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Blennerhassett Mansion
Apr 20, 2019

Blennerhassett Mansion stands on Blennerhassett Island in the Ohio River, just outside of Parkersburg, WV. About half of the island is a West Virginia state park, named for a famous (or possibly infamous) former resident.

Harmon Blennerhassett (1764-1831), an English aristocrat descended from royalty, is described as a "political adventurer." In 1793, Blennerhassett joined a secret society committed to overthrowing British rule in Ireland. The movement failed. 

Blennerhassett and his wife Margaret  (who was also his niece) came to America in 1796. By 1805, the Blennerhassett's got mixed up with Aaron Burr. It's unclear whether Burr and Blennerhassett were planning wrest Texas from Spanish control or separate the west from the United States. Either way, it was political intrigue. 

What mattered is President Thomas Jefferson decided Burr and the Blennerhassetts were guilty of treason. Arrested in Virginia in 1806 after fleeing Blennerhassett Island, the Blennerhassett's were ultimately released from prison in 1808. The Blennerhassett's returned to England, where they failed to rebuild the family fortune. 

For a more a deeper dive into Blennerhassett, check out this account.

The photographs are of Blennerhassett Mansion, which was rebuilt as part of Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. 

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