What do you (think you) know about Aaron Burr?

I’ve long found Aaron Burr to be among the United States most fascinating historical figures. In as few words as possible list how many facts you (think you) know about him.

Fought crime from a wheelchair.

Demanded that people call him A - A ron


G*d dammit, I opened this thread JUST to post that!

*shakes fist at Saint Cad

After he was injured, shot in a duel.

Okay, actually, I do know that he shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

Dude, the freaking Burr Conspiracy! The VP of the United States conspired with our greatest enemy at the time to raise an army and steal a large chunk of the country for himself and them. (Well, maybe.)

That would be like Joe Biden recruiting volunteers to take over Alaska supplied by Chinese arms and money.

Burr had cajones. Blennerhassett Island is a pleasant place to visit by the way. Put it on your itinerary if you’re in that neck of the woods.

He was Vice-President, and he shot Alexander Hamilton. He was tried for treason.

He was an excellent line dancer, his favorite color was plaid, he wore spats to bed, and he achieved notoriety later in life in a civil suit lodged against his neighbor’s cat for pooping in the vegetable garden when he delivered his closing arguments entirely in iambic pentameter and couched in Greek. (The cat was acquitted.)


The clothing line Burrberry was started by his grandson.

Hamilton liked to call him, “sir”.

His youngest son’s profession was decided at baptism when he was given the Christian name Barr.


Subject of vague threads.

He was supposed to run as Jefferson’s Vice Presidential candidate. But a screw-up in the election resulted in them being tied for first place (this was before the Constitution was changed and the Electors didn’t have a separate vote for the Vice Presidency). Burr decided to try to take the Presidency rather than settle for the Vice Presidency. He failed and it really made things awkward between President Jefferson and Vice President Burr.

Burr decided he was going to do something about it. It’s still not clear what exactly that something was. He went on an extended trip through the southern territories of the United States and the adjacent Spanish territories. He hired a lot of men and told people to get ready without being specific what it was he was planning on doing. Some speculation was that he was planning on seizing Spanish territory. Other people felt he was going to seize American territory. Some felt perhaps he was going after both. And it wasn’t clear if he planned on turning over the territory he took to some existing nation or was planning on starting his own country.

Burr’s problem was that he got involved with James Wilkerson, who was the senior general in the United States Army at the time and was in command of the American forces in the area. Wilkerson was also secretly working for Spain. Wilkerson apparently was conspiring with Burr to do whatever it was Burr was planning but at the last minute decided the plan wasn’t going to work so he turned on Burr. Wilkinson claimed that he was a loyal American soldier and he had just been leading Burr on to expose him. In his effort to protect himself, Wilkerson told a lot of lies to minimize his involvement and maximize Burr’s guilt.

Burr was arrested. Jefferson interfered with the trial and tried to make sure Burr was convicted of treason. But the judge was John Marshall, who was a political opponent of Jefferson’s, so he ruled that Burr was not guilty due to a narrow technical definition of what constituted treason.

In keeping with the theme of the thread, I wrote all of the above from just memory. I apologize if I got any of the details wrong.

I got a name wrong. The general’s name was Wilkinson not Wilkerson.

At parties, his conversational habit was to latch on to someone and it would then would be almost impossible to get him to talk to someone else. As a result, prickly/grabby plant seeds came to be known as ‘burrs’.


Sleazebag and traitor come to mind immediately.

And then the unfortunate business with Alexander Hamilton.

What I know about him (primarily, what I knew about him pre-Hamilton):

Was the answer to the $10,000 trivia question where the Alexander Hamilton historian had his mouth so stuffed full of peanut butter he couldn’t answer in time.

He’s the grandson of Jonathan Edwards - Puritan preacher and author of “Sinners at the Hands of an Angry God” (which is just as much fun as it sounds.)

He was a lawyer.