The Burr–Hamilton duel was a duel between two prominent American politicians, the former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and sitting Vice President Aaron Burr, on July 11, 1804. At the Heights of Weehawken in New Jersey Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton. Hamilton was carried to the home of William Bayard on the Manhattan shore, where he died at 2:00 p.m. the next day.
One of the most famous personal conflicts in American history, the Burr–Hamilton duel arose from a long-standing political and personal rivalry that had developed between both men over a course of several years. Tensions reached a bursting point with Hamilton's journalistic defamation of Burr's character during the 1804 New York gubernatorial race in which Burr was a candidate. Fought at a time when the practice of dueling was being outlawed in the northern United States, the duel had immense political ramifications. Burr, who survived the duel, would be indicted for murder in both New York and New Jersey (though these charges were either later dismissed or resulted in acquittal), and the harsh criticism and animosity directed toward him would bring about an end to his political career and force him into a self-imposed exile. Further, Hamilton's death would fatally weaken the fledgling remnants of the Federalist Party which, following the death of George Washington (1732-1799) five years earlier, was left without a strong leader.