New Hope Pennsylvania
Aaron Burr House
This B and B’s namesake feels at home and doesn’t mind being noticed.
Aaron Burr House Bed and Breakfast Lodging room rates range from $95 to $295 per night, double occupancy. There is a private pool and tennis club, and health club privileges are also available for registered guests.
This current lovely structure, described as a “Painted Lady”, that now sits on this property, is an 1873, two story home that is currently a bed and breakfast, since 1990, called Aaron Burr House Bed and Breakfast Lodging. It is located just steps from central New Hope. It was built upon the foundation of an older, pre-Revolutionary War era home, that perhaps was long in the tooth, and needed to be torn down. Or perhaps, it was destroyed by a fire, and needed to be rebuilt.
Aaron Burr House Bed and Breakfast Lodging offers 6 beautifully antique decored, hand painted and stenciled rooms and a third floor suite, all with private baths. The feeling throughout is very much Victorian, with nice touches everywhere the guest looks! Modern amenities, like internet access, and gracious hospitality make the stay very pleasant indeed! According to their website, there is a guest pantry – stocked with teas and coffees, sink, refrigerator, and instant hot water tap. Guests are welcomed with refreshments and home baked goodies upon arrival. Guests can enjoy afternoon tea with their Innkeeper as well. There is also private, off-street parking, a huge plus in a busy place like New Hope!
Physical Features: The first floor has oak throughout, while the second and third floor, wood-pegged, black walnut is prevalent. Tall, arched windows in the bedrooms and common areas make the interior bright! There is a large, screened-in flagstone patio used for a variety of activities. The second-floor has its own parlor, dining room, and kitchen. There is a room for meetings of 20 people.
The curious may ask, “Why is this bed and breakfast named after Vice President Aaron Burr?” The original per-Revolutionary War era home that sat on this property was the abode of some of Vice-President Aaron Burr’s dear friends in the town of New Hope, whom he probably visited. His most famous stay with these friends happened after Aaron shot and killed his slanderous political foe, Alexander Hamilton, in a very legal duel, done by the book.
Aaron Burr, throughout his life, was no stranger to very hard, stressful situations. Aaron started out his life as an orphan, when his father, Rev. Aaron Burr Sr., and his mother, Esther Edwards Burr, both died of sickness just a year apart. From 2 years old, Aaron and his sister Sally, lived with their strict, Puritan Uncle Timothy and Aunt. Aaron was a precocious, active boy who was quite a handful. Needless to say, Aaron got plenty of whippings from his exasperated uncle, who was trying his best to raise this non-compliant nephew. Aaron ran away several times, but ultimately stayed and endured his living situation when his Aunt’s younger brother, Matthias Ogden, came to live with them, who was exactly Aaron’s age. From an early age, Aaron learned to focus on the positive, and endure the negative, going forward in courage and fortitude, staying true to himself.
Probably realizing how smart Aaron was, Uncle Timothy hired the best tutor he could afford, Tapping Reeve, for both young Aaron and Matthias. Aaron bloomed in academics. At age 11, Aaron applied to Princeton, but was turned down because of his age. Not discouraged, Aaron applied again at age 13, and was accepted as a sophomore. After graduating at 16, Aaron began studying for the ministry, as was the family tradition. While he embraced the Calvin doctrine of Predestination, he couldn’t accept some of the legalistic teachings of Calvinism. Aaron believed that everyone who believed in Jesus was welcome in heaven. So Aaron quit the ministry and entered law school, run by his former Tutor, Tapping Reeve, who had married Aaron’s sister Sally by this time.
Another hard adventure of endurance and courage under stress was Aaron’s service in the Revolutionary War. Despite his family’s concerns, Aaron joined the militia, in 1775. In the Battle of Quebec he distinguished himself, and was promoted to Captain. As he was gifted in tactical warfare, most willing to courageously with fortitude implement plans, and could effectively lead and inspire soldiers, he reached the promotion of Colonel when he was only 21! After enduring the harsh conditions at Valley Forge, and suffering a heat stroke during a major battle, his health took a downward turn, and he had to retire. After recovering, Aaron finished Law School, passed the bar, married his beloved Theodosia Prevost, a widow of a British Officer, who was gossiped about by the town tongue waggers that she was a Loyalist. Aaron moved his law practice to Albany, New York, passing through New York City, just in time to see the British leave the harbor, all by age 26!
Aaron and Theodosia had a daughter, named Theodosia, after her mother. Aaron and his wife had a wonderful marriage for 12 years, despite the fact that Theodosia was an invalid for the last few years of her life. Aaron and his daughter, Theodosia, enjoyed a long, close relationship, throughout the ups and downs of Aaron’s life. Aaron believed that girls should also be educated, and made sure his daughter had a good tutor, etc. He was proud of all her accomplishments, embraced her marriage to a fine gentleman, and especially adored his grandson.
Aaron got the nudge to go into politics. Aaron was elected to the New York State Assembly, and voted against slavery. He rose in his profession, through sheer ability and knowledge of the law. He became one of the leaders of the New York bar. Aaron’s brilliance was noticed and rewarded with an appointment by the governor to be Attorney General.
Alexander Hamilton was no choir boy, and had a venomous hatred of Aaron Burr, though it wasn’t so at the beginning of their relationship. Hamilton first met Aaron Burr, when Aaron had moved his very successful law practice to New York. Politically, Barr and Hamilton were on opposite sides of the political field, but were friendly adversaries until Aaron Burr ran for the Senate, and defeated Alexander’s uncle. Uh oh! From that moment on, Alexander vowed to remove Aaron from politics by any means possible, a goal in which he finally achieved.
Hamilton started by causing trouble in the Republican Party, by turning Thomas Jefferson against Aaron Burr; telling half-truths and lies about him, painting Aaron in a bad light. During the third American Presidential election of 1800, Jefferson and Burr tied with 73 electoral votes each, and the election was turned over to the House of Representatives. Hamilton did everything he could to slander Burr with falsehoods, hiring others to try to dig up dirt on Aaron, slinging as much mud as he could. He lobbied other members of Congress with more negative slime. Finally, after thirty-six votes, Jefferson came in first, becoming President, and Burr was second, becoming Vice-President. Jefferson ignored Burr throughout his presidency, and made life unpleasant for him. While a war from both sides damaged Aaron Burr’s reputation considerably from untruths and innuendos, Aaron reported and performed brilliantly in the Senate, as overseer of proceedings, and the rest of the Senate really appreciated his efforts. He focused on his duties as Vice President and endured the abuse.
During the next presidential election of 1804, Aaron Burr was ignored by his own party, and wasn’t picked to run with Jefferson. He instead ran for New York governor. Alexander Hamilton wasn’t satisfied yet, and did more mischief to submarine Aaron’s bid for governor. When Aaron was defeated, he realized that his political career was in the toilet, despite his outstanding performance as a politician. Aaron did some digging himself, and discovered that it was Alexander Hamilton behind the lies and untruths that had turned people against him as a leader, a skill of his that was long recognized throughout his life so far.
Aaron Burr was not one to run from trouble, and boldly asked Alexander to retract the lies and untruths, but Alexander refused. Aaron did what an honorable man would do, from a military background: He challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel, which was still legal. The duel was done legally by the book, and Hamilton was mortally wounded. After Hamilton died, a huge uproar against Aaron erupted, and Aaron was charged with murder in both New Jersey and New York.
So, Aaron temporarily retreated to New Hope, and stayed with dear friends in their home. He needed the support of friends who knew him, and needed time to rethink his situation, and perhaps come up with a plan in what to do next. The outrage against him from a public that already had a poor view of him, due to the dirty political slander that was unleashed against him for years, orchestrated by Hamilton, had tainted any jury he may have had to face.
Though the charges against Aaron Burr were dropped, the rest of his life wasn’t easy. He tried to go back to being a military leader, and recruited a group together to free Texas and Mexico from the tyrannical Spain, and set up the Western United States, an independent country from the eastern states, as he had a poor view of Jefferson’s government. He went to trial to face the treason charge, spearheaded by Jefferson. Aaron had the “dream team” of lawyers to defend him, and he was acquitted, but still was disgraced. He left for Europe, and tried to come home via a French ship in 1811, but was caught by the British and held, until May of 1812.
He finally left for New York, and his daughter, Theodosia went by boat to meet him there, but perished at sea, which broke his heart. He restarted his law practice, and still made a good living, though he never re-entered public life. He did get some satisfaction to hear of the Texas revolution against Spain, knowing he was on the right track, but just years ahead in his thinking. Perhaps trying to find another love, he foolishly married the narcissist widow of Stephen Jumel, Madam Eliza Jumel, three years before he died. She didn’t kill Aaron like she did her first husband, but simply divorced him, because she thought he was investing too much of her money in land deals. Aaron died on the day the divorce was final, and hopefully was reunited with his beloved first wife and daughter.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
People who enjoyed being in a structure, feeling safe and protected, a respite from the hardships of this world, will continue to visit after they pass into the spirit world, even if the original structure was renovated, or torn down, and a new structure was built on the same foundation, or even just on the same land. Some entities are not able to let go of the negative consequences that befell them, still looking for peace in places that comforted them while alive.
Aaron Burr sought refuge with some close friends, receive some emotional support, and felt safe; able to recollect his thoughts in the home that once stood on this foundation. He must be tickled pink to have this fine bed and breakfast, named after himself!! Aaron’s apparition has also been seen at Jumel Mansion, a place he must have loved living at, with his second wife, Eliza, before he found out what kind of person she was in reality. Aaron must have felt safe here as well.
Aaron Burr isn’t remembered today for any of his achievements on the battle field, his very successful career as a lawyer or his victories and accomplishments in politics. He suffered years of attacks on his character, the victim of vicious political mud. He is most remembered for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel. His plan to liberate Texas and Mexico, and establish a western version of the United States was stymied by a General who he thought was an Allie, and Aaron found himself in legal trouble, charged with a serious crime, and went on trial. His daughter died before he did, and is second marriage ended in divorce. His law practice did keep him going though.
Entity of Aaron Burr –
Loves the second floor staircase and the second floor, and likes to visit this structure. He must be pleased that the building was named after him.
His presence has been strongly felt. People can feel the sensation of an unseen entity staring hard at them. Perhaps Aaron Burr feels protective of the establishment and is studying possible trouble makers!
His apparition has been seen walking up the staircase, and perusing the second floor.
Sometimes Aaron Burr will tug on clothes to try to prevent guests from leaving, if he likes them. Guests are advised to say gently, according to Dan Asfar, author of Ghost Stories of Pennsylvania, “Mr. Burr, please let me leave.”
Probably so!! The entity of Aaron Burr has made his presence known through physical contact, appearing visibly in front of the living, clearly enough to be recognized, and has made himself apparent to the living’s senses.
He is a spirit, and comes and goes as he pleases, visiting probably all of his favorite spots in this world, remembering all the good he experienced there, trying to overcome the restlessness that continues to pull him into this world as he works to let go completely of his frustration gotten from his not-so-positive experiences.
Guests, owners, staff and probably repairmen have had many personal experiences with this entity who visits regularly, as he approves of the current bed and breakfast in the new and much improved structure.
I can’t find any paranormal investigations that were shared publicly online.
80 West Bridge Street
New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania 18938
Aaron Burr House Bed and Breakfast Lodging is located near the intersection of Chestnut and West Bridge Street.
- Ghost Stories of Pennsylvania
by Dan Asfar
Lone Pine Publishing
September 18, 2002
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr