When Macintosh met Aaron Burr

One of the more mysterious periods of Macintosh’s life is that which he spent in Eisenach during the first decade of the nineteenth century. There is some suggestion that Macintosh was imprisoned there by Napoleon on the grounds that he was in active correspondence with the exiled Louis XVIII. I have recently discovered reference to Macintosh’s time in Eisenach in the journal of the somewhat-disgraced US Vice President Aaron Burr (1756–1836).

Aaron Burr (1756–1836)

Aaron Burr (1756–1836).

Burr’s diary records the following encounters with Macintosh:

14 January 1810

Thence to Massovices’s, and he and I went together, as invited, to breakfast à la forchette with Steickler. Met there Mr. M’Intosh, a Scotchman, who has been many years in North America, and in Asia and Africa. Had an immense fortune, which he lost by the French revolution. A very intelligent, amusing man.

15 January 1810

Mr. M’Intosh came in this morning and sat an hour. I admire his constancy and his loyalty. He is a prisoner on parole, as being a British subject. Has corresponded with Washington. One of the letters now in the museum at Weimar.

Although these are only snippets, Burr’s journal entries are nevertheless helpful in clarifying the chronology of Macintosh’s life and further indicating the social and political circles in which he moved.

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