Aaron Burr

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Aaron Burr Jr.

In office
March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1805
President Thomas Jefferson
Preceded by Thomas Jefferson
Succeeded by George Clinton

In office
March 4, 1791 – March 4, 1797
Preceded by Philip Schuyler
Succeeded by Philip Schuyler

In office
September 29, 1789 – November 8, 1791
Governor George Clinton
Preceded by Richard Varick
Succeeded by Morgan Lewis

In office

Born February 6, 1756(1756-02-06)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Died September 14, 1836 (aged 80)
Staten Island, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Theodosia Bartow Prevost
Eliza Bowen Jemel
Alma mater College of New Jersey
Signature Cursive signature in ink
Military service
Service/branch Continental Army
Years of service 1775–1779
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War

Aaron Burr, Jr. (February 6, 1756September 14, 1836) served as the third Vice President of the United States (1801–1805) under President Thomas Jefferson, and was the first vice president to never serve as president. He fought in the Revolutionary War, was an important political figure in the nation's early history, and spent much of his career after politics engaging in a number of controversial adventures.

A formative member of the Democratic-Republican Party with a political base in New York, Burr served in the New York State Assembly (1784–1785, 1798–1799[1]), as New York State Attorney General (1789–1791), United States Senator (1791–1797), and for one term as vice president under Jefferson. A candidate for President in 1800, Burr tied Jefferson with 73 electoral votes, making him eligible for one of the country's two highest offices and sending the election into the U.S. House of Representatives. After 36 ballots, Jefferson was elected President and Burr elected vice president. As vice president, Burr was president of the Senate, and in this role presided over the impeachment trial of Samuel Chase.

During an unsuccessful campaign for governor of New York in 1804, Burr was often criticized in published articles written by Alexander Hamilton, a longtime political rival and son-in-law of Philip Schuyler, the first U.S. senator from New York, whom Burr defeated in Schuyler's bid for re-election in 1791. Taking umbrage at remarks made by Hamilton at a dinner party and Hamilton's subsequent failure to account for the remarks, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel on July 11, 1804, at the Heights of Weehawken in New Jersey, in which he mortally wounded Hamilton. Easily the most famous duel in U.S. history, it had immense political ramifications. Burr was indicted for murder in both New York and New Jersey (though these charges were either later dismissed or resulted in acquittal), and the harsh criticism and animosity directed towards him brought an end to his political career in the East, though he remained a popular figure in the West and South. Further, Hamilton's death would fatally weaken the remnants of the Federalist Party.

After Burr left the vice-presidency at the end of his term in 1805, he journeyed into what was then the West, particularly the Ohio River Valley and the lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. Burr was preparing to lead a filibuster into the Spanish possessions in Mexico in case of war with Spain, which would have been of dubious legality considering the Neutrality Act of 1794. Due to the rumors and the sullying of Burr's name by means of claims as far-fetched as Burr's desire to secede from the United States and form his own monarchy in the western half of North America (known as the Burr conspiracy), Burr was arrested in 1807 and brought to trial on charges of treason, for which he was acquitted by the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall in the landmark case US v. Burr (1807).[2] After several years in self-imposed exile in Europe, Burr returned to practicing law in New York City and lived a largely reclusive existence until his death.

  1. Collection of U.S. House of Representatives. BURR, Aaron. Retrieved on 2009-11-26.
  2. Isenberg, p. 245–288
Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.
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