The Burr-Hamilton duel was a duel between Vice President Aaron Burr and Secretary Alexander Hamilton, and is considered one of the most famous duels between the 17-18th centuries.
Burr had been illegitimate in all he did, changing political parties at will to seize personal opportunities and frustrating Hamilton with the fact that he didn't stand by his beliefs. When Burr switched parties solely to overthrow Senator Philip Schuyler's seat in the Senate, he was now against the entire Schuyler family, including Alexander Hamilton.
Hamilton was convinced Burr did not stand for anything, and as result could fall for anything, making it a very dangerous choice if he were to be elected for President. Hamilton endorsed Thomas Jefferson in an attempt to prevent Burr from becoming the President, in which he essentially succeeded. In a rage, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel, convinced Hamilton had taken everything away from his entire political success.
Hamilton had never wanted to hurt Burr in the duel, as he thought it as immoral and him as undeserving of a wound. Before the duel, he stated that he would "throw away his shot" and leave Burr unharmed. However, his shot came close to Burr's head, and Burr was unsure of whether he had really thrown away his shot or it had just barely missed. According to the code duello, this was enough to shoot back at Hamilton—Burr did so and mortally wounded Hamilton above his left thigh.
Hamilton died of infection and blood loss the following day; it is still uncertain whether Hamilton threw away his shot so close to Burr, enough to provoke him, solely to ruin Burr's career if he was killed, or if he really meant to throw it away and the mere distance between the shot and Burr's head was accidental. However, when Burr found out about Hamilton's thoughts, he merely scoffed and called him a coward for throwing away his shot.