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Aaron Burr, “much in want” of Money, Does Not Want to Release his Judgment
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A revealing letter already showing Burr’s tenacious business mind and perhaps foreshadowing his future path in politics and financial struggles.

AARON BURR. Autograph Letter Signed to Colonel John Robert, Haverstraw, December 5, 1788. Two pages with integral autograph address leaf, with the integral leaf inlaid onto a backing sheet, 7¼ x 8½ in.

Inventory #24050.42       Price: $1,100

Complete Transcript

Dear Sir,

I returned from Albany on Wednesday last. herewith you have a bond to be executed by Snider and Felter - I do not like to discharge the judgement which I have entered against them because I hear that they have been attempting to make way with their property to avoid this demand - I wish exceedingly their money could be raised - a considerable part of it is due to me, and I am much in want of it - I wish also the money could be had of Thiel, or from some other quarter to discharge my demand agt the <2> estate of DeNoyelles - a considerable part of the bond of Thiel is due to me for costs and disbursements in suit agst him and the Parkers. I beg the favor of your attention to these matters.

            I have not yet seen Mr. Banyan. Of course the deeds are not signed. Jno Delanceys affairs remains as heretofore, which is wrong.

                                                I am Dear Sir…

                                                Aaron Burr

N York 5th Dec 1788

John Robert, a Revolutionary War colonel, married Rachel Chatford Noyelles, the widow of Peter de Noyelles, of Haverstraw, New York. They moved to Yonkers, where they reared their two children, Daniel and Mary. John Robert died in 1811.

Aaron Burr Jr. (1756-1836) was the third Vice President of the United States, serving during Jefferson’s first term, through March 4, 1805. He graduated from Princeton University in 1772, at age 16. As a Continental Army officer, he distinguished himself at the Battles of Quebec, New York, and Monmouth. Although Burr earned large fees from his law practice in New York, he spent lavishly, and his negotiations for loans and adjustments of debts consumed much of his time, leading to frequent financial trouble. In December 1800, Alexander Hamilton wrote of Vice President-elect Burr, “He is bankrupt beyond redemption except by the plunder of his country.” While Vice President, on July 11, 1804, Burr fatally wounded Hamilton in a duel.

With his political fortunes in decline, Burr is reputed to have formed a conspiracy to establish a private army and set up an empire from portions of Mexico (then belonging to Spain) and/or Louisiana (a U.S. territory). Burr was brought to trial on August 3, 1807, with Chief Justice John Marshall presiding, and acquitted on September 1. Following the trial, he lived in Europe in self-imposed exile for four years, later returning to New York to practice law. In 1833, Burr married wealthy widow Eliza Jumel, but his mismanagement of her assets led them to separate after only four months of marriage. Their divorce was finalized on the day of his death.

Provenance

John Augustin Daly, one of the most important figures in nineteenth-century American theater, and a major book and manuscript collector; American Art Association, New York, March 19, 1900, Lot 3122; George D. Smith, New York.

Condition

Expected folds with a few faded stains, and small pin holes, else near fine.


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