18 December 2003
PROPERTY OF THE HENRY FORD MUSEUM AND GREENFIELD VILLAGE*
[BURR CONSPIRACY]. CLINTON, DeWitt (1769-1828). Autograph letter signed to Judge Spencer, New York, 3 January 1807. 1 page, 4to, integral address leaf.
"THE EXPLOSION OF BURR'S CONSPIRACY...THERE IS NO DOUBT OF A COMPLETE PROSECUTION OF THE MODERN CATALINE"
Burr's failed scheme to found a breakaway empire in the southwest delighted Clinton, New York Mayor, Governor and presidential contender. In this revealing letter, he considers the political ramifications of Burr's downfall: "The explosion of Burr's conspiracy will undoubtedly have a good effect. Orange County I am told is coming fast to its former course of political rectitude...Would it have a good effect to communicate to Holt [the publisher] for publication, an account of Chancellor Livingston's tampering with the fedr. [federalists] to get nominated for Gov. in 1807? He deserves no indulgence. I believe him to be full as bitter as [Morgan] Lewis" (a former ally aligned with the Livingston faction). Clinton adds that "One of Swartwout's brothers was Aaron Burr's agent to seduce Wilkinson & his army. There is no doubt of a complete prosecution of the modern Cataline." Clinton and John Swartwout, a close political friend of Burr's, had fought a titanic and bloody duel in 1802 (two years before Burr's celebrated encounter with Hamilton) after Swartwout had challenged the mayor for besmirching Burr's honor. While in most duels both parties fired harmlessly past each other, Clinton and Swartwout exchanged five volleys, and Swartwout was willing to continue in spite of leg wounds. Clinton had refused to fire further upon a wounded man.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
From Surrey to Sydney, 5 homes around the world created by titans of 20th-century architecture — all from Christie’s International Real Estate
PurseBop outlines the four stages that mark the evolution of an Hermès connoisseur, and the bags that accompany each