Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/453

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Chapter 19: Burr's Trial

March 30, 1807, in a room at the Eagle Tavern in Richmond, Aaron Burr was brought before Chief-Justice Marshall for examination and commitment. Although Burr had been but a few days in the town, he was already treated by many persons as though he had conferred honor upon his country. Throughout the United States the Federalists, who formed almost the whole of fashionable society, affected to disbelieve in the conspiracy, and ridiculed Jefferson's sudden fears. The Democrats had never been able to persuade themselves that the Union was really in danger, or that Burr's projects, whatever they were, had a chance of success; and in truth Burr's conspiracy, like that of Pickering and Griswold, had no deep roots in society, but was mostly confined to a circle of well-born, well-bred, and well-educated individuals, whose want of moral sense was one more proof that the moral instinct had little to do with social distinctions. In the case of Burr, Jefferson himself had persistently ignored danger; and no one denied that if danger ever existed, it had passed. Burr was fighting for his life against the power of an encroaching government; and human nature was too simply organized