Here are a few articles about it:
Hamilton's career was essentially over due to the Reynolds Affair, but facing Burr was his final act to serve his country. A fascinating bit of history indeed.
That being said, Hamilton did know going into the duel that Burr would permanently mar his reputation if he slayed him, Hamilton. And thought that this would keep him safe. There is a 3rd option in duels, which is both people shooting into the air, maintaining their honor without casualty. This was actually the most common outcome of dueling at the time, though reading history it's easy to get the opposite impression. Duels that end with pistols to the sky don't get discussed as much. But Hamilton was in many duels leading up to the Burr deal that ended that way.
> ... I have resolved, if our interview is conducted in the usual manner, and it pleases God to give me the opportunity, to reserve and throw away my first fire, and I have thoughts even of reserving my second fire—and thus giving a double opportunity to Col Burr to pause and to reflect.
Firing into the air rather than the ground would involve moving your pistol in a manner that would clearly appear as if you intending to fire on your opponent. On the other hand, his death at Burr's hands certainly gave Hamilton the "brilliant exit" he'd admired for years. Plus, if Hamilton wanted to ensure Burr's destruction after his death, his statement couldn't have been better written. Society would have shunned Burr regardless, but the statement all but guaranteed it would view him with the deepest of contempt.
Lin Manuel Miranda worried for years for individual pieces and you can hear it. Several pieces are near perfect and I could listen it over and over.
Hamilton himself as a historical character is unebelievable. It is an astounding story however you look at it. A - in the literate sense - a poor bastard born in the middle of nowhere in Caribia ends up one of the founders of the greatest political experiments of his time.
While his endeavours lacked mathematical and scientific output he is actually the prototypical historical super geek. He was a product of englightenment and book printing. He engorged himself on the literature of the time and deviced systems in his head which he then implemented with great vigour. While obviously skimping on historical details, the musical celebrates this victory of pure gumption again and again while not forgetting the critical human weaknesses of his character
Burr's trial set the precedent for an extraordinarily high evidentary bar for a treason conviction -- which, in the long run, turns out to have been an Amazingly Good Thing.
Given today's media climate I would love to read Burr's tweets. I pray the resulting outrage leads to porn stars and opportunists selling books.
The more things (i.e., politics) change, the more they stay the same. Funny eh.
The point, as I see it, is that it doesn't matter if people have the internet, or the microwave, or tv, or transistors, or airplanes, or automobiles, or bicycles, or steam engines, or even cotton gins.
The human experience, and our propensity to ensure our own continued survival, has always been fraught with peril. Everyone has friends and enemies, and yet we all live amongst each other.
I think the best allegory for this story is that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The answer to that question is always going to be yes.
Yes I'm very exciting at parties :)