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July 11 1804

By Patrick Van Roy On July 11th, 2020

US Vice President Aaron Burr and former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton arrive at New Jersey’s Palisades and proceed with a pistol duel after years of public rivalry. Hamilton fires into the air, but Burr shoots directly at Hamilton, felling him with a fatal bullet.

11 Responses to “July 11 1804”

  1. Unsporting from Burr.

    The last duel I’m aware of in the civilised world happened in France in 1967.


    Defferre was a participant in the last duel in France that took place in 1967 when Defferre insulted René Ribière at the French parliament and was subsequently challenged to a duel fought with swords. Defferre yelled ‘Taisez-vous, abruti!‘ (‘Shut up, stupid!’) at Ribière following an argument in the French National Assembly.

    Ribière demanded an apology, Defferre refused, so Ribière demanded satisfaction by duel. René Ribière lost the duel, having been wounded twice. He escaped relatively uninjured, however.

    Now politicians insult each other on Twitter. I can’t help feeling that the old ways were best, really.

  2. Now this is how Biden and Trump should settle the Presidency. Far more entertaining and quicker than a long drawn out campaign of rallies tv debates and endless social media battles 🙂

  3. They should do this instead of having elections.

  4. Strange perhaps, but I had heard of Burr before most of the other founding fathers, or rather found out about the FF through Burr, the great historic novel by Gore Vidal that someone brought home to our house once.
    Vidal is fairly merciless with the “founding fathers” he deals with, and his take on this story is that Burr was right to kill Hamilton as H had been suggesting that Burr was having sex with his daughter.

    Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator, also killed a man in a duel once. It was all based on a misunderstanding. The all-Protestant Dublin Corporation had passed an anti-Catholic motion in 1815 and O’Connell, then fighting for Catholic emancipation, referred to them as “beggarly”. One of the Corporation members, a John D’Esterre, happened to be on the verge of bankruptcy at the time and took O’Connell’s insult personally and demanded satisfaction. In fact, D’Esterre had been one of only two members who’d voted against the motion. But O’Connell goaded him on further and the two finally met in a field in Kildare. Even though duelling was forbidden by law at the time, a company of British huzzars were present at the proceedings to ensure D’Esterre would not be lynched by a mob if he killed the beloved Liberator. D’Esterre was an ex-Marine Lieutenant, brave and a crack shot, and everyone presumed he would win.

    But perhaps he was intimidated by the stature of O’Connell or was depressed on the day (his wife had sued for divorce due to his finances); in any case he fired first and missed badly. O’Connell then lowered his gun and fired and hit his opponent in a very sensitive organ. He bled to death shortly afterwards, and O’Connell – who was practically the only Irish leader in centuries who was always against violence – never got over the fact that he’d killed a man and the legend is that he wore a black glove on the hand that fired ever after.

  5. That is probably one of the better known founding fathers stories now due to the musical Hamilton.

  6. Gore Vidal’s “Burr” is a good read. Vidal was a very cynical fellow and I think he saw Burr as an archetype of Americanism. Burr was quite an ambitious rascal and, I think, a grandson of holy man Jonathan Edwards.

    The O’Connell duel is perplexing. Given his principles, why ever did he do it?

  7. The masked “leader”



  8. https://www.atangledweb.org/?p=83299

  9. Petr

    I knew exactly what post you were satirizing before you even added the link 🙂

  10. Lol @ Petr’s comments.

    Mask…ingdale for slow learners.

  11. Colm — And I just had to go and ruin it by spelling it out!

    MR — lol