Hero or Villain? The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr (1807)

  • Jack FruchtmanEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Histories of Policing, Punishment and Justice book series (PHPPJ)


Aaron Burr, U.S. Senator and Vice President of the United States, has long been confined to the outer edges of the founding generation for three principal reasons: his aggressive reputation for political office and fame; the so-called Burr conspiracy, his alleged attempt to create an empire in what became the western United States; and his treason trial, 1807, when Chief Justice John Marshall, who presided as a trial court judge, acquitted him. Burr claimed he was an American patriot, attempting to secure America’s borders and expand the new nation westward to ensure its stability and growth. This essay investigates the charges against Burr and his trial to determine the major questions left open that establish whether he was a hero or a villain.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

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