Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Burr, Hamilton, and JeffersonA Study in Character$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2019

Chapter 6

Chapter 6

Chapter:
(p.75) Chapter 6
Source:
Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson
Author(s):

Roger G. Kennedy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140552.003.0006

In a letter, Alexander Hamilton told Aaron Burr that “his address was pleasing, his manners were more, they were fascinating”. This chapter asks: What does Hamilton mean by “fascination”? Clinically, it is being powerfully drawn by the gravitational force of oneself, in projection. And in Hamilton's case that projected self was a person whose “ambition is unlimited”, whose “sole spring of action is an inordinate ambition”: Burr's ambition. Burr was not given to passion; Hamilton was; yet he wrote of Burr: “He is of a temper to undertake the most hazardous enterprise”. That is exactly what John Adams said of Hamilton. Ambitious, passionate, and “bankrupt beyond redemption”. Many writers, including several novelists, have assumed that the references to Burr's private character referred to his sexuality. The long-standing political and personal bitterness that had developed between Burr and Hamilton over the years culminated in a duel in New Jersey, where the latter got shot and eventually died.

Keywords:   Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, duel, fascination, ambition, passion, character, sexuality

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .