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the countries west of the Alleghanies; and, finally, that, as a cover to and final substitute for other designs, he meant to effect the colonization of the banks of the river Washita. Such are the various objects assigned as the end of Burr's movements : but all that is known is that he engaged a number of men in his service-supposed to be not less than a thousand-under an assurance that the service required of them was one approved by the government; that he endeavoured to persuade Latrobe, the architect, to engage five hundred more labourers on pretext of their working on the Ohio canal, in which it turned out that he had no interest; that a guard was mounted round Blennerhassett's Isl. and ; that boats, manned and furnished with arms, set forth from the island on the night of the 10th of December, 1806; that they were joined by Burr, with a re-enforcement, at the mouth of the Cumberland ; and that they all proceeded down the Mississippi together.
The government had become aware of secret meetings between Burr, the Spanish Yruyo, and Dr. Bollman, one of the liberators of Lafayette ; and the proper time was seized for putting forth proclamations which undeceived the people with regard to Burr's movements, and caused them to rise against him wherever he had been acting. Orders to capture him and his party, and, if necessary, to destroy his boats, were eagerly received. Burr did not venture to NewOrleans. He caused himself to be put ashore in the territory of Mississippi, and thence found his way, attended by only one person, to the banks of the Tombigbee, which he reached on the 19th of February, 1807. At eleven at night the wanderers passed a settlement called Washington Courthouse : Burr preceded his companion by some yards, and passed on quietly; but his companion inquired of a man standing at the door of a public house about the dwelling of a Major Hinson, and, on receiving his answer, joined Burr. The person inquired of went to Hinson's with the sheriff, and had his suspicions so confirmed, that he proceeded to Fort Stoddart, and brought back an officer and four soldiers, who took Burr into custody. He was lodged, a prisoner, at Richmond, Virginia, by the end of March.
Burr had previously been brought to trial in Kentucky, on an accusation of illegal secret practices in that state. He was defended and brought off by Mr. Clay and Colonel Allen, who were persuaded of his innocence, and refused a fee. Mr. Clay was for long after his advocate in public and in private, and asked him, for friendly purposes, for a full declaration that he was innocent, which Burr gave unhesitatingly and explicitly, and the note is now among Jefferson's papers. When, some time subsequently, a letter of Burr's in cipher came to light, Mr. Clay found how he had been deceived ; but his advocacy was, for the time, of great benefit to Burr.
On the 17th of August Burr was brought to trial at Richmond before Chief-justice Marshall. He was charged with having excited insurrection, rebellion, and war, on the 10th of December, 1806, at Blennerhassett's Island, in Virginia. Secondly, the same charge was repeated, with the addition of a traitorous intention of taking possession of the city of New-Orleans with force and arms. The evidence established everything but the precise charge. The presence of Burr in the island was proved, and his levies of men and provisions on the banks of the Ohio. The presence of armed men in the island and the expedition of the 10th of December were also proved, but not any meeting of these men with Burr. The proof of the overt act completely failed. He was then tried at the same court on an indictment for misdemeanour, and acquitted. He was then ordered to be committed to answer an indictment in the State of Ohio. He was admitted to bail, and it does not appear that the State of Ohio meddled with him at all.
Bollman was one of the witnesses on the side of the prosecution. His certificate of pardon was offered to him in court by the counsel for the prosecution. He refused to accept it, but was sworn, and his evidence received.
It is impossible to suppose any bias on the part of the court in favour of the prisoner. His acquittal seems to have arisen from unskilfulness in deducing the charges from the evidence, and to the trial having taken place before all the requisite evidence could be gathered from distant regions.
Blennerhassett and others were tried on the same charges as Burr ; but what became of them I do not remember, farther than that Blennerhassett was utterly ruined and disgraced.
Burr repaired to England. His connexion with Bentham appears wholly unaccountable. The story is that he was in a bookseller's shop one day when Bentham entered, and fixed his observation; that he wrote a letter to Bentham as
soon as he was gone, expressive of his high admiration of his works; that Bentham admitted him to an interview, invited him to stay with him, and urged the prolongation of his visit from time to time, till it ended in being a sojourn of two years. It is difficult to conceive how an agreeable intercourse could be kept up for so long a time between the single-minded philosopher and the crafty yet boastsul, the vindictive yet smooth political adventurer.
In October, 1808, Jefferson wrote to a friend,
“ Burr is in London, and is giving out to his friends that that government offers him two millions of dollars the moment he can raise an ensign of rebellion as big as a handkerchief. Some of his partisans will believe this because they wish it. But those who know him best will not believe it the more because he
He returned to America in 1812, being sent away from England on account of his 100 frequent and very suspicious political correspondence with France. He settled quietly at New
York, and resumed practice at the bar, which he continued as long as his health permitted. He owed such practice as he had to his high legal ability, and not to any improved opinion of his character. When Mr. Clay arrived in New-York from his English mission, he went the round of the public institutions, attended by the principal inhabitants. In one of the courts he met Burr, and, of course, after the affair of the cipher letter, cut him. Burr made his way to him, declared himself anxious to clear up every misapprehension, and requested to be allowed half an hour's private conversation. Mr. Clay readily agreed to this, and the hour was named. Burr failed to keep his appointment, and never afterward appeared in Mr. Clay's presence.
One pure light, one healthy affection, illumined and partially redeemed the life of the adventurer. He had an only
. child, a daughter, whom he loved with all the love of which he was capable, and which she fully deserved. She was early married to a Mr. Alston, and lived at Charleston. believe she was about five-and-twenty when she fell into ill health, and the strong soul of her father was shaken with the terror of losing her. He spared
He spared no pains or expense to obtain the best opinions on her case from Europe ; and the
• Jefferson's Correspondence, vol. iv., p. 115.
earnestness of his appeals to the physicians to whom he wrote full statements of her case are very moving. While awaiting a decision as to what measures should be taken for her restoration, it was decided that she must leave Charleston before the summer heats, and he summoned her to his home at New-York. To avoid fatigue, she went by sea with her child and the nurse. Her father had notice of her departure, and watched hour after hour for her arrival. The hours wore away, and days, and weeks, and years. The vessel never arrived, nor any tidings of her. She must have foundered, or, far worse, fallen into the hands of pirates. A pang went through the heart of every one for many years, as often as the thought recurred that Mrs. Alston and her child might be living in slavery to pirates in some place inaccessible to the inquiries of even her wretched father. When all had been done that could be devised, and every one had ceased to hope, Burr closed his lips. upon the subject. No one of the few who were about him ever heard him mention his daughter.
While I was in America a foreign sailor died in a hospital, my memory fails me as to where it was.
When near death, he made a confession which was believed to be true by all whom I heard speak on the subject. He confessed himself to have been a pirate, and to have served on board the vessel which captured that which was conveying Mrs. Alston. He declared that she was shut up below while the captain and crew were being murdered on deck. She was then brought up, and was present at the decision that it would not be safe to spare her life. She was ordered to walk the plank, with her child in her arms; and, finding all quiet remonstrance vain, she did it without hesitation or visible tremour, The recollection of it was too much for the pi. rate in his dying moments.
About a year before his death Colonel Burr sanctioned the publication of a so-called life of himself; a panegyric which leaves in the reader's mind the strongest conviction of the reality of his Western adventures, and of the justice of every important charge against him. He died last year ; and it will probably be soon known with exactness whether he took care that his secrets should be buried with him, or whether he made arrangements for some light being at length thrown on his eventful and mysterious history.
“ These ample fields
From the ground
The villages of New England are all more or less beautiful, and the most beautiful of them all is, I believe, Northampton. They have all the graceful weeping elm; wide roads overshadowed with wood; mounds or levels of a rich verdure; white churches, and comfortable and picturesque frame dwellings. Northampton has these beauties and more. It lies in the rich meadows which border the Connecticut, beneath the protection of high wooded hills. The habitations of its gentry crown the green knolls and terraces on which the village stands, or half buried in gay gardens, or hidden under clumps of elm. The celebrated Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom are just at hand, and the Sugarloaf is in view; while the brimming Connecticut winds about and about in the meadows, as if unwilling, like the traveller, to leave such a spot.
The pilgrims were not long in discovering the promise of the rich alluvial lands amid which Northampton stands; and their descendants established themselves here, as in the midst of a wilderness, long before there were any settlements between the spot on which they had sat down and the coast. The perils of such an abode were extreme, but so were its temptations; and here, for many years, did a handful of whites continue to live, surrounded by red neighbours ; now trafficking, now fighting; sometimes agreeing to render mutual service, but always on the watch against mutual injury. So early as 1658 the township of Northampton (then called Nonotuc) was purchased at the price set upon it by the Indians, viz., for ninety square miles of land the sellers demanded one hundred fathom of wampum by tale, and ten