Aaron Burr, Jr.
Burial Location Visited Vice President Grave #
Princeton, New Jersey June 12, 2004 4th Visited


Buried not too far from Grover Cleveland is                                               While Burr did achieve the title
Vice President Aaron Burr. I first visited his                                                 of vice president, his greatest
burial site in 2004 when I returned from                                                     claim to fame was killing
the capital, where I saw former President                                                   Federalist Alexander Hamilton.
Reagan lay in state.


Burr's headstone has become less                                              Due to his duel with Alexander Hamilton
legible due to wear from weather                                               and his treasonous actions following his  
from the last two centuries.                                                       departure from office, Burr is regarded as
                                                                                              one of America's most notorious vice

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* America's third vice president, Aaron Burr, was born in the city of Newark in New Jersey. His father
, Aaron Burr, Sr., was a founder of the College of New Jersey and served as its second president. His maternal grandfather was Jonathan Edwards, one of the 18th century's most prominent theologians. Burr, to no one's surprise, attended the school his father had led for nine years, now known as the prestigious Princeton University. It was there that he acquired his bachelor's degree in 1772.

* A decade later, Burr would pass the bar and become an attorney. He would have been able to accomplish this task sooner had it not been for the American Revolution, which Burr took part in. He served under Benedict Arnold, the renowned American general who turned turncoat and attempted to sabotage the colonies. When Arnold was still a colonel, he led approximately 1,100 soldiers from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Quebec City, where they met up with a force commanded by General Richard Montgomery, which had departed from Fort Ticonderoga. During the siege that followed, the Battle of Quebec, both Montgomery and Arnold were wounded, although Montgomery's injuries were mortal. Aaron Burr, then 19 years of age, attempted to carry the fallen leader's body from the site of the conflict. He was eventually given a promotion, becoming a lieutenant colonel.

* Following the war's end, Burr married Theodosia Bartow Prevost, who was ten years his senior, and began practicing law in New York City. In 1784, he began serving in the New York State Assembly, which he continued to do until the following year. Four years later, Governor George Clinton appointed Burr the New York State Attorney General. His political career progressed in 1791, when he took his seat in Congress as a member of the U.S. Senate. After one term there, Burr returned to the New York State Assembly. In 1798, after the commencement of the Quasi-War, Burr submitted an application to be commissioned a brigadier general. However, his request was denied by George Washington. In 1800, he ran for president with the Democratic-Republican Party. In the end, another Democratic-Republican candidate, Thomas Jefferson, was elected president. Burr, who came in second, became the vice president.

* One of Burr's frequent political sparring partners was Alexander Hamilton, who, from 1789 to 1795, served as America's first secretary of the Treasury. The rift between the two began in 1790, when Aaron Burr was elected to the United States Senate. The man he defeated, Philip Schuyler, was Alexander Hamilton's father-in-law. The election of 1800, a bitter and intense battle for the presidency, also played a role in the pair's rivalry. In the election, Burr and Thomas Jefferson both had 73 electoral votes. As there was a tie, the House of Representatives would have to vote in order to decide who would go to the White House. The delegates voted by state, and a majority of nine states were needed to win. After 35 ballots, neither Burr nor his Virginian opponent had the majority. Alexander Hamilton wrote letters to several delegates, urging them to vote for Jefferson. They complied, and Jefferson was awarded the presidency, depriving Burr of the office he so badly desired. Though Hamilton was enemies with Jefferson as well, he felt that Burr had no morals and that Jefferson would be the lesser of two evils. After Hamilton lambasted Burr during the latter's 1804 gubernatorial campaign, the vice president had enough and challenged the Federalist to a duel. On July 11, 1804, the two traveled to Weehawken, New Jersey for what would be a final face-off. Hamilton, who discharged his pistol first, missed Burr purposely, as this was the proper and honorable way to back out of a duel. Burr was not as forgiving as Hamilton had evidently hoped, as he fired a bullet into his gut. With a single shot, Aaron Burr had ended the political career of an American genius, a crime for which he was never tried.

* Aaron Burr left the vice presidency in 1805, but he did not leave the spotlight permanently. The following year, Burr leased approximately 40,000 acres from Spain, with the intent of creating a new country, allying it with Mexico and the Louisiana Territory, and possibly overthrowing the United States government. Burr himself maintained that he and his followers had the intent of fighting for and taking Spanish territories in North America were a war with Spain to erupt. Thomas Jefferson was anonymously informed of Burr's actions and found them to be treasonous. Burr had been charged with trying to make war with Mexico in the state of Kentucky, but was defended successfully by a young Kentucky lawyer named Henry Clay. Jefferson later called for Burr's arrest himself. He was apprehended and tried for treason. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall found Burr not guilty due to a lack of witnesses and a "narrow definition" of treason. Afterward, he fled to Europe, where he spent several years of his life. He returned to the United States in 1812 and attempted to reestablish himself as an attorney. Burr suffered a debilitating stroke in 1834 and passed away two years later. He was interred near his father in Princeton Cemetery.

Second Lady: None

      - Spouse: Theodosia Bartow Prevost Burr (m. 1782-1794)

      Eliza Bowen Jumel Burr (m. 1833-1836)

Political Party:
Democratic-Republican Party

Served Under:
Thomas Jefferson (1801-1805)

Last Words:
"On that subject, I am coy."

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