AARON BURR had, by the latter part of 1792, definitely committed himself to the Republican ranks. He had, earlier in the year, been seriously considered as a candidate by the Federalists in New York; he had held aloof from active assistance or persuasion during the campaign; his voting in the Senate had been fairly non-partisan in character; but, with the advent of the disputed election, there was no longer any question as to where he stood. The Federalists were infuriated at his decisive part in the transaction, Hamilton considered him now as his most dangerous antagonist in state and national affairs, and the repercussions spread far and wide. He was a national figure, and the Republicans of other States observed the youthful Senator with a new and more thoughtful interest. They consulted with him, and listened with respect to his opinions in the councils of the still somewhat inchoate party.
An influential Pennsylvania Republican urged that "your friends everywhere look to you to take an active part in removing the monarchical rubbish of our government. It is time to speak out, or we are undone. The association in Boston augurs well. Do feed it by a letter to Mr. Samuel Adams. My letter will serve to introduce you to him, if enclosed in one from yourself."1
The second national election for the Presidency of the United States was then in full swing. The first had been attended with practical unanimity. George Washington had been made President by acclamation; John Adams Vice-President by an overwhelming majority.
But now, in 1792, parties had definitely emerged. There was still no opposition to the reelection of Washington, though the magic of his name had faded considerably. There were a good many underground rumblings at his seeming monarchical tendencies, and especially at the strangle-grip that Hamilton held upon his Administration.
Nevertheless the Republicans determined to move cautiously. They attacked a more vulnerable figure -- John Adams, the Vice-