Wikipedia Edit #1: Aaron Burr, no one's favorite Founding Father
New edit (301 word count):
Aaron Burr Jr. (February 6, 1756-September 14, 1836) was an American Founding Father. He served as the United State's third vice president from 1801 to 1805. Burr is most remembered for killing Alexander Hamilton in an illegal duel.
Born into a prominent New Jersey family, Burr studied theology at Princeton. He joined the Continental Army in 1775 as an officer in the American Revolutionary War. After serving for four years, Burr practiced law and became a New York Assemblyman. He helped form the Democratic-Republican party. Burr supported a 1785 bill ending slavery while owning slaves.
Burr had several children with his first wife, Theodosia Bartow Prevost. He had two unacknowledged children with his South Asian servant, Mary Emmons. One of his unacknowledged children was the abolitionist John Pierre Burr.
Burr served in the U.S. Senate from 1791 to 1797. He ran against Thomas Jefferson for United States president in 1800. An electoral tie forced the House of Representatives to decide the presidency. Burr became Jefferson's vice president. Despite Burr's declaration of support, President Jefferson did not trust him. Jefferson sidelined Burr during Burr's vice-presidential term from 1801-1805.
In 1804, Burr shot and killed his political rival Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton's death ended Burr and Hamilton's political careers.
Burr traveled to the American frontier looking for new political and economic opportunities. His travel resulted in an 1807 arrest and charges of treason in Alabama, known as the Burr conspiracy. Burr stood trial and was acquitted several times.
Broke and politically friendless, Burr fled to Europe as an expatriate. He traveled back to the United States in 1812 and resumed his law practice in New York.
Burr remarried at 77, but the marriage ended in divorce and further scandal.
Handicapped by a stroke and bankrupt, Burr died in a boarding house in 1836.
Old text (450 word count):
Aaron Burr Jr. (February 6, 1756 – September 14, 1836) was an American politician and lawyer. A Founding Father, he served as the third vice president of the United States during President Thomas Jefferson's first term from 1801 to 1805. His role in helping form the nation, however, would be overshadowed when he killed fellow Founding Father Alexander Hamilton in an 1804 duel and when charges of treason were brought against him in 1807.
Burr was born to a prominent family in New Jersey. After studying theology at Princeton, he began his career as a lawyer before joining the Continental Army as an officer in the American Revolutionary War in 1775. After leaving the service in 1779, Burr practiced law in New York City, where he became a leading politician and helped form the new Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican party. Although Burr in 1785 supported a bill ending slavery as a New York Assemblyman, he owned slaves himself.
During most of his political career, Burr was married to Theodosia Bartow Prevost, with whom he had several children. He also had a relationship with his South Asian servant Mary Emmons, with whom he fathered two children, including the abolitionist John Pierre Burr, though he never acknowledged this relationship during his life.
In 1791 Burr was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served until 1797, and he ran as a candidate in the 1800 United States presidential election. An electoral college tie between Jefferson and Burr resulted in the House of Representatives deciding in Jefferson's favor, Burr becoming Jefferson's vice president due to receiving the second-highest share of the votes. Although Burr maintained that he supported Jefferson, the president was highly suspicious of Burr, who was relegated to the sidelines of the administration for the single term of his vice presidency.
During his last year as vice president, Burr engaged in the duel in which he fatally shot Hamilton, his political rival. Although dueling was illegal, Burr was never tried, and all charges against him eventually were dropped. Nevertheless, Hamilton's death ended Burr's political career.
Burr traveled west to the American frontier, seeking new economic and political opportunities. His secretive activities led to his 1807 arrest in Alabama on charges of treason. He was brought to trial more than once for what became known as the Burr conspiracy, but was acquitted each time. Nevertheless, with large debts and few influential friends, Burr left the United States to live as an expatriate in Europe. He returned in 1812 and resumed practicing law in New York City. A brief second marriage at age 77 resulted in divorce and further scandal. Handicapped by a stroke and financially ruined, Burr died at a boarding house in 1836.