Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Spanish Intrigue

In a neat tie-in to the Aaron Burr saga, Brigadier General James Wilkinson, who played a very prominent part in Burr's scheme, made a "cameo" appearance in the Daniel Boone book because of his (Wilkinson's) plot to have Kentucky break away not only from Virginia as a separate state, but from the United States as well, and for the Kentuckians to switch their allegiance to Spanish rule if Spain supplied Wilkinson and company with arms.

From DANIEL BOONE by John Bakeless (1939):

 "He (Wilkinson) had soldiered with Benedict Arnold; but so far--at least no one knows anything to the contrary--he had been loyal. The war over, he had come to Kentucky in 1784 to make a fortune. The fortune proved harder to achieve than the brigadier had anticipated. He looked around for easy money. Arnold had done that, too, years before. The British were gone. The Spaniards? Brigadier General Wilkinson took a boat for New Orleans. He had a long and very private conference with Spanish officials there. When he came back, the brigadier had found his easy money. He rejoined the United States Army later; but still he kept that easy money. Eventually he went before a court-martial. His enemies were entirely correct in suspecting unutterable treason. Wilkinson had actually asked the Spaniards for arms to use against the United States. The trouble was that, though his accusers knew they were correct, they could not prove it. All the evidence was neatly tucked away in the Spanish Government's archives in Havana."

No comments: