History and Heartbreak: Aaron Burr
Most of us who study Aaron Burr in history class in school learn the basics: he was the United States’ third vice president. He killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. He had a keen interest in the American Southwest. And he spent some time in exile in Europe after being acquitted on charges of treason against the United States.
But there are parts of Burr’s background that are less well-known. He married an intellectual and was an early proponent of the then-revolutionary idea that women could be of equal intellect to men. He carried on a decades-long correspondence with his beloved daughter Theodosia that came to an end only after her untimely — and still mysterious — disappearance while on a journey to visit her father.
H.W. Brands is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and is the The Raymond Dickson, Alton C. Allen and Dillon Anderson Centennial Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He says Burr is “one the smartest people” he has run across in U. S history. Why? Click the player on this page to hear more about the lives of Aaron Burr and his daughter Theodosia Burr Allston.
Brands is the author of the new book The Heartbreak of Aaron Burr. He is speaking tonight at 7 at BookPeople in Austin.