October 3, 2018
Cabell Lecture Hall, 3rd floor
Speaker: James E. Lewis Jr.
One of the most celebrated and controversial trials of the nineteenth century took place in Richmond in 1807. The defendant was Aaron Burr—Revolutionary War hero, slayer of Alexander Hamilton and former vice president of the United States. The most important of the charges against him was treason. How had Burr come to that point? How had the conflicting rumors and reports of Burr’s sketchy activities in the American west in the years before his trial produced a sense of crisis in the new nation? Why did so many Americans fear their government and country were in jeopardy? This talk highlights the various political and cultural forces that shaped the conspiracy, the broader sense of national crisis, and the dramatic trial that led to a surprising outcome.
Sponsored by the Department of History and the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia