Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Author David Stewart to Recount the Tale of Aaron Burr's Western Expedition and Conspiracy Trial

CHESTERTOWN, MD—Historian, author and constitutional lawyer David O. Stewart will explore the convoluted and sensational tale of former Vice President Aaron Burr’s Western adventures in a talk at Washington College on Thursday, Nov. 11. Stewart's talk, "Aaron Burr: The Man Who Would Have Been Emperor," will begin at 5 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center, located on W. Campus Avenue.

View photos of the event.

Stewart will share material from his forthcoming book, scheduled for release in November 2011 from Simon & Schuster. The book explores Burr’s audacious 1805 expedition to invade Spanish territories and incite secession of the nation’s Western lands. Burr’s venture climaxed in an 1807 treason trial before Chief Justice John Marshall, producing a powerful story that blends high adventure, political scheming and an essential turning point in the life of the nation.

David Stewart spent the summer of 2010 working on the book in residence at the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. As Washington College’s inaugural Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow, he is the first to benefit from a new partnership between the Starr Center and the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

Founded with a $1 million endowment from The Hodson Trust, the new Hodson-Brown Fellowship supports recipients working on significant projects related to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830. “David Stewart’s project on Aaron Burr exemplifies the sort of work the Hodson-Brown Fellowship exists to support,” said Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the Starr Center.

Stewart spent last spring conducting research at Brown University, with full access to the rich historical collections of the John Carter Brown Library. Then he came to Chestertown, where he lived in the restored 1730s Patrick Henry Fellows’ Residence and worked in a Starr Center office in the 260-year-old Custom House.

Stewart has long combined his legal training and his interest in history and writing. He has clerked for Justice Lewis F. Powell, argued cases before the Supreme Court, reported for a Staten Island newspaper, written a monthly column for the American Bar Association Journal on the Supreme Court, and had a short story nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His first book, The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution, was a Washington Post bestseller in 2007. His second, Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy (2008), was also widely praised.

Stewart’s November 11 talk is free and open to the public.

About the C.V. Starr Center
The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience explores our nation’s history – and particularly the legacy of its Founding era – in innovative ways. Through educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach, and especially by supporting and fostering the art of written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between past and present, and between the academic world and the public at large. From its base in the circa-1746 Custom House along Chestertown’s colonial waterfront, the Center also serves as a portal onto a world of opportunities for Washington College students. For more information on the Center and on the Patrick Henry Fellowships, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.