Sunday, November 11, 2007


He hosted Talleyrand during the Rein of Terror in France; but the favor was not returned when, after his duel with Alexander Hamilton, he sought refuge from the U.S. He was the only sitting Vice President charged with murder while still in office. Later, President Jefferson had him tried for treason. Some claimed he wanted to become the Emperor of Mexico, though his land dealings in Texas might well have been a road to power had he not died a year before the Texas fight for independence. There is no one quite as chameleon as Aaron Burr.

Today, I asked author Edward Larson to comment on Burr's role in the election of 1800. Without his remarkable manipulation, Jefferson never would have become President at all...

From the Atlanta History Center:

Elson Lecture: Edward J. Larson

Elson Lecture: Edward J. Larson
November 11, 2007 1:00 PM–3:00 PM

A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, Americas First Presidential Campaign

Many people believe that the election of 2000 was the most controversial and extraordinary in American history. However, the struggle for the presidency at the dawn of the 19th century was even more contentious, and much more significant, being pivotal to the future of the fledgling republic. In his newest book, acclaimed author Edward J. Larson tells the fascinating story behind the fierce election battle between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the first true campaign for the presidency and one that almost broke the back of our democracy. The election of 1800 ushered in the party system, drawing the lines of partisan battle that would reshape our politics, while also preserving the institution of democracy. Edward J. Larson is University Professor of History and holds the Darling Chair in Law at Pepperdine University and is the Russell Professor of American History at the University of Georgia. He is the recipient of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History for his book Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and Americas Continuing Debate over Science and Religion.

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