Sunday, March 18, 2018

Troll the Troll: Yea or nay on the case of Hamilton committing suicide by duel and any other thoughts regarding this episode...

Please use the comments to quickly give a Yea or Nay to the Hamilton case and share your thoughts about these two icons of mutual dislike, Hamilton and Burr.  As promised, here are links to more information and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

I've read quite a bit on the the Hamilton and Burr duel and each of the men and most reflect the common view of Burr as branded by Hamilton and Jefferson.  In my humble opinion only one reflects fair diligence regarding Burr, the rest are all skewed towards Hamilton in both narrative and research. In Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr by Nancy Isenberg, you can jump the stereotype and get to the very well researched and well related truth regarding Burr.  She cut past the hearsay so often cited and got to the actual correspondence between the two as things progressed from insult to guns loaded.  After reading it and checking her research and cross checking it against work of some pretty notable historical writers I furrowed my brow and made shaming faces in the direction of many writers who've covered the subject.  Skip everyone else and read Isenberg to see what taking historical research to the right level really is! 

Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr

For some quick looks just a few clicks away here are some links to stuff on the web:
Finally, dealing with something as serious as suicide in a troll might be seen as disrespecting a very real and serious issue.  It is precisely because it is a real and serious issue that it has a place in history.  I've been struck by the horrible situations preceding murders, death in battle and other forms of death that made me wonder about the mindset of the deceased.  My attribution of motive here reflects a sincere and respectful empathy I have for anyone in a downward spiral. Then, as now, life is frequently hard and bad situations have a way of snowballing.  Then, as now, life is worth living.  History is full of real people overcoming horrible times.  On the off chance this is reaching someone whose interest was triggered by suicidal thinking- call the number below, please.  
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday


  1. Yea! We'll never know for sure, but it's a very plausible interpretation of events.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I just got back from Philly and checked out the new Hamilton exhibit at the Constitution Center. Looking at the replica guns there reminded me of a theory I heard in a podcast awhile ago, that the guns used by Hamilton sent a message in and of themselves. Basically it said they were very dangerous lethal versions of dueling pistols. Hamilton's weapon certainly looked larger in the display. Since Hamilton's son had used them I can't attribute a whole lot of motive in their selection though.

  2. I think you make a compelling argument that Hamilton may have seen his "martyrdom" as a way out of his despair. Enjoyed the podcast!

  3. Thank you, I'm having fun with the podcast! Hope you are enjoying some of the history in Charleston - great pick as a goto vacation city!

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