The History of Leith

March 9, 2007

En Garde!

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On the night of June 10, 1804, Alexander Hamilton seated himself at his desk in his home in upper Manhattan to finish a letter explaining why the following morning would find him in Weehawken, New Jersey, pointing a flintlock pistol at Vice-President Aaron Burr. He began by listing five moral, religious, and practical objections to duelling, but ruefully concluded, seven paragraphs later, that “what men of the world denominate honor” made it impossible for him to “decline the call.” Burr had placed him in an untenable position. If Hamilton ignored the challenge, Burr would “post” him—that is, publish his refusal in the newspapers—and his political career would effectively be ruined. The next morning, Hamilton had himself rowed across the Hudson. for more click here

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