On This Date In History: How would you like to run for President, come in first place in the electoral college and be told that you would be the Vice-President. This was the fate of Aaron Burr who went on to greater infamy
At the outset of the nation, there really were no political parties. General Washington was of the opinion that parties would do more harm than good and was against them. Because he was so generally popular, there was no issue with parties since his election was unanimous in the electoral college both times. Things began to unravel after that. Even though the founding fathers were all still alive, there was this little issue of how the nation should function. Thomas Jefferson felt that the idea was for there to be a weak federal government and have most of the power rest with the states. Then, there were those like Alexander Hamilton who felt like it was necessary for there to be a strong executive and weaker state governments. This fractional ideals, known as Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian eventually became the Democrat-Republican Party and the Federalist Party. John Adams, who was Washington’s Vice-President, ascended to the presidency as a Federalist. He took some pretty strong policy measures such as the Alien and Sedition Acts as well as undeclared naval engagements against the French. He also had a rather nasty disposition.
So, that sets up the election in 1800. Each party had two guys on the ballot. The Democrat-Republicans intended for Thomas Jefferson to be the lead man and Aaron Burr to be his second. The electors were all set up to cast their ballots with 73 Republican electors and 65 Federalist. At that time, all candidates were listed and each elector got two votes. Whomever was first became President and whomever had the second greatest number of votes became Vice-President. At the Electoral College, 65 Federalist electors voted for Adams with 64 of the remaining Federalist votes going for Charles Pickney and one for John Jay. The Democrat-Republicans cast all their votes for Jefferson and Burr. That gave each of them 73. Burr declared that he was not in competition with Jefferson but never renounced the presidency. So, he was out but he was in.
This kicked the election to the House of Representatives. Balloting began on February 11, 1801. Now, remember at that time, Inauguration Day was March 4 and many people became fearful that anarchy would break out because the votes kept coming up inconclusive. There were 16 states so one candidate had to get 9 votes. First vote had 8 for Tom, 6 for Aaron and two states couldn’t make up their mind. They voted 18 more times and the votes hadn’t changed. Those two states remained on the fence. For 6 more days the voting continued. Now, Jefferson and Hamilton hated each other. But, it seems that Hamilton hated Burr even more. He urged the Federalists to vote for Jefferson because he reasoned that while Jefferson was “a contemptible hypcrite” his rival did have some “pretensions to character.” But, Hamilton explained, Burr’s “public principles have no other spring or aim than his own aggrandisement. His elevation can only promote the purposes of the desperate and profilgate.”
Well, most Federalists thought of Jefferson as a dangerous radical and so they ignored Hamilton’s urgings. But, time was running out. There was talk of Civil War, that the Federalists might just take the presidency or that the Virginia Militia might march on Washington. Suddenly, Delaware decided that Burr could never be elected and that the only reason to support him was “to exclude Jefferson at the expense of the Constitution.” I guess that means that Delaware really didn’t think much of Burr. So, finally, on this date in 1801, after 36 ballots, Thomas Jefferson was elected by the Electoral College as the third President of the United States. By the next election, the Twelth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified that split the votes so that each elector voted once for President and once for a different set of candidates for Vice-President.
Hamilton was quite the ladies man and had a rift with the husband of an acquaintance. He also continued to feud with Jefferson and Burr, but
not for long. See, Burr and Hamilton had been friends during the Revolution but their opposite political views led to a fierce rivalry that ended on July 11, 1804 when Burr ultimately won when he shot Hamilton to death in a duel. He was the sitting Vice-President at the time! Once again, even though Burr had won, just like he won the presidential election of 1800, he lost. A murder warrant was put out on him in New York and New Jersey. He fled to
Pennsylvania and eventually finished his term in Washington before departing to the Mississippi Valley where he got involved in an unseemly scheme and Burr stood trial for treason, which put him at odds with…President Thomas Jefferson. Quite a crew, those founding fathers! Ever wonder how Hamilton got to be on at $10 bill?
Weather Bottom Line: I’m tellin’ ya…I really think I am going to prepare for temperatures below freezing the entire time from Thursday morning through mid-morning on Monday. I know most of the stuff on TV isn’t that cold but I suspect that you will seem them come around. We will warm up on Monday afternoon. The GFS is more gradual with Tuesday being much more moderate and the European model wants to jerk us to the 50′s my Monday afternoon. We’ll see. Now, the NAM is not enthused about snow at all on Thursday with just perhaps some flurry activity with no real measureable amounts. The GFS, as usual, is a little more bullish with wrap around snow of a half to three quarters of an inch. Prior to all of that, we have relatively mild conditions with rain chances increasing on Tuesday night and carrying it through Wednesday. Because of that, any snow we get on Thursday will be inconsequential because even though we’ll be below freezing for much of Thursday, the ground will still be too warm to make a difference.
Now, a second system comes through the flow on Friday and as it approaches from the Northwest, our temperatures
should rise a bit but, I really doubt we’ll get much beyond freezing for any time of consequence. Maybe an hour or two at best but the air to the south will be cold so all we’ll do is draw up some slightly modified cold air. So, big deal…maybe 33 or 34 for an hour or two. That doesn’t count. When this guy comes down, the GFS wants to throw out a couple of inches of snow for Saturday morning. The Canadian model also has a pretty decent amount of accumulation with the European not so bullish. I would bet we end up with 1-2 inches tops because its pretty tough to get more than that in such a situation as there isn’t much moisture to work with when these guys come racing through the flow from the Northwest. But we should get something. Again, aside from maybe a slightly warmer burp on Friday, prepare for below freezing conditions from Thursday morning through mid morning on Monday.