Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Some Early American Conspiracies

Some Early American Conspiracies
Thomas Allen

[Editor’s note: Footnotes in original are omitted.]

In the first three decades following the American Revolution and the abandonment of the Articles of Confederation, several important conspiracies occurred. Among them were the Illuminati Conspiracy, the Genet Conspiracy, the Burr Conspiracy, and the Essex Conspiracy.

Illuminati Conspiracy
Before the Bavarian Order of the Illuminati had disbanded in Europe, it had established 15 lodges in the United States. Among these lodges was the Columbian Lodge of the Order of the Illuminati established in 1785 in New York City. Its members included Governor DeWitt Clinton, Charles Dana, Horace Greeley (a spiritualist), and Clinton Roosevelt (an ancestor of Franklin Roosevelt).[1]

Several American leaders during the era of the founding of the United States were Illuminati or at least closely allied with the Illuminati. Among the founding fathers who can be counted as an Illuminatus is Thomas Jefferson. (He belittled those who saw danger in the Illuminati and praised Weishaupt when the Illuminati swept the country in 1797.) He was so high in the organization that he had the insignia of the Illuminati inscribed on the back of the Great Seal of America.[2] Another prominent Illuminatus was Thomas Paine.[3]

The Genet Conspiracy

After the American Revolutionary War had concluded, the French government, which the Illuminists controlled, sent Edmond Genet as its first ambassador to the new republic of the United States. Genet arrived in Charleston in 1793. Upon his arrival, he began acting like a monarch, and his fellow Freemasons treated him as such. He came seeking repayment of America’s debts to France. (France needed money for war with England and revolution). He pursued allowing French privateers to use American crews. As Genet’s insolence grew, Jefferson, who was Secretary of State, was pressured to rescind Genet’s credentials. Jefferson, who was an ardent supporter of the French Revolution and a Rosicrucian and Freemason himself, refused. Rather than act against a fellow Freemason, he resigned. Washington then appointed Edmund Randolph as Secretary of State.

Genet and his American supporters organized Democratic Clubs throughout the United States. These clubs supported the French revolutionists and opposed the Federalists, even to the point of using mobs to threaten supporters of Alexander Hamilton. They were modeled after the Jacobin clubs that had been advocating revolution in France.[4] The objective of the Democratic Clubs was to subvert orderly traditions of the United States. Washington believed that these clubs were behind the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. After Washington openly denounced them, most seemed to have disbanded.[5]

Genet began organizing an army to invade Florida and Louisiana. (According to Mullins, the objective was to take these territories from Spain and set up an independent country from which to invade and reconquer the United States for England.) When President Washington learned of this scheme, he ordered his Secretary of State, Randolph, to seize Genet’s credentials and send him back to France. However, Randolph delayed taking any action. Meanwhile, the French government sent a new ambassador, Joseph Fouchet, and recalled Genet. (Genet belonged to the Girondist faction, which Marat had defeated.)[6] As Genet’s return to France would have meant his death, Washington allowed him to remain in the United States.

In 1795, Washington obtained documents on Randolph’s financial dealings with Fouchet. These documents evidenced bribery and treason. Washington demanded Randolph’s resignation.[7]

The Burr Conspiracy

In the United States, British intelligence worked closely with John Jacob Astor, a Freemason, and Aaron Burr. Astor was the treasurer of the Grand Lodge of New York between 1798 and 1800. In 1800, the East India Co. gave Astor free entry to all the ports that it controlled throughout the world. Thus, he gained an enormous financial advantage over his competition. Astor began making his fortune trading furs. Later as an agent for British intelligence before and after the American Revolution, he received part of the British opium trade with China. His brother, Henry Astor, who had become rich during the American Revolutionary War by selling to the colonists cattle that the British had taken from the colonists, provided the initial funds for his business. Later, John Astor would make a fortune selling opium to the Chinese. To repay this favorable treatment by the East India Co., he funded Aaron Burr’s plot to replace President Jefferson.[8]

During the Revolutionary War, Burr had worked as a double agent for the British. Later he became the attorney for Astor’s commercial activities.

In 1790, Governor George Clinton appointed Burr Attorney General of New York. That same year, the legislature made him Land Commissioner when it enacted into law the sell of state-owned land at a low price to encourage settlers. As Attorney General and Land Commissioner, Burr allowed land speculators with whom he was associated to buy millions of acres at an extremely low price and on long-term credit.[9]

Through his Masonic connections, he fixed elections in New York. In 1798, he gained control of the Society of St. Tammany in New York City, which had been incorporated in 1789. (This society became the infamous Tammany Hall, which corrupted and controlled the politics of New York City from the time Burr gained control until the 1930s.)

Hamilton and Burr founded the Manhattan Company in 1799. This company was chartered to provide water for New York City. However, Burr turned the company into a bank, the Bank of Manhattan Co.

In 1801, Burr became President Jefferson’s Vice President. He persuaded Jefferson to appoint Albert Gallatin as Secretary of the Treasury. Gallatin was a Swiss banker and cousin of Jacque Necker, whose financial policies help cause the French Revolution. Like Burr, Gallatin was an agent of British intelligence during the American Revolutionary War and continued to serve as a British intelligence agent during the Jefferson administration. Gallatin was a friend of Voltaire, who was his father-figure.[10]

In 1804, in a duel with Alexander Hamilton, Burr shot and killed Hamilton. Hamilton had caused Burr to lose his election for governor of New York and had supported Jefferson over Burr for President. If Burr were ever to succeed in dividing the United States for the British, he had to eliminate Hamilton.

After killing Hamilton, Burr fled New York with money from John Astor. (For several more years, Astor continued to give money to Burr.) He went to Philadelphia where he met with Colonel Charles Williamson of British intelligence, who was Burr’s client and confidant. Burr offered his services to the British in setting up a country made from the territory west of the Appalachians.[11]

Williamson had returned the United States following the American Revolutionary War as an agent of a consortium of London financiers who had bought large tracts of land in New York. To acquire the land for his principals in England, he had become a naturalized citizen of the United States. Williamson was also an agent of Henry Dundas (Viscount Melville) and William Pitt (Prime Minister). Dundas, a close associate of Shelburne, was the political boss of Scotland. While serving as the British Secretary of State, Dundas wrote in 1787 a master plan to extend the opium traffic into China, which the East India Co. had been pushing since the American Revolutionary War. He also authorized and instructed British warships to seize American vessels suspected of trading with French colonies and to impress their crews into the British navy, which eventually led to the War of 1812. (Later he became Minister of War [1794-1801] and Lord of the Admiralty [1804-1805].)

Through Williamson, Burr became an agent of Dundas.[12] With covert aid from the British, Burr established his new country. This scheme became known as the “Western Conspiracy.”

James Workman, a British intelligence officer, drew up a plan in 1800 for Dundas to bring the Western Hemisphere under British control. This plan was the basis of Burr’s Western Conspiracy. The plan called for the conquest of the Spanish colonies starting with Louisiana, which was then a Spanish colony, using Irishmen, and then resettling the Irish in these territories.[13]

Workman and Edward Livingston aided Burr in his conspiracy to take the western territories from the United States. (John Jacob Astor had financed Livingston’s move to Louisiana, where Livingston became Grand Master of the Louisiana Masonic Lodge.) These two became the leaders of the Mexican Association. The purpose of this Association was to raise an army. Then with the aid of the British, this army would seize the Louisiana Territory, which the United States had recently obtained from France.[14]

The conspiracy began to unravel as people began to expose it. Burr was later tried for treason and was acquitted. Edmund Randolph, former Grand Master of Virginia, was his attorney. Chief Justice John Marshall, then Grand Master of Virginia, presided over the case. In spite of the overwhelming evidence of his guilt, Marshall got him acquitted.[15] After the trial, Burr fled to Canada and then to England with money that John Jacob Astor had given him. In the end, all the main conspirators escaped conviction. Shortly before the War of 1812 began, Burr returned to the United States. Through the influence of Albert Gallatin and Dolly Madison, President James Madison’s wife, the charges against him were forgotten.[16]

Edward Livingston, one of Burr’s coconspirators later became President Andrew Jackson’s Secretary of State. Just before his appointment, Livingston became Grand High Priest of the Masons of the United States.

Essex Conspiracy

After the collapse of the Western Conspiracy, the Essex Junto, which began in 1798, grew in intensity. A group of conspirators in and around Essex County, Massachusetts, worked with agents of British intelligence to cause the secession of the New England States. Massachusetts Senator George Cabot led this conspiracy.[17] Others involved in this conspiracy were Stephen Higginson (a merchant and brother-in-law of judge John Lowell), judge John Lowell, John Lowell (son of judge John Lowell), Theophilus Parsons (Massachusetts supreme court justice), Timothy Pickering (Massachusetts senator and previously Postmaster General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State), and judge Tapping Reeve (Aaron Burr’s brother-in-law). Senator James Hillhouse of Connecticut, Senator William Plumer of New Hampshire, Senator Uriah Tracy of Connecticut, and Roger Griswold were also involved in the conspiracy.[18] Working for the British to foment this conspiracy were Henry Dundas (chief of British special operations) in Great Britain and Charles Williamson in the United States and Williamson’s two agents, Aaron Burr and General Francisco de Miranda.[19] However, the most important British agent involved in starting this conspiracy was Sir John Robinson, who was one of the highest ranking agents in British intelligence. He came to the United States between 1796 and 1797 and laid the foundation of what became the Essex Junto.[20]

The conspiracy suffered a setback in 1808 when John Quincy Adams exposed it to President Jefferson. However, the events leading to the War of 1812 and the war itself revived it. Throughout the war, these conspirators thwarted the United States government’s war effort. While raising money for the British in Canada, they threatened people who purchased bonds of the United States government. They were also involved in smuggling war materiel into Canada.

The Essex Junto conspiracy culminated in 1814 in the Hartford Convention, which sought secession of the New England states. Their endeavors eventually resulted in the Southern States declaring their independence.


1. William Guy Carr, The Conspiracy to Destroy All Existing Governments and Religions, p. 10. Salem Kirban, Satan’s Angels Exposed (Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania: Salem Kirban Inc., 1980), p. 151. Eustace Mullins, The Curse of Canaan: A Demonology of History (Staunton, Virginia: Revelation Book, 1987), p. 132. William T. Still, New World Order: The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies (Lafayette, Louisiana: Huntington House Publishers, 1990), pp. 92-93.

2. Carr, p. 10. Nesta H. Webster, World Revolution: The Plot Against Civilization (Editor Anthony Gittens; seventh edition; Palmdale, California: Omni Publications, 1994), p. 87.

3. James W. Wardner, Unholy Alliances: The Secret Plan and the Secret People Who Are Working to Destroy America (James W. Wardner, 1996), p. 47.

4. Jim Marrs, Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids (New York, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2000), p. 220.

5. William P. Hoar, Architect of Conspiracy: An Intriguing History (Belmont, Massachusetts: Western Islands, 1984), pp. 9-11.

6. Hoar, p. 9. Mullins, p. 185.

7. Mullins, pp. 185-186.

8. Anton Chaitkin, Treason in America From Aaron Burr to Averell Harriman (New York, New York: New Benjamin Franklin House, 1984), pp. 26, 66. Mullins, p. 137.

9. Chaitkin, p. 27.

10. Ibid., p. 21.

11. Chaitkin, pp. 69ff. Mullins, p. 138.

12. Chaitkin pp. 27-31.

13. Ibid., pp. 56-63.

14. Ibid., pp. 72-73.

15. Chaitkin, p. 75. Mullins, p. 139.

16. Chaitkin, p. 80.

17. Mullins, p. 136.

18. Chaitkin, pp. 67, 92, 116.

19. Ibid., pp. 66-67.

20. Ibid, p. 95.

[Editor’s note: The list of references in the original is omitted.]

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Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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