On July 11, 1804, former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and long-time political rival Vice President Aaron Burr fought a duel of honor in Weehawken, New Jersey. Hamilton was mortally wounded by Burr's shot during the duel, and died 31 hours later at a friend's home in Manhattan on July 12, 1804. The nation was shocked. Charged with murder in New York and New Jersey, Burr, still vice president, returned to Washington, D.C., where he finished his term immune from prosecution.
UNC Law Professor Buckner F. Melton, Jr. discusses Burr's motives for challenging Hamilton to a duel.