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Historical Research: Formulating Questions about the Burr Conspiracy

Aaron Burr, Jefferson’s first vice president, is a controversial figure in U.S. history. Not only did he kill Alexander Hamilton in a duel, but he was also the author of a conspiracy to start a new nation in the western territories of the United States.

Learn as much as you can about this conspiracy by examining the Thomas Jefferson Timeline for the years 1805-1807. Formulate two questions about the so-called Burr conspiracy and its aftermath.

Search the collection using Aaron Burr or Burr conspiracy as keywords. The search, in addition to generating a list of correspondence about the conspiracy, reveals Jefferson’s message to Congress on January 22, 1807, regarding the conspiracy and trial of his former vice president. Can you answer the two questions you wrote using sources from the collection? If not, where else might you look for additional primary sources on this series of events?