Chapter 8

Roger G. Kennedy

in Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780195140552
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848775 | DOI:
Chapter 8

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Two charges were laid against Aaron Burr by Thomas Jefferson in the winter of 1806–7: planning an expedition against the possessions of Spain, and treason. The term “filibuster”, meaning overland piracy by private armies, is often used to describe the activity Jefferson accused Burr of getting involved with. This chapter deals with activities from 1770 until 1794, largely in Kentucky and Tennessee, that led George Washington first to issue an executive order against filibustering and then to cause it to be proscribed by statute. Washington wished to prevent French-sponsored filibustering against Spanish Florida and Louisiana. Jefferon's treason charge against Burr stemmed from the latter's alleged attempt to lead a secession from the Union of the states and territories lying west of the Appalachians. One of Jefferson's principal witnesses against Burr with regard to filibustering and to secessionist plots was James Wilkinson.

Keywords: Thomas Jefferson; Aaron Burr; George Washington; Spain; treason; secession; filibustering; Kentucky; Tennessee; James Wilkinson

Chapter.  6337 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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