Vice President Burr was acquitted of treason in a Virginia
court Sept. 1, 1807,
after being arrested for attempting to form his own republic. After serving as vice
president under Thomas Jefferson from 1800 to 1804, Burr devised a plan to
annex sections of Louisiana and Mexico
in order to establish an independent republic over which he would rule. Enlisting
the help of James Wilkinson, the commander in chief of the U.S. Army, Burr
petitioned the British government for assistance but was unsuccessful.
Continuing with his plan, he led an armed group of
colonists toward New
the fall of 1806. However, the attempted siege ended when Wilkinson, concerned
over the possibility of punishment, alerted the government to Burr’s act of
treason. Burr was arrested in Louisiana and sent to face trial in Virginia. He was acquitted on the grounds that he had not
engaged in an “overt act” against the U.S.