The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 403
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ment (administration) witness before both the grand and petit
juries. Had the agreement with Jefferson carried him to the point
of turning state's evidence, there would have been a stronger case.
The duel at Weehawken ended Burr's political career in the
East, but it did not terminate cordial relations with contemporary
and future greats and near-greats. Andrew Jackson of Tennessee
was his host, the anti-administration Republicans in Kentucky
refused to indict him for treason or crime, and General Henry
(Light-Horse Harry) Lee and aristocratic Federalists of Virginia
patronized him during the Richmond trial. The study sidelights
the party animosities and no-holds-barred opposition of the Fed-
eralists. A large element of anti-administration Republicans were
as eager to embarrass a despised President Jefferson as were the
The dignity and integrity of President Jefferson do not escape
unsullied. The author stated that Jefferson's conduct in the case
was a most puzzling feature of it, but he then proceeds to explain
it rather well. Jefferson's role was apparently political and his
primary interest was in convicting Burr. He probably never con-
sidered him dangerous. The author cites Beveridge for the role
of Justice John Marshall, and he also emerges from the spectacle
with lesser stature than a Virginian from Olympus. Irregularity, if
not outright manipulation, marked the grand and petit jury pro-
ceedings and the evaluation of secondary and circumstantial tes-
timony. The ruling about consummation of an overt act virtually
precluded conviction. Mere domestic insurrection, of course, was
not treason; it was not even a statutory crime.
We asked a police officer and a civil engineer to read the book
and follow the "threads of intrigue" (which did not intrigue the
reviewer) and both pronounced Burr "guilty," but guilty of what
they could not agree even after the meticulous exercise in detective
work by the author. Though not certain whether or not this study
will conclude the investigation of this episode, it is undoubtedly
a seasoned "period" study in which the core of the cross-section
describes the shaky nation and the loosely attached Southwestern
J. HORACE BASS
A. and M. College of Texas
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/429/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.