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Archive for December 2009

You Never Know

So this reporter from the Washington Times — yes, the Moonie newspaper — makes a connection between the deals made for Senate votes on health care reform and those made for votes in the Andrew Johnson impeachment trial in 1868.   And he cites my book, in an article on Christmas Eve. What a world!…

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Burr on James Monroe

Aaron Burr virtually never spoke ill of others.  That trait may partly explain the deep anger that drove him to challenge Alexander Hamilton to their famous duel in 1804 after Hamilton had slandered him for more than a decade.  Nevertheless, there was one notable exception to Burr’s practice:  his explosive denunciation (in private correspondence with his son-in-law) of James Monroe,…

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Burr's Wisdom

In 1795, Burr advised his daughter Theodosia to retain her serenity at all costs.  If only he had followed his own advice nine years later when he challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel! Receive with calmness ever reproof, whether made kindly or unkindly, whether just or unjust.  Consider within yourself whether there has been no cause…

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On to Providence!

Beginning in early January, I will take up two months of residence (most weekdays) in Providence, Rhode Island, thanks to the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Library Fellowship.  The fellowship is granted for those working on a book of American history before 1830 — my current project on the Aaron Burr Conspiracy, which is under contract to…

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An Open, Serene, Intelligent Countenance

On January 4, 1799, Aaron Burr wrote to his daughter Theodosia, then 16, about the advantages of good presentation in the world:   There is nothing more certain than that you may form what countenance you please.  An open, serene, intelligent countenance, a little brightened by cheerfulness, not wrought into smiles or simpers, will presently…

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