Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Frank L. Klement

Second Advisor

Eugene H. Korth


The Aaron Burr Conspiracy has remained one of the most controversial mysteries of history. In its entirety it was at once an act of treason, at another time, a patriotic effort, and in part a land settlement common to those times. The extent or degree to which these objects were activated has been properly or improperly referred to as the conspiracy. The conspiracy represents an attempt by one of the young republic's more capable individuals to halt the tailspin state of his political and economic affairs by engaging in what is looked at today as a daring nefarious project. In truth at the time of its inception it was not considered too radical a step in certain areas. A very definite sectionalistic attitude was developing in the West over the apparent lack of interest in their affairs by the government in the East. Anti-Spanish feeling was prevalent in the Southwest until the Adam's Florida Purchase of 1819. With this situation existing in the West it becomes less difficult to understand the objectives Burr was holding between the years 1804-1807. They included his intention to separate the western states from the Union and establish a Confederacy, an attack on Spanish Mexico, and or a peaceful settlement of a colony on the Washita River in the event the other two objectives failed.