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United States History Commons

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Series

1975

Syracuse University

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Full-Text Articles in United States History

A Piece Of Epic Action: The Trial Of Aaron Burr, Suzanne B. Geissler Apr 1975

A Piece Of Epic Action: The Trial Of Aaron Burr, Suzanne B. Geissler

The Courier

The trial of the former vice-president Aaron Burr for treason established such usable precedents, bringing to the fore the now-familiar issues of "pre-trial publicity," "leaks to the press," and "executive privilege."

The trial was, nonetheless, a "piece of epic action," inspiring some of the most colorful courtroom histrionics ever seen in America. Masters of the rhetorical flourish, such as William Wirt and Luther Martin, played to packed houses throughout the six-month trial. Thanks to David Robertson, a Petersburg Virginia lawyer, who took down the entire proceeding in shorthand, a record of the trial was made available to the public. It ...