The Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis (Paperback)James E. Lewis (author)
- We can order this
A panoramic look at the early American republic through the lens of the Burr Conspiracy
In 1805 and 1806, Aaron Burr traveled through the Trans-Appalachian West gathering support for a mysterious enterprise, for which he was arrested and tried for treason in 1807. This book explores the political and cultural forces that shaped how Americans made sense of the rumors and reports about Burr's intentions and movements, and examines what the resulting crisis reveals about Americans' anxieties concerning the new nation's fragile union. The Burr Conspiracy was a cause celebre of the early republic-with Burr cast as the chief villain of the Founding Fathers. He was said to have enticed some people with plans to liberate Spanish Mexico, others with promises of land in the Orleans Territory, still others with talk of building a new empire beyond the Appalachians. James E. Lewis Jr. looks at how differing understandings of the conspiracy were influenced by everything from biased newspapers to notions of honor and gentility, providing a multifaceted portrait of the republic at a time when it was far from clear how long it would last.
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Number of pages: 728
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm
"2017 Finalist in History, ForeWord Reviews' INDIES Book of the Year Awards"
"Longlisted for the 2018 Cundill History Prize, McGill University"
"[A] remarkable book."-Edward G. Gray, Times Literary Supplement
"A superb work of contemporary historical craftsmanship."-James M. Banner Jr., Weekly Standard
"Lucid prose and careful notes make this text one that will interest both scholars of early nationalism and readers simply interested in learning more about Burr beyond his famous duel with Alexander Hamilton."-Publishers Weekly
"A meticulously researched, comprehensive analysis essential to early American scholarship."-Library Journal
"Lewis reconstructs the `stories' Americans told themselves in order to decide what Burr's aims were, how he succeeded in winning the support of several hundred men who knew about his plans, and what these events said about the stability of republican government in general and the US in particular."-Eric Foner, London Review of Books
"A magisterial account of this supposed conspiracy and a mirror for current times."-Gene Smith, Choice