Monday, February 14th, 2011

The ordinarily even-tempered academic Henry Adams goes all Chuck Norris on De Witt Clinton:

With a violence that startled uninitiated bystanders, Cheetham in his American Citizen [newspaper] flung one charge after another at [Aaron] Burr; first his judiciary vote; then his birthday toast; then the suppression of a worthless history of the last Administration written by John Wood, another foreign adventurer, whose book Burr bought in order, as Cheetham believed, to curry favor with the New England Federalists; finally, with the rhetorical flourish of an American Junius, Cheetham charged that Burr had tried to steal the Presidency from Jefferson in February, 1801, when the House of Representatives was divided. All the world knew that not Cheetham, but De Witt Clinton thus dragged the Vice-President from his chair, and that not Burr’s vices, but his influence made his crimes heinous; that behind De Witt Clinton stood the Virginia dynasty, dangling Burr’s office in the eyes of the Clinton family, and lavishing honors and money on the Livingstons.

All this was as clear to Burr and his friends as though it were embodied in an Act of Congress. No one ever explained why Burr did not drag De Witt Clinton from his ambush and shoot him, as two years later he shot Alexander Hamilton with less provocation.

Yeah! Whyn’t he just SHOOT ’em? Some people just need killin’!

BLAM! | 8:17 pm CST
Category: Big Book of Quotations, books, daily drivel, entertainment, play
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