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#1 If You Think That Politics Are Tough These Days Imagine These Times ?
09-07-2008, 05:05 PM
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- Aug 2005
February 17, 1801
Thomas Jefferson Won the Election and the Presidency
In your school elections, do you vote for a president and a vice president separately, or does the person with the second highest number of votes become the vice president? In our national elections, electoral voters decide separately to fill the position of president and vice president, but that wasn't always the case.
On February 17, 1801, Thomas Jefferson was elected president of the United States, but there was more to it than beating his opponent.
When Thomas Jefferson ran for president, he beat his opponent, John Adams, but he tied with his running mate, Aaron Burr. So, who was to be the president and who was to be the vice president? It was up to the House of Representatives to decide, and most of the congressmen did not like the idea of voting for Jefferson. He wasn't even a member of the same political party as they were. Jefferson and Burr campaigned against each other for six days. Finally, Thomas Jefferson won the support of Congress and became the third president of the United States. Burr, as a result, became vice president.
Congress decided to establish a process so they wouldn't have to make that decision again.
Three years after Jefferson was elected, the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution was adopted. This amendment states that the ballots used in the election process should indicate which person is running for President and which is running for Vice President.
Today, if you run for president of the United States, you won't have to worry about being elected vice president instead.
Philip Hamilton's Duel
When Alexander Hamilton's 19-year-old son rose to his father's defense on November 20, 1801, he took the first step of a violent process that had become an American social convention -- the duel. Before it was over he would be dead, and his family would be devastated by dueling, but not for the last time.
George I. Eacker, a 27-year-old lawyer, had given a speech that said Alexander Hamilton would not be opposed to overthrowing Thomas Jefferson's presidency by force. When Phillip Hamilton and his friend Richard Price confronted Eacker about the speech, Eacker called them "damned rascals." They responded in the way convention had established -- by challenging Eacker to a duel.
The weapons chosen were pistols; the dueling site the heights of Weehawken, New Jersey, just across the Hudson from New York. This spot was chosen because New York had banned dueling. Eacker and Richard Price took the field first, on November 22. They exchanged shots, but no one was injured; according to convention, honor was satisfied.
Philip Hamilton faced Eackeron the following day. They each fired. Hamilton fell to a ball from Eacker's dueling pistol; Eacker was uninjured. Philip Hamilton died a day later, in agony. The death marked the Hamilton family indelibly. Philip's sister Angelica suffered a nervous breakdown from which she never recovered. Yet this would not stop Alexander Hamilton from defending his honor against Aaron Burr on the same dueling grounds three years later
Hamilton's son, Philip, was killed in a November 23, 1801 duel with George I. Eacker initiated after Philip and his friend Richard Price partook in "hooliganish" behavior in Eacker's box at the Park Theatre. This was in response to a speech, critical of Hamilton, that Eacker had made on July 3, 1801. Philip and his friend both challenged Eacker to duels when he called them "damned rascals." After Price's duel (also at Weehawken) resulted in nothing more than four missed shots, Hamilton advised his son to delope, and throw away his fire. However, after both Philip and Eacker stood shotless for a minute after the command "present", Philip leveled his pistol, causing Eacker to fire, mortally wounding Philip and sending his shot awry.
In an 1802 duel, DeWitt Clinton was challenged by John Swartwout, a friend of Aaron Burr. Swartwout accused Clinton of trying to ruin Burr with political smears. The men exchanged five rounds. After each round, as the code provided, seconds encouraged the combatants to mend their differences. Clinton adamantly refused to sign a letter of apology. Swartwout, despite being shot in the thigh and ankle, refused to quit. Unwilling to continue shooting at a wounded man, an exasperated Clinton left the field. Surgeons standing at the ready tended Swartwout's wounds.
July: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr meet to fight a duel. The men have been enemies for years, but in the end, the duel is touched off by a minor slight.
The men meet on the dueling grounds at Weehawken, New Jersey on the morning of July 11. Each fires a shot from a .56 caliber dueling pistol. Burr is unscathed. Hamilton is mortally wounded, and dies the next day.
July 11, 1804 duel .The Burr–Hamilton duel was a duel between two prominent American politicians, the former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and sitting Vice President Aaron Burr, on July 11, 1804. Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton. Hamilton was carried to the home of one William Bayard, who lived on the Manhattan shore. Alexander Hamilton died at 2:00 p.m. the next day, July 12, 1804 Killed by the same Dueling pistol that had killed His son, Philip November 23, 1801 .
HHamilton did fire his weapon intentionally, and he fired first. But he aimed to miss Burr, sending his ball into the tree above and behind Burr’s location. In so doing, he did not withhold his shot, but he did waste it, thereby honoring his pre-duel pledge. Meanwhile, Burr, who did not know about the pledge, did know that a projectile from Hamilton’s gun had whizzed past him and crashed into the tree to his rear. According to the principles of the code duello, Burr was perfectly justified in taking deadly aim at Hamilton and firing to kill.
This duel is often cited as having a tremendous psychological impact on Hamilton in the context of the Hamilton–Burr duel.
The duel was the final skirmish of a long conflict between Democratic-Republicans and Federalists. The conflict began in 1791 when Burr captured a Senate seat from Philip Schuyler, Hamilton's father-in-law, who would have supported Federalist policies. (Hamilton was Secretary of the Treasury at the time.) When the electoral college deadlocked in the election of 1800, Hamilton's maneuvering in the House of Representatives caused Thomas Jefferson to be named President and Burr Vice President. In 1800, the Aurora published "The Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq., President of the United States," a document highly critical of Adams, which had actually been authored by Hamilton but intended only for private circulation. Some have claimed that Burr leaked the document, but there is no clear evidence for this, nor that Hamilton held him responsible.
Morgan Lewis, endorsed by Hamilton, defeated Burr in the 1804 New York Gubernatorial electionWhen 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. Hamilton campaigned viciously against Burr, who was running as an independent, causing him to lose to Morgan Lewis, a Democratic-Republican endorsed by Hamilton.
Both men had been involved in duels in the past. Hamilton had been a principal in 10 shot-less duels prior to his fatal encounter with Burr, including duels with William Gordon (1779), Aedanus Burke (1790), John Francis Mercer (1792-1793), James Nicholson (1795), James Monroe (1797), and Ebenezer Purdy/George Clinton (1804). He also served as a second to John Laurens in a 1779 duel with General Charles Lee and legal client John Auldjo in a 1787 duel with William Pierce. In addition, Hamilton claimed to have had one previous honor dispute with Burr; Burr claimed there were two.
09-07-2008, 05:20 PM
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- Aug 2005
Events Leading Up to the Duel !
1756 Aaron Burr is born on February 6 in Newark, New Jersey. His father, Reverend Aaron Burr, is the president of the College of New Jersey, which would later be renamed Princeton. Burr’s maternal grandfather, Jonathan Edwards, was a prominent theologian and philosopher who helped ignite New England’s Great Awakening. By age 3, Burr was an orphan. Raised by his uncle, Timothy Edward Burr, Aaron shows the hallmarks of a brilliant mind from a very early age.
1757 Alexander Hamilton is born on January 11 in Nevis, British West Indies, at the epicenter of the sugar and slave trade. The date of Hamilton's birth, which some historians give as 1755, is still in dispute; Hamilton's parentage is not. He was the son of James Hamilton, an itinerant trader from Scotland, and Rachel Fawcett Lavine, a French woman who was married at the time to another man, merchant John Michael Lavine.
Lavine had cast his wife out of his house for her adulterous behavior. She and James Hamilton lived as man and wife until Hamilton abandoned them in 1765.
At the time of Alexander Hamilton's birth, most still considered illegitimacy a stain on one's character. Yet with the help of two men, Nicholas Cruger and Reverend Hugh Knox, Hamilton will rise beyond his station.
1768 Nicholas Cruger, a St. Croix businessman, gives eleven-year-old Alexander Hamilton a job as a clerk in his counting house. The boy proves himself an effective and reliable employee. Cruger was not the only person to recognize Alexander's potential. He collaborated with a minister, the Reverend Hugh Knox, to send young Hamilton to America for an education.
1769 At the tender age of 13, Aaron Burr is accepted for advanced placement as a sophomore at the College of New Jersey, later renamed Princeton. His grandfather, Jonathan Edwards, had entered the college at the same age; later Edwards served a brief stint as the institution's president.
1772 Aaron Burr graduates from college. He also inherits 10,000 pounds from his father, a modest sum. Throughout his life, Burr will evince a fondness for the finer things in life. Soon, he will begin a legal career that will enable him to increase his already substantial wealth. For most of his life, Burr will live like a rich man, although he will experience extreme poverty as well. Often, owing to his ability to juggle debts, he will live beyond his means.
1773 Sixteen-year-old Alexander Hamilton enters New York's King's College, which will be renamed Columbia after the war. Hamilton had been rejected by the College of New Jersey, which had just a year before given a diploma to sixteen-year-old Aaron Burr.
1774 Hamilton enters the fray of revolutionary politics, writing "A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress." The pamphlet defends the First Continental Congress' proposal to embargo trade with Great Britain. In the document, Hamilton posits that if the colonies continued to be taxed without representation, they would descend to a condition of slavery.
As he writes, Hamilton draws on his intimate knowledge of a number of philosophers, including John Locke and the Baron de Montesquieu.
1775 In Cambridge, Massachusetts, nineteen-year-old Aaron Burr presents himself to George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. Burr asks for a commission, but Washington has none to spare. A disappointed Burr ends up joining Benedict Arnold's expedition north to attack British strongholds in Canada. At the battle of Quebec, at great risk to his own life, Burr will attempt to carry the dead body of General Richard Montgomery from the field. This brave action will hasten Burr's rise to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
1776 Alexander Hamilton raises a company of men and is commissioned as a captain in the Continental Army. Soon, he will prove that his courage extends from the field of public debate to the field of battle. On December 26, Hamilton's artillery company will support Washington's successful attack on Trenton, New Jersey.
In June, Burr receives a post he has long coveted -- he is named to General Washington's staff as military secretary. But he and Washington do not get along and Burr's tenure will be brief. The next year he will take command of a regiment, which will distinguish itself at the battle of Monmouth. In 1779, exhausted and ill from years of extraordinary effort for the Revolutionary cause, Burr will retire.
1777 George Washington promotes Alexander Hamilton to the rank of lieutenant colonel and names him to his staff. A lifelong friendship begins. Hamilton will watch Washington struggle to hold together the underfunded, disorganized Continental Army. He will recognize that the problems that plague the Army -- a lack of central organization and a source of collecting revenue to fund operations -- will have to be solved if a free American nation is to survive.
1779 Aaron Burr meets the woman who will become one of two true loves of his life -- Theodosia Prevost. The widow of a British officer and the mother of 5, she possesses an intellect that leaves Burr transfixed. The two will marry in July, 1782. Theodosia will give birth to four children; only one, named after her mother, will survive. When his wife dies in 1794, young Theodosia will become the most important woman in Burr's life.
1780 Alexander Hamilton marries Elizabeth Schuyler. A daughter of Philip Schuyler, head of a powerful Dutch family from upstate New York, Elizabeth links Hamilton to the political power structure there. Alexander and Elizabeth's marriage will not be perfect. Later, Hamilton will publicly admit to adultery, and his closeness to Elizabeth's sister Angelica will prompt speculation about the nature of their relationship. Historians have not yet conclusively proven or refuted such speculation.
1781 As a New York delegate to the Continental Congress, Alexander Hamilton is already active as a supporter of a strong central government. Above all others, he admires the British system -- even though his nation is currently at war with Britain.
1782 Aaron Burr is admitted to the New York bar. His skill as an attorney is universally admired, and he commands substantial fees. Burr will soon be known for his handsome carriages, well-appointed residences, elegant clothing, and lavish entertaining, although he will live much of his life heavily in debt.
1783 Alexander Hamilton opens a law practice in New York City. Curiously, among the first cases taken by this American revolutionary will be defending Loyalists sued under the Trespass Act for occupying and damaging homes of rebels during the war. Hamilton's powerful defense of Loyalists will help establish principles of due process and ensure the Trespass Act's repeal. These first cases will make Hamilton little money, and make him some enemies as well, but they will establish his reputation as a highly skilled attorney.
1784 Aaron Burr is elected to the New York State Assembly. His tenure will be a relatively uneventful one. During the legislature's brief first session, he seldom attends debates and introduces no legislation. During the second, the Assembly will debate the abolition of slavery. Burr will introduce an unsuccessful amendment to abolish slavery immediately.
1787 Delegates gather in Philadelphia to correct weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation. Among them is Alexander Hamilton, one of three delegates from New York. Hamilton is committed to casting aside the Articles completely and crafting a new government, the key feature of which is a strong federal branch. Yet he does not play a large role in the debate over the Constitution or its writing. His proposal for a new government, which includes provisions for a president and senators elected for life and gives little power to the states, has little chance in a nation that has recently cast off a king. Unlike the other two New York delegates, Hamilton will sign the Constitution. Soon, he will rise to its defense.
Writing under the pseudonym "Publius," Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison begin to publish a series of 85 essays urging ratification of the Constitution. Known collectively as "The Federalist," the essays present an eloquent defense of the document. Hamilton will write more than two-thirds of the essays, which appear in newspapers until May, 1788.
1788 Again asked to represent New York in an important matter of government, Hamilton exhibits his persuasive powers. At New York's ratifying convention, the Constitution's opponents overwhelmingly outnumber its supporters. But with his incredible command of logic and his remarkable oratory skills, Hamilton helps to turn the tide. In the end, the document is ratified.
1789 Newly-elected President George Washington appoints Alexander Hamilton his secretary of the Treasury. No man is better prepared for the post than Hamilton, who had been privately working on a plan for funding the new nation since his time on Washington's staff during the war. Hamilton's proposals, which call for the federal government to make good on federal war debts, assume state debts, and set up import tariffs, face opposition in Congress, but are eventually approved. The system probably saves the nation from economic collapse.
09-07-2008, 05:22 PM
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- Aug 2005
1791 Republican Aaron Burr wins a US Senate seat from Federalist Philip Schuyler.
Schuyler, Alexander Hamilton's father-in-law, had been elected to represent New York in the US Senate for its first session in 1789. To take the seat, Burr will use the support of the powerful Clinton and Livingston families, who are enemies of Hamilton and Schuyler.
1797 Alexander Hamilton's affair with a woman named Maria Reynolds gets a public airing. In his "History of the United States for the Year 1796," James T. Callender reveals details of Hamilton's infidelity and attempts to link it to a scheme by Reynolds' husband to illegally manipulate federal securities for profit. To clear his name, Hamilton publishes letters he had written to Maria Reynolds. He rightfully proclaims innocence of any illegal schemes and apologizes for the affair. While some undoubtedly admire his candor, Hamilton' s power begins to wane.
1800 Aaron Burr publishes a document written by his political enemy, Alexander Hamilton. This document titled "The Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq., President of the United States" attacks Adams and his presidency. Hamilton had intended this lambasting of his fellow Federalist for private circulation only. It proved an act of colossal political misjudgment. The document causes an irreparable rift in the Federalist Party -- and increases the enmity between Hamilton and Burr.
Hamilton helps decide the outcome of the deadlocked presidential election. Burr, Jefferson's vice-presidential candidate, used his influence in New York to deliver the state's electoral votes to himself and Jefferson. But either by the manipulations of Burr or by simple accident, Burr and Jefferson tied in the total number of electoral votes. Congress will vote to decide who should be president. Hamilton, like most Federalists, is opposed to Jefferson. But he also deeply distrusts Burr, and Burr has attacked him politically. Burr, hoping to avoid the criticism that would result from a blatant power play, refuses to campaign for himself. Hamilton campaigns against Burr, but his efforts have little impact. Still, Congress votes to make Jefferson president.
1801 George I. Eacker and Alexander Hamilton's son Philip duel at Weehawken. Eacker, a 27-year-old lawyer, had made a speech accusing Alexander Hamilton of being willing to overthrow Thomas Jefferson's presidency by force. On November 20, nineteen-year-old Philip Hamilton and his friend Richard Price confronted Eacker about the speech. After Eacker insulted them, the men challenged Eacker to a duel.
Eacker and Richard Price took the field first at Weehawken, on November 22. They exchanged shots, but no one was injured; according to convention, honor was satisfied. Philip Hamilton stood next against Eacker, on November 23. Hamilton fell to a ball from Eacker's smoothbore dueling pistol. Eacker was uninjured; Philip Hamilton died a day later.
1804 February: His political power dwindling, Alexander Hamilton tries to convince New York Federalists not to support Aaron Burr in the New York governor's race. If Burr gains control of New York, he will gain great power -- something that Hamilton deeply fears.
Hamilton's attacks on Burr have little effect on the governor's race. Burr loses the general election to Republican Morgan Lewis by a landslide, largely as a result of slanderous public attacks by George and DeWitt Clinton, the powerful New York Republicans who backed Lewis. Furious over remarks allegedly made by Hamilton during the campaign and anxious to repair his failing career, Burr challenges Hamilton to a duel. Hamilton reluctantly accepts the challenge.
March: Thomas Jefferson names New York Governor George Clinton as his running mate for the 1804 presidential elections. Burr helped provide the New York electoral votes that Jefferson needed to win the presidency in 1800, but Jefferson has effectively driven Burr out of the Republican Party. The slight undoubtedly hurts Burr's chances in the New York governor's race.
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