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        #40: The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr, Former VP

        作者:Frank Beardsley 發布日期:3-23-2013

        Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English.

        Aaron Burr was vice president of the United States. His term came to an end in eighteen hundred and five. He was heavily in debt and his political future did not look promising.

        在上次的建國史話中我們講到,托馬斯.杰斐遜第一屆任期內的副總統艾倫.伯爾1805年離任。當時,他債務纏身,政治前途渺茫。

        Burr was not without plans, however. For some time, he had been considering an idea. He wanted to seize Mexico from Spain. Burr made secret deals with a number of people. He told them different things to get their help or their money for his plan.

        不過,他早就在籌劃一項秘密行動,打算把墨西哥從西班牙人手中搶過來。他為了得到資助,私下里聯絡了不少人,但是告訴每個人的內容都不一樣。

        What was Aaron Burr's real goal? Was it to seize Mexico? Or was it to create a country of his own out of some of America's western lands? The facts are not clear.

        伯爾真正的目的是什么?真的是想奪取墨西哥嗎?還是要拉攏西部各州,另立門戶,建立自己的國家呢?歷史上并沒有清楚的記載。

        Aaron Burr
        Aaron Burr

        This week in our series, Shirley Griffith and Steve Ember tell about Burr's secret activities, and the trial that ended them.

        (MUSIC) VOICE TWO:

        Burr traveled west in the spring of eighteen-oh-five. His trip would take him down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to the port city of New Orleans. In that city, he talked with a number of rich, powerful men. He explained his plan. And he found support among those who wished to end Spanish control of Mexico. Burr was then ready to return east and put his plan into action.

        1805年春天,伯爾動身西行。他途徑俄亥俄和密西西比河,來到港口城市新奧爾良。他在新奧爾良召集了一些有錢有勢的人,向他們解釋了自己的計劃。那些對西班牙統治不滿的人愿意支持他。伯爾深受鼓舞,準備返回東部,付諸行動。

        VOICE ONE:

        On the way back, Burr stopped in Saint Louis to see General James Wilkinson, governor of the Louisiana Territory. Wilkinson was plotting with Burr.

        回程途中,伯爾到圣路易斯去會見詹姆斯.威爾金森將軍。威爾金森是路易斯安那的州長,也是伯爾的同謀。

        At the same time, however, Wilkinson was spying for Spain. He did not want to lose the money Spain paid him for information. So he began to think about how he could pull out of Burr's plan.

        但與此同時,威爾金森還有另外一重身份--為西班牙充當間諜。他舍不得西班牙人給的錢,所以絞盡腦汁,想退出伯爾的計劃。

        He advised Burr that it might be best to forget Mexico, that perhaps the time was not right. He offered to help Burr get back into politics as a congressman from Indiana.

        威爾金森告訴伯爾說,最好不要惦記墨西哥了,因為時機尚未成熟,他主動提出愿意幫助伯爾返回政界,去做印第安納州的國會議員。

        Burr rejected Wilkinson's offer. He was not yet ready to give up his dream about Mexico.

        伯爾斷然拒絕,他不想放棄奪取墨西哥的夢想。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        Burr had hoped to begin his move against Mexico in the spring of eighteen-oh-six. Without money, however, he could do nothing.

        伯爾原計劃1806年春天動手,但是資金上卻出現了問題。

        He tried to get money from people who might be interested in sharing the riches of Mexico. But he was not successful. Nor did he get the money and ships he had asked earlier from Britain.

        他試圖說服那些想分享墨西哥財富的人投資,但沒有成功,不僅如此,他原本寄重于英國,但是英國也沒有為他提供資金和船只。

        VOICE ONE:

        Thomas Jefferson
        Thomas Jefferson

        War between the United States and Spain was an important part of Burr's plan. Should there be such a war, Burr was sure the men of the western lands would join him against the Spanish in Mexico. Without war, the campaign might fail.

        根據伯爾的計劃,美國必須跟西班牙交戰。戰火一旦爆發,大家肯定會跟他站在一起,共同對付西班牙,伯爾對此深信不疑。但是如果沒有戰爭,伯爾的計劃就會泡湯。

        Burr received bad news after he returned to Washington.

        He met with President Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson made clear that there would be no war with Spain.

        伯爾回到華盛頓后,聽到了壞消息。他會見托馬斯.杰斐遜總統時,杰斐遜明確表示,美國不會跟西班牙開戰。

        After his meeting with Jefferson, Burr began to make new plans. He would forget the idea of invading Mexico -- at least temporarily. Instead, he said he would build a settlement in Louisiana and wait for a better time.

        面對這種情況,伯爾只好改變計劃,決定暫時不去考慮進攻墨西哥,而是在路易斯安那建立一個定居點,等待時機。

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE TWO:

        While Aaron Burr had been traveling in the west, stories began to spread about his activities. Newspaper reports came close to accusing him of plotting to split the Union. People seemed willing to believe the reports. This was the situation General Wilkinson would use to pull out of Burr's plan.

        伯爾離開華盛頓的這段時間里,出現了很多有關他的傳聞。一些報導旁敲側擊地指責他陰謀分裂,老百姓似乎也都愿意相信。這種局勢給詹姆斯.威爾金森將軍擺脫伯爾提供了絕妙的機會。

        Wilkinson wrote a letter to President Jefferson. He claimed that a force of ten thousand men was moving toward New Orleans. He said it was part of a campaign against Mexico. He gave details of the campaign, but claimed he did not know who was leading it. He warned the president that the force might try to seize Louisiana as well as Mexico.

        威爾金森寫信給總統杰斐遜。信中說,一股一萬人的部隊正直撲新奧爾良,準備攻打墨西哥。威爾金森在信中提供了計劃的細節,但表示,不知道誰是主謀。他警告杰斐遜說,這股部隊的目標不僅是墨西哥,可能還有路易斯安那。

        VOICE ONE:

        It was not the first letter Jefferson received about Burr's Mexican campaign. Nor was it the first to say that Burr was, in fact, planning to split some western states from the Union. But, unlike the other letters, Jefferson accepted Wilkinson's as firm evidence against Burr.

        其實,這并不是杰斐遜收到的有關伯爾打算進攻墨西哥的第一份密信,也不是第一封指責伯爾企圖讓西部各州分裂出去的告發信。但是,杰斐遜卻決定把威爾金森的信作為制裁伯爾的證據。

        The president called a cabinet meeting to discuss what should be done. The result of the meeting was this: all American military commanders were ordered to stop Burr.

        杰斐遜召集內閣會議,討論對策。會議最終決定,美國所有軍事指揮官都要設法制止伯爾。

        President Jefferson then made a public declaration. He said a private military campaign was about to begin against the Spanish, and that anyone involved should leave it immediately. The declaration did not speak of Aaron Burr by name.

        杰斐遜總統隨即發表公開宣言。他表示,有人打算針對西班牙發動一場秘密軍事行動,涉嫌者必須立即離開,但是宣言中沒有提到伯爾的名字。

        VOICE TWO:

        Jefferson also spoke of the private military campaign in his yearly State of the Union message to Congress. Congress asked for more information. In a special message, the president said Burr had several plans. One was to split the western states from the Union. Another was to seize Mexico. He said Burr wanted to make people believe he was building a settlement in Louisiana. But, he said, that was just a trick.

        杰斐遜在一年一度向國會發表的國情咨文講話中也提到了伯爾的秘密軍事行動。國會要求了解更多的情況。杰斐遜在給國會的文件中說,伯爾的計劃有幾個,其中一個是讓西部各州分裂出去,另外一個是奪取墨西哥。杰斐遜說,伯爾希望讓大家以為他是在路易斯安那建立一個定居點,但其實這只是一個掩人耳目的幌子。

        The president said Burr had discovered that the people of the western states would not support any attempt to take them out of the Union. So, the president said, Burr had decided to capture New Orleans. Jefferson said there was no question that Burr was guilty.

        杰斐遜還說,伯爾發現,西部的人不支持他的分裂主張,所以決定奪取新奧爾良。杰斐遜說,伯爾有罪,這一點毫無疑問。

        (MUSIC)

        Court order for President Thomas Jefferson to appear at Aaron Burr's treason trial
        Court order for President Thomas Jefferson to appear at Aaron Burr's treason trial

        VOICE ONE:

        Burr's guilt had not been proved in court. But to many Americans, Jefferson's statement was taken as truth. Some demanded that Burr be put to death for treason.

        雖然法庭還沒有給伯爾定罪,但是在很多美國人眼里,杰斐遜的聲明就是事實。一些人要求以叛國罪處死伯爾。

        The crime of treason, as explained in America's Constitution, is the act of a citizen making war against the United States.

        根據美國憲法,要被裁定犯有叛國罪,此人勢必要對美國宣戰。

        Burr was arrested in February, eighteen-oh-seven, and taken to Richmond, Virginia. A federal grand jury hearing would be held to decide if there was enough evidence to bring him to trial. In June, the grand jury officially charged him with treason. Burr would stand trial before John Marshall, chief justice of the United States.

        伯爾1807年2月被捕,被押往維吉尼亞的里士滿,接受聯邦大陪審團的裁決,決定是否有足夠證據將伯爾送上法庭。6月,大陪審團正式指控伯爾犯有叛國罪,此案由美國最高法院首席大法官約翰.馬歇爾受理。

        VOICE TWO:

        At one point in court, Burr spoke for himself. "Treason," he said, "is not possible without action. Yet I am being attacked -- not for acts -- but because of false reports about what I might do. The whole country has been turned against me. Is this justice? Wilkinson frightened the president with his reports about me. Then, the president frightened the people."

        伯爾在法庭上為自己提出辯白。他說:“沒有行動,就不能構成叛國罪,然而我受到攻擊,卻不是基于行動,而是基于一些錯誤的報告,說我可能會采取某種行動。整個國家都站在我的對立面,這難道是公正的嗎?威爾金森向總統打我的小報告,結果嚇住了總統,總統又去嚇唬人民。”

        (MUSIC)

        VOICE ONE:

        It was true that President Jefferson wanted to prove Burr guilty. He ordered government officials in all parts of the country to find witnesses who could give evidence against Burr.

        杰斐遜一心希望證明伯爾有罪。他下令全國各地的政府官員,要他們尋找一切能夠指證伯爾的證人。

        Some of Jefferson's opponents said he did this to turn the trial into a political battle. They believed he wanted to use the trial record to attack Chief Justice Marshall, who was a member of the opposition Federalist Party. Jefferson objected to the way Marshall controlled the Supreme Court. He felt Marshall used his position to threaten the powers of the presidency and Congress.

        杰斐遜的一些政治反對派說,他這樣做是為了把對伯爾的審判變成一場政治斗爭。他們相信,杰斐遜是希望把這次審判,作為攻擊首席大法官馬歇爾的素材。馬歇爾是反對黨聯邦黨成員。杰斐遜對馬歇爾控制聯邦最高法院的做法很反感,覺得馬歇爾利用職權,威脅總統和國會的權力。

        Chief Justice Marshall knew of Jefferson's part in the accusations against Burr. He was extremely careful and fair in giving his opinions and decisions.

        馬歇爾知道杰斐遜在伯爾一案中扮演的角色,因此在發表意見和裁定的時候,格外小心。

        VOICE TWO:

        At the end of August, Chief Justice Marshall stopped taking evidence. He told the court that -- under the Constitution -- a charge of treason must be proved by two witnesses. He said the government's claim had not been proved by even one witness. He ordered the jury to decide the case.

        8月底,馬歇爾宣布證據收集階段結束。他告訴法庭說,根據憲法,犯有叛國罪必須有兩個證人,但是到目前為止,還沒有一個可信的證人。他讓大陪審團做出裁決。

        On September first, the jury announced its decision. It said: "We of the jury declare that Aaron Burr is not proved guilty by any evidence offered to us. Therefore, we find him not guilty." Burr and his lawyers angrily protested the way the decision had been written. They said it was wrong for the jury to say more than "guilty" or "not guilty." Marshall agreed. He ordered the decision to be changed to read, simply, "not guilty." The trial was over.

        大陪審團9月1號做出了決定。裁決書上說,“本陪審團宣布,掌握的證據不能證明艾倫.伯爾有罪,因此我們宣布他無罪。”伯爾和他的律師對裁決書的文字十分不滿。他們指出,大陪審團除了“有罪”或“無罪”以外,不應該說那么多廢話。首席大法官馬歇爾表示認同。他下令大陪審團重寫裁決書,上面只要寫兩個字“無罪”。艾倫.伯爾叛國罪一案終于塵埃落定。

        VOICE ONE:

        Aaron Burr lived another twenty-nine years. He spent some time in Europe, and then New York City. A few hours before he died, a friend asked if he had ever plotted -- as part of his plan to seize Mexico -- to split the Union of American states. Burr answered: "No! I would as soon have thought of seizing the moon and informing my friends that I would divide it among them."

        此后,艾倫.伯爾先后在歐洲和紐約渡過了他后半生29年的時光。臨終前,有個朋友問他說,在奪取墨西哥的計劃里,是否曾經陰謀分裂美國。伯爾的回答是“沒有!我就是想到去奪取月球來分給朋友們,也不會想到去分裂國家。”

        (MUSIC)

        ANNOUNCER:

        Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Shirley Griffith and Steve Ember. Join us each week for THE MAKING OF A NATION – an American history series in VOA Special English. Transcripts, podcasts and MP3s of our programs are at www.squishedblueberries.com.

        網友的學習評論(2條):
        作者:xuding45
        5-9-2013 5:49:7
        Aaron Burr was serviced as the vice president in the nation. He had a secret plan which seized the Mexico. The president Thomas Jefferson decided to trial him. During the trial the people didn't find the proof. At final the Supreme Court judgemented the Burr innocent.
        作者:Alumni
        8-3-2013 21:27:59
        i had thougt Aaron Burr, the VP, would be sentenced to prison because of his treason guilt when i came to read the title first. it is just the other way around that he was not guilty. He ,VP, didnt lose his humor by saying: i would as soon have thought of seizing the moon and informing my friends that i woud divide it among them. he said this a few hours before he died when his friends asked if it had been true that he had plotted to split the country.
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