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Burr, Hamilton, and JeffersonA Study in Character$
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Roger G. Kennedy

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140552

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140552.001.0001

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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

(p.21) Chapter 2
Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson

Roger G. Kennedy

Oxford University Press

Aaron Burr saw more of the world than any of the other Founding Fathers of America. His adventures took him as far as Quebec, the Missouri, the verge of the Gulf of Mexico, Jacksonville, and Mobile. With Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, Burr was among the leaders of the battle to end slavery in New York. Neither Hamilton nor Thomas Jefferson served throughout George Washington's two terms (1788–96), but, while they were in office, both made use of their time to begin the organization of those who agreed with them in clusters that later evolved into political factions—and only factions, not political parties. It is likely that the contest in law and politics between Hamilton and Burr eventuating in their famous duel was already gnawing at Hamilton well before 1792. It may be asked: Why is so much more of this book devoted to Burr than to either Hamilton or Jefferson? Because a reevaluation of the character of Burr is necessary to piece out an informed estimate of the others.

Keywords:   Aaron Burr, America, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Founding Fathers, politics, character, George Washington, slavery, political factions

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