Antonio Burr and Douglas Hamiltion reenact their ancestors' duel; Photo: AP, Marko Georgiev

In a boon for history buffs and duel enthusiasts, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the most famous fight in American history (with pistols - not chads), the Alexander Hamilton-Aaron Burr duel was reenacted in Weehawken, NJ. You remember it from your history/social studies books in grade school - Thomas Jefferson's Vice-President Aaron Burr and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton hated each other (even though Burr and Hamilton shared a law practice early on, Burr blamed losing the presidency on Hamiltion's doings) and decided to duel. This was crazy to Gothamist the first time we learned about it, sometime in the fourth grade , because what politicians go around killing people - in the broad daylight, that is. Now, NY and NJ residents got to get their "recreate ye olde days" jones on, as Douglas Hamilton, fifth great grandson of Hamilton, and Antonio Burr, descended from Burr's cousin, played the roles of their ancestors in a recreation of the duel, complete with pistols (with blanks). There was a really great NY Times article about the preparation for the duel, as well as ingoing emotions from the Hamilton and Burr descendants, historians, and town of Weehawken, in the Times last week. Apparently Weehawken's 40% Hispanic population contributed to the interest in a duel and Douglas Hamilton fell to his knee "instead of staggering around and resting wounded on a rock as his ancestor did" because some older relatives didn't want Alexander Hamilton to look so low again. Also, various busts of Alexander Hamilton keep getting vandalized while there isn't even one of Aaron Burr.

The town of Weehawken pulled out all the stops for the reenactment: Hamilton and Burr arrived by boat (from Floating the Apple), just as their forefathers did, for the duel, and arranged tours of Burr's and Hamilton's houses. And it was all-Hamilton this weekend at the NY Times: Ron Chernow's Op-Ed piece about Hamilton is excellent ("he was reviled as a foreigner, a bastard, a mulatto (no solid evidence here), a cocky upstart and an adulterer"). Chernow has just completed a book about Alexander Hamiltion (Gothamist also recommends his books, The House of Morgan about J.P., etc., and Titan about John D. Rockefeller). The Times magazine's Hamilton piece by Ted Widmer referenced the move to replace Hamilton on the $10 bill with Reagan.

More on Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, plus the Aaron Burr Association, visit Hamilton's house and you knew Hamilton College was named for Alexander.