Two political rivals settle a personal score in the early morning. Duelling was even then illegal, but was still accepted as a legitimate way of settling a personal offense.
CBS Reporters describe the scene as the parties approach the duelling grounds. Caution is the word of the moment to keep an eye out for signs that the law isn’t onto the event. Despite the hushed tones, and description of the scene, why in the world are these two prominent men reducing themselves to a gunfight? The show is more involved in presenting the details of the duel itself, and not what led up to it. Often gentlemen would go through the duel as a formality after a perceived insult. Shots would be fired over the head of the opponent, or purposely poorly aimed at the other duelist. After the burst of fire to drain the emotions, it would be called over. Not so in today’s story.
Though little time is spent on it, the issue stems from political differences in how the new government should operate. Hamilton had his own ideas at how the banks should run, and Burr was just an easy guy to hate. General Alexander Hamilton wore glasses, and with his poor vision he hinted that he would shoot to intentionally miss. Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson’s opponent in the election and later his Vice President made it clear that he would shoot to kill. The eavesdropping reporters catch some of the dialog of the participants, and we get an elaborate portrayal of the event. The time comes, shots ring out, and a hurried clamour close the show.