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VICE PRESIDENT AARON BURR - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 09/23/1818 - HFSID 268073

 

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AARON BURR
This signed and handwritten 1818 letter to friend and legal client Martha Bradstreet concerns the present condition of a burnt child
ALS: "A. Burr", 1¼ pages, 7¾x9½, front and verso. Albany, New York, September 23, 1818. To Martha Bradstreet, Utica, N.Y. Addressed by Burr and docketed in unknown hand on blank, integral address leaf. In part: "I reproach myself, my dear friend, for having taxed your sensibility with the story of the burnt child - but indeed it was a relief to me. I could think of nothing else & you, I know, would understand me…It may have interrupted the monotony of those malevolent feelings with which I fear you are, with too much cause, engrossed - 'but quit moralizing and return to the child' - By the mail arrived this evening, I have a letter from John Greenwood - no other letter - and he says not one word of the child! Not a line from either of the Ladies, for which I shall never forgive them - hence, however, I conclude that the child is so totally out of danger that they forgot her. I am very sure to hear from them all the dreadful things that happen or that had like to have happened. We may therefore justly take it for granted that the child is safe. Of all that is dear to you - no that I don't pretend to know - but of your children, I can only say that I heard they were well…The Court of Errors adjourned this day and I return to N.Y. on Saturday. God bless & speed you."  The powers of the Court of Errors were transferred to the Court of Appeals in 1846. Aaron Burr (1756-1836, born in Newark, New Jersey), who was admitted to the bar in 1782 following service in the American Revolution, moved to New York City in 1783. He served in the New York State Assembly from 1784-1785 (again from 1798-1799) and as New York Attorney General (1789-1790). In 1790, Burr was elected U.S. Senator from New York, defeating incumbent Senator Philip Schuyler, the father-in-law of Alexander Hamilton. This resulted in the beginning of a feud between the two American leaders that persisted for many years. In 1799, he chartered the Manhattan Company, which formed to bring water into the city. Its charter was broad enough to permit excess funds to be invested in banking. It failed as a water company but, as a bank, soon rivaled the Bank of New York in both financial and political importance. The Bank of The Manhattan Company, later Chase Manhattan, is today J.P. Morgan Chase. In the November 4, 1800 presidential election, Burr and Thomas Jefferson each had 73 electoral votes. On the 36th ballot, the House of Representatives elected Jefferson President and Burr Vice President. On July 11, 1804, Burr challenged and mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in a duel fought at Weehawken, N.J. Indicted for murder in New York and New Jersey, Burr was never tried in either state and completed his term as Jefferson's Vice President (1801-1805). While his political career in the new nation's capital ended with this taboo practice, he engaged in a planned exploration, the motivations of which may never be truly known. Accused of attempting to instigate a war between Spain and Mexico, Burr was tried for treason by the Supreme Court and found innocent, with no evidence to directly implicate him. This trial is one of the earliest and best known examples of the separation of powers due to then-President Thomas Jefferson's strong opinion that Burr was guilty and his subsequent pressuring of the Supreme Court to find Burr guilty. Martha Bradstreet (1780-1871), the granddaughter of British General John Bradstreet, was a longtime friend and client of Burr. She had sought, with Burr's aid, to recover land granted to the General by the British Crown but confiscated during the American Revolution. Folds do not touch signature. Pinhead-size holes at cross-folds touch some letters (all intact). Address leaf toned and slightly soiled. ¼-inch circular hole at blank leaf from removal of seal. Otherwise, fine condition.


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VICE PRESIDENT AARON BURR  


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VICE PRESIDENT AARON BURR
Born: February 6, 1756 in Newark, Province of New Jersey (now New Jersey)
Died: September 14, 1836 in Staten Island, New York



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