Wednesday, April 24

Flashback Four : The Hamilton-Burr Duel


July 11, 1804

Long before social media created the ease of public trash-talking, it was being done in person, face-to-face, and in public...and sometimes that led to dueling.  The Hamilton-Burr duel is one of the most infamous duels!

Alexander Hamilton was Secretary of Treasury; Aaron Burr became Vice-President; and their rivalry began long before 1804!  In 1791, Burr defeated Hamilton's father-in-law for the Senate.  They were on opposite sides of the political fence, and bad feelings were sown.

In the election of 1800, Hamilton became the tie-breaking vote between Burr and Jefferson -- for President.  Hamilton didn't like either man, but due to his long-held grudge against Burr, Jefferson won the Presidency.

Fast forward four years...Burr is running for Governor of New York, and Hamilton is campaigning hard against him...and the other guy wins.  There's some trash-talking going on, angry letters are exchanged, a non-apology (when you don't really mean you're sorry, or even truly say you're sorry) was offered, and Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel.

Dueling wasn't technically legal anymore, but the men had been fighting for years now, so...  They met in the early morning hours, at the Heights of Weehawken, New Jersey, and brought their 'seconds' with them.  The next day, Hamilton died from his wounds. 

Read
  • The Hamilton-Burr Duel
    • Billionaire Miss Z might be out of the picture, but a top-secret agency wants to send Luke, Julia, David, and Isabel on one final mission. This time, the Flashback Four are headed to Weehawken, New Jersey—in 1804—to videotape the fateful duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.  But once they arrive, the team faces a question of historic proportions: Should they capture the tragic details of the duel or try to change them?  With real photographs to help put young readers right in the action, plus back matter that separates fact from fiction, The Hamilton-Burr Duel tells the story of one of history’s fiercest rivalries from a fun and fresh new angle.
Make / Do


Watch
Vocabulary
  • adversary
  • proponent
  • contrivance
  • solicitude
  • naysayer
  • unswerving
  • vicinity
  • genial
  • sedate
  • lanky
  • bigotry
  • banter
Think
  • How did Hamilton and Burr differ in the way they led their lives?
  • What is the historical importance of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr?
  • Could this issue have been solved in a better way?  How?  Why is this better?

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