AARON BURR was the third vice president of the United States, serving under President Thomas Jefferson. Burr fatally shot his rival, Alexander Hamilton, during a duel in 1804. In 1807, Burr was charged with conspiracy, which ruined his political career. He was born in Newark, NJ, on February 6, 1756. His father was a Presbyterian minister and the president of the College of New Jersey. In 1769, he enrolled in the College of New Jersey, graduating summa cum laude in only three years.
Very interesting diminutive 2 3/4 x 4 3/4 autograph note signed with his initials “AB,” a signatory Burr often used. No date or place. He writes, “Hand to the bearer the papers in the Jacob’s affair & give him every instruction you may think requisite. The Deed will be ready before noon. Will it be possible for you to go to Albany with me tomorrow? AB”
Toning with a piece of the document reattached with archival tape, affecting a couple of words. A couple of words on the verso.
As a Revolutionary War soldier, Burr joined Benedict Arnold’s men in their expedition to Quebec. By 1776, he achieved the rank of major and was appointed to serve under George Washington at his home in New York. In 1782, Burr became a licensed attorney. In 1789, he was appointed attorney general of New York.
The Burr conspiracy was a plot alleged to have been planned by Burr in the years during and after his term as Jefferson’s Vice President. Burr allegedly attempted to use his international connections from a cabal of U.S. planters, politicians and army officers to establish an independent country in the Southwestern United States. On the orders of Jefferson, Burr was arrested and indicted for treason, despite a lack of evidence. He was ultimately acquitted of treason, but the fiasco destroyed his career. Burr’s intentions are unclear. Theories have it that he intended to take parts of Texas and the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase for himself while others think he intended to conquer Mexico or the entirety of North America.
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