Nov 20, 2014 - Sale 2367

Sale 2367 - Lot 22

Price Realized: $ 37,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 2,000
TO AARON BURR: "VERY SORRY TO . . . ORDER YOUR BEING ARRESTED" RODNEY, THOMAS. Autograph Letter Signed, as Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, to Aaron Burr, ordering his arrest so that he might be tried for conspiracy. 2 pages, 4to, with integral address leaf, written on the first and second pages; minor bleed-through, folds. (TFC) Washington, 27 January 1807

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". . . I am not unacquainted with your being an Old Revolutionary Officer for all of whom I shall ever feel a particular regard and Respect. Nor am I unacquainted with your having been highly Honored by the People of the United States on that account . . . . I am therefore Sorry Very Sorry to be informed that you are the Chief Director and Conductor of a Combination and Conspiracy in our Western Country Contrary to the Laws of the United States; and to find it my duty as a Magistrate to order your being arrested for the purpose of Enquiring Into the Truth of this accusation. Nevertheless you are hereby assured of that Protection which a faithful and upright administration of the Laws of that Free Government which your Arms Contributed Your Patriotic Services to Establish. And although it has Ever been my Disposition to Do My duty as a Magistrate with firmness and Impartially yet I confess I should be gratified if it should be in your power to acquit your self of the accusation now laid against you, for it would be Impossible for me to see an Old Revolutionist Convicted of raising his Arms or Ever designing to raise his Arms against the Laws of that Free Government he so Ardently struggled to Establish without connecting his Misfortune and draping a friendly tear on the Dusky line that records his fate, and I should wish it to have the power (as if falling from his guardian Angel) to blot out his offence forever."
After escaping indictment for the lethal duel with Alexander Hamilton in 1804, Burr had discussions with General James Wilkinson and British minister Robert Merry concerning the prospect of inciting the secession of the western states from the Union. Wilkinson revealed the plot to President Jefferson in 1806, leading to Burr's arraignment and acquittal in Kentucky, and, in 1807, in the Mississippi Territory. He was again brought to trial in the Virginia circuit court in May of 1807, where the jury found Burr innocent of treason.