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There is has been much speculation as to who murdered President Thomas Jefferson in March of 1809. It is apparent that Aaron Burr had reasons for wanting the President dead. They had become enemies during their race for the presidency and remained on unfriendly terms throughout their time serving together as President and Vice President. When running for re-election, Jefferson dropped Burr from his ticket creating an even wider rift between them. Burr was known for his violent nature, having killed Alexander Hamilton during a duel, which they had entered into as a means of settling a dispute. It is also believed that Burr had intended to overthrow the United States government by carrying out an elaborate scheme involving the creation of a Latin American empire. Jefferson issued a warrant for his arrest after being informed of the plan. Thus adding to Burr's motives for wanting to murder him.
President Thomas Jefferson, who was found dead on March 1, 1809. Aaron Burr is considered a prime suspect in the case of his murder. The terrible relationship between these two men presents overwhelming motive for his committing the crime. Burr was approached by Jefferson and Madison to lend his support to the Jeffersonians in the election of 1800. They had sought his help in the campaign because of his influence in New York city and the New York legislature. Burr agreed to help and sponsored a bill passed by the New York Assembly, which created the "Manhattan Water Company" and generated money for Jefferson's campaign.
Aaron Burr is known as the Father of modern political campaigning. He was successful in procuring a victory for his slate of New York City and Electors over Alexander Hamilton's Federalist slate. This event further damaged the relationship between former friends, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. Burr with the assistance of members of Tammany Hall, began petitioning votes. He even went so far as to supply a means of transportation for voters on election day. He won the day and was then added to the Democratic-Republican presidential ticket in the 1800 election alongside Jefferson. With seventy-three electoral votes each, Burr and Jefferson tied for the presidency.
It was apparent that the party favored Jefferson for the presidency and wanted Burr to assume the vice-presidential position.
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The letters sent by Burr to Thomas Jefferson made no impression upon him. He had developed a distrust of Burr and from the very start of his presidency, he shut him out of party matters. The relationship between Jefferson and Burr had deteriorated greatly. The reason for this might have been the casual attitude taken by Burr regarding politics. Jefferson had little respect for this aspect of Burr's personality as he valued politics and the importance he believed that it had in American society. Aaron Burr performed his duties as Vice-President, or president of the Senate, with fairness and a well-respected judicial manner. During his time as Vice-President, he was admired by even his bitterest enemies.
Jefferson made it clear that he intended to drop Burr from his ticket in the 1804 election, an action that only added to the dislike Burr already felt for Jefferson. He decided to run for the governor ship of New York, but lost. Hamilton still held great animosity for Burr and at one political dinner he expressed his feelings. He had gone too far, and Burr demanded an explanation after reading about the incident in a local newspaper. Hamilton refused to recant his statements regarding Burr's character and Burr responded by challenging Hamilton to a duel. The two engaged in this challenge on July 11, 1804 outside of Weehawken, New Jersey. Burr fired a shot at Hamilton's abdomen, which proved fatal. This kind of activity serves as evidence of Hamilton's history of violent behavior that would lead to his murdering President Thomas Jefferson.
It is believed that it was Burr's goal to create a Latin American empire that would be able to control the majority of farms and commerce in North America. If he had succeeded in carrying out his plans, the United States would have been thrust into a civil-war. General James Wilkinson and Harmon Blennerhassett were allegedly involved in Burr's treasonous plan to overthrow the United States government. However, all of these men, including Burr, denied the existence of any treasonable plans. Wilkinson, after an incident involving Spain, decided that in was in his best interests to end his alliance with Burr and to inform President Jefferson of the plan. Jefferson then issued a proclamation for Burr's arrest, adding to the contention between these two men. Burr turned himself in on January 10, 1807, but jumped bail and was confined to Fort Stoddart in February of 1807. Burr's trial also took place in 1807 and he was acquitted on September 1st due to insufficient evidence. He was found not guilty despite the opposition of the Jefferson administration with all of its strong political influence.
In March of 1809, President Thomas Jefferson was killed. It is clear that Aaron Burr had plenty of motive for committing the murder. Their relationship had deteriorated beginning during the election of 1800 in which they served as each others' political opponents. They remained enemies throughout their time serving side by side as President and Vice President. Jefferson refused to run with Burr on his ticket in the 1809 election, intensifying Burr's dislike for him. It is apparent that Burr had a violent temperament. He was responsible for killing Alexander Hamilton during a duel in 1804. It can also be considered that Burr was allegedly involved in a plot to overthrow the United States government by creating a Latin American empire. Jefferson issued a warrant for Burr's arrest upon hearing of the plan. Although he was acquitted, it is reasonable to believe that Burr would have held a grudge against Jefferson in light of their hostile history, which included Jefferson's failed attempt to have him convicted of treason.