Assassination Attempt on Jackson

"Andrew Jackson."
Edmund Burke Kellogg and Elijah Chapman Kellogg, after William Henry Brown
Portrait Gallery of Distinguished American Citizens

Andrew Jackson
Unknown Artist, attributed to Thomas Sully
ca. 1857


Attempted Assassination of President Jackson

On Friday the 30 of January 1835, the president with members of his cabinet attended the funeral of Warren R. Davis of the state of South Carolina in the hall of the House of Representatives. Just as the president were issuing from the door of the Rotunda a person stepped from the crowd into an open space in front of the president leveled a pistol at him and fired. It was a percussion lock and the cap exploded without firing the powder in the barrel. Instantly the person dropped the pistol and took another which he held ready cocked, leveled it and pulled the trigger. It was also a percussion lock, and the cap exploded without firing the powder in the barrel. The president instantly rushed upon him with his uplifted cane, but did him no harm. He was secured and delivered over to the officers. [2C307-2C308]

Editor's Note:

On January 30, 1835, as President Andrew Jackson crossed the Capitol Rotunda, an unemployed artist attempted to kill him. The failed assassin, Richard Lawrence, claimed that Jackson was preventing the payment of a large amount of money that was owed him. This was the first attempt to assassinate a U.S. president.

People, Places, & Things:

  • Warren Ransom Davis (Jacksonian, Nullifier - SC) U.S. representative 1827-1835.
  • Rotunda - The Rotunda is the ceremonial center of the Capitol, where state funerals have been held for presidents, beginning with Abraham Lincoln, as well as for distinguished members of Congress, military heroes, and eminent citizens. Visiting heads of state have been received in the Rotunda, and memorable individuals and events celebrated. It is decorated with frescoes, paintings, and sculptures.