17 April 1902 The Des Moines Leader

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17 April 1902 The Des Moines Leader - UVUVWAAATiAAV**i*i*i* '1*1*1* · * «...
UVUVWAAATiAAV**i*i*i* '1*1*1* · * « «^»*A***WW W | An Unwritten Page in ... .1 . . . Loves ol Aaron Burr Nineteen lotteis, yellow -with age, dated Amsterdam. 1S11, and written by Aaion Bun- to John Vanderlyn, thu imibt d-nd Burr's protege, have been unearthed among thr papers of the ilalley family oL Kingston, N. Y. A newspaper ha-b procured these histoiic letteis from Albert J. Malley, a member of the family, living at u. Madison Mreec. Brooklyn, and they Arc herewith puljlis-hed for the fust time. Thej wf-re oiismally in the possession ol Dominie Robert L. Gossman oC the Dutch Tlcform chuich ol Kingston, ulio received them fiom Vanderlyn at | llio artibt's doath in 1S33. Dominie Gos--mdn gave them to llal- Ity Sr. w i t h a bundle of other papeis, and IP turn thc-y weie bequeathed io Albert LMallej. 1 The letters were written from Burr I to Vanderlyn. who was then in Paris. ! .it the time when, after three years of exile iollovving his tii«il fur treason, Burr WAS plunning and scheming with pamtul eagerness to ieich his native- l.md again. Sleeping in dime lodgings, dining upon free lunches at the "Hole in the Wall," pawning his v\.atch and bookt., «!.ited with s=chemes of a vast lortune to be made by extracting vinegar from wood, ceaselessly active, always the g-ay Lothario--the true "little Burr" aijpe.us m these Vanderlyn letters in the stiange and picturesque garb of Thiough all of them a, thread of amours "i uns. They sho^ that hard pressed as he was in Amsterdam, no continued love-making to Mme. St Claire in Tans and never long forgot the duchesses and barmaids who had captivated his fancy in every gay cap- U John Vanderlyn. to whom the letters a'v addressed, was one of the early \merican painters who attracted attention abroad and who owed his success originally to the kindness of Aaron In ".ill the range of American history no character has been so picturesque, fo despised and probably so little understood as Aaron Burr. Two facts alone have obfccured the remainder cf his phenomenal story. He killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel and was tried £01 treason, and morally but not judicially convicted, in 1807. _ In the midst of prosperity and gaiety came the fatal duel with Hamilton on the heights of Weehawken one June morning in 1804. Burr never to the end of hU lite comprehended the storm ot Indignation which rose about his head ·tthen Hamilton died. For months he was a. fugitive under an indictment foi murder. He came back finally and finished his term of vice president boldly and even with eclat. Aft=r that, restlessv ambitious, hounded by creditors, he conceived the treasonable plot which exiled him and wrecked his life. He planned to free Alexico, sepai ate some of the western and southern states from the union and establish an American monarchy, -with a capital at .New Orleans. Burr was assisted In this by Harman Blennerhasset. Theodosia, Burr's daughter, and her husband, Alston. -were also drawn innocently into the echeroe. A tract ol l.ind from which to diiect operations WAS purchased by agreement for $40.000 on the Washita river. The plot was discovered and Aaror. Burr's famous trial for treason took place at Richmond, Va.. in 1S07. Bun- was acquited upon a curious verdict of "not proven guilty." He became a penniless wanderer in Europe, for public distrust of him literally drove him from America, No sooner has he arrived than he "begins to write in the following fashion to Vanderlyn, his painter protege. "Amsterdam, 7 Aug., 1S1L Thursday 1 asked you to give me news of the "beautiful D. C., and I received news the day after. "Alter having settled your own business with her T give you permission to kias her more than twenty times for me. "We will make a choice of a plan, and I beg madarne to let me know of her own hand how you will have accomplished the mission. A. B." At this time Burr -wag domiciled with another of his women friends whom he calls "Amie," as the following shows: "Amsterdam, Sunday morning.--1 r«- great that ma belle Amie cannot honor -yqu b y her presence today, nor can i\ e BOW agree upon a, day, etc., etc. "A. B." This beautiful Ainie is mentioned in other letters. All of Burr's wompn friends were beautiful--to him at least. "Amsterdam, 2 Sep., 1811.--I can't help pitying you a little for the Violette affair. You deserve, however, to be , you fiend, to leave ambrosia and nectar to feast on tripe and small beer, descend from Venus to yahoo. K I were there I would endeavor to inspire la belle with the idea of a double vengeance. "Always say something- of la belle C etc., etc. A. B." "Kiss the fair hand of the lovely C. for me;" "embrace la bella C. for me 2nd ask her prayers," he adds in other letters. Burr was superstitious as a woman and to Vanderlyn he writes of hie watch: "Amsterdam, Sept. 7, 1811.--I put the repeater in the hands of a watchmaker here. It was opened in my presence, and we found a tooth -broken in one of the repeating wheels. It is a bad omen." Theodosia and some pictures which Vanderlyn has agreed to paint of her are mentioned half a dozen timee. "Amsterdam. 7 Aug., 1811.--At last vou eee me In rny port of embarkation. The .«bip Vigilant sailed about three days befor" my arrfvel. But don't be alarmed. She hat. gone only to the Texel, whither we aie to follow in Jays, perhaps about the 15th. I think o u may count on our being here eight daj-.=. "This will afCord time for me to receive the enamel copy of 'Theodosia,' if done, and the damaged piece, which I can't lorgive. "Your iPtter of the 20th of July is received here, also the bundle of clothes, in which is found all that you mentioned to have inclosed. The lady will have an acknowledgement from under my hand for her condescension and Koodness, which is exceedingly nattering. Till that shall be done you are f-ay nothing. "The enamel watch was handed by Benin, the courier, at the moment of my leaving Anvers. I ought long since to have received from you an acknowledgment of some of the three letters which I wrote you from that plat.?. "Thus far, stylographically; now with vulgar pen and ink. If you leave Paris tvithm forty-eight hours after having this, there is no doubt would be in time for the Vigilant, there is now room plenty for all the French and Dutch passengers thrown out by some new imperial order. If you come not, I insist on your iurther Theodosia's pictuie in your best manner. Adieu, A. B." Bun's watch, which figures in several of the letters, was the gift of Theodosia, and what 'became of it is told in the following letter to his daughter. The cactain of the Vigilant at the last was held for debt, and in order to get off, undertook to raise the niorfv. "But how did I raise it?" writes Burr. The reply contains a dreadful disclosure. "I raised it by the sale of my little meubles' and loose property, among others, alas! my dear little 'Garnp's' (watch). It is shocking to relate, but what could I do? I had every resource and was in despair. So, after turning it over and looking at and opening It and putting it to my like a baby and kissing it and you a thousand pardons out loud, dear, beautiful little watch was--was sold." The wonderful versatility of the man is shown in this letter In which he Vanderlyn to forward to him some garden seeds. (Garden seeds for America at S'uch a time!) '·Being resolved to introduce into our :ountry the topinambone and the estragon, I beg you to take out for small parcel of the seed of each. The seeds taken in the autumn will be much more likely to succeed than which I had in July. ';You would greatly 'oblige me if would also take out about a peck topinambone, the root itself. They are not to be had here or I would not propose to you the trouble. Please also to buy for me. if my money should out, the 'Jardinier Imperial,' a thick octavo volume, published every year some jaidimer dti pardin du 3 tuntes, and to be had there, and perhaps everywhere else in Paris. Without such instruction we may not know to cultivate our estragon and top. Tell C. again that (trans, from Fiench-- when I wish anything from her) I wi ite to her. Vale. A, B." The following indicates Burr's wish to pay hts debts if he had had the wherewith, a.-:d contains a re'erer.po to aiiothtr "iiffaii of the heari " "I should send you money if I any. The highest evidence of my poverty is that our amiable friend B 1 is yet unpaid, which is most mortifying. Learn from our good Fonzi and write me whether BollrnK.n paid him and how much. Tell F. that I yet to see him in Paris "Tour beautiful Diana is always in my memory. I hope you will bring with you when you come. Tet I do not know how such a little thing be disposed of so as to keep contented and happy. "Capt. Skinner will tell you all you may wish to know about your affectionate A. B." "C.," or Mrne. St. Claire, was a attractive woman, whose picture Van- derlyu had painted so well that she grew fond of the artist. When Burr came to Pans she fell deeply in w i t h him and he with her, as letters show. She was much admired by a certain class ot" men and had many endearing and admirable qualities. But she was one of a set of gay Bohemians, all whom Burr knew well and with he drank and smoked and enjoyed convivialities of tha gay capita!. Probably no other man ever loved many women at once. While he told St. Claire "she was never out of memoiy," he was writing the same thins? to that other (la belle C.), the lovely "Celeste," In Philadelphia, and swarm of others. , The following shows Burr finally aboard ship. He got only as far as London, where delays kept him to next year in extremest poverty. "On board the Vigilant, off Texas, Sept. 29. 1811.--We got under way at this afternoon, the wind ahead and light. Made about half a league and have come to anchor again. At the return of the ebb, at G tomorrow, hope shall make sail, and if the wind us to get out of the harbor, will continue our voyage. We are thirty-one sailors and fifty-one passengers, children Included. "I have been a week on board have amused myself in arranging my cabin. It has admitted of shelves for my books, which are perhaps a la lotheque, so that I am prepared for voyage of any length. The frigate is still here, but will sail, as is said, tomorrow . "As this croi.s open, I send no mes- sagSt Adieu.' 1 a

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  1. The Des Moines Leader,
  2. 17 Apr 1902, Thu,
  3. Page 14

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  • 17 April 1902 The Des Moines Leader

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