Would Be Assassin’s St. Louis Roots

     On September 21, 1897, Joseph Bloomfield Jackson attempted to sneak into the White House armed with a loaded revolver.  Jackson had boasted of plans to attack a high government official for days.  Jackson was arrested before he could carry out his plans to attack President McKinley.


Chief Desmond’s Sweating of Suspects from the St. Louis Republic

     Police quickly realized Jackson was mentally disturbed.  They quickly sent him to a Washington asylum for treatment.  St. Louis Chief of Detectives William Desmond supplied the story of how Joseph Bloomfield Jackson lost his sanity.

     In January 1896, Jackson managed the Delicatessen Restaurant at Nineteenth and Locust Streets.  Over the previous few weeks, robbers held up several men within the vicinity of the restaurant.  The robberies weighed heavily on Jackson’s mind.

     On January 14, 1896, Jackson’s nightmare came true.  After Jackson gathered up the receipts from the previous day, he started to walk down Locust Street to deposit the funds.  At Eighteenth and Locust Streets, Frank Dumas and Felix McGill pointed revolvers at Jackson and told him to hand over the deposit.

     Startled, Jackson shrieked and tried to retreat.  Dumas and McGill struck him on the head with their revolvers.  The blows caused a brain injury which was partially responsible for his insanity.

     Joseph Bloomfield Jackson did succeed in getting away from the men but the head wounds required him to be hospitalized for several days.  On January 16, 1896, Chief Desmond and two of his men, Detectives Allender and Viehle arrested Dumas and McGill at Eleventh and Pine Streets.

     Initially, Desmond held the men for carrying revolvers but he suspected they were the robbers.  Desmond brought Dumas and McGill before Jackson, who identified both men as the robbers.  Jackson then fainted.

     The St. Louis Courts sentenced Dumas and McGill to prison for four years in the case.  Jackson never really recovered.  After getting out of the hospital, he could not bring himself to leave his room.  The restaurant owner reluctantly discharged him.

     Jackson returned to Meridian, Connecticut.  Chief Desmond had not heard any more about him until Jackson attempted to sneak into the White House armed.

     This would-be assassination was successfully averted.  Four years later, a lazy anarchist would pull off what Joseph Bloomfield Jackson could not.

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