Execution on the White House Lawn

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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-We are frequently asked whether Jefferson played a role in a '''White House Lawn execution''' for someone convicted of treason. This is a myth. <ref>In the movie ''Swordfish'' (2001), John Travolta's character, Gabriel Shear, states that this actually happened.</ref> Jefferson never personally killed anyone, nor were there any treason executions or convictions during his presidency. Jefferson did help write a "Bill to Attaint Josiah Philips and Others" in 1778, which ordered the trial and provided for the execution of the murderer and bandit Josiah Philips for treason. Josiah Philips was eventually found and convicted of robbery, not treason.<ref>[[Short Title List|''PTJ'']] 2:189-193.</ref>+There is a very persistent story that [[Thomas Jefferson]] ever shot anyone on the White House lawn for treason. This '''not true'''. The story originated in the movie ''Swordfish'' (2001), where it is mentioned by John Travolta's character, Gabriel Shear.
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 +Jefferson never personally killed anyone, nor were there any treason executions or convictions during his presidency. Jefferson did help write a "Bill to Attaint Josiah Philips and Others" in 1778, which ordered the trial and provided for the execution of the murderer and bandit Josiah Philips for treason. Josiah Philips was eventually found and convicted of robbery, not treason.<ref>[[Short Title List|''PTJ'']] 2:189-193.</ref>

Revision as of 14:20, 4 December 2007

There is a very persistent story that Thomas Jefferson ever shot anyone on the White House lawn for treason. This not true. The story originated in the movie Swordfish (2001), where it is mentioned by John Travolta's character, Gabriel Shear.

Jefferson never personally killed anyone, nor were there any treason executions or convictions during his presidency. Jefferson did help write a "Bill to Attaint Josiah Philips and Others" in 1778, which ordered the trial and provided for the execution of the murderer and bandit Josiah Philips for treason. Josiah Philips was eventually found and convicted of robbery, not treason.[1]


Footnotes

  1. PTJ 2:189-193.

Further Sources

Swordfish on Yahoo! Movies