On this day in 1835, Richard Lawrence tried to gun down Andrew Jackson in the Capitol building [...] after both of Lawrence’s pistols misfired, a crowd of congressman, including Davy Crockett, pinned him to the ground. Jackson then beat Lawrence with a cane. After Davy Crockett had already whupped him. Nice.
Andrew Jackson was provoked into a duel by a man who insulted his wife's honor. Charles Dickinson, the man who levied the insult, was known as a crack pistol shot, and many of Jackson's associates thought Dickinson had been paid to goad Jackson into a duel by political rivals. As the challenged, Dickinson shot first. Jackson reportedly did not stagger; did not waver; did not move an inch. Dickinson cried out in disbelief that he must have missed altogether. Not quite: He intended to kill Jackson and shot with sufficient accuracy to shatter Jackson's ribs and punctured a lung. With fiery resolve, Jackson cocked his pistol and shot Dickinson in the chest. Jackson's opponent collapsed, and would die of the wound later that night. Jackson said that if he'd been able to, he would have moved to Dickinson's bleeding form and struck it. Jackson's collapsed lung never healed correctly, leaving him with a life of persistent tremors and bloody, hacking coughs. The bullet was lodged close enough to his heart that doctors could not safely remove it, and it remained in his chest for the rest of his life. He suffered these symptoms in silence, never speaking about them or regretting them, but believed that they were just part of preserving his wife's honor.
Later, Jackson would, while in pursuit of a band of fleeing Indians, conquer the whole of Spanish Florida. This was bad news for then-President Monroe, who was in negotiations with the Spanish to buy Florida. Although Spain called for severe punishment, Jackson was never reprimanded, and Spain signed a treaty with America cedeing the Territory without any payment at all. President Monroe gave tacit reward to Jackson by naming him the governor of the territory.
While president, Jackson was the target of a gun-wielding assassin. The guns both misfired, prompting the sixty-seven year old Jackson to beat his erstwhile assassin with a cane.
Seriously, people. look at that shit.
...It had been agreed that the two men should use pistols and stand eight paces apart facing the same direction and that at the word they should turn towards each other and fire as they chose. Later, however Jackson and his second Dr. Overton decided it best and agreed that Dickinson shoot first...Dickinson fired and Jackson was seen to press his hand lightly over his chest while the dust flew from his clothes. Dickinson at first thought he had missed his man and was seized with terror. Jackson now had his adversary at his mercy and slowly pulled the trigger. There was no explosion; the pistol stopped at half cock which by the rules was not considered a shot. Again Jackson took deliberate aim and fired; the ball severed an artery and Dickinson fell.
On May 7, 1866, a man named Charles Cohen came up behind Otto von Bismarck and shot him six times in the back with a revolver. The Iron Chancellor turned around and wrestled his assailant to the ground.
Now -that- badassness makes Teddy look like a teddy.
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