July 7, 2017

"The spectacle of assassination belonged more to the worlds of ancient Rome and the kingdoms of Europe, where struggles for power..."

"... between monarchs, aristocrats, and the populace often led to plots and upheavals. Randolph’s attack exacerbated the sense among Jackson’s critics that the president had become a king, the White House a court, and Washington a conspiratorial capital."

From "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House," by Jon Meacham.

Randolph was "a disturbed former navy officer, Robert B. Randolph," who, on May 6, 1833, "on a steamboat excursion to Fredericksburg, Virginia... came through the crowd... [and] leaped at the president as though to assault him." We're told that "Randolph bloodied Jackson’s face, but the president’s stare stopped the assailant. "
It was the first such physical assault on an American president...

An admirer of the president’s from Alexandria, Virginia, offered to avenge the attack. “Sir, if you will pardon me in case I am tried and convicted, I will kill Randolph for this insult to you, in fifteen minutes!” Jackson demurred. “No, sir, I cannot do that,” he replied. “I want no man to stand between me and my assailants, and none to take revenge on my account.” He [said] that if he had been standing rather than sitting behind the table, Randolph “never would have moved with life from the tracks he stood in.”.... He did not want, he said, “a military guard around the President,” which left only this option: officials, he said, had “to be prepared … [to] shoot down or otherwise destroy those dastardly assassins whenever they approach us.”

35 comments:

Unknown said...

Jackson was the founder of the Democrat party. And here he openly endorsed conceal carry and self defense, eh?

How..... inconvenient for todays Democrats.

--Vance

rcocean said...

LoL. Andrew Jackson was a real life Clint Eastwood.

And his view point is admirable in the day of the musket and flintlock pistol. Not to mention that crazies usually didn't have the time -or money - to take several days to travel to DC via horse or steamboat.

Today we have unemployed crazies flying in from England trying to take a potshot at the President.

And its too bad Lincoln didn't have a better "military guard". Its hard to defend yourself when you get shot in the back of the head while watching a play.

Nonapod said...

“I want no man to stand between me and my assailants, and none to take revenge on my account.”

That seems to me to be a very chivalrous response. Jackson was an 18th century man living in the 19th century. Duels were gradually going out of fashion by his time.

BDNYC said...

Was this the same incident where Jackson beat his assailant with his cane?

gnossos said...

Worth watching for present day comparison.

Bay Area Guy said...

Andy Jackson -- the last honorable Democrat President. Well, maybe, Harry Truman.

Darrell said...

Sure. Keep pushing the assassination meme.

Rick Turley said...

He carried two bullets in him for much of his adult life. He killed one of his opponents after allowing him the first shot which struck him in the chest. One tough mofo.

gnossos said...

From this angle you can see how quickly this guy also "came through the crowd."

Ann Althouse said...

"Was this the same incident where Jackson beat his assailant with his cane?"

No, the cane incident happened in January 1835:

"Jackson was walking out of the House chamber after a funeral service for Representative Warren R. Davis of South Carolina. Emerging from the Rotunda to the porch whose steps led down the East Portico, Jackson was with Levi Woodbury, the secretary of the Treasury, and Mahlon Dickerson, the secretary of the navy, when the president’s eyes met those of a “handsome … well-dressed” young man, an unemployed house painter named Richard Lawrence. Armed with two pistols, standing less than ten feet in front of Jackson, Lawrence raised the first gun and fired. The cap exploded but the powder did not light. Realizing the danger, Jackson charged his assailant, brandishing his walking stick. “The explosion of the cap was so loud that many persons thought the pistol had fired,” said Benton. “I heard it at the foot of the steps, far from the place, and a great crowd in between.” Lawrence dropped the gun and produced a second pistol, but it too failed to fire. (In both cases the cap exploded but did not light the powder necessary to discharge the bullet.) Until that moment, Jackson had thought the assassin “firm and resolved”; now Lawrence “seemed to shrink” as the president pursued the assailant with his cane and a nearby navy lieutenant knocked Lawrence to the ground. (Jackson took no chances. “The President pressed after him until he saw he was secured,” the Globe reported.)"

Ann Althouse said...

The incident in the post happened on May 6, 1833.

Ann Althouse said...

I'd mean to put the date in the post. I'll go back and add it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Worth watching for present day comparison."

Thanks for linking to that. Meade mentioned that incident when he read the post.

I was trying to hear what the guys in the audience were saying. Something like "Go get him, Donald!"

Tarrou said...

Would that we had men of that caliber in office today.


I reiterate my proposal to both legalize and mandate dueling for politicians. Jocko Willink for President!

tcrosse said...

Re Assassination of Trump. Cui Bono ?

Sample Commenter said...

“I’ve seen the prayer ya’ll were saying at the baseball diamond ... I think ya’ll better hit your knees and pray for the people that you’re screwin’ up their lives,” the message stated, according to a criminal complaint filed by Capitol Police in U.S. District Court in Columbus.

“We’re coming to get every goddamn one of you and your families. Maybe the next one taken down will be your daughter. Huh? Or your wife. Or even you.”
. - Democrat upset at the election result, apparently.

traditionalguy said...

Jackson and Truman were American Presidents of Scots Irish Presbyterian culture, and it came naturally to them to attack anyone making serious threats to attack their country. The insane Nork kid had better factor that into his thinking. Japan's insane Warlords once faced a Scots Irish American President who had a pair Nuclear Devices recently in hand, and it took Captain Harry Truman the blinking of an eye to strike Japan with both weapons.

When the USMC's Mattis voluteered his statement that the nuclear armed warhead on the new Nork ICBM that reaches the USA does not mean immediate war, that translates into, "we plan to exterminate him any second now."



Rick Turley said...

The Hermitage is well worth a visit if you like history and historic buildings. It's almost all original (to the final structure) including most of the furnishings and decor.

It is the 250th anniversary of Jackon's birth this year and there were many celebrations this spring including a visit by President Trump. He was the 15th President to visit the plantation if I recall properly including several who visited him while he was alive.

We can see the Natchez Trace from our back yard which is the route they took from Tennessee down to New Orleans. We went to the reenactment of the troop muster on the Trace at the Duck River. The Trace was so well used that parts of it look like it is six feet below ground level. Meriwether Lewis met his controversial end near here at Grinder's Stand, which is not to be confused with Minnie Pearl's fictional home town of Grinder's Switch.

By the way, nobody really knows how many duels he was in but estimates go as high as one hundred.

John Tuffnell said...

FDR also used the adjective "dastardly":

"I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire."

I wonder if AJ and FDR exhausts the quoted use of the word by US Presidents.

rcocean said...

I went to the Heritage and it was great. The only downside was that large numbers of Old Oak trees had been destroyed in a recent wind storm. Maybe some of those trees have grown back.

The Godfather said...

The clip of the guy coming after Trump was interesting. The audience was rooting for Trump and booing the would-be assailant, but what you saw was a whole bunch of folks pulling out their cellphones to take a picture of it. You didn't see anyone pull out a pistol.

Yes, I know, the Secret Service won't let you attend a speech by a President or Presidential candidate if you're carrying a gun, but wouldn't you like it better Andy Jackson's way?

Browndog said...

We should talk more about political assignations.

Thanks to Althouse, we can think deeply bout them.

bgates said...

Randolph’s attack exacerbated the sense among Jackson’s critics that the president had become a king

That sounds familiar - a president so hated that his enemies thought it reflected poorly on him that he'd been the target of an assassination attempt.

Ann Althouse said...

Assignations?

William said...

I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of Andrew Jackson. He has a remarkable biography. He had reserves of courage, tenacity and durability that few men possess.......He was also a slave owner and a slave dealer. The left is now of the opinion that people of this class are irredeemably wicked and evil. It is impossible for such a person to have any virtues that could possibly counterbalance such an offense as slave owning.......This is manifestly not true, but that's how they now reckon it. Slave owners and Confederate generals are now painted with the same broad brush strokes used for Nazis and Trump voters.

rhhardin said...

There are lots of stable political systems, with various economic results, but always a higher cost to those in power and their hangers-on in reforming the system than not. Which is why they're stable.

Assassination is one of the methods of reform in those cases. Usually not producing a better system.

Sample Commenter said...

We should talk more about political assignations

So, we're back to Mika and Joe.

Ralph L said...

a steamboat excursion to Fredericksburg, Virginia.
From where?
From Alexandria, it would be a several day affair down the Potomac and then up the Rappahannock. An early Federal junket.

Browndog said...

Ann Althouse said...

Assignations?


Some of us aren't afforded the privilege of "preview" for our comments--it kicks us off Althouse, with a 404 error.

It's been brought up, as I'm sure you're aware.

And yes, some of us commit typos, causing some to gasp in horror, as to be interpreted as some commenters are illiterate, embarrassing the blog for all to see.

Apologies.

Rosa Marie Yoder said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
I'd mean to put the date in the post.

????

A typo by Althouse???? Gasp....

rcocean said...

"He was also a slave owner and a slave dealer."

Not only that. He was a sexist, a xenophobe, a bigot, a homophobe, and didn't believe in transgender bathrooms, climate warming, gay marriage, or recycling. Y'know like everyone else before 1990.

Wow, I think we need to march on Hermitage and destroy it.

rcocean said...

On the plus side, he adopted a Indian as his son.

But he never accepted the idea that 2nd hand smoking kills.

Ralph L said...

Browndog said...
We should talk more about political assignations.

I thought you were making a Clinton joke.

In the reign of Henry VIII, it was a capital offense to talk about the king's death.
I doubt he was the only paranoid tyrant.

traditionalguy said...

Final thought on what made Old Hickory special: He had a commanding presence in his body language and countenance that gave courage to his troops, because they knew he had the intelligence and intent to do whatever it took to win. That assassination story related how the killer lost his nerve from seeing Jackson's countenance.

And winner take all politics is a cruel game that requires the destruction of not only existing enemies but of friends that are becoming potential rivals.



Paul said...

Simple solution... bring back CODE DUELLO!!! Yes regulate dueling to help prevent vendettas between families and other social factions. The rules are here ... FYI!

http://www.marylutyndall.com/2012/05/code-duello-rules-of-dueling.html