Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History by Don Brown

Published by Roaring Brook Press 

Summary: Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were almost the same age.  Both grew up as orphans, fought in the American Revolution, and were key figures in early American government and politics.  Moving in the same social and professional circles, they were friends early in their careers, but later became bitter political enemies.  Hamilton helped defeat Burr in his presidential campaign against Thomas Jefferson, and again in his bid for governor of New York.  Finally, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel.  It was an illegal but not uncommon practice at the time; Hamilton had been challenged eleven times before, and Burr had had had a hole shot through his coat in a previous encounter.  On the morning of July 11, 1804, they met in Weehawken, New Jersey, stood thirty feet apart, and shot at each other.  Hamilton was hit and died the next day.  Burr survived, but was forever after despised by much of America.  Includes an author’s note and bibliography.  Grades 2-5.

Pros:  The names Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton may be familiar to kids, but they are unlikely to know much about them aside from their famous duel.  This picture book introduces both men sympathetically and gives a good overview of their lives.

Cons: The details of their political differences are a bit skimpy.

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