There are a pair of wonderful, mildly fictionalized scenes in HBO’s John Adams and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton that capture the aftermath of the hotly disputed election of 1800, when Thomas Jefferson and his running mate, Aaron Burr, each won 73 electoral votes, to Adams’s 65. In John Adams, based on David McCullough’s biography, we see the ousted second president climb unaccompanied into a crowded carriage outside the White House, leaving the capital at dawn before Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration. Adams snaps irritably at the other passengers, “Stop gawking! Plain John Adams, just an ordinary citizen, same as yourselves!”
In Hamilton, based
Something to Consider
If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.