“A Caesar who ought to have a Brutus.” - Richard Lawrence and the first attempt on the life of a U.S. president
“A Caesar who ought to have a Brutus.” (former Vice President John C. Calhoun about Andrew Jackson in speech made on February 28th, 1835)
|Contemporary newspaper illustration of Lawrence's attempt on President Jackson|
|A contemporary broadsheet advertising Lawrence’s trial|
And while “Old Hickory” left the rotunda of the old Capitol building, his majesty tried to ambush the President, firing his first pistol and the thing misfired, he drew his second one, aimed, shot and the thing misfired as well. “Old Hickory” charged and was about to beat the wretch to death with his cane but was finally held back by his attendants and bystanders, including congressman Davy Crockett and held down Lawrence as well. He went to his trial three months later, was declared insane after five minutes and hospitalised for the rest of his life. He died in St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington D.C. in June 1861, more than 25 years later. The next unsuccessful attempt on a president’s life was made just a couple of weeks before, this time, Abraham Lincoln was the target, in February 1861 in Baltimore.
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