Adults Programs at Oliver Wolcott Library





Tuesday, January 8th, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

 The 1807 Aaron Burr Treason Trial

Never has an American trial produced such an impressive set of key players.  See how Tapping Reeve Law School student and future Vice President Aaron Burr defended himself against President Thomas Jefferson before Chief Justice John Marshall.

The Trial will be reenacted by friends and neighbors from the Litchfield Community and will include:


  • Chief Justice John Marshall:  Presiding Judge ~ Judge Charles Gill

  • Col. Aaron Burr:  Defendant ~ Peter Tavino

  • Luther Martin:  Counsel for the Defense ~ Jim Stedronsky, Esq.

  • George Hay:  Prosecuting Attorney ~ John Endicott, Esq.

  • General James Wilkinson:  Witness ~ Herb Siegel

  • General Andrew Jackson:  Witness ~ Father Robert Tucker

  • General William Eaton:  Witness ~ Ed Schuler

  • Hezekiah Buck:  Witness ~ Alan Cohen, Esq.

  • Washington Irving:  Morning Chronicle ~ John McKenna

  • Clerk of the Court ~ Lisa Losee

  • Narrator/Stage Manager ~ Linda Loveday

Side Stage

  • President Thomas Jefferson ~ Ed Doyle

  • Silas Brown ~ Alan Cohen, Esq.


Thanks to the Library staff for promoting and helping with this successful event.

Here is the design floor plan, and list of name tags.  (This event could easily be done at your community center.)


The room set up before rehearsal.


5 of the actors back stage before the show. (Wilkinson's leopard shirt is hidden.)

( Did anyone notice that the # 1 movie out now National Treasure II has Ed Harris playing a Wilkinson descendent?)


The narrator, who is education coordinator at the historical society started with this opening:


Here is the final section of my script.



Actors wait in children's library and enter as their name is announced.

Linda reads Introduction:

Good evening everyone, and welcome to the Oliver Wolcott Jr. Library.

Tonight we present a reenactment of the 1807 Treason Trial of Aaron Burr.

In 1774, Aaron Burr was educated at the Tapping Reeve Law School just a few doors down the street from here.  He served honorably in the Revolutionary War, had a successful law practice and was instrumental in the anti-federalist national victory of 1800. In fact, he served as Vice-President of the United States under Thomas Jefferson. After his famous Duel with Alexander Hamilton, Burr traveled west, and was arrested and tried for treason first in Kentucky, then in Mississippi and finally in Richmond Virginia, where he was declared not guilty each time.

Tonight we are pleased to enact Morley Thompson's 45 minute long script of the bicentennial trial, performed this past October in the Virginia statehouse courtroom, where the original trial took place. 

I'm Linda Loveday, serving as the Narrator.

Our actors tonight are:

Col. Aaron Burr: Defendant                                      played by Peter Tavino


Luther Martin: Counsel for the Defense                   played by Attorney Jim Stedronsky,


George Hay: Prosecuting Attorney                           played by Attorney John Endicott


General James Wilkinson:                                        played by Herb Siege


General Andrew Jackson:                                         played by Father Robert Tucker                                                                  


General William Eaton:                                            played by Ed Schuler


Witnesses Hezekiah Bucky & Silas Brown:            played by Attorney Alan Cohen                                                                                  

 Morning Chronicle reporter Washington Irving:     played by John McKenna                                                                                

Clerk of the Court:                                played by Acting Litchfield Town Clerk Lisa Losee        


President Thomas Jefferson:                                    played by Ed Doyle          


Bailiff:                                                                     played by Mark Shea


Presiding Judge    Chief Justice John Marshall:     played by Judge Charles Gill


Mark:    Oyey Oyey Oyey all rise for His Honor Chief Justice John Marshall

   …. please be seated.


 Marshall:   Let the prisoner stand and the charge be read.

Lisa:  Colonel Aaron Burr, Esquire, not having….





This concludes the reenactment of the 1807 Treason Trial of Aaron Burr.


We hope you have enjoyed this presentation.


We would also like to acknowledge and thank several people who helped in the staging of this program.


First of all our stand-by actors:  Franco Barbacci and Carl LePere


We would like to thank Ann Marie White and the Owl Staff for the use of the library

and their help in this evening’s performance.


And a very special thanks to Joan Gill for General Wilkinson’s costume and to Nancy Schuler for her help for this evening’s cravat neck attire.


We hope you will stay and join us for refreshments.


Thank you for coming.


At rehearsal, witnesses are seated near Washington Irving (our local Newspaper Reporter) as they prepare to take the witness chair.

Capacity was supposed to be limited to 60. 98 reserved and an additional dozen showed. So they watched from the hall too.

Here's the pose for our County Newspaper. The cravats are copied from the Vanderlyn painting:

A  DVD of the 45 minute production should be available in the future.

So please consider staging this production at your own library or community center. It will be SRO !

Thanks to all who participated,


Here's what one of the actors had to say:
THANK YOU, Peter, for all of your efforts in creating and implementing this very interesting and entertaining production!!  I know it took a great deal of time but I suspect you enjoyed most of your labors.  I certainly enjoyed being part of it and getting to know you and others much better.  You are a real asset to the community.
Thanks, again.

(Thank you Ed. It really did not involve all that much time for one rehearsal and one staged reading. I encourage others to cast and produce this event.)

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