Historical records matching Aaron Burr, Jr., 3rd Vice President of the USA
About Aaron Burr, Jr., 3rd Vice President of the USA
Wikipedia Biographical Summary:
Aaron Burr, Jr. served as the third Vice President of the United States under President Thomas Jefferson (1801–1805) , and was the first vice president to never serve as president. He fought in the Revolutionary War, was an important political figure in the nation's early history, one of the founders of the Democratic-Republican Party and spent much of his career after politics engaging in a number of controversial adventures, including killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel.
Aaron Burr Jr. was the 3rd Vice-President of the United States under Thomas Jefferson and was also famous for having killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. One daughter with his wife and supposedly a son and daughter with an East Indian woman from Calcutta that was a servant. ----------------------------------------------------------- Chronology of Aaron Burr
An Aaron Burr Chronology
Feb. 6, 1756
Aaron Burr is born in Newark, New Jersey. His father, the Rev. Aaron Burr, is the president of the College of New Jersey, later renamed Princeton. Little Aaron nearly died in 1757.
September 24, 1757
Aaron’s father, the Rev. Aaron Burr, dies of exhaustion at age 41. He leaves an estate estimated at £10,000. (Cote, p. 10)
April 17, 1758
Aaron’s mother, Esther Edwards Burr, dies one month after her father, Rev. Jonathan Edwards, died on March 22. Both were felled by smallpox after being inoculated for same. Esther’s mother then succumbs to dysentery on October 2. (Cote, pp. 10-11)
Burr and his older sister Sally are housed in Philadelphia with Dr. and Mrs. William Shippen.
March 22, 1760
Timothy Edwards, Aaron and Sally’s 21 year-old uncle, obtains formal guardianship of the two children. (Cote, p. 15)
At age 13, Burr is accepted for advanced placement as a sophomore at the College of New Jersey.
Burr graduates from college. He remains at Princeton for voluntary study until mid-1773. He inherits £10,000 from his father.
In Massachusetts, Burr presents himself to General Washington, and asks for a commission in the Continental Army. Washington has no commissions to spare.
Burr joins an expedition heading north to participate in an attack on the city of Quebec.
December 31, 1775
Led by General Montgomery, the attack on Quebec fails. Burr unsuccessfully attempts to carry the fallen general from the field. Burr spends the remainder of the winter with Benedict Arnold on the outskirts of Quebec.
June 22, 1776
After a short term on the staff of General Washington in New York City, Burr is assigned to Washington’s second-in-command, General Israel Putnam. (Lomask, Vol, I, p. 44)
British General Howe lands troops in Brooklyn, overwhelming the revolutionary forces under Putnam’s (and Burr’s) command.
September 15, 1776
British land in Manhattan, and Burr effectively organizes an escape for troops trapped behind British lines.
June 29, 1777
Burr is promoted to Lt. Colonel and assumes the effective command of William Malcolm’s regiment.
Burr and his troops frustrate a British loyalist raid on the local farmers of Bergen County, NJ.
October 1777-May 1778
Burr spends the harsh winter with suffering troops in Valley Forge, PA. He instills discipline among those in his command.
June 28, 1778
Burr participates in the Battle of Monmouth, in New Jersey.
October 24, 1778
In failing health, Burr seeks leave from military duty without pay. General Washington grants leave with pay. Burr moves to West Point.
In command of the so-called Westchester Lines, Burr stops random lawlessness among Whigs, Tories, and soldiers. (Cote, p. 36)
March 10, 1779
Burr retires from the military. (Cote, p. 40)
Burr rallies local militia and Yale College students as British troops attack New Haven (Cote, p. 40)
April 17, 1782
Burr is admitted to the New York State bar. (Cote, p.46)
July 2, 1782
Burr marries Theodosia Prevost at The Hermitage in a double ceremony that included the marriage of Theodosia’s half-sister, Catherine DeVisme to Dr. Joseph Brown. Ten years older than Burr, Theodosia was a widow in poor health with five children. (Cote, p.48) Both were advocates of women's rights and followers of Mary Wollstonecraft. Burr loved Theodosia for her intellect.
June 21, 1783
Theodosia Bartow Burr was born in Albany, NY. She was sickly for the first few months. (Cote, p. 50)
Burr serves in the New York State Assembly. He supports an unsuccessful resolution to abolish slavery. (Cote, p.58)
June 20, 1785
A second daughter, Sarah, (Sally) is born to Aaron and Theodosia. She died at three years of age in October 1788. Theodosia later experienced stillbirths of boys in February 1787 and July 1788. (Cote, pp. 54-55)
Burr serves as attorney general of New York State, appointed by Governor George Clinton. (Cote, p.59)
October 24, 1791
Burr takes his seat a United States Senator from New York at Philadelphia, after defeating Philip Schuyler with the help of the Livingston family on January 19,1791.
May 28, 1794
Burr’s wife, Theodosia, dies. (Lomask I, p. 197)
Burr serves a second term in the New York State Assembly. (Cote, p.58)
Electoral College votes a tie at 73 votes each for Burr and Jefferson as President. (Cote, p. 121)
Rev. Johnson of the Dutch Reformed Church marries Theodosia Burr to Joseph Alston of South Carolina in Albany. (Cote, pp. 120-1)
After a seven-day impasse and 36 rounds of voting in the House of Representatives, Jefferson is elected President and Burr Vice President. (Cote, p. 122)Jefferson makes a deal with the Delaware delegate who finally changes his vote, while Burr at his daughter's wedding does no behind the scenes deal making.
Aaron Burr is sworn in as vice-president of the United States.
Aaron Burr Alston is born (Lomask I, p. 327)
April 24-26, 1804
Burr loses a race for the governorship of New York. (Lomask I, p. 343) Angry over remarks made by Hamilton during the campaign, Burr challenges Hamilton to a duel. Hamilton knows that if he provokes Burr to challenge, that Hamilton can choose the weapons, and he has his brother-in law John Church's trick pistols available.
May 23, 1804
Burr meets with James Wilkinson at Richmond Hill, probably initiating the formal start of plans to invade Mexico. Everyone thinks War with Spain is inevitable, and Wilkinson is in charge of the US army thanks to Burr's recommendation to Jefferson. Burr does not know Wilkinson is a paid spy for Spain.
July 11, 1804
Burr shoots Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. Burr is not injured. Hamilton dies the next day.
July 21, 1804
Burr leaves New York City during the night, accompanied by Samuel Swartwout and Peter Yates.
August 6, 1804
Anthony Merry, British minister to the U.S., reports to London Burr’s offer to assist England in any plan to separate the western U.S. from the Atlantic coastal states. Whether Burr agreed to that or not is unknown.
August 14, 1804
New York grand jury indicts Burr, along with William Van Ness and Nathaniel Pendleton, for dueling.
August 25, 1804
Burr arrives at the plantation of Pierce Butler on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia.
Feb. 4- Mar. 1, 1805
As Vice-President, Burr presides over the Senate impeachment trial of Judge Samuel Chase. Jefferson is furious he cannot control the judicial branch. With the slave votes by the 3/5ths rule, Jefferson's plantation supporters receive a setback from Burr.
March 2, 1805
Burr resigns the Senate after giving a sensation-causing speech. He is penniless and politically powerless.
April 10, 1805
Burr leaves Washington via horseback for Pittsburgh.
April 29, 1805
Burr arrives in Pittsburgh.
April 30, 1805
Burr and a companion, acting as his secretary, set off down the Ohio River on a sixty-foot houseboat.
May 5, 1805
Burr arrives in Marietta, Ohio. Fourteen miles south of Marietta, Burr lands on Blennerhassett Island. He dines and stays with the Blennerhassetts until 11 o'clock, then continues on his voyage.
May 30, 1805
Burr arrives in Nashville, where he is greeted with public balls and dinners. He stays four days as the guest of General Andrew Jackson.
Burr meets with General Wilkinson, the new Governor of the Louisiana Territory, at Fort Massac. Wilkinson outfits Burr with “an elegant barge” and gives him letters of introduction to Wilkinson's friends in New Orleans.
June 25, 1805
Burr lands in New Orleans. He meets with wealthy merchant (and friend of Wilkinson), Daniel Clark. He is feasted with banquets and balls. Burr stays three weeks.
Burr travels in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri, where he speaks contemptuously of the federal government.
October 27, 1806
President Jefferson issues a proclamation denouncing Burr’s western plans and warning people against them. because Jefferson saw a threat to the Slave States he represented.
November 27, 1804
Wilkinson decides not to attack the trespassing Spanish soldiers, and the anticipated war does not commence (until 30 years later at Alamo) Jefferson publicly announces that a plan is underway to attack Mexico, and directs that the conspirators, whom he does not name, be arrested.
Burr returns East. He dines in Washington with President Jefferson. Then Burr returns to Philadelphia, where he spends the winter of 1804-05. In December, Burr writes his first letter to Harman Blennerhassett.
Burr contacts prominent people, soliciting their financial support for an expedition to the western states.
July 29, 1806
Burr sends a letter in cipher to General Wilkinson in New Orleans announcing he had “commenced the enterprise” and that “detachments from different points and under different pretences will rendezvous on the Ohio” River on November 1. Burr writes that the troops (pioneer settlers) will be at Natchez in early December to meet Wilkinson. “The gods invite to glory and fortune,” Burr says. Wilkinson eliminates the beginning portion of the letter when he presents it as evidence later, and is caught doing so by Burr.
Burr, his daughter Theodosia, Theodosia's child, and Colonel Dupiester reach Pittsburgh, and began a trip down the Ohio River. Burr and Dupiester occasionally leave the boat to gauge sentiment for their enterprise in the surrounding countryside. On one of these visits, in Washington County, Pennsylvania, Burr discloses plans that shock the patriotism of his host, Colonel Morgan. Morgan's sons join Burr's group heading west, but Morgan does not want them to leave him. Morgan communicates his concerns to President Jefferson.
On Blennerhassett Island, Burr makes plans for a large-scale expedition. He contracts for fifteen boats, capable of carrying 500 men, as well as for provisions. He continues his travels through Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In Nashville, he contracts for the building of six boats, and deposits money with Andrew Jackson to pay for them. He also purchases 400,000 acres of land on the Washita River. Blennerhassett writes letters suggesting the western states would be better off without the Atlantic states. Burr does not necessarily see or agree with this letter.
Wilkinson receives Burr's ciphered July letter, as well as one from Senator Jonathan Dayton asking, “Are your numerous associates ready?” Burr's messenger, Samuel Swartwout, tells Wilkinson that Burr will lead 7,000 armed men on an attack against the Mexican provinces. (to help the US army against Spain.)Wilkinson decides to actively oppose Burr's plans. He prepares New Orleans for a possible attack and sends a messenger to inform the President of Burr's plans. He says Burr's troops will sail from New Orleans on February 1 and land in Vera Cruz, to begin a march to Mexico City. Meanwhile, Burr, Alston, and Blennerhassett meet in Lexington, Kentucky. Newspapers in the West begin discussing Burr's schemes. Some denounce him as a traitor, and accuse him of plotting the breakup of the Union.
Joe Daviess, a Federalist district attorney in Kentucky, asks for a court order to compel Burr to answer questions before a grand jury about his activities. The motion is denied, but to the surprise of Daviess, Burr voluntarily shows up in court and agrees to answer questions.
A confidential agent sent by President Jefferson to investigate plots in the western states meets with Blennerhassett. Believing him to be a confederate, Blennerhassett reveals plans.
November 25, 1806
The messenger sent from New Orleans by General Wilkinson on November 12 meets with President Jefferson.
November 27, 1806
Jefferson publicly announces that an illegal military operation, involving a planned attack on the dominions of Spain, is afoot in the western states. He asks that participants in the scheme by apprehended and brought to justice. Burr's name is not mentioned in the proclamation.
December 5, 1806
A Kentucky grand jury signs a written declaration exonerating Burr of any activities inimical to the peace of the country. Burr leaves for Nashville.
December 7, 1806
Four boats and about 30 men from Pennsylvania arrive at Blennerhassett Island.
December 9, 1806
The Ohio militia seizes eleven boats commissioned by Burr. Many recruits who had previously agreed to join the expedition back out. Informed of a militia about to descend on Blennerhasset Island, conspirators hastily depart around midnight in their four boats. The militia raids the wine cellar and vandalizes the mansion.
December 20, 1806
The Secretary of the Navy sends a letter ordering Navy officials in New Orleans to “intercept and if necessary destroy” boats under the command of Burr.
December 22, 1806
Burr leaves Nashville, heading down the Cumberland River.
January 5, 1807
Wilkinson learns that Burr may have several thousand men in Natchez. Martial law is proclaimed in New Orleans.
January 14, 1807
Word of Burr's arrival at Bayou Pierre reaches Natchez. A force of 275 men is dispatched to capture Burr and his recruits.
Late January 1807
Burr surrenders. (with 120+? men and nothing but small hunting guns.) However, a grand jury impaneled in the Mississippi Territory refuses to indict Burr for “any crime or misdemeanor against the United States.”
February 19, 1807
Major Perkins near the Tombigbee River in Alabama arrests Burr. He is taken to Fort Stoddart, where he is imprisoned for two weeks.
Burr, under a guard of nine men, is taken to Richmond by horseback. He arrives on the 26th.
March 30, 1807
Burr appears before Chief Justice John Marshall.
April 1, 1807
Marshall finds probable cause to try Burr on charges of conspiring to invade a nation at peace with the United States. Marshall, however, does not find probable cause, based on the evidence submitted, to try Burr for treason against the United States. Jefferson wanted Burr hanged for Treason.
May 22, 1807
Grand jury proceedings related to the Burr matter open in Richmond, Virginia.
June 12, 1807
President Jefferson responds to the request by Burr that he submit letters that might aid in Burr's defense.
June 13, 1807
John Marshall issues his opinion concerning the defense motion for a subpoena directed to President Jefferson.
August 3, 1807
The trial of Aaron Burr opens in Richmond, Virginia.
August 15, 1807
Jury selection is completed.
August 17, 1807
District Attorney Hay delivers the opening statement for the prosecution.
August 20-29, 1807
Arguments on the defense motion to exclude further evidence based on the Constitution's definition of treason.
August 31, 1807
John Marshall issues an important ruling excluding evidence of Burr's conduct subsequent to the transaction on Blennerhassett Island.
September 1, 1807
The jury finds Burr “not proved to be guilty under this indictment by any evidence submitted to us.” Burr remains in Richmond until December.
Burr resides incognito in Baltimore, journeying to New York in April.
June 7, 1808
Using the pseudonym of H.E. Edwards, Burr boards the British mail packet Clarissa Ann in New York, bound for Falmouth, England to avoid his enemies and creditors and to push his plan for conquering Mexico. H e arrives on July 13.
April 14, 1809
Under the name of Mr. Kirby, Burr is arrested by British authorities and offered a passport to any country. He had previously been declared persona non grata by the British government. Burr departed for Sweden, arriving on May 2
October 21, 1809
Burr crosses over from Sweden to Denmark and spend the latter quarter of 1809 in Denmark and Germany.
February 16, 1810
Burr, having arrived in Paris from Germany, spends most of the next 18 months with the American painter John Vanderlyn, whom Burr had discovered and educated.
July 20, 1811
With the help of daughter Theodosia and first lady Dolley Madison, Burr gets a passport from Napoleon's regime and departs Paris for Amsterdam, where he boards the Vigilant for travel to the United States. The ship is captured by the British, forcing Burr back to England.
May 4, 1812
Traveling as Adolphus Arnot, Burr arrives in Boston.
June 8, 1812
Burr returns to New York, where his close friend Samuel Swartwout on Stone Street takes him in.
June 30, 1812
Burr’s grandson, Aaron Burr Alston, dies of summer fever in South Carolina.
December 10, 1812
Joseph Alston, Burr’s son-in-law, is elected governor of South Carolina.
December 31, 1812
Theodosia Alston, in the company of Dr. Timothy Ruggles Greene, a friend of Burr from Boston who had traveled south to escort Theodosia, and one or two of her servants, left Georgetown, SC on the schooner Patriot for New York City. The ship and all those aboard vanished.
Burr goes to the docks each day awaiting his now deceased daughter who never arrives. Burr sinks into depression.
September 10, 1816
Joseph Alston dies at his father’s house on King Street in Charleston.
Burr suffers a slight stroke, but he recovers.
July 1, 1833
Burr marries Madame Eliza Jumel, wealthy widow of French merchant Stephen Jumel, at the Jumel mansion in upper Manhattan, Harlem Heights.
Burr, living in Jersey City, suffers a second stroke, which renders him immobile. He is borne to the old Jay Mansion on the Battery, now a boarding house, where he was cared for by Mrs. Hannah Newton, the housekeeper.
July 12, 1834
Madame Eliza Jumel Burr files for divorce.
September 14, 1836
Burr dies at the Continental Hotel, Port Richmond, Staten Island. On the same day, Madame Jumel’s petition for divorce was granted.
bio from wickepedia
Aaron Burr From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Aaron Burr
3rd Vice President of the United States In office March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1805PresidentThomas JeffersonPreceded byThomas JeffersonSucceeded byGeorge Clinton United States Senator from New York In office March 4, 1791 – March 3, 1797Preceded byPhilip SchuylerSucceeded byPhilip Schuyler 3rd New York State Attorney General In office September 29, 1789 – November 8, 1791GovernorGeorge ClintonPreceded byRichard VarickSucceeded byMorgan Lewis BornFebruary 6, 1756 Newark, New JerseyDiedSeptember 14, 1836 (aged 80) Staten Island, New YorkNationalityAmericanPolitical partyDemocratic-RepublicanSpouseTheodosia Bartow Prevost Eliza Bowen JemelAlma materPrinceton UniversityReligionPresbyterianThis article discusses Aaron Burr (1756-1836), the U.S. politician. For his father, the second president of Princeton University, please see Aaron Burr, Sr. (1716-1757). Aaron Burr, Jr. (February 6, 1756 – September 14, 1836) was an American politician, Revolutionary War hero and adventurer. He served as the third Vice President of the United States under Thomas Jefferson (1801–1805).
A formative member of the Democratic-Republican Party with a political base in New York, Burr served in the New York State Assembly (1784–1785, 1798–1801), as New York State Attorney General (1789–1791), United States Senator (1791–1797), and for one term as Vice President of the United States (1801–1805) under President Thomas Jefferson. A candidate for President in 1800, Burr tied Jefferson with 73 electoral votes, making him eligible for one of the Nation's two highest offices and sending the election into the U.S. House of Representatives. After 36 ballots, Jefferson was elected President and Burr elected Vice President. As Vice President, Burr was President of the Senate, and in this role presided over the impeachment trial of Samuel Chase.
During an unsuccessful campaign for election to Governor of New York in 1804, Burr was often referred to in published articles written by Alexander Hamilton, a long-time political rival and son-in-law of Philip Schuyler, the first U.S. Senator from New York whom Burr defeated in his bid for re-election in 1791. Taking umbrage at remarks made by Hamilton at a dinner party and Hamilton's subsequent failure to account for the remarks, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel on July 11, 1804, at the Heights of Weehawken in New Jersey at which he mortally wounded Hamilton. Easily the most famous duel in U.S. history, it had immense political ramifications. Burr, who survived the duel, was indicted for murder in both New York and New Jersey (though these charges were either later dismissed or resulted in acquittal), and the harsh criticism and animosity directed towards him brought about an end to his political career in the East, though he remained a popular figure in the West and South. Further, Hamilton's untimely death would fatally weaken the remnants of the Federalist Party.
After Burr left the Vice Presidency at the end of his term in 1805, he journeyed into what was then the U.S. West, particularly the Ohio River Valley area and the lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. While historians are uncertain as to Burr's particular activities, he was accused in turns of having committed treason, of a conspiracy to steal Louisiana Purchase lands away from the United States and crown himself a King or Emperor, or of an attempt to declare an illegal war against Spanish possessions in Mexico. He did go so far as to form his own regiment of at least 200 men. Burr was arrested in 1807 and brought to trial on charges of treason, for which he was acquitted. After several years in self-imposed exile in Europe, Burr returned to practicing law in New York City and lived a largely reclusive existence until his death.
Biography Early life
Jonathan Edwards Burr was born in Newark, New Jersey, to the Rev. Aaron Burr, Sr., who was a Presbyterian minister and the second president of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University; his mother, Esther Edwards, was the daughter of Jonathan Edwards, the famous Calvinist theologian. The Burrs also had a daughter, Sarah, who married an officer in Washington's Revolutionary Army, Sir Solomon Tarbox. Aaron and his sister were of English ancestry.
In 1772, he received his A.B. in theology at Princeton University, but changed his career path two years later and began the study of law in the celebrated law school conducted by Tapping Reeve, at Litchfield, Connecticut. His studies were put on hold while he served during the Revolutionary War, under Generals Benedict Arnold, George Washington (for two weeks), and Israel Putnam.
During the Revolutionary War, Aaron Burr took part in General Benedict Arnold's expedition into Canada in 1775, an arduous trek of over 500 miles in winter. Upon arriving before the Battle of Quebec, Burr was sent up the St. Lawrence River to make contact with General Richard Montgomery, who had taken Montreal, and escorted him to Quebec. Montgomery promoted Burr to captain and made him an aide-de-camp. Although Montgomery was killed while attempting to capture the city of Quebec during a fierce snow storm on December 31, 1775, Burr distinguished himself with brave actions against the British.
His courage made him a national hero and earned him a place on Washington's staff in Manhattan, but he quit after two weeks because he wanted to return to the field. Never hesitant to voice his opinions, Burr may have set Washington against him; however, rumors that Washington then distrusted Burr have never been substantiated.
General Israel Putnam took Burr under his wing; by his vigilance in the retreat from lower Manhattan to Harlem, Burr saved an entire brigade (including Alexander Hamilton, who was one of its officers) from capture. In a stark departure from common practice, Washington failed to commend Burr's actions in the next day's General Orders (the fastest way to obtain a promotion in rank). Although Burr was already a nationally-known hero, he never received a commendation. According to Burr's stepbrother Matthew Ogden, Burr was infuriated by the incident, which may have led to the eventual estrangement between him and Washington.  
On becoming lieutenant colonel in July 1777, Burr assumed virtual leadership of Malcolm's Additional Continental Regiment, approximately 300 men under Colonel William Malcolm. The regiment successfully fought off continual nighttime raids into central New Jersey by English troops sailing over from Manhattan, crushing those forces. During the harsh winter encampment at Valley Forge, Burr was put in charge of a small contingent guarding the "Gulph," an isolated pass commanding the approach to the camp, and necessarily the first point that would be attacked. Burr was chosen to enforce discipline there, successfully defeating a mutiny by some of the troops.
On June 28, 1778 at the Battle of Monmouth, his regiment was decimated by British artillery, and in the day's terrible heat, Burr suffered a stroke from which he would never quite recover. In January 1779, Burr was assigned to the command of the lines of Westchester County, a region between the British post at Kingsbridge and that of the U.S. about 15 miles (24 km) to the north. In this district there was much turbulence and plundering by the lawless elements of both Whigs and Tories, and by bands of ill-disciplined soldiers from both armies. Burr established a thorough patrol system, rigorously enforced martial law, and quickly restored order.
He resigned from the Continental Army in March 1779 due to ill health, and renewed his study of law. Though technically no longer in the service, he remained active in the war: he was assigned by General Washington to perform occasional intelligence missions for Continental generals such as Arthur St. Clair, and on July 5, 1779, he rallied a group of Yale students at New Haven along with Capt. James Hillhouse and the Second Connecticut Governors Foot Guard in a skirmish with the British at the West River. The British advance was repulsed, having to enter New Haven from Hamden.
Despite these activities, Burr was able to finish his studies and was admitted to the bar at Albany in 1782. He began to practice in New York City after the British evacuated the city the following year. He lived in Richmond Hill, Manhattan, an area just outside of Greenwich Village.
In 1783, Burr married Theodosia Bartow Prevost, the widow of James Marcus Prevost (see The Hermitage), a British army officer who had died in the West Indies during the Revolutionary War. They moved to New York City, where Burr's reputation as a brilliant trial lawyer was well-known. They had two daughters who survived birth, only one of whom grew to adulthood, and was named after her mother. The marriage lasted until the elder Theodosia's death from stomach cancer twelve years later. Born in 1783, his daughter Theodosia, became widely known for her education and accomplishments. She married Joseph Alston of South Carolina in 1801, and bore a son who died of fever at ten years of age. She died either due to piracy or in a shipwreck off the Carolinas in the winter of 1812 or early 1813.
In 1833, at age 77, Burr married again, this time to Eliza Bowen Jumel, the extremely wealthy widow of Stephen Jumel. When she realized her fortune was dwindling from her husband's land speculation, they separated after only four months. The divorce between Burr and Jumel was finalized on September 14, 1836, the same day of Burr
Legal and early political career
Burr served in the New York State Assembly from 1784 to 1785, but became seriously involved in politics in 1789, when George Clinton appointed him New York State Attorney General. He was commissioner of Revolutionary War claims in 1791, and that same year was elected to the United States Senate over the incumbent, General Philip Schuyler, and served there until 1797.
While Burr and Jefferson served during the Washington administration, the Federal Government was resident in Philadelphia. They both roomed for a time at the boarding house of a Mrs. Payne. Her daughter Dolley, an attractive young widow, was introduced by Burr to James Madison, whom she subsequently married.
Although Hamilton and Burr had long been on good personal terms, often dining with one another, Burr's defeat of General Schuyler, Hamilton's father-in-law probably drove the first major wedge into their friendship. Nevertheless, their relationship took a decade to reach a status of enmity.
As a U.S. Senator, Burr was not a favorite in President George Washington's eyes. He sought to write an official Revolutionary history, but Washington blocked his access to the archives, possibly because the former colonel had been a noted critic of his leadership, and possibly because he regarded Burr as a schemer. Washington also passed over Burr for the ministry to France. After being appointed commanding general of U.S. forces by President John Adams in 1798, Washington turned down Burr's application for a brigadier general's commission during the Quasi-War with France. Adams wrote, "By all that I have known and heard, Colonel Burr is a brave and able officer, but the question is whether he has not equal talents at intrigue." Hamilton, who by then despised Burr, still had Washington's ear at this time. Burr is said to have despised Washington "as a man of no talents and one who could not spell a sentence of common English." However, Washington's wartime strategies may have colored Burr's opinion of the General. (Sources: Schachner; Lomask.)
Bored with the inactivity of the new U.S. Senate, Burr ran for and was elected to the New York State Assembly, serving from 1798 through 1801. During John Adams' term as President, national parties became clearly defined. Burr loosely associated himself with the Democratic-Republicans, though he had moderate Federalist allies, such as Sen. Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey. Burr quickly became a key player in New York politics, more powerful in time than Hamilton, largely because of the Tammany Society, later to become the infamous Tammany Hall, which Burr converted from a social club into a political machine to help Jefferson reach the Presidency. In 1799, Burr founded the Bank of the Manhattan Company, which in later years evolved into the Chase Manhattan Bank and later JPMorgan Chase.
In 1800, New York presidential electors were to be chosen by the state legislature as they had been in 1796 (for John Adams). The state assembly was controlled by the Federalists going into the April 1800 legislative elections. In the city of New York, assembly members were to be selected on a at-large basis. Burr and Hamilton were the key organizers for their respective parties in the April 1800 election. Burr succeeded in getting the entire Republican slate of assemblymen for New York City elected, gaining control of the legislature and in due course giving New York's electoral votes to Jefferson and winning the 1800 presidential election for him. This drove another wedge between Hamilton and Burr. Burr became U.S. Vice President during Jefferson's first term (1801-1805).
During the French Revolution, French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, in need of sanctuary to escape the Terror, stayed in Burr's home in New York City but also spent much time at Hamilton's house. When Burr, after the Hamilton duel and treason trial, traveled Europe in an attempt to recoup his fortunes, Talleyrand refused him entrance into France. Talleyrand was an ardent admirer of Alexander Hamilton and had even once written: "I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton, the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton. He had divined Europe."
Because of his influence in New York City and the New York legislature, Burr was asked by Jefferson and Madison to help the Jeffersonians in the election of 1800. Burr sponsored a bill through the New York Assembly that established a water utility company that also allowed the Democratic-Republicans to create a bank for Jefferson's campaign. Another crucial move was Burr's success in getting his state of New York City and nearby Electors to win election, thus defeating the Federalist slate, which was chosen and backed by Alexander Hamilton, who lost. This event drove a further wedge between the former friends.
Burr is known as the father of modern political campaigning. He enlisted the help of members of Tammany Hall, a social club, and won the election. He was then placed on the Democratic-Republican presidential ticket in the 1800 election with Jefferson. At the time, state legislatures chose the members of the U.S. Electoral College, and New York was crucial to Jefferson. Though Jefferson did win New York, he and Burr tied for the presidency with 73 electoral votes each.
It was well understood that the party intended that Jefferson should be president and Burr vice president, but the responsibility for the final choice belonged to the House of Representatives. The attempts of a powerful faction among the Federalists to secure the election of Burr failed, partly due to opposition by Alexander Hamilton and partly due to Burr himself, who did little to obtain votes in his own favor. He wrote to Jefferson underscoring his promise to be vice president, and again during the voting stalemate in the Congress wrote again that he would give it up entirely if Jefferson so demanded. Ultimately, the election devolved to the point where it took 36 ballots before James A. Bayard, a Delaware Federalist, submitted a blank vote. Federalist abstentions in the Vermont and Maryland delegations led to Jefferson's election as President, and Burr’s moderate Federalist supporters conceded his defeat.
Upon confirmation of Jefferson’s election, Burr became Vice President of the United States, but despite his letters and his shunning of any political activity during the balloting (he never left Albany) he lost Jefferson's trust after that, and was effectively shut out of party matters. Some historians conjecture that the reason for this was Burr's casual regard for politics, and that he didn't act aggressively enough during the election tie. Jefferson was tight-lipped in private about Burr, so his reasons are still not entirely clear. However, Burr's even-handed fairness and his judicial manner as President of the Senate were praised even by some of his enemies, and he fostered some time-honored traditions in regard to that office. Historian Forrest MacDonald has credited Burr's judicial manner in presiding over the impeachment trial of Justice Samuel Chase with helping to preserve the principle of judicial independence that was established by Marbury v. Madison in 1803.
Duel with Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton fights his fatal duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. Main article: Burr-Hamilton duel When it became clear that Jefferson would drop Burr from his ticket in the 1804 election, the Vice President ran for the governorship of New York instead. Burr lost the election, and blamed his loss on a personal smear campaign believed to have been orchestrated by his own party rivals, including New York governor George Clinton. Alexander Hamilton also opposed Burr, due to his (still controversial) belief that Burr had entertained a Federalist secession movement in New York. But Hamilton, Burr felt, went too far at one political dinner, where he said that he could express a "still more despicable opinion" of Burr. After a letter regarding the incident written by Dr. Charles D. Cooper was published in the Albany Register, Burr sought an explanation from Hamilton.
Hamilton had written so many letters, and made so many private tirades against Burr, that he claimed that he could not reliably comment on Cooper's statement; Hamilton greatly contributed to Burr's loss in the election of 1800. Instead Hamilton responded casually by educating Burr on the many possible meanings of despicable, enraging and embarrassing Burr. Burr then demanded that Hamilton recant or deny anything he might have said regarding Burr’s character over the past 15 years, but Hamilton, having already been disgraced by the Maria Reynolds scandal and ever mindful of his own reputation and honor, did not. Burr responded by challenging Hamilton to personal combat under the code duello, the formalized rules of dueling. Both men had been involved in duels (though most never reached the dueling field) in the past (for Hamilton 21, for Burr 1), and Hamilton's eldest son, Philip, had died in a duel in 1801.
Although still quite common, dueling had been outlawed in New York, and the punishment for conviction of duelling was death. It was illegal in New Jersey as well, but the consequences were less severe. On July 11, 1804, the enemies met outside of Weehawken, New Jersey, and following the code duello Hamilton was mortally wounded. There has been some controversy as to the claims of Burr's and Hamilton's seconds. While one party indicates Hamilton fired only as a consequence of the shock of being struck by Burr's shot--the implication being that Hamilton's shot was unintentional--the other claims that Hamilton in fact fired first. A scientific study proved that Hamilton fired first, although it is still unclear whether he shot by accident or not. The two sides do, however, agree that there was a 3 to 4 second interval between the first and the second shot, raising difficult questions in evaluating the two camps' versions. In any event, Hamilton's shot missed Burr, but Burr's shot was fatal. The bullet entered Hamilton's abdomen above his right hip, piercing Hamilton's liver and spine. Hamilton was evacuated to Manhattan where he lay in the house of a friend, receiving visitors until he died the following day. Burr was later charged with multiple crimes, including murder, in New York and New Jersey, but was never tried in either jurisdiction. He fled to South Carolina, where his daughter lived with her family, but soon returned to Philadelphia and then on to Washington to complete his term as Vice President. As leader of the Senate he presided over the impeachment trial of Samuel Chase. It was written by one Senator that Burr had conducted the proceedings with the "impartiality of an angel and the rigor of a devil." Burr's farewell in March 1805 moved some of his harshest critics in the Senate to tears. However, except for short quotes and descriptions of the address, which defended America's system of government, it was never recorded in full.
Conspiracy and trial
Main article: Burr conspiracy Burr had leased 40,000 acres (160 km²) of land in the Texas part of Mexico, in the "Bastrop" lands from the Spanish government. His "conspiracy," he always avowed, was that if he settled there with a large group of (armed) "farmers" and war broke out, he would have an army with which to fight and claim land for himself, thus recouping his fortunes. However, that war in Texas didn't occur until 1836, the year of Burr's death.
In 1805, General James Wilkinson was chosen by Jefferson to be the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army at New Orleans and Governor of the Louisiana Territory (It was revealed years later that at the time he was a spy, secretly in the pay of the Kingdom of Spain.) Wilkinson had his own reasons for aiding the Burr Conspiracy. As Territorial Governor, he could have seized power for himself, as he had attempted in earlier plots in Kentucky. Ignorant of the General's treason, Burr enlisted Wilkinson and others to his plan in a reconnaissance mission to the West in April 1805.
Another member of the Burr conspiracy was the Anglo-Irish aristocrat Harman Blennerhassett. After marrying his niece, Blennerhassett had been forced out of Ireland. He came to live as a quasi-feudal lord, owning an island now bearing his name in the Ohio River. Highly educated, Blennerhassett maintained a scientific laboratory and an impressive villa on the island. It was there that he met Burr and agreed to help finance the ambitions of Burr's group.
Like many of his countrymen, including Jefferson, Burr anticipated a war with Spain, a distinct possibility if someone other than Wilkinson commanded U.S. troops on the Louisiana border. In case of a war declaration, Andrew Jackson stood ready to help Colonel Burr, who had already purchased the land shares in Texas. Burr's expedition of perhaps eighty men carried modest arms for hunting, and no war materiel ever came to light, even when Blennerhassett Island was seized by Virginia militia (the island was just off shore from modern Parkersburg, West Virginia).
After a near-incident with Spanish forces at Natchitoches, Wilkinson decided he could best serve his conflicting interests by betraying Burr's plans to President Jefferson and his Spanish paymasters. Jefferson's passivity throughout most of 1806 remains baffling to this day, but he finally issued a proclamation for Burr's arrest, declaring him a traitor even before an indictment. Burr read this in a newspaper in the Orleans Territory on January 10, 1807. Jefferson's warrant put Federal agents on his trail. He turned himself in to the Federal authorities twice. Two judges found his actions legal and released him. But Jefferson's warrant followed Burr, who then fled for Spanish Florida; he was intercepted in the vicinity of the Missouri and Alabama Territories on February 19, 1807 and confined to Fort Stoddert after being arrested on charges of treason.
Burr was treated well at Fort Stoddert. For example, in the evening of February 20, 1807, Burr appeared at the dinner table, and was introduced to Frances Gaines, the wife of the commandant Edmund P. Gaines and the daughter of Judge Harry Toulmin, the man responsible for the legal arrest of Burr. Frances and Burr played chess that evening and continued this entertainment during his confinement at the fort.
Burr's secret correspondence with Anthony Merry and the Marquis of Casa Yrujo, the British and Spanish ministers at Washington, was eventually revealed. It had been, it would seem, to secure money and to conceal his real designs, which were probably to overthrow Spanish power in the Southwest, and perhaps to found a dynasty in what would have become former Mexican territory. This seems to have been a misdemeanor, based on the Neutrality Act passed to block filibuster expeditions like those questionable enterprises of George Rogers Clark and William Blount. But Jefferson sought the highest charges against Burr. It seems that both Jefferson and Burr gravely misjudged Wilkinson's character - Jefferson had personally put him in charge of the Army at New Orleans.
In 1807, on a charge of treason, Burr was brought to trial before the United States Circuit Court at Richmond, Virginia. His defense lawyers were John Wickham and Luther Martin. Burr was arraigned four times for treason before a grand jury indicted him. This is surprising, because the only physical evidence presented to the Grand Jury was Wilkinson's so-called letter from Burr, proposing stealing land in the Louisiana Purchase. During the Jury's examination it was discovered that the letter was in Wilkinson's own handwriting - a "copy," he said, because he had "lost" the original. The Grand Jury threw the letter out, and the news made a laughingstock of the General for the rest of the proceedings. The trial, presided over by Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall, began on August 3.
Article 3, Section 3 of the United States Constitution requires that treason either be admitted in open court, or proved by an overt act witnessed by two people. Since no two witnesses came forward, Burr was acquitted on September 1, in spite of the fact that the full force of the political influence of the Jefferson administration had been thrown against him. Immediately afterward, he was tried on a more appropriate misdemeanor charge, but was again acquitted.
The trial was a major test of the Constitution. It was carefully watched drama (Henry Adams gives a full account) as Thomas Jefferson wanted a conviction. He challenged the authority of the Supreme Court and its Chief Justice John Marshall - an Adams appointee who clashed with Jefferson over judicial appointments that were signed up to the last minute of Adams' single term as president. Thomas Jefferson believed that Aaron Burr's treason was obvious, and warranted a conviction. (Burr had run off and declared himself "Emperor of Mexico") The actual case hinged on whether Aaron Burr was present at certain events at certain times and in certain capacities. Thomas Jefferson used all of his influence to get Marshall to move to conviction, but Marshall was not swayed.
By this point all of Burr's hopes for a political comeback had been dashed, and he fled America and his creditors for Europe, where he tried to regain his fortunes. He lived abroad from 1808 to 1812, passing most of his time in England where he occupied a house on Craven Street in London. He became a good friend, even confidant, of the English Utilitarian philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, even residing at Bentham's home on occasion. He also spent time in Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and France. It was during this period he is known for remarking, "In the past even I was afraid of my own greatness, therefore I could not stand in front of mirrors." Ever hopeful, he solicited funding for renewing his plans for Mexico, but was rebuffed. He was ordered out of England and Napoleon Bonaparte refused to receive him -- although one of his ministers held an interview concerning Burr's aims for Spanish Florida or British possessions in the Caribbean. After returning from Europe, Burr used the surname "Edwards," his mother's maiden name, for a while to avoid creditors.
Burr suffered a debilitating stroke in 1834, which rendered him immobile. In 1836, Burr died on Staten Island in the village of Port Richmond. He is buried in Princeton Cemetery near his father and grandfather in Princeton, New Jersey.
According to his detractors, Burr could be unscrupulous, insincere, devious and amoral. In fact, towards his friends and family, he was a kind man and during his tenure in the Senate he was pleasing in his manners and generous to a fault.
He and his first wife would be called Feminists today. He believed women to be intellectually equal to men, and hung a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft over his mantle. The Burrs' daughter, Theodosia, was taught dance, music, several languages and learned to shoot from horseback. Until her death at sea in 1813, she remained devoted to her father. Not only did Burr advocate education for women, upon his election to the New York State Legislature, he submitted a bill to allow women to vote.
In her Autobiography of Jane Fairfield, the wife of the struggling poet Sumner Lincoln Fairfield relates how their friend Burr saved the lives of her two children, who were left with their grandmother in New York while the parents were in Boston. The grandmother was unable to provide adequate food or heat for the children and was in fear for their very lives. She sought out Burr, as the only one that might be able and willing to help her. Burr "wept and replied, 'Though I am poor and have not a dollar, the children of such a mother shall not suffer while I have a watch.' He hastened on this errand, and quickly returned, having pawned the article for twenty dollars, which he gave to make comfortable my precious babies."  In his later years in New York, he practiced estate law and provided money and education for several children, earning their lifelong affection.
Although he proved irresistible to many women, few historians doubt Burr's devotion to his first wife while she lived. He was profligate in his personal finances, and gave lip service to abolitionism even though he owned one or two slaves for a time. John Quincy Adams (who was a great admirer of Jefferson) said after the former Vice President's death, "Burr's life, take it all together, was such as in any country of sound morals his friends would be desirous of burying in quiet oblivion." This was his own opinion: his father, President John Adams, was an admirer and frequent defender of Burr.
In public and in private, Burr's behavior, even by his political foes, was labelled as considerate and gracious. He was often commended as a great listener. Although much took place in Mr. Burr's life, he is remembered by many only for the deadly duel with Mr. Hamilton. However, his establishment of guides and rules for the first Senate impeachment trial set a high moral bar for behavior and procedures in that chamber, many of which are followed today. Finally, his silence and refusal to engage in defending himself from his political critics either in legislatures or in the press, plus the fact that most of his personal papers disappeared with his daughter, have left an air of mystery over his reputation. One must read his copious correspondence, such as it is, to gain more insight into the man.
Gore Vidal chose to write about the controversial founding father in 1970s with his historical fiction, Burr.
A famous "Got Milk?" commercial directed by Michael Bay features a historian obsessed with the study of Burr who is called by a radio station while he has peanut butter in his mouth and asked the question of who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel in order to win a large prize. The historian is out of milk and cannot manage to say the "Aaron Burr" clearly enough to be heard before his time runs out.
In the Saturday Night Live Digital Short "Lazy Sunday," Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg sing, "You can call us Aaron Burr from the way we're droppin' Hamiltons," referring to spending ten dollar bills (which have Hamilton's portrait on them).
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Burr, Aaron. Adams, John, and Charles Francis Adams. The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations. Boston: Little, Brown, 1850. googlebooks Retrieved October 4, 2008 Burr, Aaron, and Matthew L. Davis. Memoirs of Aaron Burr. With Miscellaneous Selections from His Correspondence. 2 Vols. New York: Harper & Bros, 1837. Project Gutenberg:Vol. 1, Vol. 2 Lomask, Milton. Aaron Burr. 2 Vols. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1979. Ellis, Joseph. "The Founding Brothers." (2000). Fairfield, Jane Frazee, and Sumner Lincoln Fairfield. The Autobiography of Jane Fairfield; Embracing a Few Select Poems by Sumner Lincoln Fairfield. Boston: Bazin and Ellsworth, 1860. googlebooks.com Accessed September 5, 2007 Pickett, Albert James. "The Arrest of Aaron Burr in Alabama." History of Alabama, and amazingly, deeply, and scaraficed Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, from the Earliest Period. Charleston: Walker and James, 1851. googlebooks.com Accessed September 27, 2007 Schachner, Nathan, Aaron Burr, A Biography, New York, 1937. online edition This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
The Morris-Jumel mansion on 175 Jumel Terrace in New York City was built by Roger Morris before the Revolutionary War, and it once had served as George Washington's headquarters. Although it's apparently haunted by five ghosts, the one most people claim to have seen is the specter of Eliza Jumel, who was made rich upon the death of her first husband, Stephen.
They took over the place in 1810, but spent a decade in France before returning to New York. Apparently all was not well between them at the time, for Eliza was allegedly having an affair with former Vice President Aaron Burr. Quite mysteriously in 1832, Stephen fell onto a pitchfork and died. Almost immediately, Eliza married Burr, who was 77. But apparently, they had company. A 1916 publication indicates that there was a ghost in the house, and these rumors persisted through the years.
The Burr marriage lasted only three years before they were divorced. Aaron Burr died in near poverty — after a life seemingly ill-spent. Eliza became reclusive, and she was a frightening sight to behold, with false teeth, unkempt hair, soiled clothing, and ungainly large feet. Finally, dementia took her and her babbling drove away even the staunchest relative. In 1865, she died alone in the big house. Within three years, people were telling stories about seeing her on the premises, clad in a white dress. It was said that each night after midnight there came a loud rapping that frightened all but the soundest sleepers, and people attributed the noise to Eliza.
According to Hans Holzer, in his compendium, Ghosts, there was some suspicion that Eliza had killed her first husband, Stephen, so he took a psychic into the place to try to discover the truth. The psychic supposedly channeled the man's spirit and heard him say that he had indeed been murdered—and he'd been buried alive. Perhaps that's why Eliza seems to get no rest. She either has a guilty conscience or she's not allowed to rest easy after such a heinous act. ---------------------------------------------------- from: Old Penn Street: the Old Fourth Ward, by Agnes M. Hays Gormly, pp. 7-8
My grandmothers memory was a treasure trove of charming New England legend and history. She had been brought up by her grandmother, Mrs. Wormstead, who, I fear, was a Tory, although married to a Revolutionary officer, and delighted in the pictures of stately Boston, when black John carried round the silver service at five o'clock tea, and when Grandma (Martha Wright Akien McFadden) and her little sister came to curtsy, and perhaps in order to form their manners, to drink a dish of tea. Once they came in from a walk Madame Wormstead was entertaining a gentleman who made much of the little girls, setting Grandma on his knee, where fascinated, she watched his brilliant eyes. Shortly, her mother came in, but as the stranger was not presented, she quickly withdrew, and later reproached her mother was told, "I could not have you meet Aaron Burr."
There s a sombre background to these memories, deepening on Sunday afternoons when the Shorter Catechism had to be learned by heart, the task scarcely made lighter by the assurance that a Bible would be presented to me by the grateful Third church, when I could say it wrd-for-word. We had a great many Bibles, so tjhat mu real spur was given by my worldly grandfather, who paid me three cents for ordinary questions and six for "Effectual Calling", while a gold ring was to crown the answer to "The reasons annexed to the Fourth Commandment."
To this fading set of childish mental photographs, belong two old men who wore queues, Judge Riddle, who used to pace along Liberty Street in front of Shalers, and old Pappy Beitler, who lived in East Liberty, and who in his day had been a famous stage driver . . .
What a pleasure there was on market days! First, we went to the store for the market money, then to the market where Hughie Richadson (a well known butcher) was most respectfully friendly. The vegetables were bought from the people who had mostly poled up from Nevile Island, and such corn and melons as they brought! Then we climbed the stairs to buy our butter and eggs and perhaps poultry, (the silver butter taster was carried in Grandma's purse) had more chats with market people, always with the old woman who sold white puddings and herbs. Then we sent the basket home by John, the idiot boy, and walked down Market street . . . then down to Holmes where the selection of coffee, tea and rice was most seriously attended to . . . All this was accomplished so early, that I was still in plenty time for school, where Miss Mary Isreal, our teacher, embroidered flannel skirts and we drew on our slates.
Aaron Burr, Jr., 3rd Vice President of the USA's Timeline
February 6, 1756
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey
June 29, 1777
June 29, 1777
Burr is promoted to Lt. Colonel and assumes the effective command of William Malcolm’s regiment.
June 21, 1783
Albany, Albany County, New York, United States
New Jersey, United States
February 17, 1801
After a seven-day impasse and 36 rounds of voting in the House of Representatives, Jefferson is elected President and Burr Vice President. (Cote, p. 122)Jefferson makes a deal with the Delaware delegate who finally changes his vote, while Burr at his daughter's wedding does no behind the scenes deal making.
Aaron Burr is sworn in as vice-president of the United States.