Novo

Budući predsjednik Andrew Jackson ubija Charlesa Dickinsona u dvoboju

Budući predsjednik Andrew Jackson ubija Charlesa Dickinsona u dvoboju

30. maja 1806. budući predsjednik Andrew Jackson ubija čovjeka koji ga je optužio da je varao u opkladi na konjskim trkama, a zatim je uvrijedio njegovu suprugu Rachel.

Savremenici su opisali Jacksona, koji je već bio u senatu Tennesseeja i koji se bavio pravom u vrijeme dvoboja, kao argumentiranog, fizički nasilnog i koji voli dvoboje za rješavanje sukoba. Procjene broja duela u kojima je Jackson sudjelovao kretale su se od pet do 100.

PROČITAJTE JOŠ: Zašto je nasleđe Andrewa Jacksona toliko kontroverzno

Jackson i Dickinson bili su suparnički uzgajivači konja i vlasnici južnih plantaža sa dugogodišnjom mržnjom jedni prema drugima. Dickinson je optužio Jacksona da je odustao od opklade, nazvavši ga kukavicom i protivnikom. Dickinson je Rachel Jackson također nazvao bigamistom. (Rachel se udala za Jacksona ne znajući da njen prvi muž nije uspio okončati njihov razvod.) Nakon uvrede za Rachel i izjave objavljene u Nacionalna revija u kojem je Dickinson nazvao Jacksona bezvrijednim nitkom i, opet, kukavicom, Jackson je izazvao Dickinsona na dvoboj.

Dana 30. maja 1806. godine, Jackson i Dickinson su se sreli u Harrison's Mills -u na Crvenoj rijeci u Loganu, Kentucky. Na prvi signal njihovih sekundi, Dickinson je opalio. Jackson je primio prvi Dickinsonov metak u grudi pored srca. Jackson je stavio ruku preko rane kako bi zaustavio protok krvi i ostao stajati dovoljno dugo da puca iz pištolja. Dickinsonove sekunde su tvrdile da je Jacksonov prvi hitac propao, što bi značilo da je dvoboj bio završen, ali je, kršeći etiketu, Jackson ponovno podigao pištolj i ponovo pucao, ovaj put ubivši svog protivnika. Iako se Jackson oporavio, do kraja života trpio je kronične bolove u rani.

Jackson nije procesuiran zbog ubistva, a dvoboj je imao vrlo mali utjecaj na njegovu uspješnu kampanju za predsjednika 1829. Mnogi Amerikanci početkom 1800-ih, posebno na jugu, gledali su na dvoboj kao na tradiciju cijenjenu vremenom. 1804. Potpredsjednik Thomasa Jeffersona Aaron Burr također je izbjegao optužbe za ubistvo nakon što je u dvoboju ubio bivšeg ministra finansija i oca osnivača Alexandera Hamiltona. Zapravo, Rachelin razvod izazvao je više skandala u štampi i salonima nego ubistvo Dickinsona.


Danas u istoriji: Andrew Jackson pobjeđuje u duelu u Kentuckyju (1806)

Dvoboji su bili prilično uobičajeni u ranoj Americi, a nekoliko naših najranijih političara sudjelovalo je u dvobojima do smrti. Možda najpoznatiji od njih je Aaron Burr, koji je slavno nastupao po Alexanderu Hamiltonu dok je Burr bio potpredsjednik. Prema nekoliko izvora, posljednji zaista značajan američki dvoboj do smrti bio je između senatora Sjedinjenih Država Davida Brodericka i bivšeg vrhovnog sudije Davida Terryja 1859. Do tuče je došlo nakon višegodišnjih borbi oko legalnosti ropstva.

Uprkos, kako se čini, neobičnoj popularnosti duela u američkoj politici početkom 19. stoljeća, dvoboj je na većini mjesta bio nezakonit. Međutim, čini se kao da je uvjeravanje pobjednika dvoboja bilo prilično teško (ako se uopće pokušalo). Ni Burr ni Terry (pobjednik duela Terry-Broderick) nikada nisu osuđeni za ubistvo svojih rivala.

1806., budući predsjednik Sjedinjenih Država Andrew Jackson učestvovao bi u njegovom trećem dvoboju. Po svemu sudeći, Jacksonu nije bilo lako složiti se, što objašnjava zašto je morao toliko puta da se bori do smrti.

Charles Dickinson. Biography

Charles Dickinson bio je američki advokat, koji je takođe bio uspješan duelista. Kao stručnjak za streljaštvo, bio je tip od kojeg ste htjeli da se klonite. Činilo se da je i on prilično ćudljiv, te nije imao nimalo žaljenja oko toga da govori nepristojne stvari ili da se svađa s nekim čak i u javnom prostoru (nešto što se smatralo prilično nepristojnim, čak i više u to doba).

1806. godine Andrew Jackson izazvao je Charlesa Dickinsona na dvoboj zbog rezultata opklade položene na konjske trke 1805. Početna uvreda došla je od anonimnog prijatelja Andrewa Jacksona, koji je omalovažavao knjigovodstvo kapetana Josepha Erwina, oca Dickinsona i rsquosa -u zakonu. Dickinson je bio bijesan, pa je narednih godinu dana počeo razmjenjivati ​​uvrede s budućim predsjednikom (iako očigledno nije bio prijatelj Jacksona koji je započeo cijelu situaciju).

Dickinson je prvi udario u ratu riječi nazivajući Jacksona & ldquocowardom i ekvivokatorom. & Rdquo Rivalstvo između Jacksona i Dickinsona bi se pojačalo jer bi se čak i saradnici njih dvojice borili oko političkih ambicija. John Coffee, koji je bio prijatelj Jackson & rsquosa, oduševio se jednim od Dickinsonovih prijatelja zbog političkog rivalstva početkom 1805. godine.

Duel Andrew Jackson i Charles Dickinson, 1806. Wikipedia

Još jedan prijatelj Andrewa Jacksona navečer se napio i ispričao vrlo jezivu priču o opkladi koju je sklopio Erwin, zbog čega je Dickinson vjerovao da Andrew Jackson priča nepristojne i neistinite priče o svom tastu. Nakon nekoliko uvreda naprijed -natrag, Dickinson je objavio napad u lokalnim novinama nazivajući Jacksona & ldquoPoltronom i kukavicom. & Rdquo Poltroon je, prema rječniku, drugi izraz za kukavicu. Dakle, u stvari Dickinson je nazvao Jacksona & ldquocowardom i kukavicom. & Rdquo

To je ono što je uzrokovalo Jacksona da traži & ldquoszadovoljstvo. & Rdquo

30. maja 1806. njih dvoje su se sreli u dvoboju do smrti. Morali su se sastati u Kentuckyju jer je dvoboj bio nezakonit u Tennesseeju. Prema pravilima dvoboja, jedan od muškaraca bi pucao, a onda bi drugi uzvratio udarac. Dickinsonu je bilo dozvoljeno da prvi puca, a zapravo je pogodio Jacksona u prsa. Nosio bi metak u grudima do kraja života.

Jackson & rsquos hitac je pogodio Dickinsona i u prsa, ali Charles Dickinson je iskrvario, dajući Jacksonu treću pobjedu u duelu i omogućivši mu da preživi da postane sedmi predsjednik Sjedinjenih Država 1829.


Je li Andrew Jackson po tadašnjim običajima duela pošteno ubio Dickinsona?

Nedavno sam čitao o Charlesu Dickinsonu i njegovoj smrti u duelu sa Andrewom Jacksonom (tada generalom, kasnije američkim predsjednikom). Prema ovoj vezi, Jackson ga je ubio kršeći etiketu dvoboja

Jackson je primio prvi Dickinsonov metak u grudi pored srca. Jackson je stavio ruku preko rane kako bi zaustavio protok krvi i ostao stajati dovoljno dugo da puca iz pištolja. Dickinsonove sekunde su tvrdile da je Jacksonov prvi hitac propao, što bi značilo da je dvoboj bio završen, ali je, kršeći etiketu, Jackson ponovo podigao pištolj i ponovo pucao, ovaj put ubivši svog protivnika.

from 30. maja 1806: Andrew Jackson ubija Charlesa Dickinsona u dvoboju

Iako je prema Wikipediji općenito prihvatljivo, iako se mještanima ovo nije svidjelo:

Mještani su bili ogorčeni što je Dickinson morao stajati bespomoćan dok ga je Jackson ponovno napustio i upucao, iako bilo je prihvatljivo ponašanje u dvoboju (moj naglasak). Jackson je mogao pucati u zrak ili pucati samo da ozlijedi Dickinsona, to bi se smatralo dovoljnim zadovoljstvom prema pravilima duela.

Wikipedia: Charles Dickinson (historijska ličnost)

Je li to bilo prihvatljivo ponašanje prema tadašnjim običajima dvoboja? Ako da, zašto su se mještani žalili na to? Ako ne, zašto Dickinsonov drugi nije učinio ništa po tom pitanju?


Ubijen u dvoboju, a zatim izgubljen na zemlji

NASHVILLE - U subotu ujutro automobili su zakrčili ulicu ispred kuće Jamesa i Laure Jane Bowen. Prijatelji su čavrljali u dvorištu, držeći ruke oko šoljica kafe.

Uz ljubitelje povijesti i znatiželjne susjede, arheolog je usmjerio iskopavanje travnjaka Bowensa u potrazi za grobom starim 201 godinu i, vjerojatno, rješenjem dugogodišnje povijesne zagonetke.

Cilj kopanja bio je riješiti misteriju nad grobom Charlesa Henryja Dickinsona, koji je ubijen u dvoboju 1806. sa budućim predsjednikom Andrewom Jacksonom. Lokacija posljednjeg počivališta gospodina Dickinsona sporna je od 1960 -ih, kada su historičari u Marylandu tvrdili da su pronašli njegov lijes.

“Na dan kad smo se doselili, momci preko puta su ušli i rekli:‘ Jeste li čuli za tijelo? Hoćete li pomoći u iskopavanju? ’” Rekao je gospodin Bowen gledajući sa svojom kćerkom Lily u naručju.

Grob je u velikoj mjeri fusnota u Jacksonovom naslijeđu, ali mjesto gospodina Dickinsona u istoriji predstavlja vrtoglavi niz šta-ako: da je strijelac ubio budućeg predsjednika 30. maja 1806., umjesto da ga samo rane, SAD bi imale dobio bitku za New Orleans? Da li bi se izvršna vlast razvila bez predsjednika Jacksona? Da li bi se dogodio Trag suza?

"Lopta koju je Charles Dickinson upucao u Jacksona bila mu je udaljena samo centimetar ili dva od srca", rekao je Paul Clements, istoričar. “Jasno je da se američka historija odvijala na nekoliko centimetara.”

Smrt gospodina Dickinsona nastala je svađom s Jacksonom, tada general -majorom, koji je rado rešio pitanja časti nasiljem. 1803. čak je izazvao guvernera Johna Seviera, heroja rata za nezavisnost, na dvoboj.

Sukob s gospodinom Dickinsonom općenito se vodi do posljedica oduzete konjske trke i glasina koje dovode u pitanje Jacksonovu čast, rekao je Daniel Feller, profesor historije na Univerzitetu u Tennesseeju i urednik Jacksonovih radova.

Neki istoričari su napisali da je gospodin Dickinson također uvrijedio gospođu Jackson, iako dokumenti iz tog vremena to ne odražavaju, rekao je gospodin Feller.

Tennessee je zabranio dvoboje, pa su muškarci otputovali na sjever u Kentucky. Kada je naređenje ispaljeno, gospodin Dickinson je pogodio Jacksona tik do srca.

Uprkos rani, Džekson je podigao svoj pištolj, ali oružje se zapalio. Povukao se, ponovo opalio i udario suparnika u trbuh. Gospodin Dickinson je iskrvario mnogo sati, u strašnoj agoniji, prema izvještajima.

Mnogi ljudi u Nashvilleu smatrali su ubijanje nečasnim, a dvije novine objavile su izdanja sa crnim ogrlicama. Jackson je bio izopćen, a politički protivnici su kasnije iskoristili dvoboj kao stočnu hranu protiv njega, rekao je gospodin Feller.

"To nije nimalo pomoglo Jacksonovoj reputaciji", rekao je gospodin Feller. "On je nakon toga bio izopćen u određenim krugovima."

Dokumenti ukazuju na to da je gospodin Dickinson sahranjen na plantaži svog tasta, breskve u cvatu, na periferiji Nashvillea, a na vrhu groba postavljen je kameni marker. U 20. stoljeću, međutim, plantaža je podijeljena i marker je nestao. Vremenom, karte i vlasnički spisi više nisu odražavali da se na zemljištu nalazi grob.

Tada su šezdesetih godina prošlog stoljeća povjesničari iz Marylanda pronašli lijes na groblju koji je izgleda potvrdio izvještaje da je tijelo vraćeno na Dickinsonovo imanje, rekao je J. O. K. Walsh, predsjednik Povijesnog društva okruga Caroline.

Proglasili su posmrtne ostatke g. Dickinsona, uprkos testovima koji su pokazali da su kosti vjerovatno bile žene, prema pismu kustosa Smithsonian Instituta iz 1965. godine.

Charles H. Miller, direktni potomak gospodina Dickinsonovog koji živi u Teksasu, rekao je da je vjerovao da se tijelo nalazi u Nashvilleu, ali je rekao da je njegova želja jednostavno da posmrtne ostatke njegovog pretka dovede u pravi grob.

"Jedino što me brine je saznati postoje li njegovi posmrtni ostaci u Nashvilleu", rekao je gospodin Miller, "i ako jesu, staviti ih na gradsko groblje u Nashvilleu i pravilno označiti."

Testiranje radara na zemlji pokazalo je vjerovatnoću da je grobnica ostala. No, nakon sati kopanja i početka hladne kiše u subotu, iskopavanjem nisu pronađeni ostaci.

Arheolog koji je vodio iskopavanje, Larry McKee, njegove traperice prošarane blatom, najavio je promatračima i umornoj posadi: "Mislim da ćemo to nazvati, momci."

Bowens su gledali s trijema dok su radnici zamijenili busen, rekavši da bi mogli nastaviti nakon više istraživanja.

"Trebali bismo im dopustiti da iskopaju cijelo dvorište", rekla je gospođa Bowen, "samo da to riješe jednom zauvijek."


Smrtonosni dvoboj budućeg američkog predsjednika

Na današnji dan 1806. godine, budući predsjednik Andrew Jackson umalo je poginuo u dvoboju kada je ubio svog protivnika, kolegu vlasnika plantaže.

Dok je smrtonosni dvoboj dvije godine ranije između Aarona Burra i Alexandera Hamiltona najpoznatiji u američkoj historiji, Jackson je bio čest dueler među istaknutim političarima u doba dvoboja, koji je trajao sve do ere građanskog rata.

Dvoboj je bio tehnički nezakonit u Sjedinjenim Državama, ali su se u to uključili istaknuti vladini čelnici.

Button Gwinnett, koji je potpisao Deklaraciju o nezavisnosti, poginuo je u dvoboju 1777. godine s Lachlanom McIntoshom. Nakon ubistva, McIntosh je tada poslan da služi pod vodstvom Georgea Washingtona kao vođa kontinentalne vojske.

DeWitt Clinton, moćni njujorški političar, umalo je ubio pristalicu Burra u dvoboju 1802. godine zbog pokroviteljstva.

Burr je bio potpredsjednik kada se susreo sa svojim rivalom, Hamiltonom, licem u lice u Weehawkenu, New Jersey. Dana 11. jula 1804. ljudi su se sastali kako bi prekinuli višedecenijsku svađu. Obojica su pucali, ali je pogođen samo Hamilton. Kasnije je od zadobijenih povreda preminuo.

Hamilton je možda bio dio čak 10 duela, ali gotovo svi su riješeni prije nego što je ispaljen hitac. Hamiltonov sin je, naime, ubijen u dvoboju, na istim osnovama na kojima je Burr kasnije ubio njegovog oca.

Jedan od najpoznatijih duela koji su uključivali Jacksona bio je s Charlesom Dickinsonom. 1806. dvojica muškaraca upoznala su se u borbi nakon što je Dickinson uvrijedio Jacksonovu ženu. Dickinson je smatran jednim od najboljih snimaka u Americi. Jackson je bio neustrašivi vojnik. Budući predsjednik preživio je Dickinsonov prvi hitac, ali Jacksonov pištolj se zaglavio. U kršenju code duello, Jackson je ponovno podigao pištolj i ubio Dickinsona.

1802. Jackson je bio uključen u dvoboj s guvernerom Tennesseeja, Johnom Sevierom, koji je završio sukobom koji je uključivao njihove sekunde.

Drugi česti dueler bio je Thomas Hart Benton, koji se borio sa Jacksonom i imao dva duela sa suparničkim advokatom, Charlesom Lucasom. Benton je ubio Lucasa u njihovom drugom dvoboju 1817. Kao senator, Benton je postao Jacksonova desna ruka u Kongresu.

1820. godine, vrhunski zapovjednik mornarice, Stephen Decatur, poginuo je u dvoboju s bivšim pomorskim zapovjednikom, Jamesom Barronom. Barron se izvinio Decaturu jer je pao ranjen. Decatur je prihvatio rekavši da je to bio častan dvoboj.

Dva člana Predstavničkog doma borila su se u fatalnom dvoboju 1838. godine, kada je predstavnik Kentuckyja William Jordan Graves ubio predstavnika Mainea Jonathana Cilleyja. Graves je poslan da uruči poziv za dvoboj od urednika njujorških novina Jamesa Webba, ali je završio u borbi s Cilley. Vrhovni sud je bojkotovao sahranu u znak protesta.

Zatim, 1842. godine, zakonodavac države Illinois ušao je u toplu vodu nakon što je navodno objavio pismo kojim vrijeđa državnog revizora Jamesa Shieldsa. Shields je izazvao autora pisma na dvoboj. Navodni autor: Abraham Lincoln.

Međutim, do trenutka kada su se njih dvojica sreli na dvoboju, sekunde duelera uspjele su ih uvjeriti da se nagovore na osnovu toga da Lincoln nije odgovoran za pisma.

Možda je najčudniji dvoboj bio između državnog sekretara Henryja Claya i senatora Johna Randolpha 1826. godine. Randolph je, u poznatoj vrućini, optužio Claya da je „razapeo Ustav i varao na kartama“ u govoru na spratu Senata.

Randolph je bio mnogo bolji dueler i nije želio ubiti državnog sekretara, pa je radio s drugim hroničnim duelom, Thomasom Hartom Bentonom, kako bi namjerno promašio prvi udarac, pa bi Clay prekinuo dvoboj.

Ali Randolphov pištolj se zapalio neposredno prije dvoboja, a nakon što je Clay zatražio da se duel nastavi, Randolph je pucao u Claya i samo promašio. Clay je tada šutirao i dva puta promašio. Randolph se vratio svom prvobitnom planu i pucao iznad Claya. Hladnije glave su prevladale, a dvojica političara su se rukovali i okončali duel.


Pusti me samog!

Dana 30. januara 1835. godine, dok je Jackson napuštao kongresnu sahranu na Capitol Hillu, postao je meta prvog poznatog pokušaja atentata na američkog predsjednika. 35-godišnji slikar kuće, po imenu Richard Lawrence, samo nekoliko koraka od Jacksona, izvadio je pištolj. Kad se taj pištolj zapalio, izvukao je drugi. I ovaj je zapalio.

Iako to možda nije bio dvoboj u tradicionalnom smislu, Jackson to nije shvatio tako i svojim potencijalnim ubicom nasrnuo je na potencijalnog ubojicu. Iako je sa 67 godina Jackson bio krhak od raznih bolesti i ozljeda, zlobno je pobijedio Lawrencea, vičući: „Pusti me! Pusti me samog! Znam odakle je ovo došlo ”, prema arhivi Kongresne biblioteke.

Jackson je bio uvjeren da je pokušaj njegova života zavjera među njegovim političkim neprijateljima u stranci Whig, ali pokazalo se da je Lawrence mentalno bolestan čovjek koji djeluje sam. Lawrence, rođen u Engleskoj, vjerovao je da je on kralj Richard III i da je Jackson ubio svog oca te da mu je uskratio porodično bogatstvo. Na svom suđenju, Lawrence se odjenuo kraljevski, u streljačku jaknu i kravatu, i proglasio se iznad postupka. Dok se porota pripremala da objavi svoju presudu nakon samo pet minuta vijećanja, Lawrence je prekinuo: "Na meni je, gospodo, da pređem na vas, a ne vi na mene." Zbog ludila nije proglašen krivim, a preostalih 25 godina života proveo je u azilima.


Smrtonosni dvoboj budućeg američkog predsjednika

Na današnji dan 1806. godine, budući predsjednik Andrew Jackson umalo je poginuo u dvoboju kada je ubio svog protivnika, kolegu vlasnika plantaže.

Dok je smrtonosni dvoboj dvije godine ranije između Aarona Burra i Alexandera Hamiltona najpoznatiji u američkoj historiji, Jackson je bio čest dueler među istaknutim političarima u doba dvoboja, koji je trajao sve do ere građanskog rata.

Dvoboj je bio tehnički nezakonit u Sjedinjenim Državama, ali su se u to uključili istaknuti vladini čelnici.

Button Gwinnett, koji je potpisao Deklaraciju o nezavisnosti, poginuo je u dvoboju 1777. godine s Lachlanom McIntoshom. Nakon ubistva, McIntosh je tada poslan da služi pod vodstvom Georgea Washingtona kao vođa kontinentalne vojske.

DeWitt Clinton, moćni njujorški političar, umalo je ubio pristalicu Burra u dvoboju 1802. godine zbog pokroviteljstva.

Burr je bio potpredsjednik kada se susreo sa svojim rivalom, Hamiltonom, licem u lice u Weehawkenu, New Jersey. Dana 11. jula 1804. ljudi su se sastali kako bi prekinuli višedecenijsku svađu. Obojica su pucali, ali je pogođen samo Hamilton. Kasnije je od zadobijenih povreda preminuo.

Hamilton je možda bio dio čak 10 duela, ali gotovo svi su riješeni prije nego što je ispaljen hitac. Hamiltonov sin ubijen je u dvoboju, na istim osnovama na kojima je Burr kasnije pucao u njegovog oca.

Jedan od najpoznatijih duela koji su uključivali Jacksona bio je s Charlesom Dickinsonom. Dvojica muškaraca upoznali su se 1806. godine nakon što je Dickinson uvrijedio suprugu Jackson & rsquos. Dickinson je smatran jednim od najboljih snimaka u Americi. Jackson je bio neustrašivi vojnik. Budući predsjednik preživio je prvi metak Dickinson & rsquos -a, ali pištolj Jackson & rsquos se zaglavio. Kršeći kôd duello, Jackson je ponovo aktivirao pištolj i ubio Dickinsona.

1802. Jackson je bio uključen u dvoboj s guvernerom Tennesseeja i rsquosa, Johnom Sevierom, koji se završio sukobom koji je uključivao njihove sekunde.

Drugi česti dueler bio je Thomas Hart Benton, koji se borio sa Jacksonom i imao dva duela sa suparničkim advokatom, Charlesom Lucasom. Benton je ubio Lucasa u njihovom drugom dvoboju 1817. Kao senator, Benton je postao desna ruka Jacksona u Kongresu.

1820. godine, vrhunski zapovjednik mornarice, Stephen Decatur, poginuo je u dvoboju s bivšim pomorskim zapovjednikom, Jamesom Barronom. Barron se izvinio Decaturu jer je pao ranjen. Decatur je prihvatio rekavši da je to bio častan dvoboj.

Dva člana Predstavničkog doma borila su se u fatalnom duelu 1838. godine, kada je predstavnik Kentuckyja William Jordan Graves ubio predstavnika Mainea Jonathana Cilleyja. Graves je poslan da uruči poziv za dvoboj od urednika njujorških novina Jamesa Webba, ali je završio u borbi s Cilley. Vrhovni sud je bojkotovao sahranu u znak protesta.

Zatim, 1842. godine, jedan zakonodavac države Illinois ušao je u toplu vodu nakon što je navodno objavio pismo kojim vrijeđa državnog revizora Jamesa Shieldsa. Shields je izazvao autora pisma na dvoboj. Navodni autor bio je Abraham Lincoln.

Međutim, do trenutka kada su se njih dvojica sreli na dvoboju, dueleri su ih uspjeli uvjeriti da se nagodbe na osnovu toga da Lincoln nije odgovoran za pisma.

Možda je najčudniji dvoboj bio između državnog sekretara Henryja Claya i senatora Johna Randolpha 1826. Poznati usijani glava, Randolph je optužio Claya da je ldquocrucificirao Ustav i varao na kartama & rdquo u govoru na katu Senata.

Randolph je bio mnogo bolji dueler i nije želio ubiti državnog sekretara, pa je radio s drugim hroničnim duelerom, Thomasom Hartom Bentonom, kako bi namjerno promašio prvi hitac, pa bi Clay prekinuo dvoboj.

No Randolph & rsquos pištolj se zapalio neposredno prije dvoboja, a nakon što je Clay zatražio da se duel nastavi, Randolph je pucao u Claya i samo promašio. Clay je tada šutirao i dva puta promašio. Randolph se vratio svom prvobitnom planu i pucao iznad Claya. Hladnije glave su prevladale, a dvojica političara su se rukovali i okončali duel.


Smrtonosni dvoboj budućeg američkog predsjednika

Na današnji dan 1806. godine, budući predsjednik Andrew Jackson umalo je poginuo u dvoboju kada je ubio svog protivnika, kolegu vlasnika plantaže.

Dok je smrtonosni dvoboj dvije godine ranije između Aarona Burra i Alexandera Hamiltona najpoznatiji u američkoj historiji, Jackson je bio čest dueler među istaknutim političarima u doba dvoboja, koji je trajao sve do ere građanskog rata.

Dvoboj je bio tehnički nezakonit u Sjedinjenim Državama, ali su se u to uključili istaknuti vladini čelnici.

Button Gwinnett, koji je potpisao Deklaraciju o nezavisnosti, umro je u duelu 1777. sa Lachlanom McIntoshom. Nakon ubistva, McIntosh je tada poslan da služi pod vodstvom Georgea Washingtona kao vođa kontinentalne vojske.

DeWitt Clinton, moćni njujorški političar, umalo je ubio pristalicu Burra u dvoboju 1802. godine zbog pokroviteljstva.

Burr je bio potpredsjednik kada se susreo sa svojim rivalom, Hamiltonom, licem u lice u Weehawkenu, New Jersey. Dana 11. jula 1804. ljudi su se sastali kako bi prekinuli višedecenijsku svađu. Obojica su pucali, ali je pogođen samo Hamilton. Kasnije je od zadobijenih povreda preminuo.

Hamilton je možda bio dio čak 10 duela, ali gotovo svi su riješeni prije nego što je ispaljen hitac. Hamiltonov sin ubijen je u dvoboju, na istim osnovama na kojima je Burr kasnije pogodio njegovog oca.

Jedan od najpoznatijih duela koji su uključivali Jacksona bio je s Charlesom Dickinsonom. Dvojica muškaraca upoznali su se 1806. godine nakon što je Dickinson uvrijedio Jacksonovu ženu. Dickinson je smatran jednim od najboljih snimaka u Americi. Jackson je bio neustrašivi vojnik. Budući predsjednik preživio je Dickinsonov prvi hitac, ali Jacksonov pištolj se zaglavio. Kršeći kôd duello, Jackson je ponovo aktivirao pištolj i ubio Dickinsona.

1802. Jackson je bio uključen u dvoboj s guvernerom Tennesseeja, Johnom Sevierom, koji je završio sukobom koji je uključivao njihove sekunde.

Drugi česti dueler bio je Thomas Hart Benton, koji se borio sa Jacksonom i imao dva duela sa suparničkim advokatom, Charlesom Lucasom. Benton je ubio Lucasa u njihovom drugom dvoboju 1817. Kao senator, Benton je postao Jacksonova desna ruka u Kongresu.

1820. godine, vrhunski zapovjednik mornarice, Stephen Decatur, poginuo je u dvoboju s bivšim pomorskim zapovjednikom, Jamesom Barronom. Barron se izvinio Decaturu jer je pao ranjen. Decatur je prihvatio rekavši da je to bio častan dvoboj.

Dva člana Predstavničkog doma borila su se u fatalnom duelu 1838. godine, kada je predstavnik Kentuckyja William Jordan Graves ubio predstavnika Mainea Jonathana Cilleyja. Graves je poslan da uruči poziv za dvoboj od urednika njujorških novina Jamesa Webba, ali je završio u borbi s Cilley. Vrhovni sud je bojkotovao sahranu u znak protesta.

Zatim, 1842. godine, zakonodavac države Illinois ušao je u toplu vodu nakon što je navodno objavio pismo kojim vrijeđa državnog revizora Jamesa Shieldsa. Shields je izazvao autora pisma na dvoboj. Navodni autor bio je Abraham Lincoln.

Međutim, do trenutka kada su se njih dvojica sreli na dvoboju, sekunde duelera uspjele su ih uvjeriti da se nagovore na osnovu toga da Lincoln nije odgovoran za pisma.

Možda je najčudniji dvoboj bio između državnog sekretara Henryja Claya i senatora Johna Randolpha 1826. godine. Randolph je, u poznatoj vrućini, optužio Claya da je „razapeo Ustav i varao na kartama“ u govoru na spratu Senata.

Randolph je bio mnogo bolji dueler i nije želio ubiti državnog sekretara, pa je radio s drugim hroničnim duelom, Thomasom Hartom Bentonom, kako bi namjerno promašio prvi udarac, pa bi Clay prekinuo dvoboj.

Ali Randolphov pištolj se zapalio neposredno prije dvoboja, a nakon što je Clay zatražio da se duel nastavi, Randolph je pucao u Claya i samo promašio. Clay je tada šutirao i dva puta promašio. Randolph se vratio svom prvobitnom planu i pucao iznad Claya. Hladnije glave su prevladale, a dvojica političara su se rukovali i okončali duel.


Jedini predsjednik koji je fatalno pobijedio u duelu

Sedmi predsjednik Sjedinjenih Država, Andrew Jackson, oduvijek je bio kontroverzna ličnost.

Bio je kontroverzan čovjek u Bijeloj kući i s vremena na vrijeme povjesničari i javnost vode debatu o njegovoj prirodi i postupcima koje je poduzimao prije nego što je postao predsjednik i dok je živio u Washingtonu.

Znamo mnogo o Jacksonu, čovjeku. Bio je mnogo stvari: agresivan, politički oštrouman i fizički hrabar. Takođe je bio kratkovid.

Andrew Jackson predvodio je invaziju na Floridu tokom Prvog rata seminola.

Ova posljednja dva odigrala su ulogu u epizodi Jacksonovog života koja se nije mogla razlikovati od one današnjih vođa i predsjednika - borio se u dvoboju u kojem je ubio čovjeka.

Učestvovao je i u stotinjak drugih duela.

Jackson je bio proizvod zaleđa. Rođen je 1767. u koloniji Karolina, a kao mlad bio je uključen u Američku revoluciju. Njegov brat Hugh umro je od toplotnog udara nakon bitke protiv Britanaca.

Džekson i njegov brat Robert bili su pretučeni i stavljeni u lance kada su odbili da siju britanskim oficirskim cipelama. Majka je osigurala njihovo oslobađanje, ali Robert je umro od malih boginja uhvaćenih u zatvoru. Jacksonova majka umrla je od kolere koju je uhvatila pomažući američkim ratnim zarobljenicima. Jackson je sa 14 godina bio siroče, a otac mu je umro prije nego što se rodio.

Karikatura iz 1837. krivi Andrewa Jacksona za teška vremena.

Nakon rata, Jackson se preselio u Nashville, Tennessee, tada pogranični grad. Tamo se zaljubio u Rachel Donelson Robards, suprugu kapetana Lewisa Robarda, špekulanta i zemljoposjednika. Bio je izuzetno ljubomoran na pažnju koju je privukao Rachelin dobar izgled, a priča se i da ju je tukao i maltretirao. Rachel nije bila tip koji bi se ponašao na takav način i napustila ga je 1790.

Jackson je postao prijatelj porodice Donelson i uskoro se zaljubio u Rachel. Jackson se oženio Rejčel ubrzo nakon što je čuo da je njen razvod konačan, ali očigledno su Rachel i Jackson prije toga živjeli zajedno kratko vrijeme, a čula se i kako je za sebe rekla da je “gđa. Jackson. "

Pošto su očigledno bili u braku pre njenog razvoda, par su kratko živeli u bigamnom braku - svojevrsnom skandalu. Kada su otkrili da je razvod postao konačan 1794. godine, imali su još jednu službeniju ceremoniju, ali ih je skandal obuzeo - posebno Rachel.

Jackson je bio izuzetno ambiciozan. Postao je advokat i počeo se kretati u visokim društvenim krugovima granice Nashvillea. Razvio je i prijatelje i neprijatelje, oboje su bili intenzivni: niko se nije osjećao neutralno u vezi s Jacksonom.

Bio je ili voljen ili omražen. Jedan od onih ljudi koji su mrzili Jacksona bio je Charles Dickinson. Između dvojice muškaraca postojalo je rivalstvo za kopno i konje, a poznato je i da je Dickinson davao komentare o prethodnom braku Rachel#8217, što je stvari dodatno pogoršalo.

Andrew Jackson – 7. predsjednik Sjedinjenih Država.

Dickinson je bio advokat i bio je dio klike u Nashvilleu koja se suprotstavljala ljudima iz Jacksonovog kruga. Do 1806. Jackson je postao istaknuti zemljoposjednik, uzgajivač konja i trkač.

Njihova svađa je zapravo bila nusprodukt svađe između prijatelja Jacksona#8217s i Josepha Erwina, Dickinsonovog tasta, oko rukovanja opkladom na konje. Jedna je stvar dovela do druge, i uskoro su dvojica muškaraca trgovali uvredama.

Umetnički utisak duela.

U tim danima prije slanja e -pošte, Dickinson, koji je bio stručnjak za strijelce, poslao je Jacksonu pismo u kojem je budućeg predsjednika nazvao „kukavicom i protivnikom“, i vjerovatno je uvrijedio Rachel u drugim pismima i na društvenim okupljanjima iz svog kruga. Jackson je takođe nazvao Dickinsonova imena i dopustio svima koji imaju utjecaj u politički zagrijanom Nashvilleu da znaju šta tačno misle o tom čovjeku.

Eskalirajući stvar na potpuno novi nivo, Dickinson je objavio članak u jednom od lokalnih listova, nazivajući Jacksona "bezvrijednim huljom …a lutkom i kukavicom". Zapravo, nije morao nazvati Jacksona "poltronom", jer je to sinonim za kukavicu. Ipak, niko nije nazvao Jacksona "kukavicom i lutkicom" — i definitivno nije u novinama za svakoga da pročita. Danas bismo rekli "Bilo je uključeno!".

Dagerotip Andrewa Jacksona u dobi od 77 ili 78 godina (1844. ili 1845.).

Dvoboj je bio zabranjen u Tennesseeju, pa su njih dvojica prešli obližnju granicu s Kentuckyjem kako bi se potukli. Obojica su već bili uključeni u duele, a Jackson će biti uključen u još mnogo toga. Većina dvoboja nije bila fatalna, iako su mnogi bili - stoga su zabranjeni u Tennesseeju i drugim državama. Ponekad su dovodili i do svađa, što je donijelo još krvoprolića i bijede.

Međutim, većina formalnih duela nije bila fatalna, pa čak ni blizu. Ponekad tadašnji pištolji jednostavno nisu bili tačni. Dvoboji su bili stvar časti - ako bi se obojica pojavila, čast je bila zadovoljena.

Dvoboj je proglašen nezakonitim u Tennesseeju.

Ako pređu na sljedeći nivo, moglo bi se dogoditi nekoliko stvari: muškarci bi mogli pucati u zrak. Mogli su ciljati samo na stranu drugog da vide ko se trgao, a ko je "poltron". Ili bi mogli jedno drugo raniti u ruku ili nogu. Svi prethodni dueli Jacksona i#8217 su se "borili" na ovaj način. Ovaj nije bio ’t, i obje strane su znale da ulazi - bit će do smrti.

Jacksonov "drugi" i prijatelj, Thomas Overton, vjerovao je da bi trebali dopustiti Dickinsonu da izvede prvi hitac (muškarci su izvlačili i pucali jedan za drugim - ne u isto vrijeme, kako se to ponekad vidi u filmovima), i to Zbog Dickinsonove želje da dođe do Jacksona promašio bi. Jackson bi odvojio vrijeme i uzeo drugi hitac.

To se i dogodilo - s jednim malim problemom: Dickinson je bio dobar udarac. Upucao je Jacksona u prsa. After the duel, Jackson would be operated on, and the bullet would be found to be so close to his heart that surgeons thought it best to let it remain in his body. The bullet also broke some of Jackson’s ribs. Historians believe that Jackson’s sideways stance and loose clothing saved his life.

Despite this, Jackson stood on his feet and took careful aim at Dickinson, who was “forced” to stand in place. If he didn’t, then everyone would know he was indeed “a coward and poltroon,” and life in those times would become difficult. Dickinson stood there, and Jackson shot him – directly in the heart, killing him.

Many people were outraged that Jackson had killed Dickinson while the man was forced to stand there, waiting. They likened it to an execution. They believed that Jackson should have fired with Dickinson, or fired in the air, near Dickinson, or his leg.

Jackson’s honor would have remained intact had he done so. To these people, Jackson argued that he had been shot – he believed mortally at the time. He also was keen on getting back at Dickinson for things he had said about Rachel and wanted everyone to know that if they decided to insult his wife, they could expect the same. Jackson told people that “I should have hit him if he had shot me through the brain.”

Jackson suffered with pain from the duel for the rest of his life. Dickinson was buried in Nashville. Because many people perceived his killing of Dickinson as cold-blooded, Jackson’s reputation suffered.

Oddly enough, he joined with fellow duelist Aaron Burr in the latter’s attempt to take Florida from the Spanish but left him when he found out that Burr planned on attacking New Orleans as well, part of the United States. It wasn’t until he became the “Hero of New Orleans” at the end of the War of 1812 that Jackson’s reputation was restored.


Future president Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel - HISTORY

The story, as Parson Weems tells it, is that in 1754 a strapping young militia officer named George Washington argued with a smaller man, one William Payne, who made up for the disparity in size by knocking Washington down with a stick. It was the kind of affront that, among a certain class of Virginia gentlemen, almost invariably called for a duel. That must have been what Payne was expecting when Washington summoned him to a tavern the following day. Instead, he found the colonel at a table with a decanter of wine and two glasses. Washington apologized for the quarrel, and the two men shook hands.

Whether or not this actually happened—and some biographers believe that it did—is almost beside the point. Weems’ intention was to reveal Washington as he imagined him: a figure of profound self-assurance capable of keeping an overheated argument from turning into something far worse. At a time in America when the code of the duel was becoming a law unto itself, such restraint was not always apparent. Alexander Hamilton was the most celebrated casualty of the dueling ethic, having lost his life in an 1804 feud with Aaron Burr on the fields ofWeehawken, New Jersey, but there were many more who paid the ultimate price— congressmen, newspaper editors, a signer of the Declaration of Independence (the otherwise obscure Button Gwinnett, famous largely for being named Button Gwinnett), two U.S. senators (Armistead T. Mason of Virginia and David C. Broderick of California) and, in 1820, the rising naval star Stephen Decatur. To his lasting embarrassment, Abraham Lincoln barely escaped being drawn into a duel early in his political career, and President Andrew Jackson carried in his body a bullet from one duel and some shot from a gunfight that followed another. Not that private dueling was a peculiarly American vice. The tradition had taken hold in Europe several centuries earlier, and though it was frequently forbidden by law, social mores dictated otherwise. During the reign of George III (1760-1820), there were 172 known duels in England (and very likely many more kept secret), resulting in 69 recorded fatalities. At one time or another, Edmund Burke, William Pitt the younger and Richard Brinsley Sheridan all took the field, and Samuel Johnson defended the practice, which he found as logical as war between nations: “Aman may shoot the man who invades his character,” he once told biographer James Boswell, “as he may shoot him who attempts to break into his house.” As late as 1829 the Duke of Wellington, then England’s prime minister, felt compelled to challenge the Earl of Winchelsea, who had accused him of softness toward Catholics.

In France, dueling had an even stronger hold, but by the 19th century, duels there were seldom fatal, since most involved swordplay, and drawing blood usually sufficed to give honor its due. (Perhaps as a way of relieving ennui, the French weren’t averse to pushing the envelope in matters of form. In 1808, two Frenchmen fought in balloons over Paris one was shot down and killed with his second. Thirty-five years later, two others tried to settle their differences by skulling each other with billiard balls.)

In the United States, dueling’s heyday began at around the time of the Revolution and lasted the better part of a century. The custom’s true home was the antebellum South. Duels, after all, were fought in defense of what the law would not defend—a gentleman’s sense of personal honor—and nowhere were gentlemen more exquisitely sensitive on that point than in the future Confederacy. As self-styled aristocrats, and frequently slaveholders, they enjoyed what one Southern writer describes as a “habit of command” and an expectation of deference. To the touchiest among them, virtually any annoyance could be construed as grounds for a meeting at gunpoint, and though laws against dueling were passed in several Southern states, the statutes were ineffective. Arrests were infrequent judges and juries were loath to convict.

In New England, on the other hand, dueling was viewed as a cultural throwback, and no stigma was attached to rejecting it. Despite the furious sectional acrimony that preceded the Civil War, Southern congressmen tended to duel each other, not their Northern antagonists, who could not be relied upon to rise to a challenge. Consequently, when South Carolina congressman Preston Brooks was offended by Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner’s verbal assault on the congressman’s uncle, he resorted to caning Sumner insensible on the floor of the Senate. His constituents understood. Though Brooks was reviled in the North, he was lionized in much of the South, where he was presented with a ceremonial cane inscribed “Hit Him Again.” (Brooks said he had used a cane rather than a horsewhip because he was afraid Sumner might wrestle the whip away from him, in which case Brooks would have had to kill him. He didn’t say how.)

Curiously, many who took part in the duel professed to disdain it. Sam Houston opposed it, but as a Tennessee congressman, shot Gen. William White in the groin. Henry Clay opposed it, but put a bullet through Virginia senator John Randolph’s coat (Randolph being in it at the time) after the senator impugned his integrity as secretary of state and called him some colorful names. Hamilton opposed dueling, but met Aaron Burr on the same ground in New Jersey where Hamilton’s eldest son, Philip, had died in a duel not long before. (Maintaining philosophical consistency, Hamilton intended to hold his fire, a common breach of strict dueling etiquette that, sadly, Burr didn’t emulate.) Lincoln, too, objected to the practice, but got as far as a dueling ground in Missouri before third parties intervened to keep the Great Emancipator from emancipating a future Civil War general.

So why did such rational men choose combat over apology or simple forbearance? Perhaps because they saw no alternative. Hamilton, at least, was explicit. “The ability to be in future useful,” he wrote, “ . . . in those crises of our public affairs which seem likely to happen . . . imposed on me (as I thought) a peculiar necessity not to decline the call.” And Lincoln, though dismayed to be called to account for pricking the vanity of a political rival, couldn’t bring himself to extend his regrets. Pride obviously had something to do with this, but pride compounded by the imperatives of a dueling society. For a man who wanted a political future, walking away from a challenge may not have seemed a plausible option.

The Lincoln affair, in fact, affords a case study in how these matters were resolved—or were not. The trouble began when Lincoln, then a Whig representative in the Illinois legislature, wrote a series of satirical letters under the pseudonym Rebecca, in which he made scathing fun of State Auditor James Shields, a Democrat. The letters were published in a newspaper, and when Shields sent him a note demanding a retraction, Lincoln objected to both the note’s belligerent tone and its assumption that he had written more of them than he had. (In fact, Mary Todd, not yet Lincoln’s wife, is believed to have written one of the letters with a friend.) Then, when Shields asked for a retraction of the letters he znao Lincoln had written, Lincoln refused to do so unless Shields withdrew his original note. It was a lawyerly response, typical of the verbal fencing that often preceded a duel, with each side seeking the moral high ground. Naturally, it led to a stalemate. By the time Lincoln agreed to a carefully qualified apology provided that first note was withdrawn— in effect asking Shields to apologize for demanding an apology—Shields wasn’t buying. When Lincoln, as the challenged party, wrote out his terms for the duel, hopes for an accommodation seemed ended.

The terms themselves were highly unusual. Shields was a military man Lincoln was not. Lincoln had the choice of weapons, and instead of pistols chose clumsy cavalry broadswords, which both men were to wield while standing on a narrow plank with limited room for retreat. The advantage would obviously be Lincoln’s he was the taller man, with memorably long arms. “To tell you the truth,” he told a friend later, “I did not want to kill Shields, and felt sure that I could disarm him . . . and, furthermore, I didn’t want the damned fellow to kill me, which I rather think he would have done if we had selected pistols.”

Fortunately, perhaps for both men, and almost certainly for one of them, each had friends who were determined to keep them from killing each other. Before Shields arrived at the dueling spot, their seconds, according to Lincoln biographer Douglas L. Wilson, proposed that the dispute be submitted to a group of fair-minded gentlemen—an arbitration panel of sorts. Though that idea didn’t fly, Shields’ seconds soon agreed not to stick at the sticking point. They withdrew their man’s first note on their own, clearing the way for a settlement. Shields went on to become a United States senator and a brigadier general in the Union Army Lincoln went on to be Lincoln. Years later, when the matter was brought up to the president, he was adamant. “I do not deny it,” he told an Army officer who had referred to the incident, “but if you desire my friendship, you will never mention it again.”

If Lincoln was less than nostalgic about his moment on the field of honor, others saw dueling as a salutary alternative to simply gunning a man down in the street, a popular but déclassé undertaking that might mark a man as uncouth. Like so many public rituals of the day, dueling was, in concept at least, an attempt to bring order to a dangerously loose-knit society. The Englishman Andrew Steinmetz, writing about dueling in 1868, called America “the country where life is cheaper than anywhere else.” Advocates of the duel would have said that life would have been even cheaper without it. Of course, the attitudes dueling was meant to control weren’t always controllable. When Gen. Nathanael Greene, a Rhode Islander living in Georgia after the Revolution, was challenged by Capt. James Gunn of Savannah regarding his censure of Gunn during the war, Greene declined to accept. But feeling the honor of the Army might be at stake, he submitted the matter to GeorgeWashington. Washington, who had no use for dueling, replied that Greene would have been foolish to take up the challenge, since an officer couldn’t perform as an officer if he had to worry constantly about offending subordinates. Indifferent to such logic, Gunn threatened to attack Greene on sight. Greene mooted the threat by dying peacefully the following year.

Even more than Captain Gunn, Andrew Jackson was an excitable sort with a famously loose rein on his temper. Asurvivor— barely—of several duels, he nearly got himself killed following a meeting in which he was merely a second, and in which one of the participants, Jesse Benton, had the misfortune to be shot in the buttocks. Benton was furious, and so was his brother, future U.S. senator Thomas Hart Benton, who denounced Jackson for his handling of the affair. Not one to take denunciation placidly, Jackson threatened to horsewhip Thomas and went to a Nashville hotel to do it. When Thomas reached for what Jackson supposed was his pistol, Jackson drew his, whereupon the irate Jesse burst through a door and shot Jackson in the shoulder. Falling, Jackson fired at Thomas and missed. Thomas returned the favor, and Jesse moved to finish off Jackson. At this point, several other men rushed into the room, Jesse was pinned to the floor and stabbed (though saved from a fatal skewering by a coat button), a friend of Jackson’s fired at Thomas, and Thomas, in hasty retreat, fell backward down a flight of stairs. Thus ended the Battle of the City Hotel.

It was just this sort of thing that the code of the duel was meant to prevent, and sometimes it may have actually done so. But frequently it merely served as a scrim giving cover to murderers. One of the South’s most notorious duelists was a hard-drinking homicidal miscreant named Alexander Keith McClung. Anephew of Chief Justice John Marshall—though likely not his favorite nephew, after engaging in a duel with a cousin—McClung behaved like a character out of Gothic fiction, dressing from time to time in a flowing cape, giving overripe oratory and morbid poetry, and terrifying many of his fellow Mississippians with his penchant for intimidation and violence.

A crack shot with a pistol, he preferred provoking a challenge to giving one, in order to have his choice of weapons. Legend has it that after shooting Vicksburg’s John Menifee to death in a duel, the Black Knight of the South, as Mc- Clung was known, killed six other Menifees who rose in turn to defend the family honor. All of this reportedly generated a certain romantic excitement among women of his acquaintance. Wrote one: “I loved him madly while with him, but feared him when away from him for he was a man of fitful, uncertain moods and given to periods of the deepest melancholy. At such times he would mount his horse, Rob Roy, wild and untamable as himself, and dash to the cemetery, where he would throw himself down on a convenient grave and stare like a madman into the sky. . . . ” (The woman refused his proposal of marriage he didn’t seem the domestic type.) Expelled from the Navy as a young man, after threatening the lives of various shipmates, McClung later served, incredibly, as a U.S. marshal and fought with distinction in the Mexican War. In 1855, he brought his drama to an end, shooting himself in a Jackson hotel. He left behind a final poem, “Invocation to Death.”

Though the dueling code was, at best, a fanciful alternative to true law and order, there were those who believed it indispensable, not only as a brake on shoot-on-sight justice but as a way of enforcing good manners. New Englanders may have prided themselves on treating an insult as only an insult, but to the South’s dueling gentry, such indifference betrayed a lack of good breeding. John Lyde Wilson, a former governor of South Carolina who was the foremost codifier of dueling rules in America, thought it downright unnatural. Ahigh-minded gentleman who believed the primary role of a second was to keep duels from happening, as he had done on many occasions, he also believed that dueling would persist “as long as a manly independence and a lofty personal pride, in all that dignifies and ennobles the human character, shall continue to exist.”

Hoping to give the exercise the dignity he felt sure it deserved, he composed eight brief chapters of rules governing everything from the need to keep one’s composure in the face of an insult (“If the insult be in public . . . never resent it there”) to ranking various offenses in order of precedence (“When blows are given in the first instance and returned, and the person first striking be badly beaten or otherwise, the party first struck is to make the demand [for a duel or apology], for blows do not satisfy a blow”) to the rights of a man being challenged (“You may refuse to receive a note from a minor. . . , [a man] that has been publicly disgraced without resenting it. . . , a man in his dotage [or] a lunatic”).

Formal dueling, by and large, was an indulgence of the South’s upper classes, who saw themselves as above the law— or at least some of the laws—that governed their social inferiors. It would have been unrealistic to expect them to be bound by the letter of Wilson’s rules or anyone else’s, and of course they were not. If the rules specified smoothbore pistols, which could be mercifully inaccurate at the prescribed distance of 30 to 60 feet, duelists might choose rifles or shotguns or bowie knives, or confront each other, suicidally, nearly muzzle to muzzle. If Wilson was emphatic that the contest should end at first blood (“no second is excusable who permits a wounded friend to fight”), contestants might keep on fighting, often to the point where regret was no longer an option. And if seconds were obliged to be peacemakers, they sometimes behaved more like promoters.

But if bending the rules made dueling even bloodier than it had to be, strict adherence could be risky too. Some would-be duelists discovered that even the code’s formal preliminaries might set in motion an irreversible chain of events. When, in 1838, Col. James Watson Webb, a thuggish Whig newspaper editor, felt himself abused in Congress by Representative Jonathan Cilley, a Maine Democrat, he dispatched Representative William Graves of Kentucky to deliver his demand for an apology. When Cilley declined to accept Webb’s note, Graves, following what one Whig diarist described as “the ridiculous code of honor which governs these gentlemen,” felt obliged to challenge Cilley himself. Subsequently, the two congressmen, who bore each other not the slightest ill will, adjourned to a field in Maryland to blast away at each other with rifles at a distance of 80 to 100 yards. After each exchange of shots, negotiations were conducted with a view to calling the whole thing off, but no acceptable common ground could be found, though the issues still at stake seemed appallingly trivial. Graves’ third shot struck Cilley and killed him.

Though President Van Buren attended Cilley’s funeral, the Supreme Court refused to be present as a body, as a protest against dueling, and Graves and his second, Representative Henry Wise of Virginia, were censured by the House of Representatives. On the whole, though, outrage seemed to play out along party lines, with Whigs less dismayed by the carnage than Democrats. Congressman Wise, who had insisted the shooting continue, over the protests of Cilley’s second, was particularly defiant. “Let Puritans shudder as they may,” he cried to his Congressional colleagues. “I belong to the class of Cavaliers, not to the Roundheads.”

Ultimately, the problem with dueling was the obvious one. Whatever rationale its advocates offered for it, and however they tried to refine it, it still remained a capricious waste of too many lives. This was especially true in the Navy, where boredom, drink and a mix of spirited young men in close quarters on shipboard produced a host of petty irritations ending in gunfire. Between 1798 and the Civil War, the Navy lost two-thirds as many officers to dueling as it did to more than 60 years of combat at sea. Many of those killed and maimed were teenage midshipmen and barely older junior officers, casualties of their own reckless judgment and, on at least one occasion, the by-the-book priggishness of some of their shipmates.

In 1800, Lt. Stephen Decatur, who was to die in a celebrated duel 20 years later, laughingly called his friend Lieutenant Somers a fool. When several of his fellow officers shunned Somers for not being suitably resentful, Somers explained that Decatur had been joking. Bez obzira. If Somers didn’t challenge, he would be branded a coward and his life made unbearable. Still refusing to fight his friend Decatur, Somers instead challenged each of the officers, to be fought one after another. Not until he had wounded one of them, and been so seriously wounded himself that he had to fire his last shot from a sitting position, would those challenged acknowledge his courage.

The utter pointlessness of such encounters became, in time, an insult to public opinion, which by the Civil War had become increasingly impatient with affairs of honor that ended in killing. Even in dueling’s heyday, reluctant warriors were known to express reservations about their involvement by shooting into the air or, after receiving fire, not returning it. Occasionally they chose their weapons—howitzers, sledgehammers, forkfuls of pig dung—for their very absurdity, as a way of making a duel seem ridiculous. Others, demonstrating a “manly independence” that John Lyde Wilson might have admired, felt secure enough in their own reputations to turn down a fight. It may not have been difficult, in 1816, for New Englander Daniel Webster to refuse John Randolph’s challenge, or for a figure as unassailable as Stonewall Jackson, then teaching at the Virginia Military Institute, to order court-martialed a cadet who challenged him over a supposed insult during a lecture. But it must have been a different matter for native Virginian Winfield Scott, a future commanding general of the Army, to turn down a challenge from Andrew Jackson after the War of 1812. (Jackson could call him whatever he chose, said Scott, but he should wait until the next war to find out if Scott were truly a coward.) And it had to be riskier still for Louisville editor George Prentice to rebuke a challenger by declaring, “I do not have the least desire to kill you. . . . and I am not conscious of having done anything to entitle you to kill me. I do not want your blood upon my hands, and I do not want my own on anybody’s. . . . I am not so cowardly as to stand in dread of any imputation on my courage.”

If he did not stand in such dread, others did, since the consequences of being publicly posted as a coward could ruin a man. Yet even in dueling’s heartland south of the Mason- Dixon line, the duel had always had its opponents. Anti-dueling societies, though ineffectual, existed throughout the South at one time, and Thomas Jefferson once tried in vain to introduce in Virginia legislation as strict—though surely not so imaginative—as that in colonial Massachusetts, where the survivor of a fatal duel was to be executed, have a stake driven through his body, and be buried without a coffin.

But time was on the side of the critics. By the end of the Civil War, the code of honor had lost much of its force, possibly because the country had seen enough bloodshed to last several lifetimes. Dueling was, after all, an expression of caste—the ruling gentry deigned to fight only its social nearequals— and the caste whose conceits it had spoken to had been fatally injured by the disastrous war it had chosen. Violence thrived murder was alive and well. But for those who survived to lead the New South, dying for chivalry’s sake no longer appealed. Even among old dueling warriors, the ritual came to seem like something antique. Looking back on life’s foolishness, one South Carolina general, seriously wounded in a duel in his youth, was asked to recall the occasion. “Well I never did clearly understand what it was about,” he replied, “but you know it was a time when all gentlemen fought.”

- ROSS DRAKE is a former editor at Ljudi magazine who now writes from Connecticut. This is his first article for SMITHSONIAN.


Today in history

30 May 2021 (MIA)

70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem. Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall. The Romans build a circumvallation, cutting down all trees within fifteen kilometres.

1381 – Beginning of the Peasants’ Revolt in England.

1416 – The Council of Constance, called by Emperor Sigismund, a supporter of Antipope John XXIII, burns Jerome of Prague following a trial for heresy.

1431 – Hundred Years’ War: In Rouen, France, the 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. The Roman Catholic Church remembers this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.

1434 – Hussite Wars: Battle of Lipany: Effectively ending the war, Utraquist forces led by Diviš Bořek of Miletínek defeat and almost annihilate Taborite forces led by Prokop the Great.

1510 – During the reign of the Zhengde Emperor, Ming dynasty rebel leader Zhu Zhifan is defeated by commander Qiu Yue, ending the Prince of Anhua rebellion.

1536 – King Henry VIII of England marries Jane Seymour, a lady-in-waiting to his first two wives.

1539 – In Florida, Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.

1574 – Henry III becomes King of France.

1588 – The last ship of the Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.

1631 – Publication of Gazette de France, the first French newspaper.

1635 – Thirty Years’ War: The Peace of Prague is signed.

1642 – From this date all honors granted by Charles I are retroactively annulled by Parliament.

1806 – Future U.S. President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel after Dickinson had accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy.

1814 – Napoleonic Wars: War of the Sixth Coalition: The Treaty of Paris (1814) is signed returning French borders to their 1792 extent. Napoleon is exiled to Elba.

1815 – The East Indiaman Arniston is wrecked during a storm at Waenhuiskrans, near Cape Agulhas, in present-day South Africa, with the loss of 372 lives.

1832 – End of the Hambach Festival in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

1832 – The Rideau Canal in eastern Ontario is opened.

1834 – Minister of Justice Joaquim António de Aguiar issues a law seizing “all convents, monasteries, colleges, hospices and any other houses” from the Catholic religious orders in Portugal, earning him the nickname of “The Friar-Killer”.

1842 – John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria as she drives down Constitution Hill in London with Prince Albert.

1845 – The Fatel Razack lands in the Gulf of Paria in Trinidad and Tobago carrying the first East Indians to the country.

1854 – The Kansas–Nebraska Act becomes law establishing the US territories of Kansas and Nebraska.

1868 – Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern “Memorial Day”) is observed in the United States for the first time (by “Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic” John A. Logan’s proclamation on May 5).

1876 – Ottoman sultan Abdülaziz is deposed and succeeded by his nephew Murad V.

1883 – In New York City, a rumor that the Brooklyn Bridge is going to collapse causes a stampede that crushes twelve people.

1899 – Pearl Hart, a female outlaw of the Old West, robs a stage coach 30 miles southeast of Globe, Arizona.

1911 – At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Indianapolis 500 ends with Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp becoming the first winner of the 500-mile auto race.

1913 – The Treaty of London is signed, ending the First Balkan War. Albania becomes an independent nation.

1914 – The new, and then the largest, Cunard ocean liner RMS Aquitania, 45,647 tons, sets sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to New York City.

1917 – Alexander I becomes king of Greece.

1922 – The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C..

1925 – May Thirtieth Movement: Shanghai Municipal Police Force shoot and kill 13 protesting workers.

1932 – The National Theatre of Greece is founded.

1937 – Memorial Day massacre: Chicago police shoot and kill ten labor demonstrators.

1941 – World War II: Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climb the Athenian Acropolis and tear down the German flag.

1942 – World War II: One thousand British bombers launch a 90-minute attack on Cologne, Germany.

1943 – The Holocaust: Josef Mengele becomes chief medical officer of the Zigeunerfamilienlager (Romani family camp) at Auschwitz concentration camp.

1948 – A dike along the flooding Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes. Fifteen people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.

1958 – Memorial Day: The remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, are buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

1959 – The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened by Governor-General Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham.

1961 – The long-time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

1963 – A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination during the Buddhist crisis is held outside South Vietnam’s National Assembly, the first open demonstration during the eight-year rule of Ngo Dinh Diem.

1966 – The former Congolese Prime Minister, Évariste Kimba, and several other politicians are publicly executed in Kinshasa on the orders of President Joseph Mobutu.

1966 – Launch of Surveyor 1, the first US spacecraft to land on an extraterrestrial body.

1967 – The Nigerian Eastern Region declares independence as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a civil war.

1968 – Charles de Gaulle reappears publicly after his flight to Baden-Baden, Germany, and dissolves the French National Assembly by a radio appeal. Immediately after, less than one million of his supporters march on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This is the turning point of May 1968 events in France.

1971 – Mariner program: Mariner 9 is launched to map 70% of the surface, and to study temporal changes in the atmosphere and surface, of Mars.

1972 – The Angry Brigade goes on trial over a series of 25 bombings throughout the United Kingdom.

1972 – In Tel Aviv, Israel, members of the Japanese Red Army carry out the Lod Airport massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others.

1974 – The Airbus A300 passenger aircraft first enters service.

1989 – Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: The 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.

1998 – A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000.

1998 – Nuclear Testing: Pakistan conducts an underground test in the Kharan Desert. It is reported to be a plutonium device with yield of 20kt TNT equivalent.

2003 – Depayin massacre: At least 70 people associated with the National League for Democracy are killed by government-sponsored mob in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi fled the scene, but is arrested soon afterwards.

2005 – American student Natalee Holloway disappears while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba, and caused a media sensation in the United States.

2012 – Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War.


Video, Sitemap-Video, Sitemap-Videos