When you tap the ceiling of power, where else is there to go?

According to Aaron Burr, the only place to go was up. He had it all: the vice-presidency and a reputation as a man of great integrity. He wanted more. Never very fond of Thomas Jefferson, he sought a way to eclipse him.

Burr, whose story is eclipsed by his duel with Alexander Hamilton, was at one time considered a shoo-in for the presidency. However, he dreamed of an empire of his own, which would join the western lands of America with the Spanish-owned Mexico and Florida, a dream which would become his downfall. His scheme took him to the British government and King George III, and he was supported by senators, congressmen, and two future presidents. Burr’s plot against the young country, though treasonous, strengthened the bonds that held America together and protected it from the most dangerous internal threat at the time.

The Filson Historical Society will be hosting a lecture with David O. Stewart, author of American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America on November 1. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Aaron Burr and learn more about how and why he fell.

Jamie Evans

Jamie Evans is the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator at The Filson Historical Society. When she isn’t working on publications for The Filson, you can find her behind her sewing machine or out on the roads training for her next big race.

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