This Week in 1844: News from America!

From The Illustrated London News, 18 May 1844: 

The city of Washington, the seat of the American Government, has just been the scene of two events of a very opposite character – the signature of the treaty for the annexation of the Republic of Texas to the United States, and the delivery of a Message by the President in communicating this treaty to the Senate; besides an affray in the House of Representatives, and the attempted assassination of one of its members.

This bit of juicy news was run by a number of British newspapers with reference to the New York Sun. What happened was that a brawl broke out between representatives during the discussion of a bill: Mr. Wright from Kentucky made a pass (and yes, that would be a physical pass…) at Mr. Rathbun from New York and both proceeded to hit upon each other. While the rest of the representatives tried to separate the two men, one William S. Moore, who had for some weeks tried in vain to obtain a claim from the government, tried to enter the house, was hindered, and proceeded to shoot at the representative from Ohio. He missed this man, but wounded another instead.

The whole affair was referred to a committee of five for investigation, with instructions to report a Bill for the punishment of offences committed within the House. At the solicitation of friends, Mr. Rathbun and Mr. White shook hands amid the applause of the House. Thus that affair ended.