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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNew York / US

Aaron BURR

(1756-1836)
Senate Years of Service:
1791-1795; 1795-1797
Party:
Anti-Administration; Republican

BURR, Aaron, (cousin of Theodore Dwight), a Senator from New York and a Vice President of the United States; born in Newark, N.J., February 6, 1756; graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1772; studied theology but soon abandoned it for the law; during the Revolutionary War entered the Continental Army 1775-1779; admitted to the bar in 1782 and practiced in Albany, N.Y.; moved to New York City in 1783; member, State assembly 1784-1785, 1798-1799; attorney general of New York 1789-1790; commissioner of Revolutionary claims in 1791; elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1791, to March 3, 1797; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; president of the State constitutional convention in 1801; in the presidential election of 1800, Burr and Thomas Jefferson each had seventy-three votes, and the House of Representatives on the thirty-sixth ballot elected Jefferson President and Burr Vice President; challenged and mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in a duel fought at Weehawken, N.J., July 11, 1804; indicted for murder in New York and New Jersey but never tried in either jurisdiction; escaped to South Carolina, then returned to Washington and completed his term of service as Vice President; arrested and tried for treason in August 1807 for attempting to form a republic in the Southwest of which he was to be the head, but was acquitted; went abroad in 1808; returned to New York City in 1812 and resumed the practice of law; died in Port Richmond, Staten Island, N.Y., September 14, 1836; interment in the President’s lot, Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, N.J.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law; Burr, Aaron. The Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr. Edited by Mary-Jo Kline. 2 vols. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983; Parmet, Herbert S., and Hecht, Marie. Aaron Burr: Portrait of an Ambitious Man. New York: Macmillan Press, 1967; Melton, Buckner F., Jr. Aaron Burr: Conspiracy to Treason. New York: Wiley, 2002; Hoffer, Peter Charles. The Treason Trials of Aaron Burr. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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