Chapter

Chapter 22

Roger G. Kennedy

in Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780195140552
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848775 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140552.003.0022
Chapter 22

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Thomas Jefferson's charges against the character of Aaron Burr were to be placed before judge and jury in a courtroom in Richmond, Virginia, in March and April 1807. Three of Jefferson's Virginian kinsmen were to take key roles in settling it. The judge was John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States. The foreman of the grand jury was Representative John Randolph of Roanoke. A cousin, Edmond Randolph, formerly Attorney General of the United States, was one of Burr's attorneys. The then current Attorney General, Caesar Augustus Rodney, had achieved that eminence on January 20, 1807. When Burr was finally brought to trial on May 22 of that year, Rodney's appearance against him was remarkably brief and tepid. James Wilkinson was there as star witness against Burr. It was important to recall to everyone in the courtroom who Justice William Paterson was and enough of the circumstances of the Whiskey Rebellion to permit a comparison of those before Paterson to those before Marshall. Jefferson's case fell apart; for the third time Burr was acquitted of treason.

Keywords: Aaron Burr; trial; treason; Thomas Jefferson; Virginia; John Marshall; John Randolph; grand jury; James Wilkinson; William Paterson

Chapter.  4684 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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