Burr conspiracy

Burr conspiracy

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The Burr conspiracy in the beginning of the 19th century was a suspected treasonous cabal
Cabal
A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views and/or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue...

 of planters
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

, politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

s, and army officers
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

 led by former U.S. Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr, Jr. was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician...

. According to the accusations against him, Burr’s goal was to create an independent nation in the center of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and/or the Southwest
Southwestern United States
The Southwestern United States is a region defined in different ways by different sources. Broad definitions include nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah...

 and parts of Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. Burr’s explanation: To take possession of, and farm, 40,000 acres (160 km²) in the Texas Territory
Spanish Texas
Spanish Texas was one of the interior provinces of New Spain from 1690 until 1821. Although Spain claimed ownership of the territory, which comprised part of modern-day Texas, including the land north of the Medina and Nueces Rivers, the Spanish did not attempt to colonize the area until after...

 leased to him by the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. When the expected war with Spain broke out, he would fight with his armed “farmers,” to seize some lands he could conquer in the war.

Jefferson and others had Burr arrested and indicted for treason with no firm evidence put forward. Burr’s true intentions are still considered unclear to historians, some of whom claim he intended to take parts of Texas and some or all of the Louisiana Purchase for himself. Burr walked away from the conspiracy free of conviction, but it destroyed his already faltering political career.

James Wilkinson


General James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson was an American soldier and statesman, who was associated with several scandals and controversies. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, but was twice compelled to resign...

 was one of Burr’s most important co-conspirators. Though it was eventually discovered that his involvement in the conspiracy was most likely an attempt to further his own personal and political goals, he worked closely with Burr to develop a plan for secession. The commanding General of the Army at the time, Wilkinson was known for his corrupt practices, including his attempt to separate Kentucky and Tennessee from the union during the 1780s. Burr persuaded President Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 to appoint Wilkinson to the position of Governor of the Territory of Louisiana. Wilkinson would later come to betray Burr by revealing his plot to Jefferson and denying all involvement in the conspiracy. William Eaton charged that Wilkinson had attempted to involve him in the conspiracy.

Contacts with the British


While Burr was still Vice President he met with the British Minister to the United States, Anthony Merry
Anthony Merry
-Biography:The son of a London wine merchant, Anthony Merry served in various diplomatic posts in Europe between 1783 and 1803, holding mostly consular positions. He was Chargé d'Affaires in Madrid in 1796 and again in Copenhagen about 1799, and Minister ad interim in Paris in 1802.Merry was...

, and, as he explained to several of his colleagues, implied that the British might regain power in the Southwest if they contributed guns and money to his expedition. Burr offered to detach Louisiana from the Union in exchange for a half a million dollars and a British fleet in the Gulf of Mexico. Merry wrote, "It is clear Mr. Burr... means to endeavour to be the instrument for effecting such a connection - he has told me that the inhabitants of Louisiana ... prefer having the protection and assistance of Great Britain" "Execution of their design is only delayed by the difficulty of obtaining previously an assurance of protection & assistance from some foreign power"

In November 1805, Burr again met with Merry and asked for two or three ships of the line and money. Merry informed Burr that London had not yet responded to Burr's plans which he had forwarded the previous year. Merry gave him fifteen hundred dollars. Those Merry worked for in London expressed no interest in furthering American secessionism.

In the spring of 1806, Burr had his final meeting with Merry. In this meeting Merry informed Burr that still no response had been received from London. Burr told Merry, "with or without such support it certainly would be made very shortly." Merry was recalled to Britain on June 1, 1806.

Travels in Louisiana


Later Burr conceived plans to emigrate, he always claimed, to take possession of land in the Texas Territories leased to him by the Spanish (the lease was granted, and copies still exist).

In 1805, Burr traveled throughout Louisiana. In the spring, Burr met with Harman Blennerhassett
Harman Blennerhassett
Harman Blennerhassett was an Irish-American lawyer, born in Castle Conway in County Kerry, Ireland to Conway Blennerhassett and Elizabeth Lacy. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and in 1790 was called to the Irish bar...

, who proved a valuable tool in helping Burr further his plan. He provided friendship, support, and most importantly, access to the island that he owned on the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

, about 2 miles (3 km) below what is now Parkersburg, West Virginia
Parkersburg, West Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,099 people, 14,467 households, and 8,767 families residing in the city. In 2006 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that Parkersburg's population had decreased 4.4% to 31,755. The population density was 2,800.5 people per square mile . There were 16,100 housing...

. In 1806, Blennerhassett offered to provide Burr with substantial financial support. Burr and his co-conspirators used this island as a storage space for men and supplies. Burr tried to recruit volunteers to enter Spanish territories. In New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

, he met with the Mexican Associates, a group of ’’criollos
Creole peoples
The term Creole and its cognates in other languages — such as crioulo, criollo, créole, kriolu, criol, kreyol, kreol, kriulo, kriol, krio, etc. — have been applied to people in different countries and epochs, with rather different meanings...

’’ whose objective was to conquer Mexico. Burr was able to gain the support of New Orleans’ Catholic bishop for his expedition into Mexico.

Reports of Burr's plans first appeared in newspaper reports in August 1805, where it was insinuated that Burr intended to raise a western army and "to form a separate government."

In early 1806, Burr contacted the Spanish minister Carlos Martínez de Irujo y Tacón
Carlos Martínez de Irujo y Tacón
Don Carlos Martínez de Irujo y Tacón , from 1803 known as Marqués de Casa Irujo, was a Spanish diplomat, Knight of the Order of Carlos III and public official....

 whom Burr told that his plan was not just western succession, but the capture of Washington, D.C.. Yrujo wrote to his masters in Madrid about the coming "dismemberment of the colossal power which was growing at the very gates" of New Spain. Yrujo gave Burr a few thousand dollars to get things started. The Spanish government in Madrid took no action.

Following the events in Kentucky, Burr went back west later into 1806 with the hope of recruiting more volunteers for a military expedition down the Mississippi River. Here he recruited Blennerhassett and began using his island, Blennerhasset Island, to store men and supplies. The Governor of Ohio
Edward Tiffin
Edward Tiffin was a Democratic-Republican politician from Ohio, and first Governor of the state.-Biography:Sources indicate that he was born in Carlisle; however he may have been born in or near Workington — also in the then county of Cumberland, England...

 grew suspicious of the activity on the island, and ordered the state militia to raid the island and seize all supplies. Blennerhasset managed to escape with one boat, and he met up with Burr at the operation’s Headquarters on the Cumberland River
Cumberland River
The Cumberland River is a waterway in the Southern United States. It is long. It starts in Harlan County in far southeastern Kentucky between Pine and Cumberland mountains, flows through southern Kentucky, crosses into northern Tennessee, and then curves back up into western Kentucky before...

. With a significantly smaller force, the two headed down the Ohio River to the Mississippi River and New Orleans. Wilkinson had vowed to supply troops at New Orleans; however, he had come to the conclusion that the conspiracy was bound to fail, and rather than providing these troops, Wilkinson revealed Burr’s plan to President Jefferson.

Arrest


Charges were brought against Burr in Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 by Joseph Hamilton Daviess
Joseph Hamilton Daviess
Major Joseph Hamilton Daveiss commanded the Dragoons of the Indiana Militia at the Battle of Tippecanoe. Although the correct spelling of his name appears to be "Daveiss", it is uniformly spelled "Daviess" in places named for him. Daveiss was born on March 4, 1774, in Bedford County, Virginia...

, the federal District Attorney
District attorney
In many jurisdictions in the United States, a District Attorney is an elected or appointed government official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. The district attorney is the highest officeholder in the jurisdiction's legal department and supervises a staff of...

 for Kentucky, claiming that Burr wished to make war with Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. Yet with the help of his adroit young attorney, Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

, Burr was able to have the case dismissed. In December, President Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 was anonymously informed that Burr "is meditating the overthrow of your administration".

In February and March, 1806, Jo Daviess
Joseph Hamilton Daviess
Major Joseph Hamilton Daveiss commanded the Dragoons of the Indiana Militia at the Battle of Tippecanoe. Although the correct spelling of his name appears to be "Daveiss", it is uniformly spelled "Daviess" in places named for him. Daveiss was born on March 4, 1774, in Bedford County, Virginia...

, United States District Attorney for Kentucky wrote Jefferson several letters warning him of possible conspiratorial activities by Burr. Daveiss’ July 14 letter to Jefferson stated flatly that Burr planned to provoke a rebellion in Spanish-held parts of the West to join them to areas in the Southwest to form an independent nation under his rule. Similar accusations were appearing against local Democratic-Republicans in a Frankfort, Kentucky
Frankfort, Kentucky
Frankfort is a city in Kentucky that serves as the state capital and the county seat of Franklin County. The population was 27,741 at the 2000 census; by population it is the 5th smallest state capital in the United States...

 newspaper, Western World, and Jefferson dismissed Daveiss’ accusations against Burr, a Democratic-Republican, as politically motivated.

Rumors of political instability in the West finally forced themselves upon Jefferson and his cabinet, with their suspicions being confirmed when Wilkinson sent him correspondence received from Burr. The text of the letter that later became the most legitimate source of evidence against Burr is as follows:

"Yours postmarked 13th May is received. I have obtained funds, and have actually commenced the enterprise. Detachments from different points under different pretences will rendevous on the Ohio, 1st November--everything internal and external favors views--protection of England is secured. T[ruxton] is gone to Jamaica to arrange with the admiral on that station, and will meet at the Mississippi--England---Navy of the United States are ready to join, and final orders are given to my friends and followers--it will be a host of choice spirits. Wilkinson shall be second to Burr only--Wilkinson shall dictate the rank and promotion of his officers. Burr will proceed westward 1st August, never to return: with him go his daughter--the husband will follow in October with a corps of worthies. Send forthwith an intelligent and confidential friend with whom Burr may confer. He shall return immediately with further interesting details--this is essential to concert and harmony of the movement. Send a list of all persons known to Wilkinson west of the mountains, who could be useful, with a note delineating their characters. Ny your messenger send me four or five of the commissions of your officers, which you can borrow under any pretence you please. They shall be returned faithfully. Already are orders to the contractor given to forward six months' provisions to points Wilkinson may name--this shall not be used until the last moment, and then under proper injunctions: the project is brought to the point so long desired: Burr guarantees the result with his life and honor--the lives, the honor and fortunes of hundreds, the best blood of our country. Burr's plan of operations is to move rapidly from the falls on the 15th of November, with the first five hundred or one thousand men, in light boats now constructing for that purpose--to be at Natchez between the 5th and 15th of December--then to meet Wilkinson--then to determine whether it will be expedient in the first instance to seize on or pass by Baton Rouge. On receipt of this send Burr an answer--draw on Burr for all expenses, &c. The people of the country to which we are going are prepared to receive us--their agents now with Burr say that if we will protect their religion, and will not subject them to a foreign power, that in three weeks all will be settled. The gods invite to glory and fortune--it remains to be seen whether we deserve the boon. The bearer of this goes express to you--he will hand a formal letter of introduction to you from Burr, a copy of which is hereunto subjoined. He is a man of inviolable honor and perfect discretion--formed to execute rather than project--capable of relating facts with fidelity, and incapable of relating them otherwise. He is thoroughly informed of the plans and intentions of Burr, and will disclose to you as far as you inquire, and no further--he has imbibed a reverence for your character, and may be embarrassed in your presence--put him at ease and he will satisfy you--29th July."http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/burr/burrletter.html

In an attempt to preserve his innocence and career, Wilkinson edited these correspondences. The letters had been sent to Wilkinson in cypher
Cypher
Not to be confused with CipherCypher may refer to:* A royal cypher or monogram-like glyph-Art and entertainment:* Cypher , a Goa trance music group* Cypher , an Australian instrumental band* Cypher , a 2002 film...

, however he altered the letter to prove both his "innocence" and Burr's guilt. He warned Jefferson that Burr was “meditating the overthrow of [his] administration” and “conspiring against the State.” Jefferson alerted Congress of the plan, and ordered the arrest of anyone who conspired to attack Spanish territory.http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/jeffburr.htm He warned authorities in the West to be aware of suspicious activities. Convinced of Burr’s guilt, Jefferson ordered his arrest. Burr continued his excursion down the Mississippi with Blennerhasset and the small army of men that they had acquired in Ohio. They aimed to reach New Orleans, but were informed in Bayou Pierre, just thirty miles north of New Orleans, that there was a bounty out for Burr's capture. Burr and his men surrendered at Bayou Pierre and Burr was taken into custody. Charges were brought upon him in the Louisiana Territory, but Burr escaped into the wilderness. He was recaptured on February 13, 1807, and was taken back to Virginia to stand trial.http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/duel/sfeature/burrconspiracy.html

Trial


He stood trial in Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 for treason because of the alleged conspiracy but was acquitted due to lack of evidence. A Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 hero, U.S. Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

, New York State Attorney General
New York State Attorney General
The New York State Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the State of New York. The office has been in existence in some form since 1626, under the Dutch colonial government of New York.The current Attorney General is Eric Schneiderman...

 and Assemblyman, and finally Vice President under Jefferson, Burr adamantly denied and vehemently resented all charges against his honor, his character or his patriotism.

Burr was charged with treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

 for assembling an armed force to take New Orleans and separate the Western from the Atlantic states. He was also charged with high misdemeanor
High misdemeanor
High Misdemeanor is an archaic term in English Law for a number of positive misprisions, neglects and contempts. A good example of this is treason...

 for sending a military expedition against territories belonging to Spain. George Hay
George Hay
George Hay may refer to:*George Hay, 7th Earl of Erroll*George Hay , United States politician and judge*George Hay , Member of Parliament and Dean of the Arches...

, the prosecuting U.S. Attorney, compiled a list of over 140 witnesses, one of whom was Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

. To encourage witness participation, it is said that Thomas Jefferson gave Hay sheets of blank pardon
Pardon
Clemency means the forgiveness of a crime or the cancellation of the penalty associated with it. It is a general concept that encompasses several related procedures: pardoning, commutation, remission and reprieves...

s.

The case met opposition from the beginning, with the high misdemeanor charge being dropped when the government was unable to prove that the expedition had been military in nature or directed towards Spanish territory.

Burr's trial brought into question the ideas of executive privilege
Executive privilege
In the United States government, executive privilege is the power claimed by the President of the United States and other members of the executive branch to resist certain subpoenas and other interventions by the legislative and judicial branches of government...

, state secrets privilege
State Secrets Privilege
The state secrets privilege is an evidentiary rule created by United States legal precedent. Application of the privilege results in exclusion of evidence from a legal case based solely on affidavits submitted by the government stating that court proceedings might disclose sensitive information...

, and the independence of the executive. Burr’s lawyers, including John Wickham, asked Chief Justice John Marshall
John Marshall
John Marshall was the Chief Justice of the United States whose court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches...

 to subpoena Jefferson, claiming that they needed documents from Jefferson to accurately present their case. Jefferson proclaimed that as President, he reserved the right to decide “what papers coming to him as President, the public interests permit to be communicated [and] to whom.” He insisted that all relevant papers had been made available, and that he was not subject to this writ because he held executive privilege. He also argued that he should not be subject to the commands of the judiciary, because the constitution guaranteed the executive branch’s independence from the judicial branch. Marshall sided with Burr, deciding that the subpoena could be issued despite Jefferson’s position of presidency. Though Marshall vowed to consider Jefferson’s office and avoid “vexatious and unnecessary subpoenas,” his ruling was significant because it suggested that like all citizens, the President was subject to the law.

Burr’s case required Marshall to consider the definition of treason. It raised the question of whether or not intent was enough to convict someone of treason. Marshall ruled that because Burr had not committed an act of war, he could not be found guilty. Because the First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

 guaranteed Burr the right to voice opposition to the government, “merely suggesting war or engaging in a conspiracy was not enough to require a conviction.” To be convicted of treason, Marshall ruled, an overt act
Overt Act
In criminal law, an overt act , an open act, one that can be clearly proved by evidence, and from which criminal intent can be inferred, as opposed to a mere intention in the mind to commit a crime...

 of participation must be proven with evidence. Intention to divide the union was not an overt act: “There must be an actual assembling of men for the treasonable purpose, to constitute a levying of war.” Marshall further supported his decision by indicating that the Constitution stated that two witnesses must see the same overt act against the country. Marshall, however, narrowly construed the definition of treason provided in Article III of the Constitution; he noted that the prosecution had failed to prove that Burr had committed an "overt act," as the Constitution required. As a result, the jury acquitted the defendant, leading to increased animosity between the President and the Chief Justice.

Historians Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg write that Burr "was not guilty of treason, nor was he ever convicted, because there was no evidence, not one credible piece of testimony, and the star witness for the prosecution had to admit that he had doctored a letter implicating Burr."

Aftermath


Aaron Burr, his prospects for a political career squashed, left the United States for a self-imposed exile in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 until 1812. Burr traveled to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in an attempt to gain support for a revolution in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. He was ordered out of the country, so he traveled to France to ask for the support of Napoleon. He was denied and found himself too poor to pay his way home. Finally, in 1811, he was able to sail back to the United States on a French ship. Upon returning to the United States, he assumed the surname of "Edwards". He returned to New York to resume his law practice. He remarried, but his new wife left him after only four months due to his worsening financial issues. His self-imposed exile and using a different surname is generally attributed to his attempt to escape from his creditors as he was deeply in debt. Burr died on September 14, 1836, the same day that his divorce from his wife was finalized.http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/served/burr.html

Following this incident, James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson
James Wilkinson was an American soldier and statesman, who was associated with several scandals and controversies. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, but was twice compelled to resign...

 was twice investigated by Congress. Following an unsuccessful court-martial, ordered by President James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

 in 1811, he returned to his military command in New Orleans. During the War of 1812, he was posted to Canada where his only major offensive, a campaign against Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, was unsuccessful. He was discharged from active service. Wilkinson died in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 on December 28, 1825.

When the conspiracy was uncovered, Harman Blennerhassett
Harman Blennerhassett
Harman Blennerhassett was an Irish-American lawyer, born in Castle Conway in County Kerry, Ireland to Conway Blennerhassett and Elizabeth Lacy. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and in 1790 was called to the Irish bar...

's mansion and island
Blennerhassett Island
Blennerhasset Island, an island on the Ohio River below the mouth of the Little Kanawha River, is located near Parkersburg in Wood County, West Virginia, USA....

 were occupied and allegedly plundered by members of the Virginia Militia. He fled with his family and was twice arrested. The second time he remained imprisoned until Burr was acquitted. He went to Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 and became a cotton planter and later moved to Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 where he practiced law. Blennerhassett returned to his native Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 where he died on February 2, 1831.

See also

  • Republic of Texas
    Republic of Texas
    The Republic of Texas was an independent nation in North America, bordering the United States and Mexico, that existed from 1836 to 1846.Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S...

  • Confederate States of America
    Confederate States of America
    The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

  • Golden Circle (slavery)
    Golden Circle (slavery)
    The Golden Circle was a pan-Caribbean political alliance inspired by the Burr conspiracy, in the 1850s that would have included many countries into a United States-like federal union. The Golden Circle was centered in Havana and was 2,400 miles in diameter...

  • William Walker (filibuster)
  • Republic of Hawaii
    Republic of Hawaii
    The Republic of Hawaii was the formal name of the government that controlled Hawaii from 1894 to 1898 when it was run as a republic. The republic period occurred between the administration of the Provisional Government of Hawaii which ended on July 4, 1894 and the adoption of the Newlands...

  • Davis Floyd
    Davis Floyd
    Davis Floyd was an Indiana Jeffersonian Republican politician who was convicted of aiding American Vice President Aaron Burr in the Burr conspiracy. Floyd was not convicted of treason however and returned to public life after several years working to redeem his reputation...

  • Burr (novel)
    Burr (novel)
    Burr , by Gore Vidal, is a historical novel challenging the traditional iconography of United States history via narrative and a fictional memoir of Aaron Burr. Burr was variously the third US vice president, a US Army officer in and combat veteran of the Revolutionary War, a lawyer and a U.S....


Further reading


  • Thomas Jefferson Papers at Library of Congress
  • “Aaron Burr and the Definition of Treason (1783-1815).” American Eras. 8 vols. Gale Research, 1997-1998. Student Resource Center. Thomson Gale. 24 October 2005.
  • “The Aaron Burr Conspiracy (1800-1860).” American Eras. 8 vols. Gale Research, 1997-1998. Student Resource Center. Thomson Gale. 24 October 2005.
  • American State Papers, 9th Congress, 2nd Session
    • Miscellaneous: Volume 1, Page 468, No. 217. Burr’s Conspiracy.
    • Miscellaneous: Volume 1, Page 478, No. 223. Burr’s Conspiracy—his arrest.
  • “Burr’s Conspiracy, 1805-1807.” DISCovering U.S. History. Online Edition. Gale, 2003. Student Resource Center. Thomson Gale. 24 October 2005.
  • McCaleb, Walter Flavius. Aaron Burr Conspiracy: A History from Original and Hitherto Unused Sources. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1903.
  • Philbrick, Francis S. The Rise of the West, 1754-1830. Ed. 1. New York: Harper &Row, 1965.