Sunday, November 12, 2006

In December, 1806, the ketch Vesuvius, fourteen guns, the schooner Revenge, twelve guns, the ketch Etna, fourteen guns, and five gunboats of two guns each, under Commodore Shaw, were stationed in vicinity of Natchez to meet the army which, according to the rumors afloat, Aaron Burr was bringing down the Mississippi for the conquest of Mexico and the annexation of the southwestern United States to his proposed Mexican empire.

Major Joshua Baker of the Mississippi militia occupied Fort Adams with twenty-five men December 14th, and the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Militia Regiments were ordered to muster in January [1807]. Col. F. L. Claiborne sent an expedition of about 300 men to the mouth of Cole’s Creek. Colonel Woolridge, of the militia, marched to Bayou Pierre, with thirty-five men, when Burr arrived, and with Captain Regan, and Lieutenant Lindsay visited him on the Louisiana shore. Col. Thomas Fitzpatrick next interviewed Burr and on January 16th the Governor’s aides, George Poindexter and William B. Shields, made with Burr arrangement under which he went to the town of Washington for an investigation of his expedition. There were about sixty men in Burr’s party. After a diligent search, Colonel Fitzpatrick discovered no indication that Burr’s expedition was of a military nature.

The country had been greatly excited over Colonel Burr’s mysterious movements, and the National Government had called on the Governor of Mississippi Territory for troops to suppress a warlike expedition. Whatever may have been Burr’s purpose it was thwarted by the prompt action of the authorities of Mississippi Territory.

(taken from “Military History of Mississippi 1803 – 1898” by Dunbar Rowland, 1908; 1978 Reprint, The Reprint Company, Publishers, pp. 1-3)

Mo' Mississippi references-
Rowland, History of Mississippi, 1: 370, 373, 421, 475; J. R. Taylor, “Aaron Burr: An Interesting Account of his Stay in the Territory of Mississippi,” Times-Democrat, Feb. 24, 1901; Stafford, Wells Family, 276-88.


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