Day 193 – The “Burr, Check What We Got” Spoon

Zoey gets another shot at guest blogging today with a special Spoon post about a MIGHTY DUEL:

You may be asking yourself what New York City spoon has to do with duels, or you might be thinking about singing dance fights between the Jets and the Sharks, but either way, hold on to your britches because this is going to be a wild ride.

The year is 1804, and one of the most epic duels in United States History is about to go down. July 11, 1804 on a tragic Wednesday afternoon in Weehawken, New Jersey, Aaron Burr shot down his long-time political foe Alexander Hamilton in a gentlemen’s duel. 

Hamilton knew this duel did not stand up to his morals so at the very last moment he shot valiantly into the air allowing Burr to win and shoot him. Hamilton was shot in the stomach and the bullet lodged next to his spine. Hamilton, paralyzed and knowing he was on Death’s doorstep, was ferried to the home of his friend William Bayard Jr. in Greenwich Village, New York. Hamilton was able to accommodate final visits from his friends and family in the last hours of his life and he passed away in the afternoon on July 12. 

Now how does this relate to New York City you may ask? Well, Alexander Hamilton is buried in the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery in Manhattan. And Governeur Morris, a founding father of the United States and native of New York City, gave the eulogy.

You may think duels, being legal at the time, were nothing new. But, truth is, few affairs of honor actually resulted in deaths, after all, guns were not the most accurate devices in those days. 

So the nation was outraged that their vice-president, Aaron Burr, would kill someone as prominent and crowd pleasing as Alexander Hamilton. Burr was charged with murder in New York and New Jersey, but being a rich white male politician he returned to Washington DC where he finished his term immune from prosecution. But worry not, Thomas Jefferson did not keep Aaron Burr as Vice President during his second term. While justice was never served, Hamilton’s name and fame lives on.
Hamilton holds a large legacy and his name still lives on in New York in the form of a very epic musical. Another fun fact: Hamilton’s birth year is unknown. He was born on January 11 in either 1755 or 1757 in Charlestown on the island of Nevis in the British West Indies. So he was either 47 or 49 at his death. 

I could go on and on about Alexander Hamilton but I would hate to go too far past the Instagram character limit. For more information I highly recommend watching the Drunk History episode with Lin-Manuel Miranda or listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. Both are highly enjoyable.