ON March 29, 1805, Burr was writing Theo from Philadelphia, "In ten or twelve days I shall be on my way westward. . . . the objects of his journey, not mere curiosity, or pour passer le temps, may lead me to Orleans, and perhaps farther."1 Mexico, in other words.
To Alston he wrote, "In New-York I am to be disfranchised, and in New-Jersey hanged. Having substantial objections to both, I shall not for the present, hazard either, but shall seek another country. You will not, from this, conclude that I have become passive, or disposed to submit tamely to the machinations of a banditti. If you should you would greatly err."2
On April 10, 1805, Burr started out from Philadelphia on his long-anticipated Western "tour." His first objective was Pittsburgh, to which he journeyed on horseback in the company of Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel Shaw. There he found a "floating house," which he had ordered in advance, "sixty feet by fourteen, containing dining-room, kitchen with fireplace, and two bedrooms: roofed from stem to stern; steps go up, and a walk on the top the whole length; glass windows, etc. This edifice costs one hundred and thirty-three dollars."3 With this vehicle he intended floating down the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans, making certain stops on the way.
He arrived on April 29th and departed the next day. Wilkinson was to have joined him there, on his way to St. Louis to assume his new duties as Governor of the Louisiana Territory, but he was delayed, and Burr went on alone. Thirty-six hours later, he caught up with Matthew Lyon, ex-Vermont Congressman, and settled now in Kentucky, who had left Pittsburgh by barge the day before him. They lashed their boats together and proceeded down the river. Lyon was to depose later that Wilkinson had inquired of him early in 1804 what could be done for Burr. Lyon had suggested that he go to Nashville to practice law, and from there achieve a seat in Congress. Wilkinson thought it was a good scheme, but Burr was not at all enthusiastic over the prospect. In-