Dismissed for 175 years as a fake, a letter threatening the assassination of President Andrew Jackson has been found to be authentic. And, says the director of the Andrew Jackson Papers Project at the University of Tennessee, the writer was none other than Junius Brutus Booth, father of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth.Wild. Er, arrggggh.
Dan Feller and his staff solved the mystery of the July 4, 1835, letter to Jackson. The story of their investigation will be featured this summer on PBS' "History Detectives."
The letter, which addressed Old Hickory as "You damn'd old Scoundrel," demanded that Jackson pardon two prisoners named De Ruiz and De Soto who had been sentenced to death for piracy in a high-profile trial of the day.
"The trial of them and the other pirates had been a national news story. It was heavily covered," Feller said.
Pardon the pirates, the letter writer demanded, or "I will cut your throat whilst you are sleeping."
(via Mark Steyn at the Corner)