Retracing a Ride to a Fatal Duel on July 11, 1804






The question was, have you ever taken a murderer across the Hudson?

“Not that I know of,” said Capt. Tim Byam, at the wheel of a New York Waterway ferry bound for Weehawken, N.J.

At that, the man in the blue blazer standing behind Captain Byam piped up: “He was a killer, but was he a murderer? The other guy had a gun, too.”

It was not a non sequitur. The “he” was Aaron Burr, the vice president under Thomas Jefferson. The “other guy” was Alexander Hamilton, the former secretary of the treasury.

And the man in the blazer the other morning was David O. Stewart, a lawyer-turned-historian who was retracing Burr’s trip to Weehawken, a trip Mr. Stewart said Burr never should have taken. It led to the infamous duel that left Hamilton dying — and Burr’s reputation in tatters....



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