Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Was Aaron Burr really as bad as we say he was? He was not in any way as corrupt as Hamilton or Jefferson
The mention of Aaron Burr will start many a historian babbling or arguing over this or that. But to be honest was he as bad as history has made him out to be? I can say I think not.
Yet he suffered some of the worst character assassination by the likes of Jefferson and Hamilton. Both were very happy to destroy him. As neither of them liked him, let alone each other. Sadly in our day and age we have a lot of people who are not concerned with the truth in history. It is what they feel is important to express. So we have a lot of people who are clueless to the facts and a lot of historians who have for two centuries have messed this up or just decided to tell it as they wanted too.
Jefferson was one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence. Hamilton was instrumental in our money system and getting the Constitution pushed through. There were few people who hated each other more than these two. However, there was one that both equally disliked and went out of their way to destroy.
Hamilton was not the angel we have made him into. He was an annoying, troublesome, pushy, often dishonest, and arrogant person. To be honest there were quite a few happy after the duel.
Jefferson was also much like this, but was too much a coward to do it himself. So he would hire people to slander you and destroy you.
Burr was no angel either. He was everything that Hamilton was, except smarter.
He was wise to the nastiness and backbiting that was Jefferson. Burr was royally screwed by Jefferson in 1800 and also in his fact finding mission by Mexico. Jefferson had him charged with treason for doing what Jefferson asked. It was designed to destroy Burr and it did. It was a trap.
Just to make this clear Jefferson had brought him up on Treason charges before he was even charged with it! As he was cleared countless times of all charges before this. Jefferson even put the entire power of the presidential office into this. He even tried to override the Supreme Court! There is more to this than just treason, this was political assassination. Jefferson was obsessed with destroying Burr.
John Adams who liked Burr had less than fond things to say of Jefferson who would ruin his political career too with criminal activity. He put it this way when describing Jefferson...."Jefferson has many good qualities, but one of them is not integrity".
Jefferson wanted to make sure Burr would never be President. So he ruined the life of Burr and a few others while he was at it. No one seems to be concerned that the 2nd in command of the Burr mission was Andrew Jackson. No one dares suggest that he was like Burr. But he was. He was a great man too.
The entire mission was a farce and it made sure that Madison would be President in 1809. Even though Jefferson gave his word to Burr that he should allow Jefferson to be President first and then he would support Burr after. Jefferson who made Richard Nixon look honest was nothing more than a political hack.
Hamilton while close to Washington and found a way to manipulate him was in the words of Washington's most recent biographer Ron Chernow, who said in a recent lecture amazingly after writing a book about Hamilton that...."I never realized how annoying Hamilton was". Hamilton was for Hamilton and the rich. He was an elitist, although he was an illegitimate child from the islands of southeast of the United States. He was on the side of the rich. He did not care at all for the common man. He used Washington like a tool and pressured the poor old man to do as he suggested.
Now he was a great man, just like Burr and Jefferson. He was very brilliant, but had a bad case of foot in mouth. He would talk about everyone and everything. He was a person who had a very loose tongue. I guess to put it best, Hamilton liked to show off. He was also like a nosy little old lady wanting to know the gossip of everyone and be sure to pass it on to his political advantage. He was no more moral than Burr. One has to remember by the time of the duel much of his career was over due to his philandering and really mind boggling affairs.
One has to remember that when ever Martha Washington would see a Tom Cat prowling around, she would refer to it as Alexander Hamilton!
He had no problems trying to make Burr look like the scum of the earth. His statements about Burr, many just quite rude were just out of line and caused a lot of trouble and embarrassment for Burr.It was all to destroy Burr and Burr did much to make Hamilton look bad as well by outsmarting him.
Burr what did he do? He was a revolutionary war hero...No one likes to talk about that. He was instrumental in helping Washington escape from Manhattan. This did not endear him to Washington as he knew that Burr had saved his ass. What is most amazing that after saving Washington's army, which included Hamilton by the way, Burr was never promoted or recognized by Washington or Hamilton for saving their ass! How rude and insulting was that? I am very much of the belief that there needs to be a statue of Burr in Manhattan. For no matter how everyone tries to wiggle out of it, the American Revolution has few heroes greater than Burr. Lastly when talking about Revolutionary War activities Hamilton was a lightweight!
Burr was a great leader in New York. He was the first to start a Anti Slavery program. He supported rights for woman for equality,education.and the right to vote. He created the first fresh water system for New York and the first bank for the common man, Started what would become Tammany Hall which worked on supporting the common man. These actions were the kind that upset the apple cart of the folks like Hamilton who would copy what Burr did and advertise it to his advantage. One has to remember also for a while Hamilton had slaves. Burr always was anti-slavery.
But Burr also was a crafty, sometimes dishonest, backstabbing politician, amazingly like Jefferson and Hamilton. I am not saying that Burr was great and without sin. He was just like Jefferson and Hamilton. That's all.
But this burns some historians nerves. Cause they love to make heroes and villains. We have made Jefferson into something far more special than he was. I would love to tear down that stupid monument to him in Washington DC. What a damn farce!
We have found a way to make Hamilton look good. That was not easy.
Hamilton achieved sainthood after the duel. Everyone forget what a nasty bastard he had been and joined the chorus of huzzahs. By doing this there needed to be a lot of trash swept under the rug! Also due to Hamilton's affairs he was blackmailed and was broke. In so many ways he keeps making Burr look good.
Hamilton did everything in his power to ruin Burr. It was the stupid duel that was pushed for by Hamilton that would ruin Burr. Hamilton made sure all of his papers said all the right things to make Burr look bad. Burr had tried several times to just ask Hamilton to apologize and stop the duel...But Hamilton insisted and refused to apologize. This duel along with Jefferson's awful lack of decency ruined Burr forever.
John Adams had little good to say about Hamilton. Hamilton had worked hard to defeat Adams and had corrupted Adams own cabinet ! This was a vicious and loathsome act, but fitting for someone of Hamilton's character. He also forced on to Adams a commission for himself to make him commander of the Army and made rather feeble minded and tired George Washington to require it. By doing this and trying to force Adams to go to war with France which was insane! Lastly by directing Adams cabinet to do as he said, not the President! And we think Burr was bad?
Jefferson hired a man to write horrific articles on Adams to challenge his sanity and his lack of wanting to understand France. This was worthy of impeachment for Jefferson! Jefferson would go out of his way time and time again to undermine Adams administration. Was Burr this bad as well?
But John Adams survived these two creatures of political corruption and saved us from a war with France and in a way saved the entire country from what would have been ruin. He was able to smell a rat on these two occasions. Washington would die and Adams would remove every commission and title that Hamilton had. Sending this confused and star struck fool back under his rock.
Burr's daughter was lost with his papers on a ship. Sadly they were the things that would have cleared him. Today we have to deal with what everyone said about Burr. Not what Burr had to say. For if we just judged Jefferson and Hamilton on just what others thought of them...They would look just like Burr. Cause to be honest they were just as nasty and rotten. Sometimes and it seems quite often even more so!
Ah, history is written by the winners. I am sorry for this sham that is called history.