Hamilton intentionally fired into the air, but his political rival, Vice President Aaron Burr, took deadly aim and fatally shot him in a duel July 11, 1804. Alexander Hamilton was instrumental getting Thomas Jefferson chosen as the second U.S. president over Aaron Burr, who then became the vice president.
Aaron Burr had fought in the Revolution, was elected to the New York State Assembly, 1784-1785, and was appointed New York State Attorney General. Burr was elected in 1792 to the U.S. Senate, defeating New York’s first U.S. Senator, General Philip Schuyler, the father-in-law of Alexander Hamilton.
In 1797, Burr ran for president against John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Originally, the president was the candidate who received the most votes, and the vice president was the one who received the second most votes. Hamilton’s influence caused Burr to be defeated.
Before the 1804 election, Alexander Hamilton threatened to withdraw from the Federalist Party if it chose Vice President Aaron Burr as its presidential candidate. When Aaron Burr later ran for governor of New York, Alexander Hamilton’s influence again led to his defeat.
Hamilton considered Burr a political opportunist, declaring: “I feel it is a religious duty to oppose his career.”
Aaron Burr took offense and challenged Hamilton to a duel. Considered the most famous duel in American history, they met on the morning of July 11, 1804, at the dueling grounds near Weehawken, New Jersey.
Burr shot and mortally wounding Hamilton in the stomach. The duel ended Burr’s career and ended Hamilton’s life.
Hamilton requested Episcopal minister Dr. John Mason give him the Lord’s Supper, but Dr. Mason refused as his church principle was to “never to administer the Lord’s Supper privately to any person under any circumstances.”
Dr. Mason did, though, affirm that the Lord’s Supper was not a requirement for salvation, to which Hamilton replied that his request was a testimony of his faith: “I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Alexander Hamilton had previously warned: “Liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator to the whole human race. … Civil liberty … cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice.”