On January 30 of 1835 an unemployed painter named Richard Lawrence tried to assassinate President Andrew Jackson. Standing before the capitol, in point-blank range of the president, the man’s pistol misfired. After a second pistol did the same, Jackson beat his attacker with his cane. He was furious and convinced the Whigs had tried to kill him. I read accounts that others in the party who assisted in Lawrence’s capture included Davy Crockett and Washington Irving. After claiming to be the centuries dead Richard III (and/or king of the United States, depending upon which account you follow), the man was institutionalized for the rest of his life.
The interesting part came in the 1930s when the Smithsonian test fired each weapon—both went off without a problem. It was estimated the odds of both pistols misfiring at the same time were 1 in 125,000.
Um, excuse me, but I think the odds were higher than that.
Have you heard this story or others like it before? What do you think—luck (good or bad) or intervention?
As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.