A little later she invited him to a formal banquet, where he displayed all his charms and shone to great advantage. When he was about to lead her in to dinner, he said:
“I give my hand, madam; my heart has long been yours.”
These attentions he followed up with several other visits, and finally proposed that she should marry him. Much fluttered and no less flattered, she uttered a sort of “No” which was not likely to discourage a man like Aaron Burr.
“I shall come to you before very long,” he said, “accompanied by a clergyman; and then you will give me your hand because I want it.”
This rapid sort of wooing was pleasantly embarrassing. The lady rather liked it; and so, on an afternoon when the sun was shining and the leaves were rustling in the breeze, Burr drove up to Mme. Jumel’s mansion accompanied by Dr. Bogart—the very clergyman who had married him to his first wife fifty years before.
Mme. Jumel was now seriously disturbed, but her refusal was not a strong one. There were reasons why she should accept the offer. The great house was lonely. The management of her estate required a man’s advice. Moreover, she was under the spell of Burr’s fascination. Therefore she arrayed herself in one of her most magnificent Paris gowns; the members of her household and eight servants were called in and the ceremony was duly performed by Dr. Bogart. A banquet followed. A dozen cobwebbed bottles of wine were brought up from the cellar, and the marriage feast went on merrily until after midnight.
This marriage was a singular one from many points of view. It was strange that a man of seventy-eight should take by storm the affections of a woman so much younger than he—a woman of wealth and knowledge of the world. In the second place, it is odd that there was still another woman—a mere girl—who was so infatuated with Burr that when she was told of his marriage it nearly broke her heart. Finally, in the early part of that same year he had been accused of being the father of a new-born child, and in spite of his age every one believed the charge to be true. Here is a case that it would be hard to parallel.
The happiness of the newly married pair did not, however, last very long. They made a wedding journey into Connecticut, of which state Burr’s nephew was then Governor, and there Burr saw a monster bridge over the Connecticut River, in which his wife had shares, though they brought her little income. He suggested that she should transfer the investment, which, after all, was not a very large one, and place it in a venture in Texas which looked promising. The speculation turned out to be a loss, however, and this made Mrs. Burr extremely angry, the more so as she had reason to think that her ever-youthful husband had been engaged in flirting with the country girls near the Jumel mansion.
She was a woman of high spirit and had at times a violent temper. One day the post-master at what was then the village of Harlem was surprised to see Mrs. Burr drive up before the post-office in an open carriage. He came out to ask what she desired, and was surprised to find her in a violent temper and with an enormous horse-pistol on each cushion at her side.