Theodosia Burr Alston: Portrait of a Prodigy
For Vice President Aaron Burr, providing his daughter, Theodosia, with an extraordinary education was much more than just a lifelong obsession. By the time she could walk, Burr had envisioned an incredible goal for her and crafted a master plan to achieve it. He was not interested in turning out just a smart, pretty girl; a father's pride; or a husband's delight. Burr was no petty theorist. He was a brilliant, passionate, egotistical visionary on scale that made the gods cringe. Theodosia was not trained to serve hearth, husband, or plantation. In the 1790s, Burr embraced the radical feminist theories of Mary Wollstonecraft, who argued that girls should receive the same education as boys. From her teens through her marriage in 1802, Theodosia was groomed and educated to become a female Aaron Burr and take her intended station in life: nothing less than president, queenor empress. From her birth into Aaron Burr's illustrious New England family -- her childhood amidst the leaders and the high society of the new nation; her marriage to Joseph Alston, a South Carolina slave-owning aristocrat; her voyage down the Ohio River to become the Empress of Mexico -- to her tragic and mysterious death at sea, this is the true story of Theodosia Burr Alston. Directly from the letters she exchanged with her father, husband, and friends emerges the portrait of an amazing woman and a true American prodigy -- and for twenty-one days, the First Lady of South Carolina. The meticulously researched book also explores whether Burr's intensely close relationship with his daughter may have triggered the legendary Aaron Burr - Alexander Hamilton duel.
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