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Paper Explains Circumstances Leading to Hamilton-Burr Duel

The July 18, 1804, edition of the New-York Herald prints letters exchanged between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr before their deadly duel on July 11.

  • Type
  • Source
    New-York Herald
  • Date
    July 1804
  • Section
    Front page
  • Copyright
    Public domain

The New-York Herald was a semi-weekly edition of the New York Evening Post, which Hamilton had founded in 1801.

Newseum Collection

The shooting of Alexander Hamilton by his political rival, Vice President Aaron Burr, left the public shocked and outraged. Hamilton died on July 12, 1804, the day after his duel with Burr in Weehawken, N.J. While duels were still common in the early 19th century, participants usually did not die as a result, and Hamilton was a prominent New York politician and architect of the U.S. financial system. Burr was charged with murder in New Jersey and his home state of New York and fled the area, leaving his friend, William P. Van Ness, to speak for him. People looked for answers in letters that Burr and Hamilton had exchanged leading up to the duel and in a written statement that Hamilton had left in case he did not survive, to which this front page article also refers.

Burr finished serving in the Jefferson administration, and the charges went nowhere.

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To request a large print or Braille version, call 202.292.6650.

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