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Jane McManus was an American journalist, crusader, lobbyist, and publicist best known for coining Imperialism’s defining term, “Manifest Destiny.”  In 1832, on Aaron Burr’s qualified recommendation, she and her family proceeded to buy and attempted to settle land in the Mexican part of Texas, advocating, with Burr, the annexation of all Mexico. 

 In 1833, seventy-seven year old Burr, having married fifty-five year old Eliza Jumel, is accused of adultery with twenty-six year old Jane.  When Jumel intercepts a letter from Jane to Burr in which she divines her fortune being pilfered by her husband's investments in those same land deals, legend has it she met him at breakfast with a carpet beater, he departing with egg on his face.

 Jumel separated from Burr after only a few months, naming Jane McManus his unlikely mistress in their divorce trial. Neither was Jane the recipient of the funds or his attentions. Still, thwarted by the conspiracy that would follow her mentor to his grave (as would Madame), her pioneering in Texas failed.

 McManus turns to journalism, writing under a dozen pen names for The New Yorker, The New York Sun and the Democratic Review, advocating imperialist American annexation in South American and the Caribbean.  Burr’s reputation remains in ruins until Gore Vidal’s revisionist biographical novel, Burr, appears in 1973, with a portrait of Jane McManus bearing no resemblance to her and does nothing to revive her reputation. 

Cotton and leather corset, cane boned with trapunto and coffee dyed books

Hudson, Linda. Mistress of Manifest Destiny, Texas State Historical Association, Texas, 2002.