a suspected treasonous cabal of planters, politicians, and army officers allegedly led by former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr. According to the accusations against him, Burr's goal was to create an independent nation in the center of North America and/or the Southwest and parts of Mexico. Burr's explanation: To take possession of, and farm, 40,000 acres (160 km²) in the Texas Territory leased to him by the Spanish. When the expected war with Spain broke out, his accusers said he would fight with his armed "farmers," to seize some lands he could conquer in the war. U.S. President Thomas Jefferson and others had Burr arrested and indicted for treason with no firm evidence put forward. Burr's true intentions are still considered unclear to historians, some of whom claim he intended to take parts of Texas and some or all of the Louisiana Purchase for himself. Burr was acquitted of treason, but the trial destroyed his already faltering political career.