What happened here:
Place Name: Weehawken Dueling Grounds/Site of Hamilton-Burr Duel
Location: Hamilton monument on Hamilton Avenue, Weehawken, NJ
Event in Hamilton's life:
The Weehawken dueling grounds, a wooded ledge above the New Jersey shore of the Hudson River, was a popular place to hold 'interviews' for what were then known as affairs of honor (today better known as duels). In 1801, Alexander Hamilton's oldest son Philip died as a result of a duel in which he participated at Weehawken.
On the dawn of July 11, 1804, Alexander Hamilton was mortally wounded in a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr at the Weehawken dueling grounds. He would pass away the following day.
Get the details:
On November 23, 1801, Alexander Hamilton's 19-year-old son Philip engaged in a duel with George Eacker after Eacker made a derogatory speech about Alexander Hamilton. Philip was hit by a bullet and passed away the following day. The passing of their eldest son deeply affected the entire Hamilton family.
Three years later, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met at the Weehawken dueling grounds. Aaron Burr was a political rival of Alexander Hamilton and Hamilton opposed Burr’s bid for the New York governor’s seat in 1804. After losing the election, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel over a rumor of a slight on Burr’s character, which Hamilton reportedly expressed at a private dinner several months earlier. Being unable to reach a peaceful resolution through an exchange of letters, the two men arranged their interview for the morning of July 11th. Aaron Burr's first shot went through Alexander Hamilon's mid-section. Mortally wounded, Hamilton was carried back across the Hudson to the home of his close friend William Bayard, where he died at 2 pm on July 12th.
- Weehawken Historical Commission - 200th Duel Anniversary
- C-SPAN - Hamilton-Burr Duel 200th Anniversary
- PBS - The Duel (Film)
- "Dueling as Politics: The Hamilton-Burr Duel" by Dr. Joanne Freeman
- "Alexander Hamilton: Man of Honor" by Dr. Joanne Freeman
- Historic Monument - Hamilton-Burr Duel
- Revolutionary War New Jersery - Weehawken
How to visit:
The actual site of the dueling grounds was destroyed to make room for a railroad in the mid 1800s and no longer exists. Today the approximate location is marked from above at the top of the cliffs at Weehawken. There stands a monument erected in memory of Alexander Hamilton on Hamilton Avenue.
The monument features a bronze bust of Alexander Hamilton from 1935, surrounded by historical plaques from 2004, and the rock on which legend states Hamilton leaned after being shot. The nearby park is also named in honor of Alexander Hamilton. Both areas offer beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River that Hamilton and Burr rowed across to arrive to the dueling grounds over two centuries ago.
The Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society hosts an annual event around the July 11th anniversary of the Hamilton-Burr duel - learn more.
The monument can be visited from the sidewalk of Hamilton Ave, where parking is available.
How to arrive by public transportation from Manhattan:
At the Port Authority bus terminal at 41st St/8th Avenue, buy a one-way ticket at a self-service kiosk to Zone 2 for any of these routes: 128, 165, 166, 168. Buses depart from Gate 212 during normal daytime hours, and tickets are interchangeable among the routes. Buses leave every few minutes, and the trip through the Lincoln Tunnel takes 10-15 minutes. Ask the driver to stop at Eldorado Place, on JFK Blvd East, which is at the small riverfront Hamilton Park. The dueling grounds are about 100 yards to the south, marked by a flagpole. Buses back to Manhattan may be caught at the same stop and fare paid to the driver, who will make change. Please confirm that this information is up-to-date and accurate before embarking on your trip.
NOTE: When you visit any Hamilton place and sign in, please follow your name with “AHA!” That way the staff is aware of THE AHA SOCIETY’s support for their location. Share your discovery of Hamilton! We want to encourage them to support Hamilton by highlighting his role at their location. Thank you for your participation.