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What Made Burr Tick?

April 2024
1min read

I have often wondered what Aaron Bunwas really up to when he wandered south and west, raising money, enlisting coconspirators, intriguing with the British, the Spanish, and the Mexicans, dropping hints of separatism and empire. The answer, I suppose, was targets of opportunity, with maximum and minimum objectives. In some moods he must have seen himself as the emperor of America; in other moods he perhaps hoped that if he threatened enough trouble, the Jefferson administration would buy him off by a diplomatic appointment. But a mystery remains: How could a man, so coolly realistic so much of the time, live so rich a fantasy life the rest of the time?

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