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Full text of "A full statement of the trial and acquittal of Aaron Burr, esq. : containing, all the proceedings and debates that took place before the federal court at Frankfort, Kentucky, November 25, 1806"

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A 
FULL STATEMENT 



or THE 



TRIAL AND ACQUITTAL 

OE 

AARON BURR, Es* 

CONTAINING, 

Jillthe proceedings and debates that took place before 
the Federal Court at Frankfort^ Kentucky^ 
JVovemler 25, 1806. 



By JOHN WOOD, 

Editor of the" Western World" who attended at tit* 
Trial— 



* HINTED ET CoTTOM AND SfEWAfc*, 

%\&& soli at ibtir Book-stores in Alexandria z&& 
Fredenckstsrg* 



B) 



District of 'Columbia, fffe 



»EIT REMEMBERED, That on the first 
day of January, in the thirty-first year of 
( L. S.J the Independence of the Uniied States of 
Ameiica, Cottom akd Stewart, of the 
said District hath deposited in this office the Title 
of a Book, the right whereof they claitnas proprie- 
tors, in the words following, to wit : 

*' A full statement of the Trial and Acquittal of 
" Aaron Burr, Esq* Containing all the proceedings 
u and debates that took place before the Federal court 
i; at Frankfort ^Kentucky* November 25, 1806. 
In conformity of an Act of Congress of the United 
States, entitled, " An act for the encouragaient of 
•' learning, by securing the copies, of Maps, Charts, 
4< and Books, to the authors and proprietors of 
* l such copies, during the times therein mention- 
•* ed :" And also, to an Act entitled. 4 * An Act sup- 
< u plementary to an *\ct entitled, " An Act for the 
«* encouragement of learning, by securing the copies 
*< of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and 
.« proprietors of such copies, during the times 
•i therein mentioned, and extending tne benefits 
* thereof to the arts of Designing, Engravings 
« and Etching, historical and other prints," 

q . DENE ALE, C D. C D. Q ? 




AARON BURR 



TRIAL OF 



AARON BURR. 

Federal Court — Kentucky District, 

Tuesday, November 25th, 1806. 

This day came the attorney for the United 
States anf.LT'Cved the court to award a war* 
rant to fl.^'imon a grand jury to appear here 
on Tuefday the 26th day of this term, to en- 
quire upon the brench of the laws of the li- 
nked States, alluded to in the affidavit filed oa 
the fi~th day of this term by the faid attorney, 
and upon fuch other matters as may be fub- 
jnittecl to them. And on the farther motioa 
of the laid attorney for the United States, ftat- 
ing that it was neceilary to have fubpoenas 
iffueci ro compel the attendance of wifneffes to> 
give t -ftamony to the faid grand jury to fup- 
port the /indictments he intents to prefer 
againft the faid Aaron Burr, Efq.lt is ordered 
that the c ; erk ifhie fuppoenas upon the 
jfequeft of the faid attorney for witnefiks. 

Tuefday, December 2. 

The grand jury ordered to be fumrrjoned to 
this day ha\ ing appeared were ernpannelled and 
fworn. ju Ige Innes then delivered to them 
the following charge : 
Gentlemen :•/ the Gritiia Jury 

You are co .vened this day upon a fpectal 
occailon. fheeveiit exhibits to the world 
the importance of the inflkufion which fecures 
to the citizens of America the inquiry of a 



( 4 ) 
grand jury in all cafes affecting either life o t 
liberty. 

Grand jurors are conftituted judges of the 
actions of their fellow-citizens, which they 
are to examine agreeably to that rule, which 
compels mankind to make their moral actions 
conformable to it. 

This rule of action is defined to be the law 
of the land, from which we ought not to de- 
viate, and which it is our duty to obey, by con- 
forming to all its requifites. %. % 

The law doth not reftrain a man's actions 
otheiwife than by exhibiting a penalty for a 
breach thereof \ it is therefore cleary under- 
ftood that all our actions are lawful which are 
not prohibited. 

Men of virtuous minds find no difficulty 
in conforming to and fquaring thtir actiors 
with the rules prefcribed by law. It is the 
vicious part of mankind, who have from time 
to time, and in all pad ages, given rife to the 
many penal laws which are enacted in every 
well regulated government, to prevent the 
perpetration of acts of violence upon perfons 
or property, or acts which are confidered in- 
jurious to government. 

If a man commits an act which the law pro- 
hibits, it is rebelling again!! rhe fcciety in 
which he lives and fetting the penalty of 
the law at defiance. Reafon and juftice re- 
quire that fuch a man mould be puniihed for 
his rafh and prefumptuous deed. It is the 
duty of one and all who compofe the fociety 
to exert their united endeavours in bringing 
$e oflcnder to trial and puniftimcntj not oniy 



( 5 ) 
v/ith a view of cnrre&ing the culprit for his 
difobedience, but by exemplary punifhmerU to 
deter others from the pe petition of crimes 
and aaifdemeanors. 

It is the duty of thofe perfons who are en- 
trufted with the adminiflrationof government 
to keep a watchful eye over the conduct of 
their fellow-citizens j to prevent as far as pra- 
cticable the breach of the laws and to direct: 
an enquiry to be made whenever a probable 
caufe ill a II require it. 

This enquiry when requifite, at an early 
flage of the bufiaefs becomes, gentlemen, your 
particular province. AH the; penal laws o 
the American government are fubjeel to your 
examination, and it is your duty to enquire 
whether any of our fellow-citizens frave com- 
mitted offences prohibited by them within this 
ciilliitt ; and if the knowledge of any offence 
is known to your body, or in the ccurfe of 
your enquiries if it (hall be proved to yen that 
any perfom has been guilty of a breach of the 
laws, you are to make it known in order that 
the culprit may be brought to a trial and upon 
conviction? receive trie punifhment affixed to 
the offence*. 

To the faithful difcharge of this duty you 
have io!emnly eugaged in the prefence of God 
and } our country, to enquire diligently and 
true prefemment make of all offences which 
(hall come to your knowledge upon the pre- 
fect occ^fion. Act therefore with deliberation — 
with impartiality — without favour or affection 
to any perfon. Befuperior to all manner of 
temptation — to fear or refentment, and maks, 
A a 



( 6 ) 

truth the ftandard of your proceedings. This 
li e of conduft will be the means of convift- 
intrandpuniflxing the guilty—of acquitting 
the innocent, and produce in your own minds 
the pleafing refle&ion of having confcienci- 
oufly discharged the trull committed to you. 

Your duty, gentlemen, is of a two fold na- 
ture, viz. to find indictments and make prefent- 
ments— Anindi&ment is the verdicY of the 
jurors, founded on the £c:ufation of a third 
perfon, and is drawn up by the immedate^ of- 
ficer of the government, fpecially authorifed 
to profecutein her behalf; upcn which the 
jury endorfe a true bill — cr not a true bill, 
agreeably to the teftimoney adduced to them. 
A presentment is the fpecial a£t of the grand 
jury founded upon their knowledge of an of- 
fence, or upon the information ©f fome indi- 
vidual made to their body. 

In making prefentments it is necefiary to 
examine the feveral ftatutes inflicting penalties? 
as to the time limited for inftituting profecu- 
tions. If they be filent as to that point you 
will refer to the 33d feclion of the 4i a 61 for the 
punimment of certain crimes againft the U- 
nited States." Be careful to note down in 
any prefentment you (hall make, the time and 
place, when and where the offence was com- 
mitted—If made by an informer, fet his name 
down at the foot of the prefentment, together 
with the place of his refidence. 

The particular laws to which I fhall at this 
time requeft your attention you wiii find un- 
der the following titles, viz. 

An act for ihe.punilhmx;;it of certain cri;ues 



( 7 ) 

againd the United States ; an ad to puni/h 
frauds committed on the bank of the United 
States \ an act for the punifhment of certain 
crimes therein fpecifted; an act to regulate 
trade and intercourfe with the Indian tribes 
and to preferve peace on the frontiers; an act 
in addition to the act for the punifhment of 
certain crimes againft the United States. 

To the 5th fettion of the laft law your en- 
quiry will I expect be particularly directed. 

Gentlemen of the Grand jury — In your 
retirement I require you to confider well the 
iituation in which you are placed, You are 
faid tobe the bulwark (landing between the chief 
executive power and the citizen to fhield and 
protect him againft oppreffion. Standing in 
this important Iituation it will become you to 
examine well the evidence which may be ad- 
duced to you ; and carefully to diftinqufh be- 
tween that which is legal and that which is il- 
legal* — Confine the examination of the wit- 
Redes to the facts which fhall be ftatcd in the 
indictment to be preferred to you — Confine 
the examination to fa 8 s within their own 
knowledge, and do not permit them to relate 
that which has been told them by others, be- 
cause that is hearfay and not legal evidence. 
A proper attention to thisfubjeel will fave you 
much trouble, and it is proper that you mould 
be thus circumfpeet, because, yourexamina- 
tion is confined to the profecuting wilneffes 
only, but from them I truft vou will extra£t 
the truth and the whole truth y and confine 
your enquiries to fads committed within the 
cli r tricl:,jjecaufe your jurifdi&ion cannot ex- 
ceed its limits. 



(8 ) 

Although, gentlemen, you are thus placed 
as a barrier again u oppreffion, it is neverthe- 
lefs your duty to accufe upon legal evidence 
thofe who are guilty, that they may be exhi- 
bited to public view, tried and punifhed ag eea- 
biy to law ; otherwife you defeat the objecl: 
of vour institution, and will permitthe funda- 
mental principles of government to be fub- 
verted. 

Gentlemen, ycu will now rcjre and confi- 
der of the fubjeBs which fhall be fubmkted to 
your confideration. If any difficulty occurs, 
the court will be ready to ad\ife you. 

When judge Innis had delivered this charge, 
Henry Clay, E-fq. as Counfel for Colonel 
Burr, rofe and addreffed the Court in the fol- 
lowing terms : 

" The only apprehenfion which Colonel 
Burr has on this oceafion is the danger ©f 
delay — he fears nothing elfe — he dreads no- 
thing elfc. This is the fecond time that the 
public attorney has caufed him to dance at- 
tendance on this court. A lew weeks have 
only elapfed (ince a fimilar charge as the pre- 
fect was advajiced againR him by Mr. Da- 
vifs. He did not then fhrink from ir.vefti- 
gation ; no fooner did he hear that his cha- 
racter had beeu mentioned with reproach, 
than' he hurried to meet the charges; he vo- 
luntarily came forward; he was zealus 
thac every enquiry thou 14 be made into his 
conduct, and that all his actions mould be 
fcrutiiiized ; he even uied his utmoit exerti- 
ons to compel the atten bt;ce of wi:nelils, and 
to aid the Vio?'«icy in bringing IcT-vard his 
tdlimony— i5„< vvhat was f& coiidTjft oi the 




iesztiex ;::l£^: 



^5 






{ 9 j 

Attorney at that time ? When the grand jury 
were read/ to enter into the examination of 
the witneflfes, and your honor was upon the 
point of delivering your charge, he informed 
them that he was unable to proceed on ac- 
count of the non-attendance of a fingle wit- 
ncfs, whofe evidence he pretended was a moil 
material link in the chain of this wonderful 
confpiracy, of this fecret and myftcrious plan 
in which bolonel Burr is fuppofed to be en- 
gaged for the conquering of provinces and the 
erection of empires. No fooncr, however, 
did he imagine that Colonel Burr was beyond 
the reach of thejurifdiBion of this court, than 
his application was renewed; another grand 
jury were fug;moned ? and the whole country 
alarmed with the rumours of an immediate 
iniurreciion, the enlidment of men, the pur- 
chafing of provifk ns aad military {lores, the 
equipment of gun beats and flotillas, the ar- 
rival of boats loaded with mufquets, powder 
and ball, and the iiTui&g of blank commiffi- 
ons ; in fhort, the whole fancy of the Attor- 
ney was exerted to mufter up every appen- 
dage connected with confpiracies, plots, and 
combination:-. He probably fuppofed that 
if Colonel Burr did not come forward it 
would beeafy to imprefs ths mind of the pub- 
lic with the belief that he dared not face the 
charges alledged againfl him. He, perhaps, 
imagined in this way to impofe upon the cre- 
dulous with the idle (lory of Colonel Burr's 
abfeonding, of his running away from juftice; 
and by this means of procuring a triumph for 
himfelf and thofe connected with him, in per- 



( »o ) 

fecuting and har raffing Colonel Burr, who is 
a ft ranger in our c un;ry, and is merely paf- 
fing through it wktieut any other object than 
bufinefs of a private nature; and is a (Iranger 
to be harrafied and jerplcxed in this mark* 
ner — to Bare his -ime and attention diverted 
from rm own -riurs, to be tortured and o- 
bliged to account to this court for every ac* 
tion, even fchcffe of the molt trifling nature, 
in order to gratify ihe whim and caprice of 
the federal Attorney ? God forbid ! Let not, 
for Heaven's Lkv. fuch a Itigma be affixed 
to the char-'Berof Kentucky. Let it not be 
faid that no Granger can pafs through our 
couatry without tkt molt atrocious charges 
being advanced against him, No — we are 
not fo barbarous. Whatever the public at- 
torney may imagine, whatever arts he may 
ufe, it will be impoffibic that he can everim- 
pcfe fp far upon the credulity of our citizeas. 
They have not yet forgotten the farce and 
pantomime of conspiracy which was a&ed m 
this court a few weeks fince, nor will they be 
difpofed to have their feelings again infulted 
in a fimilar manner. The public opinion is 
not always to be trifled with. I hope this 
court will not fanclion a delay. I know they 
will not. Colonel Burr is equally zealous 
now as before, to have his conduct and his 
actions enquired into. It affords him the 
. highest gratification, to have an opportunity 
of vindication. He is only afraid that the at- 
torney will again trump up fome Hiding apo- 
logy for postponing the enquiry, and in this 
manner continue to torture and perplex hrfe* 



( ** ) 

He has already fuffered confiderably in the 
proftcu ion of his private concerns by attend- 
i n g to the investigation of this fanciful con- 
fpiracy, and I hope he will not be made to 
fuffer more." 

Jofeph Hamilton Davifs. I understand 
the drift of this thing : 1 know the manoeu- 
vres both of Colonel Burr and his Counfel ; 
but all their attempts to prevent or defeat my 
purpofe wiil be vain. They imagine if the 
jury go out, and no true bill is found, which 
in the abfencc of material witneffes, will be 
the cafe, that their triumph will be glorious, 
that the popularity of Colonel Burr will in- 
creafe, and that he will be regarded as the 
object of a malicious profecution. But I 
trull the Court will confidcr that the grand 
jury are called in this instance on no common 
occafion. It is a particular one and one of 
the greatest importance to the country. Ths 
attendance of Colonel Burr has not been re- 
quiied here; his prefence was perfectly unne- 
ceffary 3 it was not at my instance or felici- 
tation that he has come forward. It was a vo- 
luntary act both of him and his counfel. I 
hope, therefore, that neither he or his coun- 
fel will interfere. If the grand jury find a 
true bill then his appearance will he neceffa- 
ry, then every opportunity will be afforded 
him of proving his innocence; but until then 
1 request that I ftiall not be interrupted. — 
There area number of indifpenfable witnef- 
fes in this cafe; each who has been fummon- 
ed is indifpenfable, and without the atten- 
dance of each it is impoflible I can proceed* 



( 12 ) 

Mr. Luckettis an indifpenfable witnefs ; ge- 
neral Adair is an indifpenfable witnefs, 'they 
are not here—without them I mall not pro- 
fecute the inveaigation. I fhall purfue the 
courfe which I have laid down, nor fhall any 
arguments divert me from it. I hope, there- 
fore, that the court will dired the jury to ad- 
journ until the arrival of thofe witneffes whom 
I have named. 

Mr. Clay. The idea which the Attorney 
has conceived on this fubjea is a molt fingu- 
lar one. All that we afk is that he purfue the 
courfe which the law of the land warrants. 
We fohcit no favour, no deviation from juf- 
tice, but demand the right to which every ci- 
tizen is entitled. Something has been here 
faid about Col. Burr's prefence not being ne- 
ceiTary, but will he tell us that the feelings of 
any gentleman or perfon not callous to every 
fenfe of honor or virtue would permit him to 
fit an indifferent fpedator, while charges of 
fo enormous a nature were in circulation a- 
gainft him. Can it be fuppofed that a per- 
fon of the very refpeaable (landing and ele- 
vated fnuation of Colonel Burr would be in- 
different to fuch charges. No filch idea can 
be entertained but by thofe who either loft to 
every fenfe of honor and fhame are callous 
with regard to public opinion, or who being 
by nature cold and phlegmatic feel neither fer 
themfelves or for others. But, fir, t is is not 

rr c J? a [ aaer4 of Col. Burr. Few men are 
polieffed either of the honor or feelings of this 
gentleman. He is alive to the tendered emo- 
tions of fenfibility, and the charges whici 



r3?*h 



I9t 



y 



/ 




( *3 ) 
have been circulated againft him, from what 
motive God only knows, muft imprefs upon 
his mind the greateft anxietv. It is impoffi- 
ble it can be otherwife, it is impoflible he can 
enjoy peace or tranquility until this matter 
be cleared up. It is true that confcious only 
of virtuous and patriotic defigns he has no 
dread of the confequences which may refult 
from the rumours now afloat, but he feels that 
temporary and painful anxiety which every 
honefl heart and virtuous mind would experi- 
ence under limilar circumftances. Is Colo- 
nel Burr's name to be mentioned with re- 
proach and thus made the butt of (lander, be- 
caufe there is no procefs out againft him, be- 
caufe no deputy Marfhal has laid his hand 
upon his moulder ? Is he on that account to 
remain idle, is he to have no opportunity of 
vindication is he to be treated with fcorn and 
contempt becaufe he has voluntarily prefent- 
ed himfelf to this grand jury, and becaufe he 
has not, as probably was expected by the at- 
torney, ran off and endeavoured to efcape 
from inveftigation ? When the public attor- 
ney wifties to affume powers with which he 
is not in veiled are we to make no opposition, 
are we to permit him to face upon this court 
principles which were never heard of before, 
to call and adjourn the grand jury at his 
pleafure ? No, fir, Rich; an attempt fhall ne- 
ver be made on the rights of that body of 
men without refinance on my part, I hope 
and trull the grand jury of this country (hail 
never be converted into the weather -oh cf 
the public attorney and tun :■■;•:! ::. \'.e ' .;..; 






( H ) 
and caprice of this officer of government. 1 
demand of him a fingie inftance where the 
public attorney of any ft ate in the Union has 
exercifedthe power with which he contends 
he is invefted. I require of him to produce 
a Tingle example where the profecuting attor- 
ney for the public, has told the grand jury 
6i I am not prepared, one or two of my wit- 
nefTes are abfent, you muft adjourn until they 
come forward." I afk of him, fir, to tell me 
a fingie inftance of this kind in this or any ether 
country. No, fir, no fuch inftance is to be found, 
it is a new fpecies of prerogative which the in- 
genious fancy of the attorney has fuggefted to 
anfwer his purfofes on this occsfion, which he 
tells us isfo very important to the intereft and 
fafety of the country. It is not the province 
of the attorney to limit the number ofwitnef- 
fes to be called, to tell the grand jury this or 
that number are neceffary, or to twift and 
turn them at his pleafure. I take the powers 
and functions of the grand jury to retire after 
the judge delivers his charge, to fend for what 
witneffes they may fee proper, and if any 
doubts in matters of law cccur to fend for the 
public attorney in order to have his opinion, 
but not to regard the public attorney as the 
organ by whofe will they are to be directed. 
Such, fir, are my ideas on this fubjeel, and 
fuch, fir, I truft, will be the opinion of this 
court. I hope that no innovation whatever 
in the forms of juftice, or any infringement 
on the rights of the citizen will be tolerated. 
We are ready to conform to any rules which 
aw may fan&ion, but we do not wifh to fee 



( *5 ) 

the law overreached on this or any other oc- 
cafion. Were this priviliege of adjourning 
and di (miffing the grand jury at pleafure gran- 
ted to the attorney, there is no laying when 
his thirft after power might Hop. He might, 
fox aught I know, next take into his head to 
make prefentments as well as to draw indict- 
ments; in fliort, fir, he might proceed to af- 
fume and exercife all the rights of the grand 
jury — in fact, to become a grand iury him- 
feif. 

Mr. Baveifs. As it refpecls the grand ju» 
ry, the public attorney is certainly their pro- 
per organ, and he a£k under the aufpices of 
the court. He has the power, by confent of 
the court, when he fees proper, to adjourn and 
call together the grand jury. This power I 
mall always exercife, nor mail I be deterred 
on the prefent occafioa by the opinion of Mr. 
Clay or any other ; I know his motives 5 hat 
I difregard them* I now think it is proper, 
on account of the abfence of two material 
witneifes, that the grand jury be adjourned 
•until to-morrow, and hope the court will agree 
with me in opinion, 

Judge Innis* It is 
grand jury, when rr 
neffes that are dire8,ed h 
and call upon others a; 
not to wait or adjourn ; 
the iaft occafior; I reg 
the jury to reri- c and ( 
who are prefent; it die 
the moment that this v; 
ought to nave puriued. As the cUy > bpwevtex, 



the province of the 
-• fend for tJiqfe wfi- 


■' pfeaie, but 
. ( dire&; On 


. that I did not order 

ic will; 


not occur to me at 
e mode which' I 



( i6 ) 

is now far advanced, and fince the attorney 
fays there are two eflential witnefles abfent, 
whom he expects to-morrow, the grand jury 
may adjourn, but 1 (hail expect their punctu- 
al attendance tomorrow morning at ten. 

Mr. Daveifs then moved thai the court if- 
fue an attachment to compel the attendance of 
Gen. John Adair. 

Mr. Clay. I fhall certainly oppofe this 
motion, not becaufe I dread the teftimony of 
General Adair being unfavorable to our caufe; 
there is no teftimony which the attorney can- 
produce which we fear. We invite every 
fpecies of evidence which he can or may bring 
forward; but, fir, I oppofe the motion as be- 
ing both irregular and as tending to wound 
the feelings of the gentleman againft whom 
the motion is made. It is irregular becaufe 
the day is not yet expired upon which Gene- 
ral Adair was called to attend. No attach- 
ment, therefore, can illue until to-morrow. 
There is no particular hour fixed for this 
court to adjourn, and as no hour was menti- 
oned in the fubpcena, if Gen. Adair arrives 
any time before twelve at night he fulfils what 
the law requires. I know alfo that unlefs 
bufmefs of a mod extraordinary or unex- 
peBed nature occur, that Gen. Adair will 
come. 

Mr. Daveifs. When witnefTes are funv 
moned to attend the court it is always under- 
ftood that their prefence is required at the 
hour of the meeting of the court. The gene- 
ral hour for meeting of this court is ten in the 
morning, ^lthoagh no hour is mentioned 




^&, 



&>&&, 



( *7 ) 
is the fubpcena, this, thereto v U the hour 
generally underftoocL It is true that the 
practice of duelilts has always eeen i 
the hour of appointment, but it has not be*n 
the practice of this court or any other with 
which I am acquainted. 

Judge Inne~. As no hour was meajJ 
in the fubpoena, witneiles are ceuai.rJy^ not 
compelled to attend at the . g of the 

cou*r$, If they come atany ti:r<v; :• 
is fufficient. There is no particular wo:e ior 
rthis court to adjourn, I have Hat un fiye 9 
fix, and even nine at night. No atta 
therefore, can iff ue again ft Gen, aJM'l 

to-morrow, but that the attorney may hav 
reafon to complain, I mail open the ecu 
the Clerk's office at any hour and as eany as 
hepleafes. I (kail attend there by fix in 
morning. 

Colonel Burr. I am fatisfled that it 
Daveifs will only be fo obliging as .o w : 
letter to Gen, Adair requeuing his. attends 
and fend a meffenger off with it this e. 
it would aufwer all thepurpoies of an attach- 
ment, or if the attorney chufes that I ir 
v/rite to him it ihaii be done. 

Mr. Daveifs. I prefer proceeding ace 
ing to law ; as the judge has exprelied his 
nion that no attachment can ifluc before to- 
morrow morning I acquiefce, and agree to. 
the hour which he has named. 

The court then informed the gran I 
that they were adjourned until to mono tf 
(Wedneiday morning) at nine. 

B a 



WEDNESDAY. 

After the names of the grand jsry were call- 
ed over, the public attorney laid before them 
an indictment againft General John Adair, 
late Senator of Congrefs for the Rate of Ken- 
tucky, containing the fame charges as thofe al- 
ledged againft Col. Burr, viz : arming and 
preparing a military expedition for the inva- 
sion of Mexico and other Provinces of his 
Catholic Majefty. He then addrefled the 
Court in the following terins. 

As this is a bufinefs of the utmoft impor- 
tance and as the plan of it is not known to 
the gentlemen of the jury, although I have 
the fulieft confidence in their judgment, yet 
I am well aware that they are not adequate to 
the interrogation of the witneffes, and unlefs 
I be prefent at their examination and afliftin 
putting thofe queftions which I know will 
force the truth and lead to the difciofure of 
facts which will authorife the gentlemen of the 
grand jury to find a true bill on this occafion, 
but if the Court do not permit me to attend 
the grand jury, I am fenfible the indictment 
will fall to the ground. It is impoffible that 
any perfon who is a flranger to the nefarious 
machinations which are cauyingon, can col- 
lect together the links which bind together the 
chain of circumftances that conftitute the ne- 
ceflary proof which will be effential to find a 
true bill. 

Mr. Clay. This requeft of the public at- 
torney is truly a novel one. It is a novelty 
in the code of criminal jurifprudence. A- 
mong the many novelties which the attorney 



i *9\ 1 

has wifhed to introduce in this bufinefs, it 
unqueftionably takes the lead. When he will 
ceafe with his innovations I know not. It 
feems to me that his defire is to revolutionifc 
all the forms oflaw and to turn the refpecla- 
ble body of the grand jury into arbabble for 
his fancy to play upon, Befides it is an in- 
fult upon the judgment of the refpeclable 
gentlemen who csmpofe this jury, which i 
am certain the court will never grant. If the 
gentlemen of which this jury coniift be not 
adequate to the examination of the witneffes, 
they are not proper perfons to fit as jurymen, 
but I believe this is what the attorney will not 
prefume to fay. The indictment of itfelf fuf- 
ficiently explains the nature of the queftions 
which are to be afked ; it is the only guide by 
which the gentlemen of the jury are to be di- 
re £ted, any queftions which do notregard the 
fubject charged in the indictment are improper, 
and ought not to be put. It requires neither 
extraordinary judgment or depth offagacity to 
frame the neceifary queftions for this examina- 
tion. The grand jury are fufficient for the 
purpofe without the aid of the penetrating 
{kill of the public attorney — There is not the 
finalleft neceffity for the addition of his pow- 
ers neither his ingenuity or fagacity are in any 
ways requifite. The gentlemen of the grand 
jury are the only perfons warranted by law to 
interrogate the witnefles, and I hope there- 
fore the court will not concede to the attorneys 
requeft. 

Mr. Daveifs. The only novelty which I 
fee in this court is Mr." Clay but I (hall not be 
diverted from the courfe I have laid down 
to puifue by his novelties —You know 



( 20 ) 

the only perfon who can call me to order, and 
the novelty which Mr. Clay wifhes to intro- 
duce of preventing the proper officer of Go- 
vernment from attending, the grand jury I 
hope will not be allowed. 

Mr. Clay. I prefume, fir, if on this occa- 
fion I be thought to indulge too freely in ex- 
preffing the honed fentiments of my mind with 
regard to the extraordinary requeft of the at- 
torney, a defire of preferving the rights of my 
fellow citizens, will be the only caufe imputed 
to me. For their rights and for the liberty of 
my country I (hall never ceafe to contend. 
All at once this office of the public attorney, 
fpringsinto an importance never before com- 
templated. An attempt is made to ereO: it 
into an inquilitorial tribunal for the torturing 
of virtuous citizen*. The fancy of the at- 
torney is alfo to be exerted for the invention of 
verbal rules and criticifm to puzzle and per- 
plex the unfu(picious evidence. The grand 
juryj that great palladium of our rights, are 
about to be converted into a fet of inquifitors r 
perhaps as fatal to the liberty of the citizen as 
ever were the inquifitions under the moft def. 
potie monarchy* The public attorney is to 
aft the part of the Inqnifitor General, and to 
fcrew from the witnefies, with inftruments he 
has previoufly prepared, fueh confeffions as 
will bell anfwer his purpofe. Such, fir, is the 
eftablifhment which the attorney is defirous of 
forming in place of the good old and fouad in- 
flitutionofa grand jury. It is, I confefs, a 
chimerical monfter, and one which I truft will 
never find a place in this country, except in 




% 






c 



y 



( 21 ) 

the brain of the gentleman who has propofed 
it. The woods of Kentucky, I hopfc 3 will 
never be made the abode ofinquiiitois. or our 
fimple eftablifliments exchanged for the hor- 
rid cells of deception and tyranny. The 
groans of the fuffering vicliras of pricfthood 
and perfecution under the lafh and the block, 
fhall never be heard in our courts of juftice. 
Thefe inftrunaents of monarchy fhall never 
be mads the xseans of extorting evidence un- 
der our free and happy government. They 
may fuit the diipofition of the public attorney 
but I believe not another individual will be 
found who will fanction them. I appeal to the 
practice of every other court; I even appeal 
to the courts of Great Britain. There, where 
law is tyranny, and its minifter's tyrants, when 
compared with the mild fyitena and impartial 
judges of our free conftitution— fuch a pro- 
pofal as the one juit made by the attorney of 
this court would be rejected with the contempt 
which it deferves. Yefterday the attorney was 
defirous of cxercifing the power of adjourn* 
ing the grand jury as he pleafed, or wh^n it 
fuited His purpofe ; your honor then gave 
your opinion on this point; it was fuch an o- 
pinion as I anticipated and expected, and I 
hope your fentiments with refpect to the pre- 
lent motion before you will accord with that 
juflice which has been uniformly difplayed in 
this court. If the motion of the attorney be 
either bottomed upon right or founded upon 
law, I yield the argument; but, confident as 
I am that he is fupported by neither, and that 
the principle for which he contends is fubver- 



( ** ) 

five both of every right and of every law, and 
that the confequences which will refult from 
its adoption will lead to effects of the molt dan- 
gerous nature to our liberty and our rights, I 
regard it my duty not Only in the fituation I 
now ftand,' but as a citizen of the Hate, to op- 
pofe it. 

Mr. Daveifs, I fpeakto you, sir, candidly 
my ftntiments. Although I refpect this Jury, 
yet I believe they aTe ignorant of the plan ; 
and the molt ftudied attempt which is made 
by the counfel employed, in order to cut off 
inveftigation. Mr. Clay calls my requeft to 
attend the grand jury in their examination of 
the witnefles a novel proceeding. He has dii\ 
played in ail the figures of rhetoric the dange- 
rous confequences which would refult from the 
adoption of my motion. Our conftitution and 
all cur liberties, according to Mr. Clay, would 
be in danger ; but I contend that neither our 
conftitution or the liberty of the citizen would 
be jeopardized, Exm granting the grand ju- 
ry is made in this aianner and find a true bid 
without caufe ; (till this does not convict the 
accufed. He has afterwards the priviliege of 
a fair trial and an impartial jury. No inno- 
cent man could afk for more j but it appears 
to me that this defire on the part of the accu- 
fed to exclude me from examining the wit- 
nefles only proceeds from a confcioufnefi of 
their guilt, and if the examination be con- 
ducted by a perfon verfed in their defigns that 
,the whole plot will be difcovered. It is im- 
poffible, from their zeal to defeat my motion, 
that they can have any other views } but I 



( *3 ) 

prefume that your honor will not agree with 
them in opinion or oppofe me, fo as to defeat 
all the purpofes of this profecution. If I am 
prevented from attending the grand jury I 
know it will be impoflible to extract fufficient 
teilimony for the jury to find a true bill. The 
whole depends upon the fate of this motion. 
What I afk is no novelty, it is the practice, 
and has been the practice, in every court with 
which I am acquainted. 

Mr. John Allen. I think it is my right to 
be heard on this great and important occafion. 
The principle for which I contend is that the 
grand jury fhall attend to the fpirit of our 
laws and of our constitution. If they do not 
attend to this important guide, the only true 
director which they have, their labours will 
not only be vain but attended with the moll 
fatal confequences. The charge in the in- 
dictment at prefent before them is of a most 
ferious nature; but still the nature of the ex- 
amination to be followed is very explicit. It 
is impoflible the gentlemen of the grand jury 
can err in the questions which it is their duty 
to a(k. From the motion of the attorney it 
mould feem that he was delirous of puzzling 
the witneffes or to entrap them fo as to gather 
fomf expre&ons which might authorife the 
grand jury to find a true bill. He has told 
us that it is and has been the practice with 
every court with which he has been acquainted 
for the public attorney to attend the grand 
jury and aid them in the examination of the 
witneffes; but I call upon him to name to 
me or to produce a fingleinftancc where fueh a 



( M ) 

practice was never tolerated, I know he can- 
not, the thiag never was done in this or any 
other place I ever heard of. It is again ft the 
fpirit and laws both, of this Date and e^ ery other 
ftate in the union. In matters of law and 
matters of law fclely, the grand jury have a 
right to confult with him ; but in matters of 
facl he has no right to appear. Even in the 
Government of England this has never been 
done, and I hope the praclice is not to begin 
with Kentucky. With regard to matters of 
law the cafe is very different it is not to be 
fuppofcd that the grand jury are lawyers and 
therefore able to expound every intricacy 
which may occur ; but in matters of faft it is 
prefumed that any perfon who can execute 
the office of a juryman is capable of judging 
of the correftnefs of fads — Our conftitution 
has guaranteed to us the rights of a grand jury 
which are not to be invaded by any officer of 
Government whatever. 

But if the attorney will go in I hope he will 
not object to us alfo attending the grand jury. 
An ex»parte teftimony furely is illegal and 
will not be admitted. The doctrine for which 
the Attorney contends would fubvert every 
fpecies ofjufticein criminal trials were we to 
adopt it, we fhould be departing from the very 
fubitance of equity and only clinging to the 
fhadow. 

Mr. Clay, This application in the firft in- 
ftance was msde by the public attorney upoa 
the ground that it was a matter of right with 
which he was inverted of going in to the grand 
jury and affifting in the examination of the 
witnelles. I oppofed it becaufe I regarded it % 



( *5 ) 

as unconstitutional; as c ntrary to every law 
and right $ and as leading to confequences 
mod drftruclive in their tendency, I confider 
it as one of th^ moft noxious principles 
which could be introduced in a court of juf- 
tice. I care not with Mr. Allen in what atti- 
tude or capacity I am ftanding here, whether 
asounfel for Colonel Burr or fimply as ex* 
preffing my opinion in my profeffional char- 
acter or as a private citizen combating for 
thofe rights and for thofe liberties which (hall 
ever be the objects firft in my mind and nearer! 
to my heart. Did I entertain the rewtoteft 
idea of Colonel Burr's guilt or of the truth of 
thofe charges which have been advanced 
a gain ft him ; I fhould inftantly renounce both 
him and his caufe I fhould fpurn at the thought, 
of appearing as his advocate or counte- 
nancing vice which I truit I hold in equal 
abhorrence with the public attorney or 
any other man. But I believe the charges 
have not the fmalleft foundation in truth ; I am 
confident they are only founded on idle rum- 
ours and the weaker! credulity that they are 
the machinations of malice, jealouiy andfuf- 
picion, that have been impoied upon the pub- 
lic attorney, and which have only affumed a 
ferious (hape by tke folemnity of an affidavit. 
Is it not enough for him to purfue the ufual 
courfe always adopted in fuch cafes ? is it not 
fufficient for him to truit the matter to the 
judgment of a grand jury ? Why coss he wifk 
to follow the example of thofe abominable op- 
preflors of mankind of the defpotsand tyrants 
of Europe by erecting a tribune 1 as I have al- 
ready faid as dreadful as the inquifitions of 
Rome and Portugal and as unjuft if not fo 
G 



( 26 ) 

bloody as the tribunals of Marat and Robe- 
fpierre. Is juftice again to be weighed in the 
fcate of the rack, the wheel and the lafli ? does 
he defire his country mould view a parallel to 
thofe times whenteflimony was compelled by 
torture, and the blood of expiring agony was 
to be the feal of evidence ? Are our grand 
jury to be a new fort of inquifition, a fpecies 
offtar chamber fitting in dread conclave, 
while our public attorney is to fere w from 
the' witneffes trembling at his looks fuch words 
and fuch expreffions as may tend to convict 
the unhappy object of his revenge ? Are this 
body of men which arean honor to our conn* 
try and the bed rampart between tyranny and 
freedom to defcend to the defpicable fituation 
or a plodding caucus, brooding over the 
wretched victims of perfection, and catching 
at every incident which may approach to the 
jhadow of crime ? When this projea, this new 
tangled principle of law takes place, then the 
mod incoherent expreffions will be tacked to- 
gether like the links of the chain of conspira- 
cy that he fpeaks fo much of in oider to form 
the bafis of conviaion. Then there will be no 
efcaping the claws of the public attorney ; he 
may indict and perfecute whenever his fancy 
Eiay dirQcty or his malice may fuggest. 

do feted along with a feleSed jury, we {hail 
fee him dtvifmg every method of putting the 
timorous witnefs to a nonplus, founding him 
this way and that way, to anfwerhis views re- 
jecting fuch anfwers as operate againft his de- 
igns or willies ; but recording every fyliab!e 
that contains a veftige of evidence calculated 
to convict. What a field then will arife for, 
the efTablifhing the exiuencc cf plans, plots- 
ccrnbiEatiors afid confpiracks ; in place of af- 



( m ) 

faults and batteries ! Our courts will be crou- 
ded with indictments for mifderneanors and 
treafon. Every political purpofe will then be 
effe&ed by fome new fafhioned plot ; every 
candidate for fame will only have to accufe 
his rival adverfary as being the projector of 
fome myflerious ccnfpiracy* make friends with 
the public attorney for that purpofe and have 
him arraigned before a grand jury cf his own 
party. The attorney enters with a band of 
w'itnefTes ; all the ceremonies of a real inquifi- 
tion areobferved ; a fet ofqueftions previouf- 
ly prepared are put to the unfufpecting witnef- 
fes ; the neceffary evidence is thus eafily made 
out, a true bill found, and the character of the 
unhappy perfon accufed ruined before an op- 
portunity can be afforded to him of exculpation 
in open court. 

All however will not do, all the art of the at- 
torney I hope in this cafe will be exerted in 
vain. Although he teas boaftedofit being 
the practice with courts in general for the at- 
torney to examine the witneiles before the 
grand jury ; I challenge him to produce a An- 
gle initance of the kind, I call upon him to 
mention where and when such a practice was 
ever tolerated. If he has a right to examine 
the witneiTes; the defendants certainly have 
an equal privilege of confronting him with 
their exculpatory evidence. If he allow of 
this, then we mail be ready to grant his appli- 
cation ; we are ready to meet him in any fair 
or reafonable grounds, that he pleafe to point 
out. We do not mean to fnrink from invef- 
tigation ; on the contrary we folicit it, vvere- 
queft of him to fend for what teflimony he 
plea'fcsj and if there fhould be any witneffes 



C «« ) 

whofe attendance he may find a difficulty ifl 
procuring, that we fhall ufe our endeavours 
in bringing them forward ; but we wifh if he 
infifts for the privilege of examining them 
himfelf, and putting fuch queftions as he may 
chufe, that we may have a fimilar right. We 
enly afk that he purfue what is equitable and 
proper, then we are not afraid of the confe- 
rences which may refult, we have no dread 
of any teflimcny he may bring before the jury, 
we know there is no teflirnony can be brought 
whofe evidence will amount to a fhadow of 
the charges contained in the indictment ; but 
I confider it my duty always to oppofe the 
practice of an ex-parte evidence. An ex-parte 
evidence is the mod dangerous fpecies of tef- 
timony which any court could fanction, but I 
am confident this court will never give its con- 
fent to fuch a practice, a practice that would 
tend to overturn all forms of equity, open a 
road for villany to combat virtue, and for ma- 
lice to rear i's head with impunity. Were 
fuch a practice tolerated there would be no 
fafety for the honeft citizen, he would every 
moment of his life be in danger, his character 
would be liable at all times to be arranged in 
a fecret conclave compofed perhaps of his ve- 
ry enemies before whom he was debarred 
from appearing or of anfwering his accufer 
the greatefi enemy of all whofe art and whofe 
zeal lharpened by the fpirit of revenge, and 
goaded on by the moft capricious mania of 
feh/uriated malice might over run the moft ru 
gid vif'ueand the fterneft integrity. I mean 
"othowev"** to make any inlinuations againft 
{he characters of the gentlemen who compote 



C 29 ) 

tills jury, or even againft the character of the 
Attorney. I well know that a more refp^ct- 
afele jury than the one prefent could not be 
found, and Iain in hopes that the motives of 
the public profecutor although founded in 
credulity are of the pureil nature. But I wifli 
to prevent every precedent which might lead 
or give a colouring to the eftablimment of an 
ex parte evidence in our courts of juftice. In- 
dependent of this caufe 1 mould exert every 
energy of which I was poHeffed to cppofe fuch 
a practice, let the attorney purfue the road 
which has always been followed in fimilar 
cafes ; and he (hall have our hearty concur- 
rence ; let him leave the whole testimony to 
the difcretion and judgment of the grand jury* 
for them to interrogate and frame fuch quef- 
tions as they may fee proper, and from us he 
{hall receive no opp^fitioru We are ready to 
fubmit our caufe and the inveiligation required 
to the gentlemen before us. Confcious that 
not the flighted: particle of evidence that may 
tend to convict will be produced, we dread 
nothing ; but already anticipate the refult; 

Mr. Daveifs. I mall confider it as thorough- 
ly fmothering this bufmefs ; if I am prevented 
from the examining of the witneiTes. It was 
my duty to bring this matter forward as it h 
my duty to inveftigate the bufmefs, and if I 
be debarred from the nature of inveftigation, 
which its importance deferves and from that 
fpecies of examination which alone will lead 
to a deveiopementof the project I (hall at lead 
have the fatisfa&ion of performing that duty 
which the trud that I hold has impofed. 

M-. Ciay. I profefs, the prefent fubjecYI* 
one or a nature which requires the moft ■ Serious 

C % 



( 30 ) 
investigation. In this I agree with the att©r* 
ney ; but ftill as I have laid I fhould oppofe 
the fmalleft deviation from law or the ordinary- 
practice of this court. I only defire that the 
ufual mode be followed, and this I truft the 
court will obferve. — 

Colonel Burr. It mud have appeared to the 
attorney that no difpontion has been (hewn by 
me, to avoid an enquiry into the charges 
which he has advanced. On the contrary he 
furely mull be fatisfkd that every exertion 
in my power was ufed to aid and affift him in 
procuring tefticnony , he knows well that 
feveral witnefles have attended particularly at 
my requed whofe evidences otherways, he 
might have experienced a difficulty in pro- 
curing. Under thefc circumftances, 1 truft 
the court, jury, and thofe prefent can never 
entertain an idea that any attempt is made^ on 
my part to fupprefs evidence ; but while it is 
my earned defire to affift the attorney in the 
invedigation of my conduct and my a&ions, 
ftill I am oppofed to any innovation or any 
infringment which he may attempt in the or- 
dinary forms of profecution. lam willing 
to fubmit to any regulations which are fan&ion- 
ed by law ; I am ready at all times to confer^ 
that law and equity (hall eompofe the fcale by 
which, my actions are to be tried ; but I fhall 
never agree that the forms of juftice and th© 
deareft rights of my country are to be invaded 
in this cafe or any other where i have an oppor- 
tunity of defending them. The crimes with 
which I am charged are of the mod heinous 
fort. To vindicate myfeli'and to prove my in- 
nocence, certainly ara on the prefect oecafien, 
the objects which materially engage my aten- 
lion, but fir, thefc I comlder as of little impor- 



c $ ) 

tance whencoripated with any innovation or 
attempt that may be made in that law by 
which a grand jury is to be related. I too 
was once entrulted in another date, with the 
difcharge of that office which the profccuting 
attorney here fills; but fir, during the whole 
period that I a<ffced as public attorney for the 
commonwealth, I never once entertained an 
idea that I was inverted with the power for 
which the piefent attorney contends. I faw 
no precedent for it in the courts of Great Bri- 
tain ; I knew of no precedent in the ftate in 
which I lived, and I had heard of none in any 
of the others in the union. Indeed had I had 
any example of the fort before me ; I mould 
have felt extremely fcrupulous in the ex- 
ercife of it. I would have regarded the 
practice of the attorney on the part of the 
commonwealth, examining the witnefles be- 
fore the grand jury, as oneofamoft danger- 
ous tendency, and which ought to be eniruft- 
ed to the difcretion of no individual. But I 
hadfeen or heard of no inftance of the kind, 
or until this moment did I ever underftand the 
principle was afferted, however if the attorney 
prefent will produce any precedent in this 
court or the courts of the other ftates, 1 for my 
own part (hall have no objection, to fubmit 
the matter entirely to the court. 

Judge Innis. While I aded as public at- 
torney in this ftate, I never conceived it to be 
my duty or that I had a right to go into the 
grand jury and affift in the interrogation of the 
wimeiles. I conceived that I was not at li- 
berty to confer with them except upon matters 
of law and then only whe» my opinon was 
a&ed. I have never heard of a precedent to 
fonQioa the prefent application of Mr, 



3* ) 
Daveifs, and as none has been mentioned, 
I deem it improper. Mr. Daveifs may con- 
ferwith the grand jury in matters of law but 
not as regards fae~is. 

The grand jury then retired, to examine 

thewitneffes in the cafe of general Adair, at 

three o'clock they were called into court and 

adjourned until Thurfday Morning at nine* 

THURSDAY. 

After the names of the grand jury were cal- 
led over Judge Innis observed that he heard 
it was inhnuated by the public attorney that 
there had been a variation in the charge which 
he had been accuftomed to make to the grand 
jury. To prove his confiftency in this re- 
ipe'cl; he read the too ft material parts in the 
feverai charges which he had delivered from 
March 1794 until the prefent time. 

Mr. Daveifs then rofe and renewed his ap- 
plication of yefterday, and obferved he was 
willing to ftand or fall as a lawyer by the 
American Bar if the court refufed his re- 
queft. 

fudge Innis. If the jury requeft your at- 
tendance I have no objection, but otherways 
I cannot grant it. 

Mr. Daveifs. As yefterday fir, this fab - 
je£r. took a turn which was not expecied ; I 
have fince thought proper to draw up a few 
interrogatories for the grand jury to put to 
the wknefles which if the court permit I fliali 
hand to them. 

Judge Innis. I have never feen the indict- 
ment; the interrogatories mud regard the 
charges there Specified. 

Mr. Daveifs then read feverai queftions 
which were intended to be put to Thomas 
R ad. The purport of theie que8i6ns w% 



( 33 ) 

whether or not General Adair had, fome 
months fince, in a converfation with him, in- 
formed him that an expedition of confidera- 
ble magnitude was in agitation againft Spain; 
that he was acquainted with the leaders of it, 
and advifed him as the practice of the law was 
extremely uncertain to embark in it. 

Soon after thefe queftions were read Mr, 
Read entered and requefled to know of Mr. 
Daveifs upon what foundation he had Rated 
them, as he regarded his character to be con± 
fiderably implicated by them. 

Mr, Daveifs replied that they were ground- 
ed upon a converfation which he had with 
him (Read) at Danvil in his ow r n (Read's) 
houfe, when Mr. Read had related to him the 
fubflance of thefe queftions. 

Mr. Read then rofe and pledged his honor 
to the court and the jury, that no fuch con- 
verfation, or one any ways fimilarto that Mat- 
ed, had ever taken place between him and 
Mr. Daveifs, and that he regarded it as a ma. 
licious fabrication on the part of the attorney 
to injure the rifing reputation of a young 
man. 

A warm difpute was then likely to have ta- 
ken place between Mr. Daveifs and Mr. 
Read, when the judge interpofed and obfcrv- 
ed, that the court room was an improper place 
for fuch altercations, and they had better re- 
tire and fettle the caufe of difference in fome 
other place. 

About one o'clock the grand jury entered 
and returned in the cafe of General Adair not 
a true bill. 



( 34 ) 

Mr, Daveifs then prefenfed them with an 
indi&merit againft Colonel Burr, containing 
the charges fpecified in his affidavit, and or- 
dered the names of the following witnefles to 
be called over, that the grand jury might fend 
for them. 

John Adair, Charles Lynch, Davis Floyd, 
John Brown, John Jordan, Thomas Bodiey, 
Thomas T. Davis, William Fleckner, Willi- 
am Chambers, William Parker and C. P. 
Lucket. 

The Grand Jury were called into court a- 
bout five, and adjourned until Friday morn- 
ing about nine. 

FRIDAY MORNING. 

After the grand jury had retired about half 
an hour one of the Deputy Marfhal's enter- 
ed and acquainted the court that the grand ju- 
ry wiihed for a file of the Weftern World, as 
alfo the attendance of the Editors of that pa* 
per. 

John Wood being prefent in court was re- 
quefted to go for his partner J. M. Street. 

J. M. Street was examined firft. The a- 
mount of his teftimony was, tfiat he was pof- 
fefled of no information in refpect to Colonel 
Burr that would amount to evidence, and 
that the articles of agreement mentioned in the 
fecond number of the Weftern World faid to 
have been entered into between Colonel Burr 
and John Brown, he had been fince informed 
related to the Ohio Canal Company. 

Examination of John Wood. 

Queition. Read this indictment and tell 
us if you know the truth of any of the charges 
therein fpecified. 

Anfwcr. I am poffeffed of no information 
that will amount to evidence. 



( 35 ) 

Oueftion. What are your impreflions as 
to the truth of thefe charges ? 

Anfwer. I have received a vaft deal of 
information with refpeft to this fubjeel:, and 
have made much enquiry in regard to it.— 
My fitrft knowledge of it was about eighteen 
months ago. Until very lately I fully be- 
lieved in the truth of them; but fmce, from 
feveral explanations I have had, and within 
thefe few days with feveral characters whofe 
veracity I have no reafoa to doubt and who 
I have been alfured are acquainted with Col. 
Burr's plans, as likewife from documents I 
have feen, I have been induced to change my 
former opinion, and to believe that the pre- 
fent defigns of Colonel Burr is neither againft 
the government or laws of the U. States. 

Oueftion. What did the articles menti- 
oned in the fecond number of the Weftern 
World under the head of M No Federalifm, 
npBurrifm," relate to ? 

Anfwer. My firffc information in refpeel: 
to them was erroneous. I have been fatisfied 
that they only related to the Ohio Canal Com- 
pany . 

Oueftion, Do you know what the bufi- 
nefs of Col. Burr's agents, mentioned in the 
fecond number of the Wefterri'World, at New 
Orleans and St. Louis, relates to ? r 

Anfwer. I believe principally land fpecu- 
lations. 

Oueftion. Do you know of any perfon 
that can give us i-nformation on this fub- 
jeel ? 

Anfwer. I know of no one in this ftate 
pofiefled of fo much information as Mr. Da- 
veifsj the public attorney. 



( 36 ) 

The grand jury came into court about tw@ 
in the afternoon and their foreman read the 
following addrefs to the court which was fub- 
fcribed by each of them except Themas 
Katcliffwho agreed that no true Bill fhould 
be found but thought the addrefs was unnecef- 
fary. 

The grand jury are happy to inform the 
court, that no violent disturbance of the 
public tranquility, or breach of the law, has 
come to their knowledge. 

We have no hefitation in declaring, that 
having carefully examined and fcrutinzed all 
the teitinaony which has come before us, as 
well on the charges againft Aaron Burr, as 
thofe contained in the indictment preferred 
to us againft John Adair, that their has been 
no teftimony before us which does in the 
fmalleft degree, criminate the conduct of 
either of thofe perfons ; nor can we from all 
the enquiries and inveftigation of the fubjecl. 
difcover that any thing improper or injurious 
to the interefi of the government of the United 
States, or contrary to the laws thereof, is de* 
fignedor contemplated by either of them. 

December 5th, 1806. 
Abraham Hite, foreman, 
William Steele, Thomas Johrflon, 

George Madifon, Robert johnion, 
John Patrick, Nicholas Lafon, 

Thomas Lewis, Johfi Kenton, 

Richard Apperfon, N. Miller, 
P. B. Ormfby; J. Winlock, 

George Greer, Richard Fox, 

Richard Davinport Richard Price, 
E M.Covington Nathl. Hart. 
Abraham Owen, John Bacon, 
Thomas Refpafs, 









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