An illustration of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, via Wiki Commons
On July 11, 1804, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton crossed paths for the last time. That was the date of their infamous duel on the cliffs of Weehawken, New Jersey when Burr exacted his long-desired revenge upon Hamilton with a gunshot to the abdomen. But this was not the first time the two men’s lives and careers came in contact. One such place of frequent intersection for the bitter rivals was Greenwich Village – where Burr lived and Hamilton ultimately died. And it’s in Greenwich Village, and the nearby East Village and Soho, where many reminders of these two titanic figures of early American politics can still be found today. Ahead, learn about five sites where Burr and Hamilton made history.
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Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr may have dueled in Weehawken, New Jersey, but they also both left their mark on Greenwich Village. At the end of the 18th century, Burr began buying up land around Bedford and Downing Streets for his Richmond Hill country estate (a Federal rowhouse here recently hit the market for $5.75 million). Hamilton’s connection is much less glamorous: On July 12, 1804, the day after the duel, he died in the home of his friend William Bayard. According to a plaque on the building, this took place at 82 Jane Street, where a listing for a $3,495/month one-bedroom also backs up the claim. But historians say Bayard actually lived a block north on Horatio Street.
Historic collections expert Seth Kaller throws his hat into the Hamilton ring for this year’s Antiquarian Book Fair, happening March 9-12 at the Park Avenue Armory. The Alexander Hamilton Collection (part of a larger collection titled “The Genius, Passions, Foibles and Flaws of our Founding Fathers” ) promises to be a unique collection of original letters, documents and imprints relating to the life and times of the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and founder of the New York Post, shown for the first time and offered for sale at the book fair.
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Auction house Sotheby’s has announced the sale of a rare collection consisting of hundreds of Alexander Hamilton’s letters and personal manuscripts held by his family at auction on Jaunary 18. Alexander Hamilton: An Important Family Archive of Letters and Manuscripts will offer a trove that contains, among others, love letters from the first United States Secretary of the Treasury to his wife, Eliza, and the condolence letter, sealed with black wax, that his father-in-law sent to her after Hamilton was killed in the infamous duel with Aaron Burr, the New York Times reports.
Find out more about this rare collection