Between 1805 and 1807, Aaron Burr supposedly intended to commit treason by dividing the American union. How did Americans learn about and respond to this treasonous intrigue?
James Lewis Jr., a Professor of History at Kalamazoo College and author of The Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis, guides us through what we know and don’t know about about Aaron Burr’s supposed plot to divide the American union.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
James Lewis Jr., a Professor of History at Kalamazoo College and author ofThe Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis, guides us through what we know and don’t know about about Aaron Burr’s supposed plot to divide the American union.
As we explore this early American intrigue, James reveals details about Aaron Burr and his political career; What the Burr Conspiracy entailed and why it captivated the attention of Americans during the 19th century; And, how Americans followed and grappled with the Burr Conspiracy as it unfolded and during and after Burr’s trial for treason.
What You’ll Discover
- Aaron Burr
- Burr’s duel with Hamilton
- Details of the Burr Conspiracy
- How Americans learned about and followed the Burr Conspiracy
- Media during the early 19th century and its portrayal of Burr
- Burr’s activities in Kentucky
- Blennerhassett Island
- The Spanish Association Conspiracy
- The American fear of disunion
- American identity in the early American West
- Thomas Jefferson's response to Burr and his western activities
- Congressional response to the Burr Conspiracy
- Aaron Burr’s arrest in the Mississippi Territory
- General James Wilkinson
- The Burr Cipher Letter
- Aaron Burr’s trial for treason
- John Marshall’s ruling and Jefferson’s reaction to it
- Historical sources about the Burr Conspiracy
- Why we still care about the Burr Conspiracy
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- James Lewis Jr.
- The Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis
- The Papers of Aaron Burr
- Omohundro Institute
- Cameron Strang, Frontiers of Science: Imperialism and Natural Knowledge in the Gulf South Borderlands, 1500-1750 (Use promo code 01BFW to save 50 percent)
- Episode 091; Gregory Dowd, Rumors, Legends, & Homes in Early America
- Episode 167: Eberhard Faber, The Early History of New Orleans
- Episode 177: Martin Bruckner, The Social Life of Maps in America
- Episode 200: Everyday Life in Early America
- Episode 202: Early History of the United States Congress
- Episode 203: Joanne Freeman, Alexander Hamilton
In your opinion, what might have happened if Burr’s wife Theodosia Bartow Prevost hadn’t died in 1794? If Theodosia had lived, do you think she would have tried to convince Burr not to involve himself in such a curious and conspiratorial plan?
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