In 1804, on this day Colonel Aaron Burr took office as the third Governor of New York with the immediate intent of seceding the State out of the Union and into a newly created Northern Confederacy.
First PlaceBelieving that the Louisiana Purchase had destroyed their chances of controlling the government, a group of New England Federalists, led by Timothy Pickering had originated the dastardly plot. But it was soon discovered by Alexander Hamilton who immediately sought to foil it by published a series of articles that were highly critical of Burr. "I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton" ~ Charles Maurice de Talleyrand
And yet the electoral impact of those articles was neutralised by the widely written "Antifederalist Papers" which had been published anonymously throughout the gubernatorial election bearing the unmistakeable penmanship of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The result was that Hamilton's preferred opposition candidate Morgan Lewis lost by a mere thousand votes.
Hamilton made a second, and more successful attempt to foil the plot ten days later when he met Burr for an "interview" at Weehawken. Only yards from the spot where his son had died three years before, Hamilton reserved both shots, humilitating Burr with the implication that he wasn't worth shooting, a tactic British Primie Minister William Pitt the Younger employed against George Tierney.
After missing Hamilton with his own shot, Burr fled to the south-west where he executed a variant of Pickering's plot by creating the breakaway republic of Gloriana which ironically enough detached the territory acquired by the Louisiana Purchase.