The Life Of Aaron Burr
The Life of Aaron Burr
From lawyer, to Army Officer, to politician, to murder, to crook; Aaron Burr’s life was filled with action and mystery. He was a man never satisfied. On the constant pursuit for better and bigger; this was his fatal flaw. Aaron Burr lead a fascinating life with his controversial and never-ending determination. From the beginning of his life he learned the value of persevering and pushing through.
Born on Febuary sixth 1756 in Newark, New Jersey to Esther Edwards and Aaron Burr senior. His father however died when Aaron was only nineteen months old due to fever and his mom followed in death less than a year later due to smallpox. Without parents and grandparents Aaron, and his sister Sarah, were raised by their uncle. Sarah and Aaron then moved to Elizabethtown, New Jersey to live with, their uncle, Timothy Edwards. His strict puritan beliefs
Aaron and, his now guardian, Reverend Timothy Edwards did not get along well. Edwards had a narrow mind on how and when things should be done. Aaron, being the rebellious child, he was, did not like this and saw it as a challenge. On several occasions Aaron ran away. One time, getting as far as New York where he shipped as a cabin boy on a boat making ready for sea (Schachner 28). Aaron was exceptional smart however and this provide route for him to leave his uncle’s care to take on college life at the age of thirteen.
Burr was rejected two times on account for his age and seeming immaturity. Once he was finally accepted; he went to the College of New Jersey, present day Princeton University, at the age of thirteen to study law. His father was the second president of the school as well. He was regarded as one of the brightest students to ever walk through Princeton’s halls. Woodrow Wilson once stated; (Burr was) genius enough to have made him immortal, and unschooled passion enough to have made him infamous (Evans 50). It was during Burr’s collegiate years where he developed his pro-feminism aura and experimented with love. During college he also fell in love with a woman however they soon eloped. His law study was abrupted however due to the American Revolution. In April of 1775.
Burr left law school to defend the country he would later betray. In 1775 Burr voluntarily joined Benedict Arnold’s march on Quebec. He was thoroughly advised against joining this devastating march however against all advise joined. He suffered extreme disease and famine in the harsh winter. Burr’s resilient effort led him to be promoted captain. Outside of the city one day; Burr tried to evacuate everyone however a cannon shot through to soon. All died but Burr, a native guide and General Montgomery. Montgomery however was wounded and later died and Burr’s arms when Burr failed to get him help due to his size. Burr was named a hero for his efforts even if it was America’s first devastating loss of the war.
When Burr returned to Virginia he was assigned a spot-on General Washington’s team. This was short-lived for Burr and Washington were unable to get along. Captain Burr was then transferred to General Putnam’s main assistant. Before Burr invoked in Malcolm’s Regiment, in 1777, he was named lieutenant colonel. He helped in war efforts up until 1779 when Burr’s health once again was ill. Due to his illness; he begun secret service missions since he was unable to fight. When he was 23 he returned to adequate health and fully resigned from the military being regarded as a legendary solider.
It took over a year for Burr to return to civilian life and pick up what the war stop. It however was hard to focus for while in Ramapo he had fallen in love with an enemy, Theodosia Prevost. She however was married to a British war general and had five children. Her husband later was a casualty of the war and died in the West Indies. For the years following Theodosia and Aaron remained close and would later be married.
Burr struggled to find his niche whether law, military or politics. This was all put on hold however when, in 1780, Burr once again fell ill. This was short lived and he soon regained full activities and decided to pursue law. In 1782 he was admitted to the bar at Albany. He had figured out his place in the world and there was only one thing left he felt the need to do, marry Theodosia.
Later that year he married the widow and they went on to have a daughter named after her mother. They now lived in New York due to the departure of foreign troops. Burr was noted to be happy during this time for both Theodosias’ got all of his heart. Despite her being ten years senior the marriage suited both of them and strengthened each other. Burr once mentioned in his journal, (our)marriage was most affectionate and their married life was one of unalloyed happiness (Burr 111). Their marriage, like all, had its low moments. For Theodosia was unable to work and Burr had a growing spending problem yet shrinking bank account. He was quick to combat every financial issue and emergency however.
Within a year of him living in the big apple, he was elected to be a part of the State Assembly. Although he was not looking for a place in politics he was a progress force and forcefully improved the city. He vocally supported the end of slavery along with reform for the state’s legislature. At the end of his short term he decided instead of staying in politics to return to his true love, law.
Upon his return to law, he gained respect and admiration of his colleagues. He quickly rose to the top of the New York law scheme, regarded as the best of the best. In his career in law was where he was first introduced to the man he would soon later murder, Alexander Hamilton. They were both at the top of their field and had immense respect for each other regardless of their rivalry. The tension between the two occurred socially; for Burr had a revolutionary view of politics that were ahead of the times.
Aaron Burr was then appointed once again into the reign of politics. This time Burr was the attorney general of the Empire State, due to his impactful work in law. In the next election cycle he ran for Senator and won; defeating Hamilton’s father in law. Burr’s victory heightened the tension and hatred between Hamilton and Burr. He was a spirited force in congress, vouching to be an active and spirited member. He held up to that promise until his dear wife, Theodosia, fell sick and died in 1794.
Burr felt depressed wanted to resign and no longer be in office. He persevered however and pushed through. He was able to get closer and cherish his daughter more than ever as a result. His daughter began to replicate an early Aaron Burr. She was in tune with philosophy and her studies. She was immersed in her studies. She was fluent not only in English but also German and French along with being able to play two instruments, all before she was a teenager. Due to the way Burr treated his wife and daughter gender neutrally, showing his enlightened advocacy of women’s rights (Asleson, Aaron Burr: Forgotten Feminist). He pushed his daughter to greatness, and that is what she achieved.