidency in 1800. Of the 16 states' electoral votes, only seven states were for the Jeffersonians, but Federalist New York had an electoral vote coming up before the election. Burr fielded a slate for Jefferson (Hamilton fielded the other for the Federalists) and won. This led to ultimate victory for Jefferson and drove another wedge between Hamilton and Burr. Burr became Vice President.

During the French Revolution, French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, in need of sanctuary to escape the Terror, stayed in Burr's home in New York City but also spent much time at Hamilton's house. When Burr, after the Hamilton duel and treason trial, traveled Europe in an attempt to recoup his fortunes, Talleyrand refused him entrance into France. Talleyrand was an ardent admirer of Alexander Hamilton and had even once written: "I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton, the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton. He had divined Europe."

Vice Presidency

Because of his influence in New York City and the New York legislature, Burr was asked by Jefferson and Madison to help the Jeffersonians in the election of 1800. Burr sponsored a bill through the New York Assembly, generating the money needed for Jefferson's campaign. Another crucial move was Burr's success in getting his slate of New York City and nearby Electors to win over the Federalist slate, which was chosen and backed by Alexander Hamilton, who lost. This event drove a further wedge between the former friends. Burr is known as the father of modern political campaigning. He enlisted the help of members of Tammany Hall, a social club, and won the election. He was then placed on the Democratic-Republican presidential ticket in the 1800 election with Jefferson. At the time, state legislatures chose the members of the U.S. Electoral College, and New York was crucial to Jefferson. Though Jefferson did win New York, he and Burr tied for the presidency with 73 electoral votes each.

It was well understood that the party intended that Jefferson should be President and Burr Vice President, but the responsibility for the final choice belonged to the House of Representatives. The attempts of a powerful faction among the Federalists to secure the election of Burr failed, partly because of the opposition of Alexander Hamilton and partly because Burr himself did little to obtain votes in his own favor. He wrote to Jefferson underscoring his promise to be Vice President, and again during the voting stalemate in the Congress wrote again that he would give it up entirely if Jefferson so demanded. Ultimately, the election devolved to the point where it took thirty-six ballots before James A. Bayard, a Delaware Federalist, submitted a blank vote. Federalist abstentions in the Vermont and Maryland delegations led to Jefferson's election as President, and Burr’s moderate Federalist supporters conceded his defeat.

Upon confirmation of Jefferson’s election, Burr became Vice President of the United States, but despite his letters and his shunning of any political activity during the balloting (he never left Albany) he lost Jefferson's trust after that, and was effectively shut out of party matters. Some historians conjecture that the reason for this was Burr's casual regard for politics, and that he didn't act aggressively enough during the election tie. Jefferson was tight-lipped in private about Burr, so his reasons are still not entirely clear. However, Burr's even-handed fairness and his judicial manner as President of the Senate was praised even by his bitterest enemies, and he fostered some time-honored traditions in regard to that office.

At least one historian (Forrest MacDonald) has credited Burr's judicial manner in presiding over the impeachment trial of Justice Samuel Chase with helping to preserve the principle of judicial independence.

Duel of the vice president

Alexander Hamilton fights his fatal duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.

When it became clear that Jefferson would drop Burr from his ticket in the 1804 election, the Vice President ran for the governorship of New York instead. Burr lost the election, and blamed his loss on a personal smear campaign believed to have been orchestrated by his own party rivals, including New York governor George Clinton. Hamilton also opposed Burr, due to his (still controversial) belief that Burr had entertained a Federalist secession movement in New York. But Hamilton exceeded himself at one political dinner, where he said that he could express a "still more despicable opinion" of Burr. After a letter regarding the incident written by Dr. Charles D. Cooper circulated in a local newspaper, Burr sought an explanation from Hamilton.[8]

Hamilton had written so many letters, and made so many private tirades against Burr, that he claimed that he could not reliably comment on Cooper's statement. Instead Hamilton responded casually by educating Burr on the many possible meanings of despicable, enraging and embarrassing Burr. Burr then demanded that Hamilton recant or deny anything he might have said regarding Burr’s character over the past 15 years, but Hamilton, having already been disgraced by the Maria Reynolds scandal and ever mindful of his own reputation and honor, did not. Burr responded by challenging Hamilton to personal combat under the code duello, the formalized rules of dueling. Both men had been involved in duels (though most never reached the dueling field) in the past (for Hamilton 21, for Burr 1), and Hamilton's eldest son, Philip, had died in a duel in 1801.

Did you know?
Aaron Burr famously dueled with Alexander Hamilton, mortally wounding him

Although still quite common, dueling had been outlawed in New York and also New Jersey, but Hamilton and Burr were not citizens of New Jersey, so on July 11, 1804, the enemies met outside of Weehawken, New Jersey, and Hamilton was mortally wounded. There has been some controversy as to the claims of Burr's and Hamilton's seconds; while one party indicates Hamilton never fired, the other claims a 3 to 4 second interval between the first shot and the second shot. Hamilton's shot missed Burr, but Burr's shot was fatal. The bullet entered Hamilton's abdomen above his right hip, piercing Hamilton's liver and spine. Burr always claimed afterwards that Hamilton had lived up to a prior warning that he would fire and accordingly fired the first shot.[9] Hamilton was evacuated to Manhattan where he lay in the house of a friend, receiving visitors until he died the following day. Burr was later charged with multiple crimes, including murder, in New York and New Jersey, but was never tried in either jurisdiction. He fled to South Carolina, where his daughter lived with her family, but soon returned to Philadelphia to complete his term as Vice President. As leader of the Senate he presided over the impeachment (trial) of Samuel Chase. It was written by one Senator that Burr had conducted the proceedings with the "impartiality of an angel and the rigor of a devil." Burr's heartfelt farewell in March 1805 moved some of his harshest critics in the Senate to tears.

Conspiracy and trial

After the expiration of his term as Vice President on March 4, 1805, broken in fortune and virtually an exile from New York and New Jersey, Burr went to Philadelphia. There he met Jonathan Dayton, a friend and classmate from Princeton, with whom he is alleged to have formed a conspiracy, the goal of which is still unclear for some historians. His detractors said (and some still do) that the plan may have been for Burr to make a massive new nation in the west, forged from conquered provinces of Mexico and territory west of the Appalachian Mountains. Burr was to have been the leader of this Southwestern republic. Some detractors claim that the fledgling United States could have fallen into a full-scale civil war. All these accusations were voiced by Burr's political enemies.

This was a crucial time in American expansion westward. Spain held the Mexican territories, including the Southwest and California. Mexico was agitating for rebellion, and, if war broke out, the U.S. Government was anticipating seizing some or all of the land for itself.

Burr and his friends always fiercely denied any treasonable plans to overthrow the U.S. Government by force. The Louisiana Purchase (which, according to the conspirators, was never included in their plans) at the time was up for the taking, legally, because it was not yet declared a Territory of or in the United States by Congress. Many French, Spanish, Indians and Americans who were unhappy with taxes and the government lived there. (A short time later Jefferson, who realized that if the territory turned into industrialized States his idea of an agrarian Democracy would be threatened, suggested that maybe the territory's separation wouldn't be a bad idea.) Burr had leased 40,000 acres (160 km²) of land in the Texas part of Mexico, in the "Bastrop" lands from the Spanish government. His "conspiracy," he always avowed, was that if he settled there with a large group of (armed) "farmers" and war broke out, he would have an army with which to fight and claim land for himself, thus recouping his fortunes. However, that war in Texas didn't occur until 1836, the year of Burr's death.

In 1805, General James Wilkinson, chosen by Jefferson to be the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army at New Orleans and Governor of the Louisiana Territory, actually was a traitor. (It was revealed years later that at the time he was a spy, secretly in the pay of the Kingdom of Spain.) Wilkinson had his own reasons for aiding the so-called Burr conspiracy. As Territorial Governor, he could have seized power for himself, as he had attempted in earlier plots in Kentucky. Ignorant of the General's treason, Burr enlisted Wilkinson and others to his plan in a reconnaissance mission to the West in April 1805.

Another member of the Burr conspiracy was the Anglo-Irish aristocrat Harman Blennerhassett. After marrying his niece, Blennerhassett had been forced out of Ireland. He came to live as a quasi-feudal lord, owning an island now bearing his name in the Ohio River. Highly educated, Blennerhassett maintained a scientific laboratory and an impressive villa on the island. It was there that he met Burr and agreed to help finance the ambitions of Burr's group.

Like many Americans, including Jefferson, Burr anticipated a war with Spain, a distinct possibility had someone other than Wilkinson commanded U.S. troops on the Louisiana border. In case of a war declaration, Andrew Jackson stood ready to help Colonel Burr, who had already purchased the land shares in Texas. Burr's expedition of perhaps eighty men carried modest arms for hunting, and no war materiel ever came to light, even when Blennerhassett Island was seized by Virginia militia (the island was just off shore from modern Parkersburg, West Virginia).

After a near-incident with Spanish forces at Natchitoches, Wilkinson decided he could best serve his conflicting interests by betraying Burr's plans to President Jefferson and his Spanish paymasters. Jefferson's passivity throughout most of 1806 remains baffling to this day, but he finally issued a proclamation for Burr's arrest, declaring him a traitor even before an indictment. Burr read this in a newspaper in the Orleans Territory on January 10, 1807. Jefferson's warrant put Federal agents on his trail. He turned himself in to the Federal authorities twice. Two judges found his actions legal and released him. But Jefferson's warrant followed Burr, who then fled for Spanish Florida; he was intercepted in the vicinity of the Missouri and Alabama Territories on February 19, 1807 and confined to Fort Stoddert.

Burr was treated well at Fort Stoddert. For example, in the evening of February 20, 1807, Burr appeared at the dinner table, and was introduced to Frances Gaines the wife of the commandant Edmund P. Gaines, and the daughter of Judge Harry Toulmin the man responsible for the legal arrest of Burr. Frances and Burr played chess that evening and he was allowed to continue this entertainment during his confinement at the fort.

Burr's secret correspondence with Anthony Merry and the Marquis of Casa Yrujo, the British and Spanish ministers at Washington, was eventually revealed. It had been, it would seem, to secure money and to conceal his real designs, which were probably to overthrow Spanish power in the Southwest, and perhaps to found a dynasty in what would have become former Mexican territory. This seems to have been a misdemeanor, based on the Neutrality Act passed to block filibuster expeditions like those questionable enterprises of George Rogers Clark and William Blount. But Jefferson sought the highest charges against Burr, even though his informant, Wilkinson, was notoriously corrupt. It seems that both Jefferson and Burr gravely misjudged Wilkinson's character—Jefferson had personally put him in charge of the Army at New Orleans.

In 1807, on a charge of treason, Burr was brought to trial before the United States Circuit Court at Richmond, Virginia. His defense lawyers were John Wickham and Luther Martin. Burr was arraigned four times for treason before a grand jury indicted him. This is surprising, because the only physical evidence presented to the Grand Jury was Wilkinson's so-called letter from Burr, proposing stealing land in the Louisiana Purchase. During the jury's examination it was discovered that the letter was in Wilkinson's own handwriting—a "copy," he said, because he had "lost" the original. The Grand Jury threw the letter out, and the news made a laughingstock of the general for the rest of the proceedings. The trial, presided over by Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall, began on August 3.

Article 3, Section 3 of the United States Constitution requires that treason either be admitted in open court, or proved by an overt act witnessed by two people. Since no two witnesses came forward, Burr was acquitted on September 1, in spite of the fact that the full force of the political influence of the Jefferson administration had been thrown against him. Immediately afterward, he was tried on a more appropriate misdemeanor charge, but was again acquitted.[10]

Later life

By this point all of Burr's hopes for a political comeback had been dashed, and he fled America and his creditors aboard the Clarissa Anne for Europe on June 9, 1808]][11], where he tried to regain his fortunes. He lived abroad from 1808 to 1812, passing most of his time in England where he occupied a house on Craven Street in London. He became a good friend, even confidant, of the English Utilitarian philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, even residing at Bentham's home on occasion. He also spent time in Scotland, Denmark, Sweden. Germany, and France. Ever hopeful, he solicited funding for renewing his plans for Mexico, but was rebuffed. He was ordered out of England and Napoleon Bonaparte refused to receive him—although one of his ministers held an interview concerning Burr's aims for Spanish Florida or British possessions in the Caribbean. After returning to America from Europe, Burr used the surname "Edwards," his mother's maiden name, for a while to avoid creditors.


Burr suffered a debilitating third stroke in 1834 (after two minor strokes in 1830 and 1833), which rendered him immobile. In 1836, Burr died in Port Richmond, Staten Island. He is buried in Princeton Cemetery near his father and grandfather in Princeton, New Jersey. No marker was erected until a plain piece was dedicated to him by a family member some 20 years later. It was defaced by one claiming to be a "patriot," thus contempt for the man has remained high after his passing.[12]


According to his detractors, Burr could be unscrupulous, insincere, devious and amoral. In fact, towards his friends and family, he was a moral and virtuous man, including his tenure in the Senate, pleasing in his manners and generous to a fault. In her Autobiography of Jane Fairfield, the wife of the struggling poet Sumner Lincoln Fairfield relates how their friend Burr saved the lives of her two children, who were left with their grandmother in New York, while the parents were in Boston. The grandmother was unable to provide adequate food or heat for the children and was in fear for their very lives. She sought out Burr, as the only one that may be able and willing to help her. Burr "wept and replied, 'Though I am poor and have not a dollar the children of such a mother shall not suffer while I have a watch.' He hastened on this godlike errand, and quickly returned, having pawned the article for twenty dollars, which he gave to make comfortable my precious babies."[13]

Although he proved irresistible to many women, few historians doubt Burr's devotion to his first wife and daughter, while they lived. He was profligate in his personal finances, and gave lip service to abolitionism even though he owned slaves. John Quincy Adams said after the former Vice President's death, "Burr's life, take it all together, was such as in any country of sound morals his friends would be desirous of burying in quiet oblivion." This was his own opinion: his father, (President) John Adams, was an admirer and frequent defender of Burr, as were many other prominent Americans of the time, despite the duel and the treason trial. Burr has been compared to other animated legal characters such as Daniel Webster, Johnny Cochran, or Caleb Buck.

Burr sensed a need to act as caregiver, lover, teacher, and guide. He was always charitable, while slow to pay back debts. He is remembered as a politician, but in the last stages of his life Burr surely realized that his hopes of political ascendancy had become unattainable.[14]

Edward Everett Hale's 1863 story The Man Without a Country is about a fictional co-conspirator of Burr's, who is exiled for his crimes. Burr appears as a character epitomizing worldly sophistication in Harriet Beecher Stowe's historical romance The Minister's Wooing. Burr by Gore Vidal is his biographical interpretation of the man. One of Burr's homes, the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Manhattan, is now open to the public. In Columbia University folklore, Burr is often portrayed as the epitome of evil, and constant references are made to him as the cause for any student's troubles.

Although Burr had many achievements in his life, he is best known for his duel with Hamilton.


  1. Jonathan Daniels, Ordeal of Ambition: Jefferson, Hamilton, Burr (New York: Doubleday, 1970), 44.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nathan Schachner, Aaron Burr, A Biography (New York: A. S. Barnes & Company, Inc., 1937).
  3. Milton Lomask, The Years from Princeton to Vice President, 1756-1805, vol. 1, Aaron Burr (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1979), 82.
  4. Daniels, 48.
  5. Daniels, 420-421.
  6. Daniels, 51.
  7. Daniels, 127-128.
  8. Daniels, 294.
  9. Daniels, 297.
  10. Daniels, 368.
  11. Daniels, 373.
  12. Daniels, 422.
  13. Jane Frazee Fairfield and Sumner Lincoln Fairfield, The Autobiography of Jane Fairfield; Embracing a Few Select Poems by Sumner Lincoln Fairfield (Boston: Bazin and Ellsworth, 1860), 89.
  14. Daniels, 409.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Burr, Aaron, and Matthew L. Davis. Memoirs of Aaron Burr: With Miscellaneous Selections from His Correspondence. Nabu Press, 2010 (original 1837). ISBN 978-1142388171
  • Daniels, Jonathan. Ordeal of Ambition: Jefferson, Hamilton, Burr. New York: Doubleday, 1970.
  • Fairfield, Jane Frazee, and Sumner Lincoln Fairfield. The Autobiography of Jane Fairfield; Embracing a Few Select Poems by Sumner Lincoln Fairfield. Boston: Bazin and Ellsworth, 1860.
  • Lomask, Milton. The Years from Princeton to Vice President, 1756-1805, Vol. 1, Aaron Burr. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1979.
  • Lomask, Milton. The Conspiracy and Years of Exile, 1805-1836, Vol. 2, Aaron Burr. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983.
  • Pickett, Albert James. History of Alabama, and Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, from the Earliest Period. Charleston: Walker and James, 1851.
  • Schachner, Nathan. Aaron Burr, A Biography. New York: A. S. Barnes & Company, Inc., 1937.
  • Wyatt, Thomas. Memoirs of the Generals, Commodores, and Other Commanders Who Distinguished Themselves in the American Army and Navy During the Wars of the Revolution and 1812, and Who Were Presented with Medals by Congress, for Their Gallant Services. Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1848. Memoirs of the Generals, Commodores, and Other Commanders Who Distinguished Themselves in the American Army and Navy During the Wars of the Revolution and 1812 Retrieved November 20, 2017.

Further reading

  • Burr, Aaron. Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr. Mary-Jo Kline, ed., 2 vol. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univesity Press, 1983 ISBN 978-0691046853
  • Adams, Henry. History of the United States, Vol. 3, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1890. (For the traditional view of Burr's conspiracy.)
  • Fleming, Thomas. Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America. New York: Basic Books, 2000. ISBN 978-0465017362
  • Isenberg, Nancy. Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr. New York: Viking, 2007. ISBN 0670063525
  • Kennedy, Roger G. Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson: A Study in Character. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0195130553
  • McCaleb, Walter Flavis. The Aaron Burr Conspiracy. New York: Wilsonerickson Inc., (first published in 1903) 1936.
  • Melton, Buckner F., Jr. Aaron Burr: Conspiracy to Treason. New York: John Wiley, 2002. ISBN 978-0471392095
  • Parmet, Herbert S. and Marie B. Hecht. Aaron Burr: Portrait of an Ambitious Man. New York: Macmillan Co., 1967.
  • Parton, James. The Life and Times of Aaron Burr, Vol. 1. Boston: James R. Osgood and Co., 1874.
  • Parton, James. The Life and Times of Aaron Burr, Vol. 2, Boston: James R. Osgood and Co., 1874.
  • Rogow, Arnold A. A Fatal Friendship: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. New York: Hill & Wang, 1999. ISBN 978-0809047536
  • Vidal, Gore. Burr: A Novel. New York: Vintage, 2000. ISBN 978-0394480244 (For a fictionalized view of Burr's life during and after the American Revolution.)
  • Wheelan, Joseph. Jefferson's Vendetta: The Pursuit of Aaron Burr and the Judiciary. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005. ISBN 978-0786714377

  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

External links

All links retrieved June 13, 2023.

Preceded by:
Richard Varick
Attorney General of New York
September 29, 1789 - November 8, 1791
Succeeded by:
Morgan Lewis
Preceded by:
Philip Schuyler
United States Senator (Class 1) from New York
1791 - 1797
Succeeded by: Philip Schuyler
Preceded by:
George Clinton(1)
Democratic-Republican Vice Presidential candidate
1796 (lost)(1),
1800 (won Vice Presidency)(a)
Succeeded by: George Clinton
Preceded by:
Thomas Jefferson
Vice President of the United States
March 4, 1801 - March 4, 1805
Notes and references
1. Clinton was a presidential candidate in 1792 and Burr was a presidential candidate in both 1796 and 1800. Prior to the passage of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, each presidential elector would cast two ballots; the highest vote-getter would become President and the runner-up would become Vice President. Thus, in 1792, with George Washington as the prohibitive favorite to be elected President, the Democratic-Republican Party fielded George Clinton with the intention that he be elected Vice President. Similarly, in both 1796 and 1800, the Democratic-Republican Party fielded two candidates, Burr and Thomas Jefferson, with the intention that Jefferson be elected President and Burr be elected Vice President.


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