Friday, September 1, 2017

Hamilton/Burr Dueling Grounds, Weehawken, NJ

Alexander Hamilton memorial bust in Weehawken, NJ
Alexander Hamilton memorial looking generally south down the Hudson River
Alexander Hamilton 'boulder' upon which he rested his head after being mortally wounded by Aaron Burr
Alexander Hamilton memorial bust looking generally northeast

Weehawken dueling grounds in NJ made famous by the Hamilton/Burr duel, but there were other dignatories who dueled here including Dewitt Clinton, a former governor of New York, and Oliver Perry. The reason the duels happened in Weehawken is because it wasn’t in New York. Dueling wasn’t legal in New York and the participants were seeking to avoid criminal charges in NY. What’s interesting is that dueling wasn’t legal in New Jersey either, but apparently the State of New Jersey took a laissez-faire approach to dueling. Can you imagine NJ being such a lawless place that people, seeking to evade the laws of NY, would row across the Hudson River thinking they could participate in a duel in NJ with impunity?

In the pictures above the picture of the boulder with pennies on it is apparently the boulder thought to be the boulder where Alexander Hamilton rested his head after being mortally wounded. Hamilton did not die in NJ, but rather died a relatively painful and protracted death in NYC.

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