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Andrew Jackson: A Life of Luck or Divine Providence?

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

Andrew Jackson 

ANDREW JACKSON (1767-1845)
PRESIDENT (1829-1837)  

Andrew Jackson achieved notoriety as the first sitting American president to become the target of an assassination attempt. However, that historic event was not Jackson’s first escape from death.

Fatherless since infancy, 13-year-old Andrew Jackson joined the Continental Army, along with his older brothers Hugh and Robert, to fight the British. Because Andrew was too young to qualify for a combat role, he served as a courier. Nonetheless, he and Robert were captured by the British and held prisoner. During this time, young Andrew reportedly refused to polish the boots of a British officer, who promptly drew his sword and slashed at Jackson, hitting him in the head and hand. Jackson carried the scars the rest of his life.

While prisoners, Andrew and Robert both contracted smallpox. They were released, but Robert died shortly thereafter. Andrew managed to survive the dual ordeal of prison and life-threatening illness. To this day, he remains the only U.S. President ever to have been a prisoner of war.

Andrew Jackson

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More than a half-century later, President Andrew Jackson traveled from the White House to the Capitol to attend a congressional funeral, on January 30, 1835. As he was leaving the House chamber afterward, a man pulled out a pistol and fired at Jackson. The pistol jammed, but the attempted shot angered the President, who took after the man with his cane. The man pulled out a second pistol and shot at Jackson again, and this pistol also jammed. Thankfully, at this point the prospective assassin was restrained and arrested. He was identified as Richard Lawrence, an unemployed painter.

Embroiled in a political battle over his refusal to back refunding of the Bank of the United States, the President believed Lawrence had been hired by his Whig opponents to kill him. Worried that he might be the next target, Vice President Martin Van Buren made a point of carrying two loaded pistols when visiting the Capitol.

Andrew Jackson

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Over the years, scholars have considered President Jackson’s Whig party conspiracy theory unfounded. And, in fact, Lawrence’s behavior before and during his trial was so bizarre that the jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity. Richard Lawrence spent the rest of his life in a mental institution.

President Jackson was indeed lucky to elude death twice in quick succession thanks to the misfiring pistols. The odds of that happening were 1 in 125,000. Smithsonian Institution researchers wondered what had happened, so a century after the assassination attempt occurred, they examined the two pistols. They found both guns to be in good working order, and the mystery of the malfunctions has never been solved.

In the end, Andrew Jackson believed he had been spared by divine providence.
RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX|JEFFERSON CHINA|PRESIDENTIAL CHINA|WHITE HOUSE CHINA|RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR 

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired a remarkable number of scarce or rare pieces of official White House china. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical artifacts has been his sole focus for more than 35 years. Mr. Amyx's collection is the largest privately-owned collection of extremely high-quality, as well as the rarest, Official White House China as well as Presidential China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

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