History of Virginia
No one could tell the reaction of Thomas Jefferson when he had that his arch rival Alexander Hamilton had died. Hamilton died in a duel with Aaron Barron, another Jefferson’s rival, who had accused Hamilton of being the reason behind his loss of the presidential elections to Jefferson. Hamilton and Jefferson were key political figures in the United States history. Hamilton and Jefferson later became rivals due to their differences in political ideologies. Hamilton was a federalist who was in favor of adoption of the British system of governance by the US (Hamilton and Jefferson, 2010).
Hamilton also wanted a strong central government and loose constitution. Thomas Jefferson on the hand was a republican who was in favor of stronger state governments and a tight constitution which would limit the central government. Due to this rivalry Jefferson closely investigated Hamilton’s affair with Mrs. Reynolds as he had been advised by James Monroe. Jefferson wanted to have an upper hand over Hamilton after he had gained information about the affair.
Jefferson was however unable to use the information he had obtained about the affair between Hamilton and Mrs. Reynolds as he decided to keep their battle strictly political. Jefferson’s decision to separate private matters from political matters was linked to his painful past experience caused by Calendar. Calendar was a publisher who came to Virginia and later fell out with Jefferson and the Republicans. To get back at them Calendar published damaging private information about Jefferson. Calendar accused Jefferson of having an affair with his slave and even fathering children with her. Though these claims were not substantiated they spread through the public very fast and had adverse effects. Both Jefferson and the Republicans did not respond.
Hamilton undoing in his political career was his affair with Mrs. Maria Reynolds. Hamilton had portrayed his image to the public as someone who is morally upright and one who upholds high standard values. This is what Calendar exploited by making Hamilton look likes a hypocrite. Mrs. Reynolds was linked to the accusations against Hamilton concerning the speculation of government security raising the question about the role played by Jefferson in the relationship.
Calendar also portrayed Jefferson as one who had betrayed his family and marriage. In his writing Calendar included claims that Jefferson had taken his two illegitimate daughters to France a statement which was later refuted. Calendar said that he did not want to create the impression that Jefferson’s private life and his affair with Sally had made him unfit to rule but he had the argument that the public has the right to know how their office holders live their private lives.
Hamilton a & Jefferson (2010), retrieved on October 30, 2010, from Http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/elcerrito/history/jeff&ham.htm