Monday, June 13, 2016

Map Monday: Gloriana by Jeff Provine

Guest post by Jeff Provine.
Gloriana was founded in 1806 by Aaron Burr, who leased the Bastrop Tract in 1805 following his defeat of Alexander Hamilton in their famous duel. Many suspected it was a plan to spark a war with Spain in which he could seize huge swaths of land in Florida or Texas as bounty. Allegedly even young Colonel Andrew Jackson was waiting to hear a declaration of war and charge into Spanish territory alongside him. With the latter suspicions of treason, Jefferson dispatched a warrant for Burr’s arrest.

Upon the news, Burr turned east. There is a difference of opinion about whether Burr was fleeing to Spanish Florida where he could make an escape into the Caribbean. In either case, he was quickly spotted and placed under arrest. Jefferson granted US Attorney George Hay carte blanche with pardons for anyone who would testify against the conspiracy. Hay intended to bring Burr to trial in the circuit court in Virginia, but initial arraignments before a grand jury could find no evidence. With the move clearly political, Burr managed to stir Congress into an impeachment hearing through his lawyer, Kentucky Representative Henry Clay. Burr himself had presided over the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase as vice-president and knew what damage could be done. Even though Jefferson escaped impeachment, the Jeffersonian wing of the Democratic-Republican Party broke up. In 1808, Burr’s old mentor George Clinton was elected president.

Meanwhile, Burr settled back to Bastrop and began expanding his holdings. With Francophile Jeffersonians out of office, Burr established strong relations with London, importing a great deal of Newton’s Catalyst as he expanded his holdings to found Lake Providence as an industrial center on the west banks of the Mississippi. He campaigned to wrest land north of the Red River away from Orleans, creating the territory of Gloriana, which would later become the twenty-third state after years of its admission being blocked in Congress.

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Jeff Provine is a cartoonist, author, and professor in Oklahoma.  His blog This Day in Alternate History takes important events on a date and explores how they might've gone differently.  More of his work may be found at www.jeffprovine.com.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Imagine the butterflies with Jeffersonian democracy defeated in favor of republican ideals. But, would Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson still be rivals? Would JQ Adams become president? Would the "Democratic Party" be born under Jackson anyway?

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