A new film takes the infamous Blennerhassett–Burr association to a wide audience.
An historic event that unfolded right in our backyard got a new spotlight this year as Treason Island: The Blennerhassetts and Aaron Burr saw distribution to more than 300 public television stations nationwide.
The history of Blennerhassett Island in the Ohio River just off Parkersburg centers on Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett, Irish immigrants who settled the land in the late 1700s and built a grand estate. Harman Blennerhassett was swept up in scandal when Alexander Hamilton’s killer, Aaron Burr, visited the island with his mind set on an uprising.
Treason Island, produced by West Virginia’s own MotionMasters, dives deep into the Blennerhassetts’ history and relationship, the happenings at their manor, and the journey that brought them into company with Burr. Diana Sole, CEO of MotionMasters, which has been in the business of filmmaking for more than 35 years and originally started its work with a short film for the Blennerhassett Museum, says the film is bringing renewed attention to the area.
“I’m acquainted with a number of people who told me they’d never been to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park and have now been there as a result of the documentary,” Sole says, noting that the Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau is elated by the visitors the notoriety is bringing.
Treason Island will run on West Virginia Public Broadcasting and other public television stations across the country, and on-demand streaming options are expected at a later date. “We’re very proud of the documentary. It’s a wonderful piece,” Sole says. “I think it’s our best work to-date.”