As contentious as the election season of 2016 has been, it doesn’t hold a candle to the election of 1800. In that election, the incumbent, John Adams, contested against his fellow collaborator in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.
Once he defeated Adams, Jefferson struggles in this election were not over. His running mate was New Yorker Aaron Burr. At that time in our history, the president was the person who received the greatest number of votes, and the vice president was the person who received the second most number of votes.
After the electoral votes were counted, Burr and Jefferson each received 73 votes. Although Jefferson eventually prevailed on the 36th ballot, it was not without drama. The vote that broke the tie was cast by Alexander Hamilton, who was later killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.
The election of 1800 reveals that the most interesting aspects of life are in the stories of the participants in this unique experience.