American President's who've killed?

I was recently at a friend’s house and he had an encyclodepia that contained an article about a President from a while back who killed another politician in a gun duel. I think it happened as they were arguing about a law or something. How many politicians in American history have capped each other?

Andrew Jackson is the only U.S. president I KNOW killed a man in a duel. THough duelling remained legal well into the 19th century, it was already considered distasteful and archaic in most circles by the time George Washington became President (Alexander Hamilton could easily have refused to duel with Aaron Burr without any real loss of face). But Jackson was not a man who cared much about the opinion of polite society

Maybe you were thinking of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Neither of whom became president. Especially Hamilton, post-duel. Burr was vice-president, tho.

After writing the foregoing, I vaguely remembered something in connection with Andrew Jackson. A quick search found this:

Apparently Old Hickory had a violent past.

I was going to guess that other presidents who served in the military in wartime may have killed someone in battle, but on second thought most of them were officers who may not have gone into combat. Dwight Eisenhower, for example, was a great soldier but probably never even fired his pistol in WWII. George Bush was a fighter pilot, though. He surely must have shot someone down.

But I digress…the intent was to uncover those who killed their political opponents. I don’t know of any American presidents who have done so, but Ferdie Marcos, late of the Philippines, was guilty of same, although he avoided conviction on a technicality.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

I know! REVIEW then post!

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

Jackson had to fight a lot of duels @ 1800-1812 because of his wife Rachel, who married him when her divorce was not yet final (she was an “unwitting” bigamist for awhile). There was a lot of gossiping about her.
I don’t know his win/loss record but he did sustain a lot of injuries having been stabbed and shot and beaten on several occasions. This was par for the course for him - he had a huge scar on his forehead from a British saber, put there when he was a 13-year old guerrilla fighter in South Carolina.
While Jackson was actually President he didn’t kill anybody, though he nearly did - after surviving our nation’s first assassination attempt (misfired pistol) he immediately beat the hell out of his assailant with his walking stick.

Plenty of Presidents have directly killed, or in some cases probably killed, people -while serving in the military.

Y’know, like Pluto said.

<<Maybe you were thinking of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Neither of whom became president. Especially Hamilton, post-duel. Burr was vice-president, tho.>>


C’est bien dommage …

Our friend Alexander was not American born.

Hamilton was born in 1757 on the island of Nevis, in the Leeward group, British West Indies.

So no chance at becoming Président de Etats-Unis d’Amérique.

Terence in Marietta, GA

Be someone’s hero

Alexander Hamilton indeed could have been president. The Constitution says that you have to be born in the United States or be a resident of it at the time the Constitution was ratified. Since there aren’t any 212 year olds walking around, that clause is now obsolete.
The Framers knew that it would be a while before there was a president who was actually born after the time the United States came into being.
Martin Van Buren was the first “American” president. The first seven were all born as British subjects.

Andy Jackson was the President responsible for the Trail of Tears. Despite a Supreme Court ruling that sided with the Cherokee, and gave them back their land in Georgia, he defied the Supreme Court, rounded the Cherokee up and forced them to relocate to Oklahoma. So indirectly at least, he was responsible for the deaths of a lot of innocent people.

Correct, PunditLisa. It pisses me off to see his face on currency, despite the fact that he was a mass-murdering fuck head. In my opinion, he is up there with Hitler, Stalin, Mengale, and all the other ethnic cleansers. I say get his likeness of our money, because he doesn’t deserve the coffin he’s burried in.

So the question is American Presidents who have killed political opponents, not just those who fought in wars (Teddy Roosevelt, George Bush, etc.)

Hmmmm. How about the rumours that Nixon ordered the Kennedy assassination? (He hired the FBI, the Masons, the CIA, the Russians, the Illuminati, and I forget whow else, he wouldn’t soil his hands himself.)

Strainger – warning! sarcasm sometimes leaks into my posts, all unintended by me.

I think the question implies “killed directly” i.e. “by their own hand”. This excludes weeping over the Cherokee nation or even the two English “spies” Jackson ordered hung in 1818 during the 1st Seminole War.
If the question was which presidents have had people killed, whether specifically or as the result of some decision, I’d say “all of them”.

I would also have to say any President who served a combat position in the army (like George Bush or Eisenhower (sp?)) Would also count as killing people.

To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.

Grover Cleveland was Sheriff of Erie County, NY 1871 to 1873, and personally pulled the hanging trap on 2 convicted murderers.

Reagan killed in “Bedtime for Bonzo”!


Yeah, but you’re on such a roll lately. I don’t know if that’s healthy. Maybe you should talk to a doctor about it. I don’t want you to die from sarcasmitosis. :slight_smile:

I’d say Truman would be the winner, what with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No matter whether you feel these were justified or not, you gotta admit he killed a LOT of people. “With his own hand,” I guess, if you count signing the order to drop the bombs.

And of course, there was JFK smothering Marilyn Monroe with a pillow while RFK stood watch and Elvis planted the pills on her bedside table . . .

Bush was a Torpedo Bomber pilot, not a fighter pilot. There’s no doubt that he killed a lot of guys, though. He was personal credited along with another TBM pilot for sinking a cargo ship, and on the flight where he was shot down he managed to drop his weapons load on another ship, scoring a direct hit.

Bush received the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), three Air Medals, and a Unit Citation in WWII.

Teddy Roosevelt probably killed some Spaniards on San Juan Hill.

Abraham Lincoln took part in the Black Hawk War, but I don’t know if he shot anyone.

Don’t know about the various generals who became president – Eisenhower, Grant, Taylor, Washington. The commander doesn’t usually get much chance to shoot anyone.

I don’t think Lincoln saw any combat action in the Black Hawk war. He signed up, but he missed out on the action IIRC.

As for generals like Washington, Taylor, Grant, and Eisenhower, I believe they all didn’t start out as generals and must have had some combat action as officers.