This week in history

33947706_123491848753Harman Blennerhassett is released from prison on Jan. 4, 1808, after being found not guilty of treason for his role in the Aaron Burr conspiracy. Burr, the former vice president of the United States and sworn enemy of Thomas Jefferson, had used Blennerhasset’s island in the Ohio River near Parkersburg as headquarters for a mysterious military expedition two years earlier. Blennerhassett moved on to Mississippi, where he owned a cotton plantation (and lost his fortune) and then Canada, where he tried practicing law. He never returned to his island mansion, which was destroyed by fire in 1811. Starting in 1984, the state of West Virginia began reconstructing the home. It’s now Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park.

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