Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


June 17, 2014

Daughters of 1812 hear of Andrew Jackson assassination letter

CROSSVILLE — Daniel Feller, history professor at UT Knoxville, related the story of an assassination letter to Jackson from Junius Brutus Booth at the recent state council meeting of the United States Daughters (USD) of 1812. Jackson was the first president to have an assassination attempt on his life. However, prior to the assassination attempt, Jackson had received a letter signed “Junius Brutus Booth,” stating that he would “cut your throat whilst you are sleeping.” 

Historians have considered the signature a fake, and many have considered it a joke. However, after extensive research, Feller has determined the letter to be authentic with the writer none other than Junius Brutus Booth, the father of John Wilkes Booth whom we know as the assassin of Abraham Lincoln.

Feller is heading up a project to collect and publish Andrew Jackson’s entire literary record. According to Feller, historians are still getting to know Jackson, one of the most critical and controversial figures in American history, through the work of archival sleuths such as Feller. After an extended worldwide search, the project has obtained photocopies of every known and available document, including letters he wrote and received, official records including military records, drafts, memoranda, legal and financial papers — all in all some 100,000 items. The project, known as the “Papers of Andrew Jackson,” is now producing a series of seventeen volumes in an easily readable format for the public which is sponsored by UT Knoxville.

Also attending this council meeting was Virginia “Ginger” Apyar, president of USD.  She reminded members of the stained glass window in the Church of St. Michaels and All Angels located in Dartmoor, England.  The window was a gift from the USD 1812 in memory of those soldiers held at Dartmoor Prison during the War of 1812. The prisoners build the Church of St. Michaels and All Angels with the first service being held Jan. 2, 1814.

Members attending from Crossville and the Upper Cumberland chapter were Charlotte Reynolds, honorary state president, and Carol Teeters, state historian. Membership in USD 1812 is open to those who can prove lineal descent of an ancestor, who during the period 1784-1815, rendered civil, military, or naval service to this country, rendered material aid to the U.S. Army or Navy, or who participated in the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Contact Charlotte Reynolds, 484-2630, for more information.

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