Alexander Hamilton, Founder
Hamilton told his friends that he would “throw away” his shot: just what he’d advised his son to do. Hamilton’s friends told him not to do that, for Burr, a crack marksman, had been doing target practice and was rumored to mean to kill him. But Hamilton was thinking more about Philip than about Burr. Whether he lived or died, what he was seeking was atonement.
Rowing across to Weehawken on July 11, 1804, he famously looked back at the New York he had done so much to shape “and spoke of the future greatness of the city.” Arriving at the secluded ledge on the Jersey bank, he took his position, put on his glasses, and fired above Burr’s head, shooting some twigs off a cedar tree. Burr shot him through the liver and shattered his spine. “This is a mortal wound,” Hamilton said; and surrounded by his family and a dozen weeping friends, in the middle of the next afternoon, aged 49, he died.
Read the rest of Myron Magnet's article here.