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Burr, Hamilton, and JeffersonA Study in Character$
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Roger G. Kennedy

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140552

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140552.001.0001

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3

(p.33) Chapter 3
Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson

Roger G. Kennedy

Oxford University Press

There was never a possibility that Alexander Hamilton would be president of America. He received not a single vote in the electoral college in any election. In 1800, Aaron Burr received as many votes as Thomas Jefferson. He had a loyal following in his own party, and a sufficient number of Federalist electors preferred him to Jefferson. As it was, he did not respond to their urging, never departing from an insistence that the electorate intended Jefferson to be president. This part of the story is familiar, but the brilliance of its familiarity has left in the shadow the significance of the votes given him by many who wanted him to be president, as they had desired in the two preceding presidential elections. The death of George Washington in 1799 deprived Hamilton of his sponsor; he withdrew from the stage for the wings, where he continued to coach others. Though he had the intellect and interest for politics, he had not the temperament for it. Hamilton was not coy on the subject of religion.

Keywords:   Aaron Burr, America, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, politics, George Washington, presidential elections, religion

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