Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America

Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America

Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America

Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Future of America

Synopsis

In this remarkable retelling of the infamous duel, Fleming takes the reader into the post-revolutionary world of 1804, a chaotic and fragile time in the young country, as well as a time of tremendous global instability. 20 halftones.

Excerpt

Alexander Hamilton welcomed the year 1804 at his country estate, The Grange, seven miles north of New York City, on the two- hundred-foot-high ridge known as Harlem Heights. Not long after he arose, a bone-chilling rain began sluicing out of a gray sky. The two-story house, with its high porches and four rectangular chimneys (two of them fakes, added for symmetry), had been designed by John McComb, creator of New York's City Hall and other distinguished buildings. From the front porch, which faced south, there was a magnificent view of New York City, its immense harbor, and the mighty Atlantic beyond Sandy Hook. Through the floor-to-ceiling bay windows of the elegant octagonal dining room there was an equally compelling view of the Harlem River valley, turbulent Hell Gate, and the swift-flowing East River. From similar windows on the other side of the parlor, Hamilton surveyed the broad Hudson River and its majestic western bluffs, the Palisades. Beyond stretched the vast American continent, peopled by a scant four million Americans and perhaps a million Indians.

These imperial views were not very entrancing on a rainy New Year's Day, of course. In fact, the stripped trees and the brown fields gave The Grange a forlorn, abandoned look. Someone with prophetic tendencies might have seen this gloom as a portent, but it is unlikely that Hamilton viewed it as anything more than a rainy winter morning. He did not know it was the last New Year's Day he would see.

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