While [Burr’s] critics painted the Burrites as fops, and Burr himself was readily criticized for his ‘cunning’ and ‘treachery’, both those who admired him and those who detested him saw Burr’s erotic appeal in terms of his refined hypermasculinity—his ‘audacity’. Hamilton understood the attraction of Burr’s ‘audacity’, a quality that expressed an admirable boldness and spirit, as well as impertinence. In the election of 1800, Hamilton was consumed with a genuine fear that many men in the Senate would be drawn to his ‘dashing projecting spirit’. ‘Dashing’ implied an elegance of bodily deportment, a boldness of character, and an irresistible essence, which commanded respect and the approving gaze of male and female admirers.
Alexander Hamilton on Paying for Louisiana
By the way a question here presents itself of some little moment: Mr. Jefferson in that part of his famous electioneering message, where he took so much pains to present a flattering state of the Treasury in so few words that every man could carry it in his noddle and repeat it at the poll, tells us, that “experience too so far authorises us to believe, if no extrordinary event supervenes, and the expences which will be actually incurred shall not be greater than was contemplated by Congress at their last session, that we shall not be disappointed in the expectations formed” that the debt would soon be paid, &c.&c.
But the first and only measure of the administration that has really been of any material service to the country (for they have hitherto gone on the strength of the provisions made by their predecessors) is really “an extraordinary event,” and calls for more money than they have got. According to Mr. Gallatin’s report, they had about 40,000 to spare for contingencies, and now the first “extraordinary event” that “supervenes” calls upon them for several millions. What a poor starvling system of administering a government! But how is the money to be had? Not by taxing luxury and wealth and whiskey, but by increasing the taxes on the necessaries of life. Let this be remembered.
He’s got a point. Quite unfair that Hamilton was castigated for desiring taxes to pay off the debt, and wanting the debt to exist forever. Can’t have it both ways, guys.