Founding Fathers: The Aaron Burr Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Founding Fathers: The Aaron Burr Quiz
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About This Quiz

Aaron Burr is intriguing — he fought in the Revolutionary War, ran for president multiple times and was ultimately arrested for treason. How much do you know about this Founding Father?
Where was Aaron Burr born?
New York
New Jersey
Burr was born in Newark, N.J., in February 1756.
Pennsylvania

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At what age was Burr orphaned?
2
Burr's parents died within a year of each other when he was 2 years old.
8
16

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Before Burr decided to study law, what was his career path?
theology
After graduating from the College of New Jersey, Burr studied theology before deciding on law.
medicine
literature

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When Burr was in the Continental Army, he marched to Quebec with this general.
Nathanael Greene
the Marquis de Lafayette
Benedict Arnold
Burr was a volunteer solider in Benedict Arnold's march to Quebec in the fall of 1775.

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Burr was promoted to captain after the Battle of Quebec and was asked to work in New York for ____________.
John Adams
George Washington
Burr got a position on Washington's staff but left soon after to go back onto the battlefield.
Thomas Jefferson

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Burr was promoted to this rank in July 1777.
lieutenant colonel
Burr was made lieutenant colonel and put in charge of a regiment.
major
brigadier general

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Why did Burr resign from the army?
He was wounded.
He disagreed with Washington.
He was tired and sick.
Burr was in bad health and just generally burned out when he left the army in March 1779.

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What was Burr's first elected position?
mayor
state assemblyman
After leaving the army, Burr practiced law for a few years and then ran for the New York state assembly.
senator

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What was one of Burr's policy objectives when he was an assemblyman?
taxing the rich
ending the war with England
abolition of slavery
Burr was an early advocate of ending slavery. He introduced an (unsuccessful) abolition amendment in 1784.

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Burr held two more positions before he ran for president in 1796: New York attorney general and ________.
senator
Burr was a New York senator from 1791 to 1797.
congressman
secretary of state

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How did Burr do in the 1796 presidential election?
He won, but then lost after a recount.
He came in second.
He came in fourth.
Burr came in fourth, behind John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Pickney.

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What happened in the 1800 election?
Burr came in fourth again.
Burr won, but then lost after a recount.
He tied with Thomas Jefferson.
Burr got the same number of electoral votes as Jefferson — but because of the convoluted election method used in those days, Jefferson took the presidency.

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What position did Burr end up with?
secretary of state
speaker of the house
vice president
Burr was Jefferson's vice president, even though the two pretty much never saw eye-to-eye.

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While he was vice president, Burr famously killed Alexander Hamilton in an 1804 duel. Why didn't Burr and Alexander Hamilton like each other?
Hamilton accused Burr of taking bribes when he was an assemblyman.
Burr took Hamilton's father-in-law's senate seat.
The two men had a long-simmering mutual dislike, but many historians say it began when Burr beat out Philip Schuyler, Hamilton's father-in-law, for a senate seat in 1791.
Hamilton insulted Burr's wife.

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Who challenged whom to the duel?
Burr challenged Hamilton.
Aaron Burr was definitely not the kind of man who shied away from a fight.
Hamilton challenged Burr.
They challenged each other simultaneously.

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Where was the duel?
Washington D.C.
New York
New Jersey
The duel took place in Weehawken, N.J., across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

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Why was it there?
because it was convenient to their homes
because dueling carried the death penalty in New York
Dueling was illegal in both New York and New Jersey, but it wasn't a death-penalty crime in New Jersey.
because there was more room for spectators at the Weehawken location

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Who in Hamilton's family had been killed in a duel in that very spot a few years earlier?
his son
In 1801, 19-year-old Philip Hamilton was killed in a duel at the Weehawken spot — and the same guns had been used.
his father
his brother

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This was Burr's second duel. Who was his first opponent?
his wife's cousin
his neighbor
Hamilton's brother-in-law
In 1799 Burr dueled John Baker Church, Hamilton's brother-in-law, because Church said Burr had been taking bribes. Both men missed.

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Where did Burr shoot Hamilton?
in the face
in the abdomen
Burr's bullet went through Hamilton's liver and spine.
in the chest

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What did Burr do immediately after the duel?
went to the hospital with Hamilton
went home for breakfast
By all accounts, Burr went home and ate breakfast with a visitor and didn't mention that he had probably just killed someone.
tried to flee to Canada

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Was Burr charged with murder?
yes
Burr was charged with a misdemeanor for dueling and a felony count of murder. But the charges were eventually dropped.
no

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After Burr finished his term as vice president, what did he do?
He ran for governor of New York.
Jefferson dropped Burr from his ticket for the 1804 election, so Burr decided to run for governor of New York.
He went to live in London.
He tried to start a new political party.

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Did he win?
yes
no
Burr, by now a highly controversial figure, was beaten in a landslide by Morgan Lewis.

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Why did people get so mad with Burr when he founded the Bank of Manhattan Company?
It was supposed to be a water company, not a bank.
In 1799, Burr said he was starting a water company — but he secretly changed the charter to make it a bank instead. And New Yorkers really needed clean water.
It was supposed to be a hospital, not a bank.
It was supposed to be a ship-building company, not a bank.

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What is that bank known as today?
Bank of America
JPMorgan Chase
The Bank of Manhattan is the original predecessor of the gigantic entity that is now JPMorgan Chase.
Merrill Lynch

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Who called Burr "the most restless, impatient, artful, indefatigable and unprincipled intriguer in the United States, if not the world."
Thomas Jefferson
John Adams
None of these three men were big fans of Burr, but the quote is Adams'.
George Washington

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Burr had a portrait of this female author hanging over his mantel.
Mary Wollstonecraft
Burr was a well-known womanizer but also an early feminist. He greatly admired Mary Wollstonecraft, author of "A Vindication of the Rights of Women."
Sarah Jennings Churchill
Elizabeth Robinson Montagu

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Why was Burr arrested for treason in 1807?
He tried to start a coup against Jefferson.
He was plotting to murder George Washington.
Jefferson thought he was planning to steal territory.
To this day, no one is totally sure what happened in 1807. Burr was in the Louisiana Territory, apparently trying to drum up a militia to help Mexico overthrow Spain in what is now the southwest United States. He was found not guilty.

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How old was Burr when he died?
62
80
Burr died in a Staten Island boardinghouse in 1836, at the age of 80.
96

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