The Aaron Burr Trial: A Chronology
Feb. 6, 1756 Aaron Burr is born in Newark, New Jersey.  His father is the president of the College of New Jersey, later renamed Princeton.
1759 Burr is orphaned.  His care is undertaken by his uncle.
1769 At age 13, Burr is accepted for advanced placement at the College of New Jersey.
1772 Burr graduates from college.  He inherits 10,000 pounds from his father.
1775 In Massachusetts, Burr presents himself to General Washington, and asks for a commission in the Continental Army.  Washington has no commissions to spare, so Burr joins an expedition heading north.  He participates with Wilkinson in an unsuccessful attack on the city of Quebec.
1779 After serving first as Washington's military secretary, and then commanding a regiment, Burr retires from the military.
1782 Burr marries Theodosia Prevost.  The same year, Burr is admitted to the New York bar.
1784 Burr is elected to the New York State Assembly.  He introduces an unsuccessful resolution to abolish slavery.
1791 Burr wins a seat in the United States Senate.
1800 Burr, Jefferson's vice-presidential candidate, and Jefferson himself receive an equal number of electoral votes for president.  Congress votes to make Jefferson president.
1804 Burr loses a race for the governorship of New York.  Angry over remarks made by Hamilton during the campaign, Burr challenges Hamilton to a duel.
July 11, 1804 Burr shoots Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey.  Burr is not injured.  Hamilton dies the next day.
Feb. 4- Mar. 1, 1805 As Vice-President, Burr presides over the Senate impeachment trial of Judge Samuel Chase.
March 2, 1805 Burr resigns the Senate after giving a sensation-causing speech.  He is penniless and politically powerless.
April 10, 1805 Burr leaves Washington via horseback for Pittsburgh.
April 29, 1805 Burr arrives in Pittsburgh. 
April 30, 1805 Burr and a companion, acting as his secretary, set off down the Ohio River on a sixty-foot houseboat.
May 5, 1805 Burr arrives in Marietta, Ohio.  Fourteen miles south of Marietta, Burr lands on Blennerhassett Island.  He dines and stays with the Blennerhassetts until 11 o'clock, then continues on his voyage.
May 30, 1805 Burr arrives in Nashville, where he is greeted with public balls and dinners.  He stays four days as the guest of General Andrew Jackson.
June 1805 Burr meets with General Wilkinson, the new Governor of the Louisiana Territory, at Fort Massac.  Wilkinson outfits Burr with "an elegant barge" and gives him letters of introduction to Wilkinson's friends in New Orleans.
June 25, 1805 Burr lands in New Orleans.  He meets with wealthy merchant (and friend of Wilkinson), Daniel Clark.  He is feasted with banquets and balls.  Burr stays three weeks.
July-Sept., 1805 Burr travels in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri, where he speaks contemptuously of the federal government.
Oct-Dec. 1805 Burr returns East.  He dines in Washington with President Jefferson.  Then Burr returns to Philadelphia, where he spends the winter of 1804-05.  In December, Burr writes his first letter to Harman Blennerhassett.
Early 1806 Burr contacts prominent people, soliciting their financial support for an expedition to the western states.
July 29, 1806 Burr sends a letter in cipher to General Wilkinson in New Orleans announcing he had "commenced the enterprise" and that "detachments from different points and under different pretences will rendevous on the Ohio" River on November 1.  Burr writes that the troops will be at Natchez in early December to meet Wilinson.  "The gods invite to glory and fortune," Burr says. 
August 1806 Burr , his daughter Theodosia, Theodosia's child, and Colonel Dupiester reach Pittsburgh, and began a trip down the Ohio River.  Burr and Dupiester occasionally leave the boat to gauge sentiment for their enterprise in the surrounding countryside.  On one of these visits, in Washington County, Pennsylvania, Burr discloses plans that shock the patriotism of his host, Colonel Morgan. Morgan communicates his concerns to President Jefferson.
September 1806 On Blennerhassett Island, Burr makes plans for a large-scale expedition.  He contracts for fifteen boats, capable of carrying 500 men, as well as for provisions.  He continues his travels through Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In Nashville, he contracts for the building of six boats, and deposits money with Andrew Jackson to pay for them.  He also purchases 400,000 acres of land on the Washita River.  Blennerhassett writes letters suggesting the Western states would be better off without the Atlantic states.
October 1806 Wilkinson receives Burr's ciphered July letter, as well as one from Senator Jonathan Dayton asking, "Are your numerous associates ready?" Burr's messenger, Samuel Swarthout, tells Wilkinson that Burr will lead 7,000 armed men on an attack against the Mexican provinces. Wilkinson decides to actively oppose Burr's plans.  He prepares New Orleans for a possible attack and sends a messenger to inform the President of Burr's plans. He says Burr's troops will sail from New Orleans on February 1 and land in Vera Cruz, to begin a march to Mexico City. Meanwhile, Burr, Alston, and Blennerhassett meet in Lexington, Kentucky.  Newspapers in the West begin discussing Burr's schemes.  Some denounce him as a traitor, and accuse him of plotting the breakup of the Union.
November 1806 Joe Daviess, a Federalist district attorney in Kentucky, asks for a court order to compel Burr to answer questions before a grand jury about his activities.  The motion is denied, but to the surprise of Daviess, Burr voluntarily shows up in court and agrees to answer questions.
Mid-Nov., 1806 A confidential agent sent by President Jefferson to investigate plots in the western states meets with Blennerhassett.  Believing him to be a confederate, Blennerhassett reveals plans.
Nov. 25, 1806 The messenger sent from New Orleans by General Wilkinson on November 12 meets with Presient Jefferson.
Nov. 27, 1806 Jefferson publicly announces that an illegal military operation, involving a planned attack on the dominions of Spain, is afoot in the western states.  He asks that participants in the scheme by apprehended and brought to justice.  Burr's name is not mentioned in the proclamation. 
Dec. 5, 1806 A Kentucky grand jury signs a written declaration exonerating Burr of any activities inimical to the peace of the country.  Burr leaves for Nashville.
Dec. 7, 1806 Four boats and about 30 men from Pennsylvania arrive at Blennerhassett Island.
Dec. 9, 1806 Eleven boats commissioned by Burr are seized by the Ohio militia.  Many recruits who had previously agreed to join the expedition back out.  Informed of a militia about to descend on  Blennerhasset Island, conspirators hastily depart around midnight in their four boats.
Dec. 20, 1806 The Secretary of the Navy sends a letter ordering Navy officials in New Orleans to "intercept and if necessary destroy" boats under the command of Burr.
Dec. 22, 1806 Burr leaves Nashville, heading down the Cumberland River. 
Jan. 5, 1807 Wilkinson learns that Burr may have several thousand men in Natchez.  Martial law is proclaimed in New Orleans.
Jan. 14, 1807 Word of Burr's arrival at Bayou Pierre reaches Natchez.  A force of 275 men is dispatched to capture Burr and his recruits.
Late Jan. 1807 Burr surrenders.  However, a grand jury impaneled in the Mississippi Territory refuses to indict Burr for "any crime or misdemeanor against the United States."
Feb. 19, 1807 Burr is arrested by Major Perkins near the Tombigbee River in Alabama.  He is taken to Fort Stoddart, where he is imprisoned for two weeks.
March 1807 Burr, under a guard of nine men, is taken to Richmond by horseback.  He arrives on the 26th.
March 30, 1807 Burr appears before Chief Justice John Marshall.
April 1, 1807 Marshall finds probable cause to try Burr on charges of  conspiring to invade a nation at peace with the United States.  Marshall, however, does not find probable cause, based on the evidence submitted, to try Burr for treason against the United States.
May 22, 1807 Grand jury proceedings related to the Burr matter open in Richmond, Virginia.
June 12, 1807 President Jefferson responds to the request that he submit letters that might aid in Burr's defense. 
June 13, 1807 John Marshall issues his opinion concerning the defense motion for a subpoena directed to President Jefferson. 
August 3, 1807 The trial of Aaron Burr opens in Richmond, Virginia.
August 15, 1807 Jury selection is completed.
August 17, 1807 District Attorney Hay delivers the opening statement for the prosecution.
August 20-29, 1807 Arguments on the defense motion to exclude further evidence based on the Constitution's definition of treason.
Aug. 31, 1807 John Marshall issues an important ruling excluding evidence of Burr's conduct subsequent to the transaction on Blennerhassett Island.
Sept. 1, 1807 The jury finds Burr "not proved to be guilty under this indictment by any evidence submitted to us."
1812 Burr returns to the United States after a several year stay in Europe.
1836 After living out the rest of his years in relative obscurity, Burr dies.

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