“Aaron Burr”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1958 (Burt)
Keywords: homicide political
Found in: US


"Oh, Aaron Burr, what have you done? You've shot great General Hamilton! You hid behind a Canada thistle And shot him with your old hoss-pistol!"


The duel between Vice President Aaron Burr (1756-1836) and former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton (c. 1756-1804) is the subject of so much folklore that I am not even going to try to cover it. The duel itself arose out of Burr's resentment at Hamilton's (successful) efforts to prevent his election as governor of New York.

Burt claims that this is a "quatrain which was popular for more than half a century," though I can't recall seeing it elsewhere. - RBW

Historical references


  1. Burt, p. 257, (no title) (1 short text)
  2. BI, Burt257