Aaron Burr: The fallen Founder
There has been much debate about the trial of Aaron Burr, one of the most controversial trials in American history. In 1807, President of the United States Thomas Jefferson and many of Burr’s political opponents made accusations against former Vice President Aaron Burr, declaring that Burr tried to create an independent nation in the center of North America and/or the Southwest, and parts of Mexico. Many have gone so far as to use the term “the Burr Conspiracy” when they refer to the issue. However, Thomas Jefferson and his associates arrested and indicted Burr for treason with no firm evidence presented. In examination of the context at the time of the trial, it was clear that Aaron Burr, a hated figure among the “founding fathers” because of his radical personality, was a political victim sacrificed by Jefferson to prove the validity of the Constitution and to initiate a political battle against the Federalists. Aaron Burr, by the judgment of Chief Justice Marshall, was rightfully proved not guilty.
There have been meticulous reports about where Aaron Burr stayed, who his accomplices were, what plans he made at certain times of his westward trip. At first sight, those reports seemed so truthful and accurate that most people believed it was undeniable proof for Aaron Burr’s treason. Some of the details were true, obviously, like Burr’s trip to Blennerhassett’s Island and his several meetings with Mr. Wilkinson, the governor of Louisiana, the self-proclaimed co-plotter of “the Burr conspiracy” and also the person who exposed Burr’s plan. However, further examination raised questions about the accuracy, objectivity and the reliability of the reports and the claims made against Aaron Burr.
First, as proved successfully by Burr and his lawyers, Burr was one hundred miles distant from Blennerhassett’s Island at the time he was believed to commit “the overt act of war” as the prosecutors claimed. There were also many other...