Today’s vice presidents at least try to present themselves with dignity and grace. They take their positions and duties very seriously. It was not always so, however. Some of our vice presidents were just downright hooligans, murderers and thieves!
Two of our nation’s vice presidents — Aaron Burr and John Breckenridge — were charged with treason. Aaron Burr, our nation’s third VP, thought it would be acceptable to take a chunk of the United States as his own and declare himself president of the newly seceded country. He didn’t succeed, of course, but he did shoot and kill the first secretary of treasury, Alexander Hamilton, in a duel. Fourteenth VEEP John Breckenridge abandoned the union and became a general for the confederacy.
- Aaron Burr, our most notorious VP
Other notorious vice presidents include Schuyler Colfax and Spiro Agnew, who were charged with taking bribes while in office. Schuyler Colfax was embroiled in the Credit Mobilier of America scandal and was believed to have made untold sums of money off the corruption. Spiro Agnew, Nixon’s right hand man, was brought up on charges of extortion, tax fraud, bribery and conspiracy. He was officially charged with swindling more than $100,000.
Spiro Agnew was 1 of 2 VPs to resign from their posts. The other was John C. Calhoun. Calhoun served under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson before leaving office due to constant fighting with the president. Andrew Jackson is quoted as saying, “I have only two regrets. I didn’t shoot Henry Clay and I didn’t hang John C. Calhoun.”