Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Memoirs of Aaron Burr   By: (1773-1850)

Book cover

First Page:

[Frontispiece: A. Burr]





"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him."



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836, by


in the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York.


During a period of forty years I was intimately acquainted with Colonel Burr, and have reason to suppose that I possessed his entire confidence. Some time after his return from Europe in 1812, on different occasions, he suggested casually a wish that I would make notes of his political life . When the Memoirs and Correspondence of Mr. Jefferson were published, he was much excited at the statements which were made in his Ana respecting the presidential contest in Congress in 1801.

He procured and sent me a copy of the work, with a request that I would peruse the parts designated by him. From this time forward he evinced an anxiety that I would prepare his Memoirs, offering me the use of all his private papers, and expressing a willingness to explain any doubtful points, and to dictate such parts of his early history as I might require. These propositions led to frequent and full conversations. I soon discovered that Colonel Burr was far more tenacious of his military , than of his professional, political, or moral character. His prejudices against General Washington were immoveable. They were formed in the summer of 1776, while he resided at headquarters; and they were confirmed unchangeably by the injustice which he said he had experienced at the hands of the commander in chief immediately after the battle of Long Island, and the retreat of the American army from the city of New York. These grievances he wished to mingle with his own history; and he was particularly anxious to examine the military movements of General Washington on different occasions, but more especially at the battle of Monmouth, in which battle Colonel Burr commanded a brigade in Lord Stirling's division. I peremptorily refused entering upon any such discussion; and, for some time, all communication on the subject ceased.

Colonel Burr, however, renewed the conversation relative to his Memoirs, and agreed that any thing which might be written should be confined to himself. With this understanding I frequently visited him, and made notes under his dictation. I never asked him a question on any subject, or in relation to any man or measure, that he did not promptly and willingly answer. On his part there was no desire of concealment; nor did he ever express to me a wish to suppress an account of any act of his whole life. So far as I could judge, his only apprehensions were that " kind friends ," as he sometimes termed them, by attempts at explanation, might unintentionally misrepresent acts which they did not understand.

I devoted the summer of 1835 to an examination of his letters and papers, of which there is an immense quantity. The whole of them were placed in my hands, to be used at my discretion. I was authorized to take from among them whatever I supposed would aid me in preparing the contemplated book.

I have undertaken the work, aware of the delicacy and responsibility of the task. But, if I know myself, it has been performed with the most scrupulous regard to my own reputation for correctness. I have aimed to state facts, and the fair deductions from them, without the slightest intermixture of personal feeling. I am very desirous that a knowledge of Mr. Burr's character and conduct should be derived from his miscellaneous correspondence, and not from what his biographer might write, unsupported by documentary testimony. With this view many of his private letters are selected for publication.

I entertain a hope that I shall escape the charge of egotism. I have endeavoured to avoid that ground of offence, whatever may have been my literary sins in other respects... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books