City of Washington: A. & G. Way, Printers, 1808. 54pp. Disbound, scattered light foxing, mild toning. Very Good.
This pamphlet is a significant piece in the Burr Conspiracy puzzle. Kentucky Congressman Rowan sought a Congressional investigation of Judge Innis's role in Aaron Burr's alleged attempt to detach the western States and Territories from the Union. This document begins with a House Resolution, signed in type by Speaker Henry Clay, asserting that "there were circumstances implicating Harry Innis" in Judge Sebastian's negotiations with the Spanish government; Innis's involvement was, the Resolution says, "detailed by himself when called on as a witness" in the case against Sebastian. DAB concludes similarly that Innes brought his troubles upon himself. "Documents endeavoring to show Judge Innis a party to a Spanish project to dismember the United States, and seduce the State of Kentucky from the Union" [Eberstadt]. "Assembled here is evidence relating to dealings of Judge [Benjamin] Sebastian of Kentucky and of other Kentuckians with Spanish authorities at New Orleans before and after the Treaty of Lorenzo of October 25, 1795, and of Spanish efforts after the treaty to persuade the inhabitants of the Western country along the Mississippi to form a separate state" [Streeter].
The intricacies of the alleged conspiracy are murky. But this document is unequivocal evidence of Kentuckians' dissatisfaction with the federal government. Many affidavits, depositions, documents, and Addresses are printed here; the most interesting expression of discontent is by John Breckinridge, the lawyer, politician, and ally of Jefferson in promoting the 1798 Kentucky Resolutions and the acquisition of Louisiana: "Experience... has shown us that the general government is unwilling that we should obtain the navigation of the river Mississippi. A local policy appears to have an undue weight in the councils of the union. It seems to be the object of that policy to prevent the population of this country, which would draw from the eastern states their industrious citizens. This conclusion inevitably follows from a consideration of the measures taken to prevent the purchase and settlement of the lands bordering on the Mississippi."
The Kentucky Legislature refused to impeach Innis, despite the lobbying of Humphrey Marshall, Innes's enemy. Innis responded with libel suits which dragged on for years.
FIRST EDITION. Streeter Sale 1690 [sold for $400 in 1967]. 138 Eberstadt 358. AI 16525 . Not in Tompkins. As of February 2018 OCLC records ten locations under several accession numbers. Item #32188