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Burr: An American Conspiracy

Kathleen J. Brett, James Madison University

Former vice president and political figure Aaron Burr was one of the most ambitious and controversial Americans of the early 18th century. After killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, plotted against the United States in order to create his own country. This plot became known as the Burr Conspiracy. Within this conspiracy, Burr consulted not only the Spanish for support, but America’s rival, England. Burr’s detailed scheming against his own country served as enough to arrest him under the charge of “high treason.” The trial proved to be crucial in American history, as the definition of “high treason” was greatly debated. However the evidence within the case of United States v. Burr, was not enough to convict him. Burr’s legacy remained one of deception and ambition to make his mark. Many sources were consulted within the paper, including letters from Jonathan Dayton and Documents Concerning the Burr Conspiracy, 1806-1808.