Attack and Assassination Attempt on Jackson

By: Monica Hernandez



Jackson’s first almost attack or assassination was on a damp morning the day of January 30, 1835, it is believed to be the first attempt to kill a sitting President of the United States. It occurred just outside the United States Capitol. When Jackson was leaving the Capitol out of the East Portico after the funeral of South Carolina Representative Warren R. Davis, a man named Richard Lawrence, an unemployed and deranged housepainter from England
, aimed two flintlock pistols at the President, but both misfired, one of them while Lawrence stood within 13 feet (4 m) of Andrew Jackson, and the other at point-blank range. He waiting and randomly appeared from a large crowd or stepped out from hiding behind a column and aimed a pistol at Andrew Jackson which misfired. Everyone just stood, shocked out of their minds and most likely terrified to death that their heart fell to their stomachs. Lawrence then pulled out a second pistol which he also missed Jackson with. It has since been postulated that the moisture from the humid weather of the day contributed to the double misfiring. Richard Lawrence was apprehended after Jackson beat him down with a cane. Richard Lawrence was then restrained, with legend saying that Andrew Jackson attacked Richard Lawrence with his cane, prompting his aides to restrain him. Richard Lawrence was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to a mental institution until his death in 1861. The odds of two consecutive misfires were estimated at one in 1,925,000.
Richard Lawrence gave the doctors several reasons for the shooting like, he had recently lost his job painting houses and somehow blamed Andrew Jackson. He claimed that with the President dead, "money would be more plenty", and that he "could not rise until the President fell." Finally, he informed his interrogators that he was a deposed English King—specifically, Richard III, dead since 1485; and that Andrew Jackson was merely his clerk. He was deemed insane, institutionalized, and never punished for his assassination attempt. After that whole incident, the pistols were tested and tested again. They were tested until the researcher’s didn’t have any more answers of why neither of the shots hit Andrew Jackson. When they tested them they worked perfectly fine. They soon had figured that Jackson had been protected by the same Providence which had protected the young nation. Lawrence had become delusional in the years prior to the assassination attempt, believing himself to be the King of America and England, and also believed that Jackson was conspiring to with hold money that was due to him. It was a fact, due to Lawrence’s delusions, that he had some problems. They ended up putting him in a insane home and stayed there until his death. On the other hand, Andrew Jackson’s real death was on June 8, 1845 due to complications from a operation in his abdomen. Also about 20 years later, Richard Lawrence died, basically forgotten; on the day of June 13, 1861 he still remained in the insane hospital, as they called it. His gravesite is apparently, lost to History.