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Today You Are a Man, Part I
Today you are a man.
Age 10 was the equivalent of a Bar Mitzvah in colonial America: you could drink rum, get your temp wagon-driver's permit, cavort with whores, that sort of thing.
But it seems to be the age where 18th century parents were like, "Well, you're ten now. Time to apprentice yourself to that mean old hide tanner down the street. I hope regular beatings are something you enjoy. See ya when you're eighteen. Send money home."
At age ten, Aaron Burr decided it was time to go to sea, so he signed on a merchant ship bound for Everywhere and Wherever as a cabin boy (which, apparently, was something a kid could just do).
His uncle and guardian (son of that dour minister Jonathan Edwards, who had raised his children in that “extraordinary Puritan cult of wretchedness and terror, of the wickedness and ugliness of life, of the inevitable woe awaiting a humanity born in depravity and sin”) ran down to the docks to stop him.
When little Aaron saw him coming he climbed to the top of the tallest mast of the ship and wouldn't come down until he had negotiated amnesty for himself.
If only that same tactic could have been used at his treason trial forty years later...