• Aaron Burr: villain to hero upgrade

      Pralat, Barbara (2018-05)
      The research project explores the historiography surrounding Aaron Burr. For most of United States history, he has been vilified as a traitor to the nation and the murderer of Alexander Hamilton. However, Aaron Burr’s reputation has been questioned through Gore Vidal’s novel: Burr, published in 1973, which humanizes Burr without taking away from his notorious reputation. Nancy Isenberg’s historical biography: Fallen Founder published in 2007, which explores Burr as a feminist and looking at the accusations against Burr in the political world. More recently the musical Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda, explores Burr as Hamilton’s first friend and someone who is sympathetic and wants to get ahead in life. Using both primary and secondary sources to trace the history of Burr’s reputation and to show if Aaron Burr is really a villain, based on his character and career. Included in the research is highlights of Aaron Burr’s life and events that led to his reputation being portrayed as negative. The paper explores how one of America’s most notorious founding fathers gained such a bad reputation and if he deserves this reputation or if he deserves a better reputation and belongs with the other founding fathers.