First Place: Hamilton Shoots
Burr by Steve Payne
says: the French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand wrote "I
consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton the three greatest men of our epoch,
and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without
hesitation the first place to [Alexander] Hamilton". Was he correct in
this assessment we ask? Well, he is in this post in which we continue our
series of unlikely heroes. Because when John Adams triumphs in 1800 the task
of saving the Union rests with Hamilton. Please note that the opinions
expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
In 1804: on July 1st,
on this day Colonel Aaron Burr took office as the third Governor of New York
with the immediate intent of seceding the State out of the Union and into a
newly created Northern Confederacy.
Believing that the Louisiana Purchase had destroyed their
chances of controlling the government, a group of New England Federalists,
led by Timothy Pickering had originated the dastardly plot. But it was soon
discovered by Alexander Hamilton who immediately sought to foil it by
published a series of articles that were highly critical of Burr.
And yet the electoral impact of those articles was
neutralised by the widely written "Antifederalist Papers" which had been
published anonymously throughout the gubernatorial election bearing the
unmistakeable penmanship of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The result
was that Hamilton's preferred opposition candidate Morgan Lewis lost by a
mere thousand votes.
Hamilton made a second, and more successful attempt to foil the plot ten
days later when he met Burr for an "interview" at Weehawken. Only yards from
the spot where his son had died three years before, Hamilton reserved both
shots, humilitating Burr with the implication that he wasn't worth shooting,
a tactic British Primie Minister William Pitt the Younger employed against
After missing Hamilton with his own shot, Burr fled to the south-west where
he executed a variant of Pickering's plot by creating the
breakaway republic of Gloriana which ironically enough detached the
territory acquired by the Louisiana Purchase.
says please note original content has been repurposed to celebrate the
author's genius © The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers by
Brion McClanahan (2009). To view guest historian's comments on this post
please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
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Steve Payne Editor of
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items
explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist
superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy
Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting