Aaron Burr served as the 3rd Vice President of the United States, under the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson.
He is a controversial figure of the early American politics.
He later dueled with one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. He also fled towards the west and conceived conspiracies to conquer Mexico and establish a dynasty there.
Aaron Burr was born in New Jersey in 1756. He attained education at Princeton and gained a Bachelor’s degree. He was still quite young when the American Revolutionary War broke out. Burr decided to join the Continental Army and fight the British. He displayed bravery and courage during the war and was soon promoted to the rank of captain in 1775.
Burr was later included among the staff of George Washington but he soon gave up his position to be on the battlefield. He remained with the Continental Army all the way until 1779. During this time, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, encamped in the famous winter at the Valley Forge and took part in the Battle of Monmouth. In 1779, he left the army to pursue a career in law.
He began his political career when he was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1784. He became more prominent in politics when he was appointed the Attorney General of the state in 1789. He was also elected as a Senator for the state.
When Thomas Jefferson ran for the office of the President, Aaron Burr supported him by leveraging his influence in the New York State. He also tried to secure the Presidency for himself but ultimately served as the Vice President to President Thomas Jefferson. However, Jefferson never really trusted him fully.
After completing his term as the Vice President, Aaron Burr decided to run for the position of the Governor of New York. Despite being his home state, he lost the elections with a heavy margin. He personally blamed this on the opposition from Alexander Hamilton.
He consequently challenged Hamilton to a duel with pistols. Dueling was illegal at the time. The two shot at each other during the duel and Hamilton was fatally wounded. He later died from his wounds. The incident severally damaged the political standing of Burr and he was forced to travel towards the west.
After his duel, Burr traveled towards the American west. He initially conceived of plans to conquer Mexico and establish his own dynasty there. In doing so, he also opened negotiations with British and Spanish officials.
These were seen as acts of treason by President Jefferson who sought to have him indicted over such charges. However, the courts didn’t find enough evidence to indict him and he was let go.
After the failed indictment, Burr traveled to Europe hoping to find better fortunes. He remained in Europe for a few years before returning to the United States where he died in 1836.