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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 July, 2004, 18:47 GMT 19:47 UK
Families re-enact famous US duel
Descendants re-enact duel
The descendants of Hamilton and Burr fired their pistols
Descendants of US political rivals have drawn pistols at 10 paces, in a re-enactment of a 200-year-old duel.

On 11 July 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr shot dead the nation's first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers.

The modern-day rivals were Antonio Burr, a distant cousin of Burr, and Douglas Hamilton, a fifth-great grandson of the historical figure.

But this time, no blood was spilled and the two men later went for a beer.

About 100 descendants of the two historical rivals attended the event in New Jersey, on the cliffs of the Hudson River across from New York City.

For the mock duel, Douglas Hamilton, a computer salesmen from Ohio, and Antonio Burr, a New York psychologist, arrived at the riverbank by row boat, as their ancestors had.

Wearing period costume, the two men paced off, then fired replicas of the .54-calibre duelling pistols.

Mr Hamilton then fell to one knee, feigning the historic hip wound.

Portrait of Alexander Hamilton
Hamilton's face now features on the $10 bill
The deadly clash of 1804 came after Hamilton denounced Burr - who was running to be governor of New York state - as untrustworthy.

Burr was indicted for murder, but the charge was reduced to accessory to duelling and he escaped punishment. His term as vice-president ended in 1805 but his reputation never quite recovered.

Supporters of Burr say he was the real victim and that history has judged him unfairly.

Hamilton was a signatory to the US constitution and his face is now on the $10 bill.

Reaganites root for dollar spot
09 Jun 04 |  Americas

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