On Doing The Right Thing

Upon his return to the U.S. from his European exile in 1812, AB found many shoulders he’d once rubbed against with industry had turned frightfully cold.

One such man, an old college classmate, had been someone who’d called himself a friend of AB for what seemed a lifetime. AB dashed off a note announcing his return, requesting a meeting. The self professed “friend” replied in a manner that revealed his awareness of the social-implications of association with AB at the time. With clear dejection, AB made this diary entry on the episode:

“When a man takes time to consider whether he will do a good or civil action, be assured he will never do it. The baser feelings, the calculations of interest and timidity, always prevail…”

The reply from his friend made the attempt at feigning the illusion of continued friendship and consideration of the request, but AB was right, the “Friend” never followed-up.

Published in: on December 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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On Consumerism

For most of his life, Aaron Burr was the consumate consumer of the finer things. A man of epicurian tastes in everything – clothing, furniture, housing, books, wines – he was never coy when it came to his love of opulence. In fact, he had a keen understanding of himself and his innermost desires. He just loved having nice…stuff. For him, if he wanted something, even if it was cost prohibitive, he just acquired it and accumulated debts accordingly. He made really good money for his day, but really only saw his vocation as a way to satisfy his base need for…stuff. His wants and needs shared a fine line, often blurred by a world view that can best be called materialist:

“We cannot control necessity, though we often persuade ourselves that certain things are our choice, when in truth we have been unavoidably impelled to them.”

I can clearly see AB being a neighbor of mine…A guy with a three car garage jammed with so many things he “just HAD to have” that he can’t get his dandy carriage in it. He was one of the Jones’ I wouldn’t have wanted to keep up with. I imagine Christmas under the Burr family tree was a sight to behold!

On Finding Salvation

September 14, 1836. In his final hours, AB was being attended to by the Reverend Dr. P.J. Van Pelt. When asked if he expected to find salvation upon expiration, AB, fully in possession of his faculties, and in classic AB style, replied:

“On that subject I am coy.”

As a Chivalrous Man

“…when a lady does me the honor to name me the father of her child, I trust I shall always be too gallant to show myself ungrateful for the favor!”

Published in: on April 30, 2009 at 4:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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On His Critics

After his acquittal for treason, he lived a life of an outcast, constantly tarnished in the press and dragged through the mud. He rarely, if ever, made public statements defending himself or his actions. (He mistakenly thought his “friends” would do that for him…)

“What a lot of rascals they must be, to make war on one whom they do not know; or one who never did harm or wished harm to a human being! Yet they, perhaps, are not to be blamed, for they are influenced by what they hear.”

Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 5:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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As a Realist

Aaron Burr’s wit and wisdom live through the ages. He called it like he saw it and was a great friend of irony.

“Every man likes his own opinion best.”

“I learned in the Revolution, in the society of gentlemen, and I have since observed for myself, that a man who is guilty of intentional bad manners, is capable of crime.”

Published in: on February 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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