This Day in Politics – January 30, 1835 – First attempt at killing a US President



This Day in Politics – January 30, 1835 – First attempt at killing a US President

On January 30, 1985, Richard Lawrence attempts to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but fails and is subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen.

This is quite the story:

Lawrence worked as a painter and there is speculation that exposure to the chemicals in his paints may have contributed to his derangements. By the early 1830s he was unemployed and had succumbed to the delusion that he was King Richard III of England. His personality changed dramatically around this point. He was previously conservatively dressed, but now he dressed flamboyantly, and grew a moustache. He gave up his job, saying that he had no need to work as the American government owed him a large sum of money but that President Andrew Jackson was keeping him from receiving it. He also said that when he received the money, he could take up his rightful place as King of England.

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Lawrence also blamed Jackson for killing his father in 1832, despite the fact that Lawrence’s father had died nine years earlier and had never been to the United States. This, among I’m sure a whole slew of others things was why Lawerence tried to kill Andrew Jackson.