41. Error often is to be preferred to indecision. 
      –Aaron Burr, Jr.


Gilbert Stuart, American (1755-1828)
Aaron Burr, Jr., Class of 1772 (1756-1836)
Oil (unfinished portrait), 76.2 x 61.5 cm.
Princeton University. Gift of William Otis Morse, Class of 1902
Courtesy of the Princeton Art Museum.
Photo credit: Bruce M. White
© 1995 Photo: Trustees of Princeton University

Photo by Dino Palomares

Aaron Burr, Jr. ’1772 was the son of Princeton’s second president, the late Aaron Burr, Sr., and the grandson of its third president, the late Jonathan Edwards.  Graduating from the College with distinction at age 16, Burr was considered one of the most brilliant Princeton students in the eighteenth century.  This Cliosophic Society member served New York state as an assemblyman and attorney general before rising to the U.S. Senate.  In the presidential election of 1800, Burr and Thomas Jefferson received equal electoral votes, but the House of Representatives selected Jefferson, rendering Burr vice-president.  Alexander Hamilton’s opposition to Burr’s candidacy for the 1804 NY gubernatorial race brought about the infamous duel in which Burr mortally wounded his enemy.  Eventually tried for and acquitted of treason for his suspicious activities in the American west, Burr lived until 1836, when he was buried with full military honors near his forefathers’ graves in the President’s Lot of the Princeton cemetery.