Author & Speaker

Archive for December 2011

The Great Anti-Climax

It was the moment Aaron Burr had been working toward for two years.  In late December, 1806, he stood on the Illinois shore of the Ohio River, just below the mouth of the Cumberland River.   Gathered around him were the men who had volunteered to join his expedition to liberate the Spanish lands of Florida,…

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A Very Burr-y Christmas!

In late December 1806, Aaron Burr was desperately trying breathe life into the Western expedition he had spent the previous twenty months organizing.  For several weeks, everything had been turning sour. In October, the U.S. Attorney in Kentucky tried to prosecute him for organizing an illegal private invasion of Mexico.  A grand jury in Frankfort…

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Don't Buy Books FROM Crooks!

He was a young fellow, with the mandatory four-days-growth beard.  I don’t get that many younger folks to my readings, so I was happy to seem him in the book-signing line after my talk about American Emperor at the National Archives earlier this month. Then he presented his soft-covered volume, which turned out to be…

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A Scoundrel?

When she began taping our interview at noon today, Mimi Geerges, who has a radio show on XM-Sirius and a bunch of local public radio stations (see below), described Aaron Burr as a “scoundrel.” Wait, I said.  He wasn’t really a scoundrel. Really?  She answered.  He was a traitor, wasn’t he? And we were off. …

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Blennerhassett Island Launch

This weekend marks the anniversary of the 1806 launch of Aaron Burr’s ill-fated Western expedition.  The former vice president had arranged for the construction of riverboats that could carry 1500 men down to New Orleans, Florida, Mexico, and beyond. The recruits mustered at Blennerhassett Island, on the Ohio River beyond Marietta, Ohio (across from the…

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Disgusting! But then again . . .

Like you, I was appalled to read about the congressional representatives — Republicans and Democrats alike — who have traded on the stock market on inside information gained through their public duties.  Peter Schweizer’s new book, Throw Them All Out, has stirred up this tempest.  The episode that disgusted me the most was when key…

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