Nashville Annual Meeting
Part of the negative response to David Stewart's new book:
Re the author being even handed: while heavily footnoted, i.e. he covered a vast expanse of resources including citing Mary Jo Kline’s work, albeit bringing very little novel to the table, he has an almost insidious way of arriving at conclusions based thereon that to skew them against Burr. But for this he might deserve being characterized as even handed. Herewith a few examples:
P267 “The remarkable feature of the Richmond Trials was how much evidence was not presented against him…” The types of evidence referred to by the author were not relevant to the charge of treason. Coupled with his statement pgs 244-5 that the case by the prosecution was “an incoherent mess”, i.e. especially the concept of ‘constructive treason’, he implies that a more skillful prosecutor unhampered by the lack of evidence [only140 witnesses were collected] would have resulted in Burr being found guilty. How insidious can one be when well knowing that there was no evidence to support the Constitutional definition of treason? There is no reference to the letters from a member of the expedition, Silas Browne, whose deposition,, like some others, never surfaced at the trail, but would have proven that the flotilla that left Blenerhassett I. did not carry weapons of war, rather tools for developing the property on the west bank of the Mississippi. Same for the inspection when it was stopped later and found not to be a military expedition.
What really raises one’s hackles is the opening part of the lst chapter p. 4 “… a bright promise tarnished by treason, a traitor never punished, a terror never quite exorcised.;” Despite referring to this ‘offering’ as “This orthodox version “ of Burr, one senses that the author aims to prove that this was the case. For example, p. 6 he quotes an unnamed source to establish that Burr’s adventurism with women was undeniably sexual even though the quoted statement is populism a la Gore Vidal. Remarkable how the various enterprises with which Burr has been associated instead of being characterized as normal business speculations of the day are termed ‘conspiracies’.
Misc: p28: Lyman, as recall Peggy had already been manumitted. P33 end par. 3 S Stewart makes the usual statement that we will never know whether the hair trigger(s) were activated. We have another possible & plausible scenario for you Peter: during the fussing by Hamilton cleaning and putting on his glasses, might he not have adjusted the hair trigger to a lighter pull for the purpose of when the two were leveling their pistols to aiming position of squeezing off a shot earlier than Burr? This is as authentic a conclusion as some of the speculative ones in the book?
P3 No reference to Hamilton’s impecunious state nor marital problems nor the ‘death wish’ described by the two professors at an earlier meeting of ABA. Pgs. 78 par. 2 & 79 par. 1 are two examples of how the author draws conclusions from inanimate objects to imply sinister motives
Chapters 26 & 27 To Britain & on the Continent: The author dwells on Burr’s negotiations/machinations with the British and the French to wrest properties from the Spanish and create a new empire. As he observes, they bordered on the delusional and lay the base for establishing that Burr aspired to become ‘Emperor’ of same. Yet the tone of correspondence relating to his western expedition and the evidence at the trial indicate that Burr never intended to invade foreign territory unless the U.S. did declare war – in contrast to the author’s conclusion p.1 that there can be no question that he did? . Hence, how does aiding and abetting a foreign nation to engage another either make him a traitor or establish that he sought to become an Emperor or support the conclusion p. 270? Need to review the correspondence between Burr & Theodosia prior to leaving for England and the letters published by Davis and referenced by the author.
Where logic and established fact undermine he author’s assertions: pgs. 300-2: par. 3 hypothesizes that huge amounts of equipment would have been necessary if Burr’s the purpose of Burr’s expedition had been to settle the Bastrop Tract so that the real purpose was to aid the separation of New Orleans and proceed to liberate Mexico. To the contrary, the latter would have required many times more of support including military weapons none of which was found when his ‘flotilla’ was seized.
Pgs 250=1. The only quote of testimony at the trail appearing in the book is that of Eaton, who was not credible, in response to questions by Burr. Yet it is offered as evidence of Burr’s complicity in insurrection with the comment “The witness gave as good as he got.”
P 297 lst full par: An example of the author’s predilection for introducing popular and unfounded statements that are denigrating to Burr which also reveal that shallowness of some of his scholarship. It was Eliza Jumel’s mother who ran a house of prostitution in Providence from which Eliza escaped to New York in revulsion thereof.
One more comment: Appendix I, The Cipher Letter. Which explores in depth the letter and letters. No mention is made of the analysis by experts that the signature of Burr was forged.
Sent from the Chesapeake by e-m as am on a cruise and since not returning until the 15t too late to send by postal to reach you before Nashville. Am working from a “Advanced uncorrected proofs – not for sale” & “Do not quote for publication until verified with finished book…being loaned for promotional purposes…” copy absent page nos. for the table of contents. While the author draws on some sources not found in most books about Burr, there is not a lot new being brought to the table. Cordialement; Henry H. Anderson, Jr. 6 Oct 11
June 1, 2011
Please complete and mail to
Stuart Johnson Esq. 1004 Butterworth Lane, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774-2205
RESERVATION FORM for 2011
Annual Meeting of the Aaron Burr Association
Please fill-in all underlined items (if not attending an event, write “none”). Bring a copy of your-filled out form to the meeting, to refresh your memory.
List your name(s):_________________________________________________________
We will arrive by: on Oct._______
EVENT COST NUMBER AND TOTAL
P/ PERSON ATTENDING OF FEES____
Mon., Oct. 24
3 pm: Check-in begins at RADISSON Hotel at Opryland, 2401 Music Valley Drive, Nashville, TN 37214; (615) 889-0800 (our hotel). We will meet and greet in the lobby, in the large interior atrium areas, and in the hotel’s full-service restaurant and bar. Bring your bathing suit, to enjoy the large indoor swimming pool and hot tub. Bring your camera.
To book a sleeping-room, call 1-800-333-3333; state that you are with the ABA, and ask for an INTERIOR room (quieter). Rate: $109, plus taxes, for one or two occupants. For a fee, you may be able to have a mini-frig. The hotel is in a very safe area, with ample, outdoor, free parking. By the end of June, 2011, the hotel’s 6 million dollar renovation will be complete. If you are flying in to Nashville International Airport, and you want to sign-up for our group-rate of $34, round-trip for a van-shuttle to and from the hotel, tell the front desk. The cut-off date for our sleeping-room block is September 24th, but book now, as a large number of our members already have done.
Tues., Oct. 25
9:00 a.m. $44/person, X persons = $ _______________________________
A GRAY LINE modern tour bus picks us up at our hotel, and departs (be in the lobby 8:30 am, for boarding), for a 3 ½-hour narrated tour of the landmarks of downtown Nashville. The fee INCLUDES free admission to the three places where we get off the bus:
1) The 37 million dollar Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (an 80-minute tour of this must-see, high-tech, facility).
2) 30-minute tour of Historic Ryman Auditorium.
3) 20-minute visit to a famous Honky Tonk pub, with live music.
1:00 p.m. Upon our return to the hotel, those who so choose may take the free shuttle bus a few minutes across the street and walk through another must-see: Opryland Hotel (the sister property of our hotel). We could have lunch there, at one of their ten, plus, restaurants.
Early evening: We meet newly-arriving members, and can dine at our hotel or at one of several restaurants within walking distance.
Wed., Oct. 26
9 a.m.: We car-pool from the hotel, led by new member Frank E. Jones, M.D., of Nashville, to 3 destinations, near each other, in the beautiful West End of the city
(bring a change of clothes to the country club for the evening event):
1) 10 a.m: We arrive at, and observe, the historic highway marker noting where the
residence, called MONTPIER, was, being the home of Nicholas (“Bigbee”) Perkins, the Tenn. attorney who, in 1807, led a military party which, on orders of Pres. Thomas Jefferson, captured Aaron Burr in present-day Alabama and transported him on horseback to Richmond, to face the treason trial.
2) 10:45 a.m. Car-pool from Montpier and, by 11:30, arrive at BELLE MEADE
PLANTATION, 5025 Harding Pike, Nashville 37205. (615) 356-0501.
$31 group-rate fee x__________ =$
Includes the admission to the facility and the 12:00 noon luncheon, in a private room with a served chicken salad plate. At the luncheon, Dr. Jones, in costume, interprets his role as Pres. James Madison, and recalls for us that Aaron introduced Dolley to James. After lunch, we tour the plantation and its winery.
3) 5:30pm: We arrive at nearby HILLWOOD COUNTRY CLUB, where we join Dr.
Jones’ Andrew Jackson chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) in their
monthly meeting. Professional reenactors of General/President Andrew Jackson, and
his beloved wife Rachel, will entertain us, followed by dinner.
The dinner, alone, will cost each attendee (ABA and SAR) $35 per person X_____ (people) = $ _________.
Please pay this fee now, with your returned Reservation Form.
The reenactors have agreed to lower their usual fee down to $250, which will be split among all attendees, including from SAR, and which I will collect that evening.
Note: Since today’s events run into the evening and involve some expense, if you wish to not attend either Belle Meade or the country club dinner, simply so indicate on your reservation form, ASAP, and we will try to have a vehicle to accommodate similar-minded members.
Thurs., Oct 27
10:00 a.m.: Our host today, Simon Mayfield Dickerson “(Dick”), hopes to arrange for a complimentary, 40-seat church-owned bus and driver, to arrive at our hotel with Dick on board to narrate, for the 45-minute drive north to his country estate, Peach Blossom, in Springfield, TN (a mile south of the Kentucky border). On the way up there, we will briefly see FORT MASSAC, frequented by Aaron. Dick will show his estate, decorated by items he has collected in many countries he was posted to, and we will have a light lunch either at Peach Blossom or a neighboring home. (We will reimburse Dick for the cost of the luncheon). Other events that day will include:
- meet local officials, including our member Faye Stubblefield, who is a county
- hopefully meet some local Burr descendants;
- see the site, then-owned by a Burr, where Andrew Jackson fatally shot
Dick’s ancestor, Charles Dickinson, in an 1806 duel;
- see the two cemeteries containing plots of dozens of Burr families;
- see the tavern which sits half in Tenn, and half in KY;
- see the outside of a safe-house used by the Jesse and Frank James bank robbery
For a fun-profile of Dick, who is Al Gore’s second cousin, visit www.DickDickerson/AaronBurr.
If the church bus plan falls through, we will car-pool from the hotel.
Thurs., evening: We will greet new arrivals, and have dinner at or near the hotel.
Friday Oct. 28
9:30 a.m.: Leave hotel by carpool.
10:00 a.m: Begin docent-guided tour of THE HERMITAGE, beautiful home of Andrew and Rachel Jackson.
$12/per person admission fee X________ = $
$12/per person for box lunch X________ = $
(At their public Cafẻ). We must order box-lunches ahead of time.
Tell me your choice of the following 8-inch Firehouse sub sandwiches:
Roast beef __________
Sliced chicken breast _________
Aaron stayed at the Hermitage property three times, as Jackson’s guest.
After lunch, those who wish, may, for a separate $5 fee (pay then, but indicate your interest here. Yes: ___________ No: _________ ) tour TULIP GROVE mansion, the home of Andrew Jackson Donnelson, which is immediately adjacent to the Hermitage, and takes about 30 minutes. Those wishing to skip Tulip Grove could, instead, visit the gift shop at the Hermitage.
After that, Dr. Jones will lead our carpool caravan to nearby CLOVER BOTTOM, and briefly show us the historic marker explaining that it was here, on the Stones River, where Aaron took possession of some of the flatboats he used on his expedition, which boats were built nearby by Jackson’s company.
Friday Evening: Meet and dine with new arrivals at or near the hotel.
Sat., Oct. 29
11:00 - 12 noon: Pre-luncheon social cash-bar at a ballroom in our hotel.
12 noon – 4 p.m.: Our sit-down Annual Luncheon is held in the ballroom.
Cost is $45 x ___________ = $
(people in your party)
Our featured luncheon guest speaker is David Overlock Stewart, Esq., whose new book, The Emperor Of The Americas: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America (Simon & Schuster), will be published in early October, 2011, and will be available for purchase at the luncheon. David’s talk will include how Aaron pushed-off from Nashville on his fateful expedition. Members Brian Hardison and Richard Maroc have been reading an advance version of the book, and will be taking issue with some of its assertions and conclusions, in what promises to be a lively Q & A period, to follow David’s address.
I/we vote for the following entrée
1) – Short Ribs:
Tennessee Salad: Bibb lettuce, black eyed peas, cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, tomatoes, pecans, creamy BBQ dressing.
Sorghum glazed short ribs with smoked cheddar grits, root vegetable hash, locally grown swiss chard.
Individual Jack Daniel’s pecan pie, short bread crust, vanilla bean anglasié.
2) – Orange Glazed Chicken
Romaine lettuce, orange, jicama, radish and crumbled queso fresco, chipotle ranch dressing.
Tamarind and orange glazed chicken breast, with black bean salsa, gingered boniato mash, chili lime butter.
Chocalate flourless cake, vanilla bean ice-cream, chocolate paint.
3) - Chicken Pasta Pesto
Chicken breast, with cheese-filled tri-color tortellini (majority vote rules, for two choices)
My special dietary needs (e.g. for vegetarian entrée) or allergies (e.g. to nuts) are:
7-9 p.m: Saturday
I/we plan to attend member, Diana Howie’s 7 cast performers’) “concert reading” (rehearsed, performed, and reading the script from music stands) of her play about Burr and Hamilton, The Brightest Light to be held in the same banquet room as our luncheon, with a ten-minute intermission:
________ people @ $5/person = $
(the hotel is charging ABA a room-use fee for the reading). Many members will not be checking-out until Sunday.
Plus, 2011 ABA membership dues of $25, if not yet paid: $ _________
Grand Total payment (payable to ABA) enclosed: $ ________________
Our full names, and contact information (including guests):
Home telephone ______________________________________________________________
Cell phone __________________________________________________________________
Email address ________________________________________________________________
I have the following suggestions, comments, or news: ________________________________
February 6, 2011
Dear ABA Members and Friends,
Happy 255th birthday, Aaron!
2011 Annual Meeting Agenda: October 24 – 30, Nashville, Tennessee ___
Helena and I are pleased to formally announce ABA’s exciting and ambitious plans to visit the sites in Nashville, and nearby Kentucky, where Aaron stayed while waiting for General Andrew Jackson’s company to finish building some of the flatboats which Burr and his men used to travel to the southwest territories.
Please bring this newsletter with you to the meeting.
Monday, Oct. 24 3:00 p.m.
Check-in begins at the RADISSON Hotel at Opryland, 2401 Music Valley Drive, Nashville, TN 37214; (615) 889-0800 (our hotel). We will meet-and-greet at our hotel restaurant.
In order to obtain the best sleeping rooms, please book reservations immediately, by calling 1-800-333-3333; state that you are with ABA; and ask for an INTERIOR room. Some of the exterior rooms, facing the outside of the hotel, can be noisy, due to idling tour buses. I negotiated a very favorable group rate of $109, plus taxes, per night for one or two persons. A large number of members already have booked (I have been announcing our plans by our group email for the past three months).
About our hotel:
- From January through April, 2011, this already nice hotel is undergoing a 6-million dollar total
renovation, including of its restaurant. (www.Radisson.com/Hotels/TnnShop). Find our hotel on
Facebook Radisson Opryland. Our 303-room hotel is the “sister” property of Gaylord Opryland
- free outdoor parking, in a completely safe area.
- very friendly staff.
- full-service hotel, with a full restaurant serving all three meals, at reasonable prices. Breakfast is
- large indoor swimming pool; with hot tub and children’s pool.
- fitness room.
- smoke and pet-free.
- mini-frig. by request (there may be a fee).
- many restaurants within walking distance, with several featuring gentle, country-singing groups.
There are also many upscale restaurants at the fabulous Opryland hotel complex, across the street from the Radisson.
- $34.00 group rate, per person, round-trip van shuttle from Nashville International Airport (a very good, user-friendly facility) to our hotel, and back (about a 15-20 minute drive) (make arrangements through our hotel).
Tues., Oct. 25 10 :00 a.m.
The Gray Line tour bus picks us up at the hotel to begin a wonderful 3 ½-hour narrated tour of downtown Nashville (“N-Ville”). We get off the bus three times, for:
1) An 80-minute tour of the four floors of the state-of-the-art Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. This is fascinating to see.
2) A 20-minute tour of Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry live radio show.
3) A 20-minute tour of one of the famous “honky-tonks” (small bar/pubs featuring non-stop live musical groups).
Our driver will drive by, and explain, the city’s very interesting Centennial Park, Parthenon, and much more.
When the bus returns us to our hotel, around 2:00pm, those who wish may choose to take the free shuttle bus to the Opryland Hotel, five minutes away, for a walk-through.
Evening: We will meet-and-greet new arrivals, and have dinner either at our hotel, or at one of the restaurants within walking distance.
Wed., Oct. 26:
Our venues this day will be close to each other in the beautiful West End area of N-Ville.
At a leisurely time in the morning we will car-pool from the hotel, led by our newest member, Frank E. Jones, M.D., of N-Ville, to:
1) We will drive to see the historic highway marker noting where “Montpier” formerly was
located. This was the residence, built on 12,000 acres he acquired, of one of Aaron Burr’s tormentors,
Nicholas “Bigbee” Perkins, Tenn. attorney. As the plaque explains, Perkins, in 1807, led a small military
party which captured Burr in the Mississippi territory, or Alabama, and transported him on horseback, in
custody, from Fort Stoddert, to Richmond, VA., to face trial on the treason charge.
2) Next, we will drive a short distance and tour BELLE MEADE
(www.bellemeadeplantation.com), listed as one of America’s grandest mansions by Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel magazine. Most of its demonstrations center around Frontier Life: 1790 – 1820. Today, this is a 30-acre site featuring ten out-buildings, a huge carriage house and a winery.
3) Next, we will drive five minutes to HILLWOOD COUNTRY CLUB, for the 5:30pm start of
the monthly meeting of the Andrew Jackson chapter of the SONS of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION (SAR), headed by our member Dr. Frank Jones. After a social cash-bar get together, we will join the SAR members for dinner (the cost is $35 per person). We plan to have professional reenactors of Gen. Andrew Jackson and his wife, Rachel, entertain us at the country club (fee to be split among us attendees ). Between 8 and 9 pm, we car pool back to the hotel.
Thurs., Oct. 27 10:00 a.m.
We drive, or ride, some 45 minutes north of our hotel to Peach Blossom, the Springfield, TN, country home of our host, Simon Mayfield Dickerson (“Dick”). Dick hopes to provide us with a complimentary church bus, and driver, to transport us, round-trip, to and from our activities today. Dick hopes to be on the bus, narrating as we ride. We will tour Peach Blossom, and there meet Robertson County officials, including Magistrate Faye Stubblefield (ABA member, and sister of our Joyce Cole); and, hopefully, some of the many Burr family descendants who live in the county, as well as Logan County, Kentucky, a mile or so across the state line.
Dick will arrange a catered sandwich and soft drinks lunch, under a tent at his estate, for which we will reimburse him his food costs. After lunch, Dick will show us the tavern which sits half in Tenn., and half in KY. We will see two cemeteries in Adairville, KY., containing dozens of Burrs. We will see the field, then owned by Burrs, where Dick’s ancestor Charles Dickinson (the family uses both spellings), called the “best shot in Tenn.” was killed in a gun duel with Andrew Jackson, in 1806. Dick will point out the safe-house used by the Jesse and Frank James bank robbery gang.
For a profile of Dick, who is Al Gore’s second cousin, and graduated from Vanderbilt University BA, 1963, go to www.DickDickerson/Aaron Burr.
Thursday evening, we will meet new arrivals at our hotel, and have dinner.
Fri., Oct. 28 10:00 a.m.
We carpool some 25 minutes to THE HERMITAGE, the beautiful home of General (and 7th President) Andrew Jackson, Aaron’s faithful friend. We’ll have a docent-led three hour tour and lunch, probably at the quaint Cabin by the Spring, in the rear of the property, next to the smaller cabin where Aaron stayed on three occasions, as Jackson’s guest. (www.thehermitage.com).
Next, we will go a short distance to Tulip Grove. Then, another short drive to Clover Bottom, where Dr. Jones will show us the historic marker explaining that it was here, on the Stones River, where some of the flatboats used by Aaron Burr were built by Jackson’s company, for the expedition to the southwestern territories.
Evening: Meet and greet new arrivals, and have dinner nearby.
Sat. Oct. 29 11:00 - 12 noon: Social hour at a ballroom in our hotel.
12 noon – 4pm: Our sit-down annual luncheon is held at our hotel.
I am pleased to announce that author DAVID OVERLOCK STEWART, Esq., ABA member, will be our guest luncheon speaker. David will sell and sign copies of his new book, THE EMPEROR OF THE AMERICAS: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America (Simon & Schuster), due for release in early October, 2011. David will talk of Burr’s Expedition, which largely pushed off from Nashville; the treason trial; and Burr’s four years in Europe. To see Attorney Stewart’s most-impressive C.V., including his law clerkships to Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.; and U.S. Court of Appeals Chief Judge J. Skelly Wright, and Judge David L. Bazelon, visit his website at www.davidostewart.com. By the way, Simon & Schuster’s publisher, Jonathan Karp, is the son of Don Karp, former ABA member and mentor of our bas relief of Aaron in his Newark bank.
7-9pm: For those staying over until Sunday morning, our member Diana M. Howie is planning to have a cast put on a “concert reading” (rehearsed, performed, but with the cast reading the script from music stands) of her play about Hamilton and Burr, The Brightest Light, similar to the reading of her play at Princeton’s Nassau Hall at our 1995 meeting. (There will be a 10-minute intermission). Let me know if you plan to attend.
Sunday, Oct. 30 Our final check-out from the hotel.
Our 2012 Annual Meeting
We will stay in the New York City area (either in the city or at the Sheraton Suites hotel, Weehawken, NJ, and take the ferry into NYC). We will mark the 200th anniversary of Aaron’s return to the U.S. from Europe. We will visit the ambitious Aaron Burr collection exhibition of member Brian D. Hardison, at the Grolier Club in the city, which has its private, grand opening May 15, 2012; public grand opening May 16, and ends July 28, 2012. We are looking at the first or second week of June as our annual meeting week, before the temperature gets hot.
Our 2010 meeting in Princeton was a big success, with great bonding among our attendees, great venues, and a nice hotel.
DUES REMINDER: Please mail this years’ membership dues ($25, due 2-6-11), payable to ABA, to Stuart F. Johnson, at the letterhead address.
Stuart and Helena
Email address: Stuart.johnson.Aaronburr@gmail.com