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Full text of "The field of honor : being a complete and comprehensive history of duelling in all countries; including the judicial duel of Europe, the private duel of the civilized world, and specific descriptions of all the noted hostile meetings in Europe and America"



To 

HONORABLE LELAND STANFORD 

EX-GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA 
AND 

President of the Central Pacific Railroad 
\Amicus hutnani generis\ 



THE 

FIELD OF HONOR: 



BEING 



A COMPLETE AND COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY 
OF DUELLING IN ALL COUNTRIES; 



INCLUDING 



The Judicial Duel of Europe, the Private Duel of the 

Civilized World, and Specific Descriptions of All 

the Noted Hostile Meetings in Europe 

and America. 



By MAJOR BEN C. TRUMAN, 

Author of "THE SOUTH AFTER THE WAR," "SEMI-TROPICAL CALIFORNIA, 
"OCCIDENTAL SKETCHES," Etc. 



NEW YORK : 

FORDS, HOWARD, & HULBERT. 

1884. 




COPYRIGHT, 1883, 
By BEN C. TRUMAN. 



R 
JT75 

'-7 




CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

INTRODUCTION 9 

CHAPTER 

I. DUELLING IN FRANCE 19 

II. DUELLING IN ENGLAND 30 

III. DUELLING IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND 39 

IV. DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES 54 

V. DUELLING IN AMERICA 76 

VI. INDIANS, MEXICANS, CUBANS, JAPANESE 118 

VII. VARIOUS MODES OF FIGHTING 130 

VIII. CLERGYMEN AND WOMEN 147 

IX. DUELLING IN THE DARK 161 

X. NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS 179 

XI. EUROPEAN DUELS Continued 204 

XII. EUROPEAN DUELS Continued 221 

XIII. EUROPEAN DUELS Concluded 242 

XIV. NOTED AMERICAN DUELS 258 

XV. NOTED AMERICAN DUELS Continued 280 

XVI. NOTED AMERICAN DUELS Continued 300 

XVII. NOTED AMERICAN DUELS Continued 334 

XVIII. NOTED AMERICAN DUELS Continued 366 



8 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER , PAGB 

XIX. NOTED AMERICAN DUELS Continued 374 

XX. NOTED AMERICAN DUELS Continued 383 

XXI. NOTED AMERICAN DUELS Continued 392 

XXII. NOTED AMERICAN DUELS Concluded 411 

XXIII. BLOODLESS DUELS 421 

XXIV. THE RAREST KIND OF BRAVERY 434 

XXV. DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES 448 

XXVI. REMORSE OF DUELLISTS 476 

XXVII. NOTABLE ESCAPES 485 

XXVIII. PATHOS AND SENTIMENT 493 

XXIX. THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING 504 

XXX. HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD 528 

XXXI. HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD Con- 
cluded 553 



INTRODUCTION. 



DUELLING, as it is more or less resorted to, even to- 
day, in civilized countries, undoubtedly took its rise 
from the judicial combats of Celtic nations, and was 
first introduced among the Lombards, in 659. Un- 
like the hostile meetings which have grown out of 
the original system, the early duel appears to have 
been a trial by combat of two individuals for the 
determination either of the guilt or the innocence of 
the person charged with crime, or for other purposes 
of decision. This early mode of appeal to arms as 
an alternative for the trial by ordeal, as the reader 
will perceive, although it gave birth to the more 
modern system of combat, is somewhat different from 
those conflicts of the present age which are the 
culminations of voluntary challenges or defiances 
resorted to for the purpose of settling disputes sup- 
posed to involve the honor of gentlemen and which 
last custom was first elevated to the dignity of an 
institution in 1308, in France, by one Philip le Bel. 

It is proper to state, before proceeding further, that 
the writer is aware that there are those who main- 
tain that duelling may be traced back to the Hebrews 
and to other ancient peoples ; and that the mortal 
combats between David and Goliath, 1063 years 



I O INTR OD UCTION 

B.C.; Pittacus and Phyrnon, 547 B.C.; Jonathan and 
Pudens, also at an early date ; the Horatii of the 
Romans and the Curatii of the Albans, 667 B.C.; and 
other lesser scenes of mortal combat, have been 
characterized as duels. But he prefers acquiescence 
in the views entertained by those eminent authori- 
ties who declare that " no trace of the duel as an 
institution is to be found in the history of the classical 
nations of antiquity." It is an historical fact that 
Antony sent a challenge to Caesar ; still, duelling as 
an institution undoubtedly took its rise, as has been 
heretofore stated, about the middle, or possibly at 
the commencement, of the seventh century, although 
authorized, according to Blackstone, in 501 by Gunde- 
bald, king of the Burgundians. 

Simply, the appeal to arms, as we may justly term 
the judicial combat, was an appeal to high Heaven, 
or to God ; and none were exempt from the trial by 
battle but women, the sick and the maimed, and per- 
sons under sixteen years of age and above sixty; 
while ecclesiastics, priests, and monks were permitted 
to produce substitutes (or champions, as they were 
called in that day) in their stead. All of the arrange- 
ments for the judicial duel were of the most solemn 
character, and elaborate and dramatic almost beyond 
belief. This custom of appeal to the judgment of 
God seems to us, in the present day, as something 
wild and ridiculous, and more sacrilegious than re- 
ligious ; still, as will be seen by the description of 
the judicial battle which is presented, the voice of 
reason, authority, and prudence was heard, though its 
dictates were utterly mistaken; and it will also be 
seen that the combatants seemingly met without 
anger, and left vengeance to the Great Arbiter. 



INTRODUCTION. II 

Even before the practice of duelling for settling 
affairs of honor took its rise, however, the judicial 
battle had degenerated into a convenient pretext for 
the ceremonious meeting of hostile and revengeful 
men under protection of law. 

The general practice of duelling for settling affairs 
of honor may be said to have commenced in the year 
1527, at the breaking up of a treaty between the 
Emperor Charles V. and King Francis I., the former 
having commanded Francis' herald to acquaint his 
sovereign that he (Charles) would henceforth con- 
sider Francis as not only a base violator of public 
faith, but as a stranger to the honor and integrity 
becoming a gentleman. Francis, too high-spirited to 
bear such an imputation with composure, had re- 
course to an unusual expedient to vindicate his 
character ; and instantly sent back the bearer with a 
cartel of defiance, in which he gave Charles the lie in 
form, and challenged him to single combat, requiring 
him to at once name the time and place of the pro- 
posed encounter, and the weapons with which he 
chose to fight. Charles, not inferior to his turbulent 
rival in spirit or bravery, readily accepted the chal- 
lenge ; but, after several messages concerning the 
arrangement of all the circumstances relative to the 
hostile meeting, with mutual reproaches, all thoughts 
of a duel, more becoming heroes of romance than the 
two greatest monarchs of the age, were entirely laid 
aside. 

But the example of two personages so illustrious 
drew such general attention, and carried with it so 
much authority, that it created an important change 
all over Europe; and duels, which had hitherto j 
been fought under judicial appointment, were freely 



1 2 IN TROD UCTIOtf. 

indulged in without the interpretation of juris- 
prudence, and in cases to which the laws did not 
extend. From that moment, upon every affront or 
injury which seemed to touch his honor, a gentleman 
considered himself entitled to draw his sword and 
demand reparation from his adversary. The result 
was that men of fierce courage and high spirit, and 
also those of rude manners, were quick to give and 
take offence with fatal consequences ; much of the 
best blood of Christendom was brutally spilled, many 
valuable lives were surrendered, and at some periods 
war itself was scarcely more destructive than these 
so-called contests of honor. So cruel and outrageous 
did the custom become, that noted professional duel- 
lists many of whom prided themselves upon the 
advantages they had taken who had neither wit, 
wisdom, face, figure, nor fortune, came into great 
favor with women in England and France ; and the 
sovereigns of Europe became so alarmed, at this 
juncture, at the dreadful depopulation of chivalry 
and gentry, that they took highly aggressive action 
in favor of its abatement. 

The power and influence of the Roman Catholic 
Church, even, was exerted to restrain the bloody 
despotism of the bloody code ; and, during the 
twenty-fifth session of the Council of Trent, it was 
decreed that the custom was detestable, and the 
Council decreed the excommunication of seconds and 
all associates, as well as principals, and even the 
lookers-on at a duel. It claimed that the custom was 
created by Satan for the destruction of body and 
soul, and it excommunicated "all advisers, sup- 
porters, witnesses, and all others in any way con- 
cerned." 



INTRODUCTION. 13 

But there has been, really, no time in its history 
when duelling has not had many earnest and eminent 
opponents, notwithstanding the esteem in which true 
chivalry and valor have always been held in every 
age and country ; and notwithstanding the popular 
reign of the custom itself for hundreds of years. 
When Octavius Caesar received a challenge from Marc 
Antony to engage him in single combat, he very calmly 
answered : " If Antony is weary of life, tell him there 
are other ways to death than the point of my sword." 
This was the noble reply of one of the most illus- 
trious men of the age in which he lived, and must 
have commanded the admiration of all who loved to 
behold exhibitions of discretion and gallantry. 
Joseph II. of Germany, a most amiable monarch, was 
a conspicuous enemy to duelling, and has left his 
sentiments on record : " The custom is detestable," 
he once declared, "and shall not be permitted to 
thrive in my army. I despise men who send and 
accept challenges to meet each other in mortal com- 
bat. Such men, in my estimation, are worse than the 
Roman gladiators. I am resolved that this bar- 
barous custom, which is worthy of the age of Tamer- 
lane and Bajazet, and which is so often fatal to the 
peace of families, shall be punished and suppressed, 
though it should cost me half my officers." Henry 
II. of France, after the death of his beloved Chas- 
taignerie, made a solemn vow never, during his reign, 
to admit of another duel on any pretext whatever. 
Henry himself, however, met his death by a blow 
from Montgomeri's lance during a tournament given 
in honor of the marriage, by proxy, of Elizabeth to 
Philip II., at Paris. Queens Anne and Elizabeth, 
Charles II. and George III., of England, all issued 



14 INTRODUCTION, 

vigorous edicts against duelling. It may be inter- 
posed that Elizabeth, upon receiving the intelligence 
of the marriage of Charles, her royal lover, declared 
in a state of great rage that " if she were a man, she 
would have defied him to single combat." So she 
did. But Elizabeth had been jilted, the reader must 
understand, and she was necessarily violently angered. 
She was a "woman scorned," to the fullest degree, 
and was not in her proper state of mind. So, too, 
when Essex after his fondness for Elizabeth had 
somewhat cooled was wounded by Blount (who had 
been made the recipient of some mark of the Queen's 
favor), the haughty daughter of Henry declared, dis- 
dainfully, that she was gratified to know " that some 
one had been found who could take down the arro- 
gant Earl and teach him certain proprieties." 

Alexander Hamilton, the most eminent American 
ever killed in duel, left a paper containing his opin- 
ions of the custom, in which he stated: " My religious 
and moral principles are strongly opposed to the 
practice of duelling; and it would ever give me pain 
to shed the blood of a fellow-creature in a private 
combat, forbidden by the laws." And yet, in twenty- 
four hours after the ink had become dry with which 
those imperishable words had been written, this 
illustrious statesman and general had fallen mortally 
wounded, and had yielded up a noble life a victim to 
the very custom whose adamantine mandates he did 
not possess sufficient greatness of character under the 
circumstances to resist. The writer has never been 
able to comprehend how it was possible for Hamil- 
ton to have met Burr in mortal combat how it was 
possible for any man to have chanced^ the extension 
of the circle of widows and orphans who, twenty-four 



INTRODUCTION. 1 5 

hours before his fall from an antagonist's bullet, had 
written : " My wife and children are extremely dear 
to me, and my life is of the utmost importance to 
them, in various views." 

What a contrast was the course of United States 
Senator Barnwell Rhett, of South Carolina the 
home of sectional and political Hotspurs during ante- 
bellum days in his answer to Senator Jeremiah Cle- 
mens, of Alabama, on the 28th of February, 1852 ! 
Rhett had declared, in a speech, a few days before, in 
the Senate of the United States, that he was in favor 
of the exercise of the right of secession ; and claimed 
that, "without the right of secession, we live under a 
consolidated despotism." Clemens, in reply, charged 
the South Carolinian with knavery and treason ; and, 
again, in replying to further remarks from Rhett, 
said : " He says that I called him a knave and a trai- 
tor. No man who heard that speech of mine ever 
entertained such an opinion but himself. The allu- 
sion to knavery was an illustration, not a charge. 
But, if I had done so, the subsequent course of that 
Senator justifies me in adding the epithet of coward 
to that of knave and traitor. He does not deserve 
the character of a man. No man, with the feeling of 
a man in his bosom, who believed such a charge was 
pending against him, would have sought redress here : he 
would have looked for it elsewhere /" This was, indeed, 
wrathful and inflammable ; and the portion italicized 
is incapable of but one meaning : it was an unmis- 
takable invitation for Greek to meet Greek ; or, at 
least, a savage intimation that the turbulent Ala- 
bamian was awaiting a challenge from the impetuous 
Carolinian. All of which elicited the following from 
Rhett, in the course of an elaborate reply : " But my 



1 6 INTRODUCTION. 

second reason for not calling the Senator from Ala- 
bama into the field was of a still higher and more 
controlling nature. For twenty years I have been a 
member of the Church of Christ. The Senator 
knows it ; everybody knows it. I cannot and will 
not dishonor my religious profession. / frankly 
admit that I fear God more than I fear man. True cour- 
age is best evinced by the firm maintenance of our 
principles amidst all temptations and all trials." 
There was an exhibition of true bravery ; which, 
while it may have spoiled a sensation, saved the com- 
mission of a crime, displayed exceeding nobility of 
character, and possibly kept woe and mourning from 
more than one domestic altar. Volumes might 
be written, interspersed with anecdotes or illustra- 
tions similar to the foregoing, to demonstrate the 
earnestness of the opposition to duelling, and the 
characteristic and lasting aversion in which certain 
notorious persons are held, or have been held, who 
have enjoyed the " honor" of politely killing their 
fellow-man. 

Duelling, however, it is claimed by many, has had 
some advantages, especially in England, Ireland, and 
America ; and to the custom may, in a degree, so it 
is claimed, be ascribed the extraordinary gentleness 
and complaisance of modern manners, and that re- 
spectful attention of one man to another which at 
present renders the social intercourse of life far 
more agreeable and careful than among the most 
civilized and cultivated nations prior to the com- 
mencement of the century in which we live. Those 
few people in English-speaking countries who defend 
duelling at present do so on the ground that it com- 
pensates for the insufficiency of legal justice, and are 



IN TROD UC TION. 1 7 

not inclined to look upon the custom as a relic of 
barbarism. They assume that law is not as effica- 
cious as lead. In the eradication of the evil they 
believe that an offended party has no positive means 
of repairing the injury put upon him ; or, in other 
words, that nothing but a hostile meeting can dissi- 
pate the offence. 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER I. 
DUELLING IN FRANCE. 

Description of the Judicial Duel Prohibition of Judicial Duelling 
in France Rage of Private Duelling among the French 
Startling Statistics Customs in France at the Present Time 
The Skewer-Duel in the French Army The Fencing-Schools of 

Paris Capricious Vigeant Rochefort, Cassagnac, Chapron, and 

Clemenceau. 

THERE is a very ancient edict in France forbidding 
duels in all civil causes, and in criminal causes limit- 
ing them to five cases. St. Louis afterward took off 
all restrictions; but his grandson, Philip the Fourth, 
incited by a motive deserving praise, and with the 
hope of decreasing the amount of bloodshed, restored 
the restrictions in 1303, though in 1308 he estab- 
lished the combat in criminal cases. As nearly as 
can be ascertained, the custom of judicial combats 
was kept up in France for upward of nine hundred 
years say from about 660 until 1547. The great 
Due de Sully, who did all in his power to urge his 
master, Henry IV., to repress duelling, has left the 
best account of the manner in which the ancient (or 
judicial) duel was fought that can be found. 



2O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

"In the first place," says De Sully, " nobody, how- 
ever offended, might take vengeance in his own right. 
They had their judges before whom he that thought 
himself injured was to give an account of the wrong 
suffered, and demand permission to prove, in the way 
of arms, that he did not lay upon his enemy a false 
accusation. It was then considered as shameful to 
desire blood for blood. The judge, who was com- 
monly the lord of the place, made the person accused 
appear before htm; and never allowed the decision of 
battle which was demanded by throwing a glove (or 
some other pledge) upon the ground but when he 
could get no other proof of either guilt or innocence. 
The pledges were received, and the judge deferred 
the decision of the quarrel to the end of two months, 
during the first of which the two enemies were deliv- 
ered, each of them, to common friends, upon security 
for their forthcoming; and then their friends endeav- 
ored, by all sorts of means, to discover the person 
criminal, and to give him a sense of the injustice of 
maintaining a falsehood, from which he could expect 
nothing but the loss of his reputation, of his life, and 
of his soul ! for they were persuaded, with the utmost 
degree of certainty, that Heaven always gave the vic- 
tory to the right cause; and, therefore, a duel, in their 
opinion, was an action of which the event could be 
determined by no human power. When the two 
months were expired, the two rivals were put into a 
close prison and committed to the ecclesiastics, who 
employed every motive to make them change their 
designs. If, after all this, they still persisted, a day 
was at last fixed to end their quarrel. When the day 
was come, the two men were brought, fasting in the 
morning, before the same judge, who obliged both of 



DUELLING IN FRANCE. 21 

them to declare upon oath that they said the truth, 
after which they were permitted to eat; they were 
then armed in the presence of the judge, the kind of 
arms being likewise settled; four seconds, chosen with 
much ceremony, saw them undressed and anointed all 
over the body with oil, and saw their beards and hair 
cut close. They were then conducted into an enclosed 
ground, and guarded by armed men, having been 
made to repeat, for the last time, their assertions and 
accusations. They were not even then suffered to 
advance to the combat; that moment their seconds 
joined them at the two ends of the field for another 
ceremony which, of itself, was enough to make their 
weapons drop from their hands, at least if there had 
remained any friendship between them. Their sec- 
onds made them join hands, with the fingers of one 
put between the fingers of the other; they demanded 
justice from one another, and were conjured on each 
side not to support a falsity; they solemnly promised 
to act upon terms of honor, and not to aim at victory 
by fraud or enchantment. The seconds examined 
their arms, piece by piece, to see that nothing was 
wanting, and then conducted the principals to the 
two ends of the lists, where they made them say their 
prayers and make their confession; then, asking each 
of them whether he had any message to send to his 
adversary, they suffered them to advance, which they 
did at the signal of the herald, who cried, from with- 
out the lists, ' Let the brave combatants go /' After this, 
it is true," concludes De Sully, " they fought without 
mercy, and the vanquished, dead or alive, incurred all 
the infamy of the crime and the punishment. He 
was dragged upon a hurdle for some time and after- 
ward hanged or burnt, while the other returned, hon- 



22 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

ored and triumphant, with a degree that attested him 
to have gained his suit, and allotted him all manner 
of satisfaction." 

Judicial combats were prohibited in France by 
Henry II., by an edict issued in 1547 the death of 
Francis de la Chastaignerie from injuries sustained at 
the hands of Guy Chabot de Jarnac having greatly 
affected the King, with whom the fallen Chastaignerie 
had been a great favorite. Besides, the appeal to 
high Heaven, as it were, was growing unpopular on 
general principles; and combats upon points of 
honor, as obscurely established by Philip le Bel, in 
1308, were getting to be of every-day occurrence no 
less a personage than Francis I., who had been de- 
feated and taken prisoner at Pavia, on February 24, 
1525, having, in 1528, sent a challenge to the Emperor 
Charles V., just before the Peace of Cambray. Henry 
III. (who was murdered by a friar named Jaques Cle- 
ment, on August i, 1589) made no effort during his 
reign to check the growing evil, while the custom had 
grown to involve seconds as well as principals; so 
that, during the reign of Henry IV. who issued 
edict after edict against a custom " that had already 
cost France," says some writer, " more gentle blood 
than thirty years of civil war" the dreadful mania 
had swept away nearly twenty thousand valuable lives! 
Louis XIII., however, beholding the gradual depopu- 
lation of some provinces of their most illustrious per- 
sonages, proceeded against the custom with unprece- 
dented severity, and caused many wounded duellists 
to be dragged violently from the so-called field of 
honor to the scaffold of dishonor. This mode of 
bloody and otherwise violent dealing, however, cre- 
ated very little abatement; rivulets of gentle blood 



DUELLING IN FRANCE. 23 

still continued to murmur silently away; and it was 
not until Louis XIV. attained his majority that an 
impediment was successfully raised against the alarm- 
ing mania the movement having been the voluntary 
compact of noblemen, and others of undoubted cour- 
age and punctiliousness, to abstain from the bloody 
practice. Louis XIV., perceiving the lull that had 
taken place, created a court of chivalry in 1644 (the 
members of which were the marshals of France), 
which was to decide on all those questions of honor 
which had formerly been settled permanently on san- 
guinary fields. From that time until the present 
there has been a general slacking off of the bloody 
custom, and there is a law now in France making 
killing in duels punishable as homicide, and permit- 
ting civil action on the part of friends of persons 
slain, while officers of the army and navy (and their 
seconds) participating in duels may be cashiered. 

Still, duelling in France has never received a quie- 
tus: and never will, so long as army officers permit 
private soldiers to meet in mortal combat and muti- 
late each other with skewers; and so long as the fenc- 
ing-schools of Paris may be counted by the score 
the flippant pen of " Mark Twain" to the contrary 
notwithstanding. To be sure, Louis Veuillot humor- 
ously declares that " amongst the amusements of 
Paris must be counted duels between journalists." 
He undoubtedly means that all such conflicts 
whether sanguinary or not are amusing to the non- 
combatants, just as it is fun for the boy who stones 
the frogs. French army officers, who are not permit- 
ted by law themselves to meet in mortal combat, 
claim that it would be impossible to maintain disci- 
pline and dignity in the army without from ten to 



24 THE FIELD OF HONOR, 

fifty skewer-duels per regiment annually among their 
men. The skewer-duel is brought about and carried 
on as follows: Two soldiers have a misunderstanding, 
and possibly exchange sharp words; a non-commis- 
sioned officer learns of the offence, and imprisons the 
offender for twenty-four hours; then they are led 
from durance vile, and furnished with seconds and 
skewers; and, after having been stripped to the skin 
of all their apparel but their shoes and trousers, they 
are directed to thrust away at each other with said 
implements of culinary use until one or the other is 
wounded and the honor of each is satisfied. "If it 
were not for the prospect of that pointed rapier be- 
fore them," says some writer, " these soldiers might 
sometimes kick and maul each other to death." As it 
is, these duels do not infrequently terminate tragi- 
cally. 

Theodore Child, writing to the New York Sun 
from Paris in December, 1882, after touching upon 
the practice of duelling in the French army, says: 

Among civilians duelling is defended on the ground that 
generally it compensates for the insufficiency of legal justice. 
This is, of course, a matter of opinion. I am not discussing : 
I am simply explaining the French point of view, and ac- 
counting for a phenomenon which we Anglo-Saxons are 
inclined to look upon as a relic of barbarism. The duel, it 
will be objected, does not give the offended party the means 
of repairing the wrong that has been done him. Materially, 
no ; morally, yes. Opinion has ordained that the single fact 
of the combat washes away the offence. Evidently, if a man 
were thirsting for vengeance, assassination would be a surer 
means ; but precisely the equality of the danger and the loy- 
alty of the combat give to the duel a color of chivalry which 
prevents all but the most prejudiced minds from confound- 
ing it with a criminal manoeuvre. The present French legis- 



DUELLING IN FRANCE. 2$ 

lation has no special law against duelling; the duellist can 
only be prosecuted as a murderer. The consequence is that 
the authorities rarely or never interfere. Opinion has sanc- 
tioned duelling, and, in spite of the edicts of Henry IV., of 
Richelieu, of Louis XIV., in spite of the eloquent protesta- 
tion of Jean Jacques Rousseau, and of the philosophers of 
the eighteenth century, it continues to be, in France, an 
important social institution. Just now there is a kind of 
epidemic of duels in France. Every day in the week there 
are meetings in the woods in the environs of Paris. The 
combatants no longer cross the frontier as of old. In the 
first place, the journey to the Belgian, German, or Spanish 
frontier is costly; in the second place, a Parisian wit has 
given out that if the combatants cross the frontier it is 
because they count on the engagement being interrupted 
by the gendarmes. Xhanks to the toleration of the police, 
engagements may safely take place around Paris ; and not 
long ago a large crowd witnessed a duel between two famous 
fencing-masters Pons, of Paris, and the Baron de San de 
Mulato, of Naples. This duel took place on the race-course 
at Vesinet. In point of fact, most of these encounters are 
not very serious affairs. The journalists of Paris often fight 
to get themselves and their papers talked about. For the 
benefit of duellists of this class an ingenious formula has 
been devised. An official report of every duel is forwarded 
to all the newspapers and signed by the seconds ; in this 
report it is stated that, after a combat of such and such 
duration, one of the antagonists received a scratch, or worse ; 
and the seconds, considering that the wound would render 
the chances unequal, felt themselves called upon to terminate 
the encounter and declare " honor to be satisfied." Never- 
theless, the frequency of duels, from whatever motives, has 
had the effect of causing a large part of the population of 
France to frequent the fencing-rooms, for the fashion set 
by Paris is followed in the provinces, and the provincial 
journals also have their head-line, "Duels," like their Pa- 
risian models. A new journal, called L'Escrzme, has been 
founded under high patronage to meet this new want of 



26 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

French society, and there exists a splendid volume, called 
"The Men of the Sword," in which a Parisian expert in 
matters of fencing (the Baron de Vaux) has analyzed the 
form, the style, and the performance of the most famous con- 
temporary swordsmen. In short, every man who respects 
himself every young fellow who pretends to be stylish 
must pass an hour or two every day in the fencing-rooms 
under the orders of his trainer. The fencing-room is fash- 
ionable ; and public opinion or, rather, the opinion of so- 
ciety under the Third Republic is that the duel preserves 
honor, reputation, and dignity. The fencing-rooms of Paris 
are counted by the score, and the profession of fencing- 
master is held in high honor. The most celebrated of the 
guild is Vigeant, the gentleman-master, as he is called 
by the Anglo-maniacs. Vigeant is a handsome young fellow 
who affects the airs of Achilles in his sulking moods. He is 
very touchy, reserved, and capricious. Some say he poses. 
He lives in a handsome apartment in the second story at 91 
Rue de Rennes. You ring, and the door is opened by a fine 
muscular man, whom you at once recognize as a provost of 
the profession. He introduces you into the cabinet of the 
master. On the chimney-piece is a seventeenth-century 
wood-engraving representing St. Michael, the patron saint 
of fencers. By the side of this picture is another of Don 
Quixote, sword in hand, gravely studying in some book of 
chivalry thrusts that are no longer secret. In the corners 
are rapiers of all kinds ; on the walls, engravings of fencing- 
scenes; a full-length portrait of the master, by Carolus 
Duran ; right and left two book-cases containing a unique 
collection of everything that has been written on fencing for 
the past three hundred years ; in the middle a table covered 
with books, an inkstand, a pen, and a rapier. It is here that 
Vigeant gives consultations on his art. Next in reputation 
to Vigeant is Merignac, who rarely exhibits his skill in pub- 
lic. Then, after these two stars, follow the lesser celebrities 
Mimiague, Rouleau, the brothers Robert, Cain, Gatechair, 
Pellerin, Lautieri, and others. Furthermore, the millionaires 
have their private fencing-rooms, one of the most splendid 



DUELLING IN FRANCE. 2/ 

of which is that of M. Edmond Dollfus, in his mansion in 
tlfie Rue Presbourg, where an assault at arms took place last 
Sunday in presence of the Mite of Parisian high life. M. 
Dollfus is also the President of the Fencing-Club. This 
assault was a most imposing affair. The proces verbal of it, 
printed in gold letters on parchment, and given to those 
who took part in the tournament, is a beautiful work of art. 
Drawn up in the style of the middle ages, this document 
records the details of the different encounters, and thus 
describes the managers of the tournament : " The Tribunal 
of Arms that directed this historical festival of the noble 
art of fencing, to wit : His Excellency the General of the 
French Armies Verge, grand master; and Messieurs Mi- 
miague et Pons's nephew, masters of arms of the first 
class and nobles of the sword, chancellors, assisted in their 
high and delicate functions as judges of the camp by H. E. 
the high and puissant Monsignor Canrobert, Marshal of 
the French armies ; by H. E. M. the Marquis de Alta-Villa 
de la Puente, grand marshal of the court of her Majesty the 
Queen-Mother Dona Isabel de Borbon y Borbon, Catholic, 
Caesarian, and Imperial Majesty of the Spains and the Indies, 
Lady of Biscay and Queen of Navarre; by H. E. M. the 
Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, entitled the great Frenchman ; 
by the sieur Legouve, member of the French Academy ; by 
the noble and puissant signiors the Baron Antonio de 
Ezpeleta, the Count Potocki, and G. de Borda, and by the 
sieurs Wasckiewicz, Dollfus senior, and Paul Granier de 
Cassagnac, also noble signiors." In the above extract 
from this fantastic and aristocratic document will be found 
some of the great names among the amateur swordsmen. 
The five reputedly best amateurs are MM. Alfonso de Al- 
dama, Ezpeleta, the Comte de Labenne, the Comte Linde- 
mann, De Wackiewicz, and De Ferry d'Esclands. Among 
the journalists and poets who are famous fencers and du- 
ellists may be mentioned Aurelien Scholl, Leon Chapron, 
Henry Fouquier of the XIX. Siecle, the Baron Harden- 
Hickey of the royalist journal Le Triboulet, Arthur Paul 
de Cassagnac, Ranc, Jean Richepin, Albert de Saint-Albin 



28 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

(Robert Milton of the Figaro), Rene Maizeroi, and Ar- 
mand Silvestre. Among painters the finest blades are 
Alfred Stevens and Carolus Duran. In Carolus Duran's 
studio, in the Rue Notre Dame des Champs, the most con- 
spicuous objects on the walls, besides the pictures and 
sketches, are a mask, glove, and rapier, and a guitar. 
Carolus is a very brilliant swordsman, of whom his master, 
Vigeant, speaks only with respect. This celebrated artist, 
with his swaggering gait, his lace sleeve-ruffles, his fine 
voice, and his varied accomplishments, ought to have been 
born in the sixteenth century. He is too picturesque for our 
prosaic times. Alfred Stevens, too, is a man of the type of 
the gallant knight of old. I need not say that fencing does 
not hurt the talent of either of these excellent painters. For 
that matter, they have illustrious predecessors who excelled 
in the two arts. Raphael Sanzio was a first-class fencer. 
Benvenuto Cellini, Velasquez, and Salvator Rosa handled 
the sword in perfection ; and the Spaniard Ribera, who was 
killed in a duel, was the most celebrated bravo of all the 
Spains. In a list of Parisian duellists the names of Henri 
Rochefort and Dr. Clemenceau must not be omitted. But 
neither of these men is a fencer ; the latter is a dead shot 
with the pistol ; the former is never wanting in pluck what- 
ever be the weapon chosen. In the combats of the present 
day the pistol is very rarely used. The fashionable weapon 
is the rapier or the sabre. It is different from the days of 
the famous Lord Seymour, when the gilded youth of Paris 
found it necessary to be accomplished in the art of boxing, 
single-stick, and the savate, a brutal art of kicking which is 
to a Frenchman what fisticuffs are to an Anglo-Saxon. The 
reader may, perhaps, remember that Eugene Sue, in his 
" Mysteries of Paris," relates how Prince Rudolphe was able 
to vanquish his enemies by his knowledge of^the manner in 
which the lower classes settle their differences when they 
refrain by mutual consent from using their knives. Those 
were the days when the Due de Grammont-Caderousse and 
his friends used to sup at Philippe's in the Rue Montorgueil, 
and the natural conclusion to the carouse was a hand-^o- 



DUELLING IN FRANCE. 2$ 

hand fight with the market porters. The polished youth 
of to-day take no delight in such turbulent sports. Under 
the direction of Saint-Michael, Don Quixote, and Master 
Vigeant, the present duelling and fencing mania is as likely 
as not to lead to a renaissance of chivalry. The French 
under the Third Republic will have their tournaments and 
courts of arms, their knights and nobles of the sword, to 
correspond to the aesthetic eccentricities of their neighbors 
across the Channel. There will then be a chance for "some 
witty Tybalt with his pen prepared " to write a companion- 
piece to "Patience" or the "Colonel," all bristling with 
secret thrusts and full of the tac-tac and clashing of the 
weapons of satire and ridicule. 

Some of the famous French duellists have appeared 
so often in the arena that their names are as familiar 
(as doughty champions of the sword and pistol) in 
the United States as in France. Of these are the 
famous Paul de Cassagnac and Henri Rochefort. 
Dr. Clemenceau is also a terror to his foe, as he is a 
deadly expert with the pistol and no mean swords- 
man. For anybody to meet Paul de Cassagnac is a sure 
passport to the hospital or the grave pretty much as 
this leonine newspaper-man chooses to be merciless 
or lenient. Rochefort is also a very effective duellist, 
although he once showed his fear of the Imperialist 
bully Cassagnac by declining to accept his challenge 
except with the understanding that they should fight 
with loaded pistols, breast to breast a proposition 
which partook of the profession of the butcher rather 
than of the journalist, and which Paul very properly 
declined. Fatal duels, however, are rare events nowa- 
days in France, there having been but eight deaths 
out of 545 duels fought since 1869. 



30 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER II. 

* 

DUELLING IN ENGLAND. 

Rise and Fall cf Judicial Duelling (or Trial by Wager of Battle) 
Mode of Combat Statistics of Private Duelling The Duke of 
Hamilton and Lord Mohun Lord Howard and the Duchess of 
Shrewsbury Colonel Fawcett and Captain Munroe Lieuten- 
ants Seton and Hawkey Article of War against Duelling in the 
British Army. 

THE custom of Judicial Duelling (or Trial by Wager 
of Battle) was introduced into England for accusa- 
tions of treason (if neither the accused nor the accuser 
could produce good evidence) during the reign of 
William II., in 1096. Out of this custom grew a law 
in England whereby a man charged with murder 
might fight the appellant for the purpose of making 
proof of his guilt or innocence. This law was upon 
the English statute-book for two or three hundred 
years, but was struck from off said statute-book 
during the reign of George III., in 1819 and on ac- 
count of the following incident: In 1817 one Abraham 
Thornton was charged with the murder of, a young 
maid named Mary Ashford, and in an appeal claimed 
his right by the "wager of battle" (the title of the 
Act), which the court allowed; but the appellant (the 
brother of the murdered girl) refused the challenge 
(on account of his youth), and the accuser escaped all 
punishment. 



DUELLING IN ENGLAND. 3! 

The first judicial duel ever fought in England the 
first battle by single combat was that fought before 
William II. and his peers between Geoffrey Baynard 
and William, Earl of Eu. The latter had been ac- 
cused of high treason by Baynard in 1096, and was 
subsequently conquered in combat, and therefore 
deemed convicted. This system was brought to an 
end in 1631 by Charles I., who prevented a similar en- 
counter between Lord Reay and David Ramsay. 
One of the latest English episodes of the trial by bat- 
tle took place during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, in 
1571, in which the defendant in a civil case instituted 
for the recovery of manorial rights in the Isle of Har- 
tic, Kent, offered to maintain his right to possession 
by the duel. This somewhat astonished the court; 
but, as it admitted that it had no power of refusal, 
the petitioners accepted the challenge, champions 
were appointed, and the proper arrangements forth- 
with made perfect for the judicial combat; and, al- 
though an edict had been issued by the Queen (who 
wished to see no bloodshed) that the parties compro- 
mise, as a matter of justice to the defendant, who had 
demanded the battle, and to maintain the authority 
of the law, it was decided that the duel must be per- 
mitted to proceed. This was the last judicial combat 
in England in a civil case, although one occurred in 
a court of chivalry in 1631, and a similar one still la- 
ter, in 1638. 

Like the judicial duel in France, the form and man- 
ner of waging battle upon appeal in England were 
characterized by remarkable ceremonious proceeding, 
while the oaths of the two combatants were vastly 
more striking and solemn. The appellee, when ap- 
pealed of felony, pleaded "Not guilty," and threw 



32 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

down his glove and declared that he would defend 
the same by his body. The appellant then took up 
the glove and replied that he was ready to make good 
the appeal, body for body. And thereupon the ap- 
pellee took the Bible in his right hand, and in his 
left the right hand of his antagonist, and swore as 
follows: " Hear this, O man, whom I hold by the 
hand, who callest thyself John by the name of bap- 
tism, that I, who call myself Thomas by the name of 
baptism, did not feloniously murder thy father, Wil- 
liam by name, nor am any way guilty of the said 
felony; so help me God and the saints; and this I 
will defend against thee by my body, as this court 
shall award." To which the appellant replies, hold- 
ing the Bible and his antagonist's hand in the same 
manner as the other: "Hear this, O man whom I 
hold by the hand, who callest thyself Thomas by 
name of baptism, that thou art perjured; and there- 
fore perjured because that thou feloniously didst 
murder my father, William by name; so help me 
God and the saints; and this I will prove against 
thee by my body, as this court shall award." A day 
is then set for the battle, arms selected (batons), and 
the same oaths administered as in French courts 
against the use of amulets and sorcery. In the com- 
bat, " if the appellee be so far vanquished that he 
cannot or will not fight any longer, he shall be ad- 
judged to be hanged immediately; and then, as well 
as if he be killed in battle, Providence is deemed to 
have determined in favor of the truth, and his blood 
shall be attainted. But if he kills the appellant, or 
can maintain the fight from sun-rising till the stars 
appear in the evening, he shall be acquitted. So, 
also, if the appellant becomes recreant, and pro- 



DUELLING IN ENGLAND. 33 

nounces the horrible word craven (which means that 
he craves or begs for his life from his antagonist), he 
shall lose his liberam legem (that is, he shall lose his 
right of law), and become infamous; and the appellee 
shall recover his damages, and also be forever quit, 
not only of the appeal, but of all indictments likewise 
for the same offence." 

The following is taken from " Cobbett's 'Complete 
Collection of State Trials" (vol. iii., p. 515), .pub- 
lished in London in 1809, and has reference to the 
manner of combat: "And forthwith there shall be an 
oyez or proclamation made, that none shall be so bold 
but the combatants to speak or do anything that 
shall disturb the battle: and whosoever shall do 
against this proclamation shall suffer imprisonment 
for a year and a day. Then they shall fight with 
weapons, but not with any iron, but with two staves 
or bastons tipt with horn, of an ell long, both of 
equal length, and each of them a target, and with no 
other weapon may they enter the lists. And if the 
defendant can defend himself till after sunset, till you 
may see the stars in the firmanent, and demand 
judgment if he ought to fight any longer, then there 
must be judgment given on the defendant's side." 

Verstegan, the antiquary, in his curious book en- 
titled " Restitution of Decayed Intelligence in An- 
tiquities concerning the Most Noble and Renowned 
English Nation," says: "In the trial by single com- 
bat, or camp-fight, the accuser was with the peril of 
his own body to prove the accused guilty, and, by 
offering him his glove, to challenge him to this trial: 
the which the other must either accept of or else ac- 
knowledge himself culpable of the crime whereof he 
was accused. If it were a crime deserving death, 



34 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

then was the camp-fight for life and death, and either 
on horseback or on foot. If the offence deserved im- 
prisonment and not death, then was the camp-fight 
accomplished when the one had subdued the other, 
by making him to yield, or unable to defend himself, 
and so be taken prisoner. The accused had the lib- 
erty to choose another in his stead, but the accuser 
must perform it in his own person, and with equality 
of weapon. The priests and people that were specta- 
tors did silently pray that the victory might fall unto 
the guiltless. And if the fight were for life or death, 
a bier stood ready to carry away the dead, body of 
him that should be slain. None of the people might 
cry, shriek out, make any noise, or give any sign 
whatsoever; as the executioner stood beside the 
judges, ready with an axe to cut off the right hand 
and left foot of the party so offending. He that (be- 
ing wounded) did yield himself was at the mercy of 
the other, to be killed or to be let live. If he were 
slain, then was he carried away and honorably buried; 
and he that slew him reputed more honorable than 
before. But if, being overcome, he were left alive, 
then was he by sentence of the judges declared utter- 
ly void of all honest reputation, and never to ride on 
horseback nor carry arms." 

[If the reader wishes to inform himself very fully 
upon this subject, he may consult Lord Coke's 3d 
Inst., c. 2, p. 26; also Blackstone's Comm., b. iv., c. 
19, 4, and c. 27, 3; also " Cobbett s Complete Col- 
lection of State Trials," vol. iii., pp. 483, 511, and 
518; also an account of the "Trial by Battle from 
Minshew's Dictionary."] 

Duelling did not prevail as a custom in England 
until late during the reign of Queen Elizabeth; at 



DUELLING IN ENGLAND. 35 

which period Vincentio Saviolo, a little Italian fenc- 
ing-teacher of violent temper and affected punctil- 
iousness, published a small volume entitled " A 
Treatise of Honor," which was at once adopted 
(1594) by certain parties as a standard work of refer- 
ence in cases of " honor involved." From 1594 until 
1713 much precious blood was spilled in England, 
Scotland, and Ireland upon " fields of honor," most of 
the combats during that time having been carried on 
by the use of small swords, which had been intro- 
duced into England in 1587. But the fatal duel be- 
tween the Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun 
(which was fought with small swords in Hyde Park 
on November 15, 1712, and in which the latter was 
killed on the spot, while the Duke expired of his 
wounds as he was being conveyed to his carriage) 
created much sensation throughout England, and an 
attempt was made in the House of Commons a short 
time afterward to enact a bill for the suppression of 
duelling, which 'was an effective entering wedge, 
although the bill was lost on the third reading. 
From that time, however, until the present, con-*- 
tinued efforts have been made in England to constitute 
duelling an offence; and in 1679 Charles II. issued a 
proclamation that any person killing another in a 
duel should be held for trial, and upon conviction 
should not be pardoned and yet, during this 
Charles's reign (from May 29, 1660, to February 6, 
1685), there took place 196 duels, in which 75 per- 
sons were killed and 108 wounded, upon English soil. 
Indeed, duelling was carried to its greatest possible 
excess during the reigns of James I. and the two 
Charleses; and in the reign of the latter the seconds 
always fought as well as the principals in fact the 




36 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

latter generally selected their seconds with regard to 
their courage and adroitness. 

It was during the reign of Charles II. that Lord 
Howard, of Carlisle, gave a grand fete-champetre at 
Spring Gardens, near the village of Charing the 
Vauxhall of that day. This fete was to facilitate an 
intrigue between Lord Howard and the profligate 
Duchess of Shrewsbury; but the gay and fascinating 
Sidney flirted with the Duchess, abstracted her atten- 
tion from Howard, and ridiculed the festivities. 
Early on the following day, Howard sent a challenge 
to Sidney, who chose as his second a young giant 
named Dillon, a noted furious and adroit swordsman, 
while his Lordship selected a young gentleman 
named Rawlings, who had just come into possession 
of an estate with an income of ^10,000 a year. Sid- 
ney received three serious thrusts from Howard, and 
was taken from the field dangerously wounded, 
whilst his second was run through the heart and left 
dead in his tracks. Upon the receipt of this news the 
Duke of Shrewsbury became greatly excited, and 
challenged the infamous Buckingham for intriguing 
with his wife. The challenge was, of course, accepted, 
and the Duchess, disguised as a page, accompanied 
Buckingham to the field, and held his horse while he 
fought and killed her husband. The slaying of 
Shrewsbury was characterized as a cold-blooded mur- 
der; still, the King, in spite of every remonstrance 
from the Queen, received Buckingham with open 
arms a short time after this brutal outrage. 

In 172 duels fought in England during a stated 
period, 69 persons were killed (in three, neither of 
the combatants survived); 96 persons were wounded, 
' 48 desperately and 48 slightly, and 188 escaped 



DUELLING IN ENGLAND. $? 

unhurt. Thus, rather more than one fifth lost their 
lives, and nearly one half received the bullets or 
thrusts of their antagonists. It appears, also, that, 
out of this number of duels, eighteen trials took 
place; six of the arraigned were acquitted, seven were 
found guilty of manslaughter, and three of murder; 
two were executed, and eight were imprisoned for 
different periods. 

The custom was checked in the army in 1792, dur- 
ing the reign of George III., but received its severest 
check in the army and navy of Great Britain in 1844, 
by an article of war which rendered duelling an 
offence punishable by cashiering: and which was 
urged through Parliament on account of the san- 
guinary meeting of Colonel Fawcett and Captain 
Munroe (at which the former was killed), July i, 
1843. On May 20, 1845, however, two army officers 
(Lieutenant Seton and Lieutenant Hawkey) met in 
hostile encounter, and the former was killed. This 
tragic affair produced a renewed opposition to the 
custom, and a society " for the discouraging of duel- 
ling" was at once established; and since that time, on 
account of the influence of public opinion and the 
terrors of the law, the practice of duelling in Eng- 
land may be said to have almost wholly ceased to 
exist. The following is the article of war referred to 
for the repression of duelling in the armies of Great 
Britain (and there are other laws of a similar char- 
acter) : 

" Every officer who shall give or send a challenge, 
or who shall accept any challenge, to fight a duel with 
another officer, or who, being privy to an intention to 
fight a duel, shall not take active measures to prevent 
such duel, or who shall upbraid each other for refus- 



38 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

ing, or for not giving, a challenge, or who shall 
reject, or advise the rejection of, a reasonable propo- 
sition made for the honorable adjustment of a diffi- 
culty, shall be liable, if convicted before a general 
court-martial, to be cashiered, or suffer such other 
punishment as the court may award." 



DUELLING IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. 39 



CHAPTER III. 
DUELLING IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. 

The Irish and Scotch Passion for Duelling Qualifications of 
Irish Respectability: "What Family is he of? Did he ever 
blaze ?" Sir Jonah Barrington's Felicity How Two Irishmen 
met Two Gentlemen from London Melancholy and Furious 
Encounters in Scotland The Troubles of a Royal Husband 
The Law of Combat by the Best AuthoritiesA Codification 
that covers Delicate Questions. 

THE Emerald Isle may be said to be dotted all 
over with " fields of honor," so thick and fast and 
furious have been the deadly encounters among the 
"wearers of the green;" particularly during the days 
of the old Parliament in College Green, Dublin, at 
which time it was deemed not injudicious for the as- 
piring barrister to purchase a case of pistols and the 
necessary law-books at the same time. Indeed, it 
is related of Hutchinson, the Provost of Trinity Col- 
lege (himself a noted duellist), that, when a certain 
student approached him with importunities regard- 
ing a course of legal study, he directed the young 
aspirant to buy a case of pistols and to learn their 
use; "as," added Hutchinson, "they will get you 
along faster than Fearne or Blackstone." This was 
literally "teaching the young idea how to shoot." 
O'Connell, Curran, Grattan, McNamara, Castlereagh, 
Sheridan, Barrington, Fitzgibbon, Flood, O'Brien, 



4O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

O'Gorman, and many other Irishmen of note, have 
all fought within the lists. 

Judicial duelling was established in Ireland in the 
year noo, and flourished until 1631, during which time 
many sanguinary combats occurred; one of the most 
remarkable, as well as one of the most tragic, having 
been that which took place in 1533, at Dublin Castle, 
before the lords justices and council, between Connor 
MacCormack O'Connor and Teig MacGilpatrick 
O'Connor, in which the former was severely wounded 
many times, and was ultimately despatched and had 
his head cut off and presented to the lords justices by 
the victorious Teig. It was after the degeneracy of the 
judicial duel, however, that the custom in Ireland took 
on its most desperate shape, and became popular as 
an institution; and it was long after its general de- 
cline in England that lovers of duelling in Ireland 
grudgingly relinquished their fondness for a custom 
that had brought into the field so many intrepid fel- 
lows and capital shots. It has been stated by 
some writer on the subject that no duels are palat- 
able to both parties except those that are engaged in 
from motives of revenge. From a general stand- 
point this is undoubtedly true; and your Irish duel- 
list was seldom an exception. But one of the greatest 
and most distinguished of all the Irish fighters (Cur- 
ran) was probably the least ferocious, at least after 
the preliminaries of combat had been perfectly ar- 
ranged. Curran's charming impudence and humor 
never abandoned him he may have met Hobart, 
Fitzgibbon, and Burrowes with hostility in his eye, 
but he must also have met them with a smile upon his 
lips. When the second of Peter Burrowes stated to 
Curran's second that his principal was in a very feeble 



DUELLING IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. 41 

condition, and wanted to be allowed to lean against 
a milestone during the exchange of shots; and Cur- 
ran, after listening to the invalid's ingenuous request, 
responded, " Certainly, provided I am allowed to 
lean against the next milestone," there must have 
been twinkles in his eyes as well as smiles at his lips. 
At the present time duelling is at a great discount in 
Ireland, and the laws against the custom are pretty 
rigidly enforced. 

Sir Jonah Harrington, Judge of the High Court of 
Admiralty in Ireland (a noted duellist in his day), in 
his " Personal Sketches of his Own Times," devotes 
two chapters to Irish duellists and duelling, and says 
that " Single combat was formerly a very prevalent 
and favorite mode of administering justice in Ireland; 
and not being considered so brutal as bull-fights, or 
other beastly amusements of that nature, it was au- 
thorized by law, and frequently performed before the 
high authorities and their ladies bishops, judges, 
and other persons of high office generally honoring 
the spectacle with their presence. Two hundred and 
twenty-seven memorable and official duels have actu- 
ally been fought during my grand climacteric. . . . 
In my time the number of killed and wounded among 
the bar was very considerable. It is, in fact, incredible 
what a singular passion the Irish gentlemen (though 
in general excellent-tempered fellows) formerly had 
for fighting each other and immediately making 
friends again. A duel was, indeed, considered a 
necessary part of a young man's education, but by no 
means a ground for future animosity with his oppo- 
nent. . . . When men had a glowing ambition to ex- 
cel in all manner of feats and exercises they naturally 
conceived that manslaughter, in an honest way (that 



42 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

is, not knowing which would be slaughtered), was the 
most chivalrous and gentlemanly of all their accom- 
plishments. No young fellow could finish his educa- 
tion till he had exchanged shots with some of his 
acquaintances. . . . The two first questions always 
asked as to a young man's respectability and qualifi- 
cations, particularly when he proposed for a lady 
wife, were, 'What family is he of?' and 'Did he 
ever blaze?' . . . Tipperary and Galway were the 
ablest schools of the duelling science. Galway was 
most scientific at the sword, and Tipperary most 
practical and prized at the pistol; Mayo not amiss at 
either, while Roscommon and Sligo had many pro- 
fessors and a high reputation in the leaden branch of 
the pastime. . . . Our elections were more prolific 
in duels than any other public meetings; they very 
seldom originated at a horse-race, hunt, or any place 
of amusement. ... I think I may challenge any 
country in Europe to show such an assemblage of 
gallant judicial and official antagonists at fire and 
sword as is exhibited in the following partial list: 
The Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Lord Clare, fought 
the Master of the Rolls, Curran. The Chief-Justice 
K. B., Lord Clonmel, fought Lord Tyrawly (a Privy 
Councillor), Lord Llandoff, and two others. The 
judge of the county of Dublin, Egan, fought the 
Master of the Rolls, Roger Barrett, and three others. 
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Right Honor- 
able Isaac Corry, fought the Right Honorable Henry 
Grattan (a Privy Councillor) and another. A Baron 
of the Exchequer, Baron Medge, fought his brother- 
in-law and two others. The Chief-Justice C. P., Lord 
Norbury, fought Fire-eater Fitzgerald and two other 
gentleman, and frightened Napper Tandy and seve- 



DUELLING IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. 43 

ra. besides. The judge of the Prerogative Court, 
Dr. Duigenan, fought one barrister and frightened 
another on the ground. The Chief Counsel to the 
Revenue, Henry Deane Grady, fought Counsellor 
O'Mahon, Counsellor Campbell, and others. The 
Master of the Rolls, Curran, fought Lord Bucking- 
hamshire, the Chief Secretary. The Provost of the 
University of Dublin, the Right Honorable Hely 
Hutchinson, fought Mr. Doyle, Master in Chancery, 
and some others. The Chief-Justice C. P. Patter- 
son fought three country gentlemen, one of them 
with swords and the others with guns, and wounded 
all of them. The Right Honorable George Ogle (a 
Privy Councillor), fought Barney Coyle (a distiller), 
because he was a papist. Thomas Wallace, K.C., 
fought Mr. O'Gorman, the Catholic Secretary. The 
Collector of Customs of Dublin, the Honorable Fran- 
cis Hutchinson, fought the Right Honorable Lord 
Mountmorris. The reader of this dignified list will 
surely see no great indecorum in an admiralty judge 
having now and then exchanged broadsides, more es- 
pecially as they did not militate against the law of 
nations." 

In the reign of Queen Anne party spirit ran very 
high, particularly in the city of Dublin, where duels 
were fought almost daily on account of politics. Two 
gentlemen of London Major Park and Captain Creed 
who valued themselves highly on their skill in 
fencing, hearing of the frequency of "affairs of honor" 
in Dublin, like true knights-errant, resolved to go 
there in quest of adventures. On inquiry they learned 
that Mr. Mathew, of Thomastown, in Tipperary, who 
had recently arrived from France, had the character 
of being one of the finest swordsmen in Europe. 



44 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Park, rejoicing to find a worthy antagonist, resolved, 
on the first opportunity, to have a trial of skill with 
him. This was soon the case, and the parties met at 
a tavern, Mathew accompanied by a Mr. Macnamara, 
and Major Park attended by his friend Creed. The 
doors being secured, Park and Mathew, without par- 
ley or explanation, drew their swords; but Macna- 
mara stopped them and said that it was impossible 
for him, in cases of such a nature, to remain a cool 
spectator; and then, addressing himself to Captain 
Creed, continued: "If you please, sir, I shall have the 
honor of entertaining you in the same manner." 
Creed, who desired nothing better, replied by drawing 
his sword, and at it the four champions went. The 
conflict was of long duration, and was maintained 
with remarkable skill and obstinacy by the two offi- 
cers, notwithstanding the great effusion of blood from 
the many wounds they had received. At length, 
completely exhausted, they both fell, and yielded the 
victory to the superior skill of their antagonists. 
The number of wounds received by the vanquished 
parties was very great; and, what seems almost mi- 
raculous, their opponents were untouched. The sur- 
geons, who were at once called, seeing the desperate 
state of their patients, would not suffer them to be 
removed from the room in which they had , fought, 
but had beds immediately taken into it, on which the 
two wounded officers lay many hours in a state of 
danger and insensibility. When they were able to see 
visitors, Mathew and Macnamara called and attended 
them daily; and a close friendship and intimacy after- 
ward ensued, as they found their fallen antagonists 
gentlemen of strict honor and integrity, and of the 
best dispositions, except in their Quixotish fondness 



DUELLING IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. 45 

for duelling, of which they had, however, become 
completely cured. 

Scotland never took the same popular interest in 
duelling as its impetuous neighbor; and, as early as 
1580, although licenses for mortal combats could be 
.obtained from the Crown, the killing of a person in a 
duel without a license could be called murder. Judi- 
cial duelling was introduced into Scotland about the 
year noo, and flourished for over five hundred years. 
When the character of the laws against duelling in 
Scotland is considered, it is readily understood why 
the custom did not prevail to the same popular ex- 
tent among the Scots as among their more roistering 
neighbors; for when a duel took place upon a chal- 
lenge in Scotland and was followed by the death of 
one of the parties, the survivor was charged with mur- 
der, however fair and equal the combat may have 
been conducted; and the better to repress such irregu- 
larities, the legislature, by the statute of 1600, raised 
the bare act of engaging in a duel to the same rank 
of a capital crime as the actual slaughter, without 
distinguishing whether any of the parties did or did 
not suffer any wound or material harm on the occa- 
sion; and, to complete the restraint, it was by the 
statute of 1696 made punishable with banishment and 
escheat of movables to be concerned in the giving, 
sending, or accepting a challenge, even though no 
combat should ensue. 

Still, the same difficulty was experienced in the 
total abolishment of the custom in Scotland as in 
some other countries; and few duels have been ac- 
companied with more melancholy circumstances than 
one fought near Edinburgh, in 1790, between Sir 
George Ramsay and Captain Macrae, which origi- 



46 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

nate in the following seemingly trivial circumstance: 
A servant of Sir George, keeping a chair at the door 
of the Edinburgh Theatre, was directed by Captain 
Macrae to remove it; and, upon his declining to do so, 
words ensued, and the fracas was ended by a severe 
chastisement of the servant at the hands of the en- 
raged officer. Meeting next day with Sir George, 
Macrae insisted upon the dismissal of the servant 
from his service, which was politely refused on the 
ground that, whatever may have been the nature of 
the offence, the offender had already received suffi- 
cient punishment. A challenge was the immediate 
consequence, and the parties met on Musselburgh 
Links, Sir George accompanied by Sir William Max- 
well, and Macrae by Captain Hay. The former fired 
first, but without effect. Captain Macrae returned 
the fire, and lodged his bullet near the heart of his 
antagonist. Sir George languished a few days in 
great agony, when he expired. The poor fellow on 
whose account this duel happened no sooner heard of 
his master's death than he fell into convulsions and 
died in three hours; and Captain Macrae at once fled 
the country. 

The following story illustrates the fighting qualities 
of the Scotch, In the year 1396 a cruel feud existed 
between the Clan Chattan and the Clan Kay, which 
Robert III. had vainly endeavored to reconcile. At 
length the Earls of Crawford and Dunbar proposed 
that the differences should be determined by the 
sword, by thirty champions upon each side. The war- 
riors were speedily selected, the day of combat fixed, 
the field chosen, and the King and his nobility assem- 
bled as spectators. On reviewing the combatants it 



DUELLING IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. 47 

was found that one of the Clan Chattan was missing, 
when it was proposed that one of the Clan Kay should 
withdraw; but such was the spirit of these brave 
fellows that not one could be prevailed upon to re- 
sign the honor of the day. At length a saddler named 
Wild, who happened accidentally to be present, 
offered to supply the place of the missing Mackintosh, 
and was accepted. The combat was at once com- 
menced, and by the prowess of Wild victory declared 
itself in favor of the champions with whom he fought. 
Of the Clan Chattan only ten and the volunteer were 
left alive, and all were dangerously wounded; while 
of the Clan Kay only one survived, who, after declin- 
ing either to surrender or to proceed further in so un- 
equal a contest, threw himself into the Tay and swam 
across. This combat has been immortalized by Sir 
Walter Scott, in his novel, "The Fair Maid of Perth." 

During the civil wars Sir Ewan Lochiel, while Chief 
of the Clan Cameron, sent a challenge to Colonel Pel- 
lew, an English officer, who accepted it and named 
swords as weapons. The fight took place the follow- 
ing day; and, after two hours' combat, Lochiel dis- 
armed the Englishman, the sword of the latter flying 
nearly twenty feet into the air. They then clinched, 
and wrestled more than half an hour, when they fell 
together, Lochiel underneath. The latter, although 
the smaller and weaker of the two, managed to fasten 
his teeth into the throat of his antagonist, and tore 
away several ounces of flesh, which he held in his 
mouth like a wild beast until he left the field: and 
to his dying day Sir Ewan declared that it was the 
sweetest morsel he had ever tasted in his life. 

In 1567 a great commotion was produced in Scot- 



4 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

land on account of the cnarge of Lord Herries that 
Morton and Maitland were the murderers of Lord 
Darnley, the husband of Queen Mary. This charge 
elicited a challenge to Lord Herries from Lord Lind- 
say, who declined, however, to meet only those whom 
he had accused. Morton and Maitland and two 
brothers named Murray subsequently accused the 
Duke of Orkney, James Hepburn Bothwell (the one 
whom Mary, afterward married), as the real murderer 
of Darnley; who, in turn, challenged all gentlemen of 
honorable standing who accused him of the murder 
of the former husband of the Queen, or who believed 
him to have been in any way whatever a participant 
in the crime; and claimed, further, that his trial and 
acquittal should be accepted as conclusive evidence 
regarding his innocence. No person of rank took 
notice of this general challenge; and, at last, while at 
the head of the army so constant was the annoyance 
from his adversaries Bothwell published a cartel of 
defiance (calling upon many of his prominent enemies 
by name), and offered to prove his innocence by 
wager of battle. This brought out a score or more of 
gallant men of acknowledged rank, and among them 
Lords Morton and Lindsay, who elected to fight 
with two-handed swords. The Queen, however, inter- 
fered, and commanded tranquillity; and so the guilty 
Bothwell was spared from the weapons of scores of 
enraged swordsmen of Grange and Tullibarden, who 
were only too willing to take a hand in sending the 
Duke to his final account. 

The Irish code duello from which all other codes 
(in the English language) have been written or made 
/'with modifications suited to the times and coun- 



DUELLING IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. 49 

tries or persons who have adopted it) was adopted 
at the Clonmel Summer Assizes, 1777, for the gov- 
ernment of duellists, by the gentlemen of Tipperary, 
Galway, Mayo, Sligo, and Roscommon, and pre- 
scribed for general adoption throughout Ireland. 
" These rules," says Sir Jonah Harrington, " brought 
the whole business of duelling to a focus, and have 
been much acted upon down to the present day." 
They were, in Galway, called the twenty-six com- 
mandments, and are as follows: 

RULE I. The first offence requires the first apol- 
ogy, though the retort may have been more offensive 
than the insult. Example : A tells B he is imperti- 
nent, etc. B retorts that he lies ; yet A must make 
the first apology, because he gave the first offence, 
and (after one fire) B may explain away the retort 
by subsequent apology. 

RULE II. But if the parties would rather fight on, 
then, after two shots each (but in no case before), B 
may explain first and A apologize afterward. 

N. B. The above rules apply to all cases of 
offences in retort not of a stronger class than the ex- 
ample. 

RULE III. If a doubt exists who gave the first 
offence, the decision rests with the seconds. If they 
will not decide or cannot agree, the matter must 
proceed to two shots, or to a hit if the challenger re- 
quires it. 

RULE IV. When the lie direct is the first offence, 
the aggressor must either beg pardon in express 
terms, exchange two shots previous to apology, or 
three shots followed by explanation, or fire on till a 
severe hit be received by one party or the other. 



SO THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

RULE V. As a blow is strictly prohibited under 
any circumstances among gentlemen, no verbal 
apology can be received for such an insult. The 
alternatives, therefore, are: The offender handing a 
cane to the injured party to be used on his back, at 
the same time begging pardon; firing until one or 
both are disabled; or exchanging three shots and 
then begging pardon without the proffer of the 
cane. 

N. B. If swords are used, the parties engage until 
one is well blooded, disabled, or disarmed, or until, 
after receiving a wound and blood being drawn, the 
aggressor begs pardon. 

RULE VI. If A gives B the lie and B retorts by a 
blow (being the two greatest offences), no reconcilia- 
tion can take place till after two discharges each or 
a severe hit, after which B may beg A's pardon for 
the blow, and then A may explain simply for the lie, 
because a blow is never allowable, and the offence 
of the lie, therefore, merges in it. (See preceding 
rule.) 

N. B. Challenges for undivulged causes may be 
conciliated on the ground after one shot. An expla- 
nation or the slightest hit should be sufficient in such 
cases, because no personal offence transpired. 

RULE VII. But no apology can be received in any 
case after the parties have actually taken their 
ground without exchange of shots. 

RULE VIII. In the above case no challenger is 
obliged to divulge his cause of challenge (if private) 
unless required by the challenged so to do before 
their meeting. 

RULE IX. All imputations of cheating at play, 



DUELLING IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. 5 1 

races, etc., to be considered equivalent to a blow, 
but may be reconciled after one shot, on admitting 
their falsehood and begging pardon publicly. 

RULE X. Any insult to a lady under a gentleman's 
care or protection to be considered as by one degree 
a greater offence than if given to the gentleman per- 
sonally, and to be regarded accordingly. 

RULE XI. Offences originating or accruing from 
the support of ladies' reputation to be considered as 
less unjustifiable than any others of the same class, 
and as admitting of slighter apologies by the 
aggressor. This is to be determined by the circum- 
stances of the case, but always favorably to the lady. 

RULE XII. No dumb firing or firing in the air is 
admissible in any case. The challenger ought not 
to have challenged without receiving offence, and 
the challenged ought, if he gave offence, to have 
made an apology before he came on the ground; 
therefore children's play must be dishonorable on 
one side or the other, and is accordingly prohibited. 

RULE XIII. Seconds to be of equal rank in society 
with the principals they attend, inasmuch as a second 
may either choose or chance to become a principal, 
and equality is indispensable. 

RULE XIV. Challenges are never to be delivered 
at night, unless the party to be challenged intends 
leaving the place of offence before morning; for it 
is desirable to avoid all hot-headed proceedings. 

RULE XV. The challenged has the right to choose 
his own weapons unless the challenger gives his 
honor he is no swordsman, after which, however, he 
cannot decline any second species of weapon 'pro- 
posed by the challenged. 



52 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

RULE XVI. The challenged chooses his ground, 
the challenger chooses his distance, the seconds fix 
the time and terms of firing. 

RULE XVII. The seconds load in presence of each 
other, unless they give their mutual honors that they 
have charged smooth and single, which shall be held 
sufficient. 

RULE XVIII. Firing may be regulated, first, by 
signal; secondly, by word of command; or, thirdly, at 
pleasure, as may be agreeable to the parties. In the 
latter case the parties may fire at their reasonable 
leisure, but second presents and rests are strictly pro- 
hibited. 

RULE XIX.. In all cases a misfire is equivalent to 
a shot, and a snap or a non-cock is to be considered 
as a misfire. 

RULE XX. Seconds are bound to attempt a recon- 
ciliation before the meeting takes place, or after suffi- 
cient firing or hits as specified. 

RULE XXI. Any wound sufficient to agitate the 
nerves and necessarily make the hand shake must 
end the business for that day. 

RULE XXII. If the cause of meeting be of such a 
nature that no apology or explanation can or will be 
received, the challenged takes his ground and calls 
on the challenger to proceed as he chooses. In such 
cases firing at pleasure is the usual practice, but may 
be varied by agreement. 

RULE XXIII. In slight cases the second hands his 
principal but one pistol, but in gross cases two, hold- 
ing another case ready charged in reserve. 

RULE XXIV. When the seconds disagree and re- 
solve to exchange shots themselves, it must be at the 



DUELLING IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND. 53 

same time and at right angles with their principals, 
thus: 

s 



If with swords, side by side, with five paces' interval. 

RULE XXV. No party can be allowed to bend his 
knee or cover his side with his left hand, but may 
present at any level from the hip to the eye. 

RULE XXVI. None can either advance or retreat 
if the ground is measured. If no ground be mea- 
sured, either party may advance at his pleasure, even 
to the touch of muzzles, but neither can advance on 
his adversary after the fire, unless the adversary steps 
forward on him. 

N.B. The seconds on both sides stand responsible 
for this last rule being strictly observed, bad cases 
having occurred from neglecting it. 

N.B. All matters and doubts not herein men- 
tioned will be explained and cleared up by applica- 
tion to the Committee, who meet alternately at 
Clonmel and Galway at the quarter sessions for that 
purpose. 

CROW RYAN, President. 

JAMES KEOGH, AMBY BODKIN, Secretaries. 



54 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER IV. 
DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 

Anecdote of Frederick the Great The so-called " University 
Duel " How an American Student gave Three German Youths 
Satisfaction Fatal Effect of forcing a Fight upon an American 
Student Challenging the Wrong Englishman Twenty-one 
Duels in One Day A Romantic Event and the Causes which 
led to it An American Boy's Description of a German-Student 
Duel Duelling Elsewhere in Europe Anecdote of Gustavus 
Adolphus of Sweden Potemkin and Orliff Heckeren and 
Pouchkin. 

THE judicial duel was known in Germany early in 
600, and had its rise and fall in pretty much the same 
manner as has been presented in descriptions of its 
rise and fall in those countries heretofore mentioned. 
The private duel, however, did not follow with the 
vim which characterized its introduction into Eng- 
land and France; and, if an exception is made of the 
so-called " university duel," the custom of giving 
and accepting challenges in German countries has 
never been cordially recognized as a popular institu- 
tion. 

Germany is indebted to many of its monarchs for 
this state of affairs, and especially to Joseph II., who, 
in August, 1771, wrote as follows to a commanding 
officer: "General: I desire you to arrest Count K. 
and Captain W. immediately. The Count is of an 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 55 

imperious character, proud of his high birth, and full 
of false ideas of honor. Captain W., who is an old 
soldier, thinks of settling everything by the sword or 
the pistol. He has done wrong to accept a challenge 
from the young Count. I will not suffer the practice 
of duelling in my army, and I despise the arguments 
of those who seek to justify it. I have a high esteem 
for officers who expose themselves courageously to 
the enemy, and who, on all occasions, show them- 
selves intrepid, valiant, and determined in attack as 
well as in defence. The indifference with which they 
face death is honorable to themselves and useful to 
their country; but there are men ready to sacrifice 
everything to a spirit of revenge and hatred. Let a 
council of war be summoned to try these two officers 
with all the impartiality which I demand from every 
judge, and let the most culpable of the two be made 
an example by the rigor of the law. There will still 
be left men who can unite bravery with the duties of 
faithful subjects. I wish for none who do not respect 
the laws of their country." 

An anecdote has been related of Frederick the 
Great, <3f Prussia, which accounts in a vividly dra- 
matic way for the unpopularity of the custom in that 
country at the very time when duelling in England 
and France was carried to murderous extremes, and 
where every private resentment was permanently 
settled at the point of the sword. No greater enemy 
to the custom ever sat upon a throne than Frederick; 
and, at one time during his reign, believing that duel- 
ling was on the increase in his army, he made up his 
iron mind to put a stop to it. So he issued an order 
that the first party engaging in a duel without his 
consent should be summarily punished. A very 



56 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

short time after the publication of this order an offi- 
cer of good rank sought his Majesty's presence and 
asked for permission to challenge a brother-officer to 
mortal combat; to which Frederick gave his gracious 
consent, provided that his Majesty should be notified 
beforehand of the time and place where the duel was 
to be fought. At the time appointed for the arrival 
upon the ground of the belligerents all parties 
promptly appeared; and, to their amazement, there 
sat Frederick near a gibbet that had been newly 
erected upon the spot; and the longer the parties 
gazed upon the scene the greater became their con- 
sternation; until the challenger, at last, in great em- 
barrassment, appealed respectfully to his king to 
know the meaning of the spectacle, who replied as 
follows: "It means, sir, that I intend to witness your 
battle until one of you has killed the other, and 
then I will hang the survivor!" It is hardly neces- 
sary to add that the proposed duel was not fought; 
and that, henceforth, duelling was a rare event in the 
Prussian army. The new code of Prussia contains 
severe provisions against duelling and the sending of 
challenges. 

Regarding what is termed the "university duel," 
the most that can be said against it is that it is ridicu- 
lous, although there is scarcely a German of promi- 
nence whose face does not bear witness to encounters 
of this sort; and these reminiscences of student-days 
may be seen engraven upon the faces of judges and 
senators and advocates, the same as upon officers of 
the army. It is understood that there must be just 
about so much fighting, and therefore challenges are 
given and accepted every day. The duels at the capi- 
tal take place at a garden three miles out of Berlin, 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 57 

in an arena or hall, fifty by thirty feet. Sometimes 
the place is crowded with students, nearly every one 
of whom displays " tokens of battle" either upon the 
face or head. It is not uncommon to see an array of 
false noses .where real ones used to be, or a face cov- 
ered with scars, and a head minus an ear. These 
losses and patchworks of skull and face are consid- 
ered honorable, and the greatest possible display is 
made of them. An eye-witness of one of these en- 
counters lately wrote a description of it to the Phila- 
delphia Times, which is presented. " A duel was on 
the tapis as we entered. Two young men sat in 
chairs facing each other, the right arm, neck, and 
breast of each protected by heavy pads of quilted 
canvas, so heavy as to make those parts proof 
against any stroke of the sword. Each wore heavy 
iron goggles to protect the eyes, and all vital parts 
were protected so as to make dangerous wounds im- 
possible, or nearly so. The rapiers, or swords, are 
about three and a half feet in length, sharpened 
about a foot from the end, but not pointed. At the 
word the swords were crossed with a ringing cling, 
and at another word the fight commenced. It was 
cut and parry, and parry and cut; the blows falling 
on head and arm or breast with amazing rapidity. 
But for the absurd padding and the ludicrous gog- 
gles the spectacle would have been a very pretty one. 
But without goggles and padding serious wounding 
would have followed, and that was not desired. Af- 
ter a few minutes of slashing and parrying, a red 
streak showed upon the forehead of one of them, and 
a halt was called. The surgeon examined the wound, 
sponged it, and pronounced it only a scratch. The 
faces of both were then sponged by their seconds, 



$8 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

and at it they went again. Other wounds were given 
and taken till blood flowed from each in streams. 
But the fight continues a fixed number of minutes, 
unless before that time a dangerous wound is given, 
when it ceases. Both are presumed to have proven 
their courage, and that is the real object of the en- 
counter." Hon. Aaron Sargent, the American Minis- 
ter at Berlin, writes to a friend of one young man 
upon whose courage some reflection had been made, 
and who at once challenged the student who had 
spoken the words; and states that, "although the 
fight proceeded with great gallantry the specified 
time, the umpire decided against the challenger on 
the ground that twice during the combat he had 
dodged slightly; and, despite his assertion to the con- 
trary, and despite the fact that he was covered with 
blood from head to foot, the decision was maintained 
against him, and he had nothing to do but to quit 
the university, give up all hope of a commission in 
the army, and go home." The man who shirks never 
so little in ohe of these encounters would not be ad- 
mitted into any regiment. Further, a man must 
fight whenever challenged, reason or no reason; and 
even if he has proven his courage and power of en- 
durance upon former occasions, there is no escape 
from that. 

Apropos, from a Bremen letter published in the Cin- 
cinnati Commercial Gazette in August, 1883, the follow- 
ing paragraph is selected: 

An American student who was at Gottingen last winter 
says that twelve duels were fought there in one day. He 
also relates the following incident which occurred at that 
place : An American student unintentionally gave offence to 
three German students by pushing against them in hurriedly 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 59 

passing along the street. They went on a few steps, then 
came back and insisted on having satisfaction for the in- 
sult ; he must fight a duel with one of their number. He de- 
clined, saying, " I am an American. I do not fight." But 
they quickly repeated, "We must have satisfaction." He 
replied, " Well, if you must, you can have it ;" and, throwing 
off his coat, he went at them with his fists, knocked all three 
of them down, and one of them quite out into the gutter. 
Then putting on his coat, he walked away as if nothing of a 
very serious character had happened. Somewhat bewildered 
over the situation, the three German students picked them- 
selves up and went their way ; and the otherwise quiet and 
inoffensive American was not afterward challenged to fight 
a duel, or otherwise molested. 

Some two weeks later a number of the gilded German 
youth with trepanned skulls made up their minds that it was 
about time to fresco the frontispiece of a young American 
named Lennig, who had been sent by his father, a German- 
American of New York, to the University of Jena. In ac- 
cordance with their custom, Lennig was expected to prove 
his courage in the usual foolish way, by standing up and per- 
mitting himself to be slashed at by another fool, and covered 
with the usual honorable "scars." But he declined to en- 
gage in any such unmitigated foolishness, and thus exhibi- 
ted his possession of good, solid American sense. Then fol- 
lowed a period of hazing. He was gibed at as a coward an 
American milksop. The students generally refused to asso- 
ciate with him, and his challenger heaped insults upon him 
until his student-life became so insufferable that he at last 
accepted the challenge, and turned the tables upon his per- 
secutors by naming pistols as the weapons which, being the 
challenged party, was his right to do. Now it was the chal- 
lenger's part to show either the white feather or fight. It 
was against all precedent, he said ; it was exposing his life : 
but he had no alternative but to fight with pistols. Now, no 
one will question the physical courage of the average Ger- 
man university student. And so the meeting followed, Len- 
nig killing his man at the first fire. He fled to Switzerland 



60 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

immediately afterward, whence he was extradited, and an 
attempt made to convict him of the offence of duelling with 
fatal result. The case failed, however, and Lennig was dis- 
charged from arrest on the ground that duelling is not named 
in the treaty between Germany and Switzerland as an offence 
for which persons may be subject to extradition. Lennig, it 
is stated, has received no more challenges, and probably 
never will. 

During the month of August, 1882, an Englishman who 
was visiting Heidelberg, and putting up at the principal 
hotel, once dined at the table d'hote ; and being seated right 
opposite to a young man who wore the badge of a " corps" 
across his breast, he could not help noticing the extraordi- 
nary manner in which this young man took his meal. At 
first he admired him for the skilful manner in which he 
managed his knife, which incessantly passed from his plate 
to his mouth, heavily laden as it was with green peas. But 
when the student, having finished his meat, took up his 
gravy with the knife, the Englishman began to feel his blood 
boil within him. Pudding with apple-sauce followed, and 
the student operated with his dessert-knife just as he had 
done with the larger knife. But the Englishman could con- 
trol himself no longer. In a hoarse whisper he addressed 
his vis-d~vs, saying, " You will cut your mouth open if you 
don't leave off eating gravy with your knife." The student 
looked up and answered, " What is that to you ? I can cut 
my mouth open to my ears, for all you have a right to inter- 
fere." " Oh, nonsense !" said the Englishman, coolly ; " you 
can't expect a decent person to let you butcher yourself at 
dinner." " Oh, but I can, though, and you shall see. Dum- 
mer Junge !" With that the student rose and left the room. 
Dummer Junge ! (Stupid fellow !) signifies as much as a chal- 
lenge. When the student's seconds came to arrange details 
with the Englishman, he was terribly surprised at the serious 
consequences of what he had deemed a most natural remark. 
He offered to apologize, and begged them to remember that 
he knew nothing of German customs, and had believed him- 
self in the right. But the seconds declared their friend would 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 6 1 

accept no apology, and they even hinted that the Englishman 
had probably been told that his opponent was a first-rate 
fencer the pride of Heidelberg. Of course, when matters 
took this turn, the Englishman spoke in a very different tone, 
and everything was arranged for a duel with pistols, he being 
no fencer. He spent a dreadful night, because he was told 
that the young student was in such a foaming rage that his 
only desire was to see his opponent lie dead on the ground. 
The Englishman did all in his power to have the matter ar- 
ranged, but he did not succeed ; and, on his way to the tryst- 
ing-place, he said to his seconds, " It is a dreadful shame that 
I should have to kill this young man because he does not 
know the proper use of his knife and fork. Still, it would 
be just as unfair to let him kill me." The Englishman in- 
tended firing in the air if he had the second shot, but chance 
was averse to him. He had the right to shoot first. The 
aim was deadly : the young Teuton fell without a groan. 

A letter from Vienna to the London Daily News 
in September, 1882, says: 

The University of Jena, and indeed the whole city, have 
passed through a week of intense alarm and anxiety which 
are far from being at an end even now. On one day twenty- 
one serious duels took place among the students ; and, the 
arms used not having been properly cleaned, all those who 
were wounded had their blood poisoned. About forty young 
men are lying in the hospital in a serious condition. One 
great favorite, the only son of wealthy parents, had his mind 
upset by an intense attack of fever, and committed suicide 
by taking strychnine. He died after a terrible agony that 
lasted many hours. Two more have died already, and there 
is little hope of saving more than one half of those who are 
still in a pitiable condition. This dreadful calamity will no 
doubt serve to make university duelling very unpopular in 
Germany, if not with the young men themselves, certainly 
with their relations. 

A correspondent of the St. Louis (Mo.) Republican 



62 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

sent to that paper in August, 1883, the following 
graphic account of a university duel: 

One spring morning, not many years ago, I found myself 
on the road between a large university town in Saxony and 
a neighboring village where a series of duels was to take 
place between the various corps of the university. Fresh 
from one of our largest American colleges, I was desirous of 
becoming acquainted with the life and habits of the German 
students ; and having made the acquaintance of several 
members of the corps " Lusatia," was invited by them to wit- 
ness a " mensur," or series of sword-duels, which was to take 
place in a village near at hand. After a ride of about an 
hour in the queer German two-storied horse-cars, we alight- 
ed at a point where two roads crossed, and, after a short 
walk, arrived at a beer-hall, which had been chosen for the 
scene of action. On entering the house I found about seven- 
ty or eighty students assembled, all wearing the gayly col- 
ored caps, and ribbons across the breast, indicating their 
several corps. They were far better dressed and better 
looking than the average run of German students, as the 
corps represent the highest social classes in the university. 
Their bright-colored caps and bands gave them a pictur- 
esque appearance, and the fine bearing of many indicated 
that they had already gone through one years' term of ser- 
vice in the army. This was to be a day of more than ordi- 
nary interest, as thirteen duels were to take place. As had 
been explained to me, these encounters were not caused by 
any ill-feeling between the various combatants, but were 
simply a friendly trial of courage and skill. The seniors or 
presiding officers of the various corps had met, and had 
matched certain members of the different corps against each 
other, who were to fight simply as a matter of amusement. 
Preparations for the first duel commenced soon after we ar- 
rived. A member of the corps " Lusatia" was to meet a 
Westphalian in what was known as a fifteen-minute duel 
with seconds. This was the duel in vogue when the duel- 
lists had no quarrel with each other, and was regarded as 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 63 

less dangerous than the duel without seconds, which was 
carried on for twenty-five minutes or until a disabling 
wound. Seconds are present in both cases, but in the duel 
with seconds a halt can be called as soon as five blows have 
been struck on each side, and a momentary rest is allowed, 
while in the duel without seconds a halt can be called when 
blood has been drawn. I went to watch the preparations 
made by my friend of the Lusatians, which certainly were 
elaborate enough. The blows were all to be directed against 
the head and face ; so all other parts of the body which 
might be struck by accident had to be protected. He first 
took off his coat, vest, and shirt, and drew on his " pauck- 
hund," or fighting-shirt, a coarse cotton garment, which was 
used to save the finer linen, as blood enough was shed in al- 
most every encounter to ruin the garment upon which it 
flowed. Then upon his right arm was drawn a sleeve of 
wadded silk, extending from the wrist to the shoulder. 
Covering his right armpit a heavy leather pad was buckled, 
in order to protect the sinews at this point, and a similar pad 
was fastened over the heart. A heavy fencing-glove was 
placed on the hand, and then the arm from the wrist to the 
shoulder was wrapped with strips of silk until the limb was 
nearly as thick as a man's thigh. Silk was used because it 
gave protection against cuts. A thickly wadded silk cravat 
was fastened around the throat, and heavy iron goggles, pro- 
jecting half an inch from the eyes, guarded these from in- 
jury. Next the " pauckhozen," or fighting-breeches, were 
donned. These were of very thick padded leather, and cov- 
ered the front of the body from the breast nearly to the 
knees, and were fastened behind by strap and buckle. In 
this portentous panoply a man was scarcely to be recognized 
by his best friend, and presented a truly frightful appear- 
ance, as cravat, breeches, and pads were stiff with the blood 
shed in hundreds of previous encounters. His equipment 
was rendered complete by the duelling- sword, or "schlager," 
a weapon about forty inches long, with an iron guard shaped 
like an inverted saucer, a blunt point, and a ^double edge 
ground sharp as a razor for about eighteen inches along each 



64 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

side. The right arm, thus bandaged and carrying the 
sword, was supported by a friend, who held it at right angles 
to the duellist's body. This friend wore a heavy buckskin 
glove, which was for the purpose of protecting his hand, as 
he was to straighten the sword if it should become bent in 
the course of the contest. Both combatants now being pre- 
pared, they advanced to the centre of the room, and took 
their position about three feet from each other, each stand- 
ing upon a cross marked with chalk upon the floor. Fronrthis 
mark they were under no circumstances allowed to advance 
or retreat by so much as an inch during the progress of the 
duel, drawing back to avoid a blow being punished by 
instant expulsion from the corps. As had been explained to 
me, all blows were directed against the head and face, the 
guarding being done with the sword and padded right arm. 
Skill was was not nearly so much a desideratum as a bold, 
fearless bearing, it being no discredit to get the worst of an 
encounter, but being considered very disgraceful to exhibit 
the least fear of a wound. This made the duels often rather 
exhibitions of recklessness than of skill, and gave the " Bur- 
schenshaft" a great advantage in their duels with the corps 
students, as they were by their rules allowed to fence cau- 
tiously and wait for an opening to be offered by their antag- 
onists, a mode of fighting which caused them to be greatly 
despised by the corps. The seconds stood at the left of the 
fighters. Each wore a cap with a heavy visor, a pad with the 
corps colors over the stomach, and carried a basket-hiked 
sword. The umpire stood a few feet to the side of the com- 
batants. His duty was to note the time, to give word for the 
various halts, and to declare the number of blows which 
drew blood. The fifteen minutes allowed for the duel in- 
cluded only the actual fighting time, that consumed in the 
pauses between the rounds being deducted by the umpire. 
All being now ready, the Lusatian second called out, " Um- 
pire, please command silence for a fifteen-minute mensur be- 
tween Lusatia and Westphalia with seconds." The umpire 
gave the command, and the second then called out, " Auf der 
mensur. Bindet die klingen." (On the mensur. Bind the 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 65 

blades.) The swords were crossed, the seconds touched them 
with their own, the Westphalian second said, " Gebunden 
sind " (They are bound), and the duellists took their guard. 
This is effected by raising the right arm over the head, so 
that it protects the top of the head, the sword hanging 
down parallel to the left side of the face and guarding that. 
As soon as both were on guard the Lusatian second gave 
the " Los !" (Loose), which was the signal for commencement. 
Immediately on the word being given both began striking at 
each other, it being a point of honor to strike the first blow. 
The striking was all done from the wrist, as the arm must 
be kept above the head as a guard, and thrusting is not al- 
lowed. The endeavor of each was to touch his opponent by 
reaching over the protecting arm, thus striking the scalp, 
or the left cheek when unguarded. For a few seconds 
nothing was heard but the clashing of the sword-blades 
against each other and against the iron hilts, or the dull 
flapping sound when they struck upon the padded arms. 
The movement of the blades was so rapid that an unprac- 
tised eye could not tell the result. But after four or five 
blows had been delivered the Lusatian second cried " Halt !" 
and the swords were struck up, as a thin stream of blood 
was seen flowing from the hair to the temple of the West- 
phalian, which soon spread over his face and trickled down 
upon his fighting-shirt. The second then said, " Umpire, 
please declare a ' blutigen' (bloody one) on the head." The 
umpire replied, " It is declared." The doctor, who was 
standing near, looking at the cut, pronounced it insignifi- 
cant, the second again called out " Auf der mensur," etc., 
and the contest recommenced. So it went on, now one re- 
ceiving a cut, now the other, until the prescribed fifteen 
minutes had elapsed, when the duel ceased and the men 
were led off to be divested of their defensive armor and 
their injuries attended to. A table had been placed near a 
window, on which were basins of water, sponges, and a num- 
ber of crooked needles threaded with colored silk. The 
cuts were washed, plastered, and when of any considerable 
depth sewed up with silk. The doctor kept a book in which 



66 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

was entered the number of cuts received and the number of 
stitches required to sew them up, and this list was the offi- 
cial record of the duel. In this instance the Lusatian had 
received nine " blutigen" with five " needles," or stitches, 
while his antagonist had received twelve of the former, 
with seven of the latter. They were soon through with the 
doctor, and were seen talking and drinking their beer as if 
nothing had happened. In the mean time preparations 
were going on for the next affair, and the men were now 
ready. In this instance one of the Saxon corps had chal- 
lenged a member of one of the " Burschenschaft," societies 
similar to the corps, but considered as occupying a lower 
social position ; and as insulting words had passed, the duel 
was to be of the more serious kind, lasting twenty-five min- 
utes, or until one should receive a wound which the doctor 
should pronounce to be sufficiently serious to close the duel. 
It may be remarked that this decision rests entirely in the 
hands of the doctor, as it is feared that if left to the duellist 
himself he might continue the encounter until his injuries 
should become so severe as to endanger his life. When the 
men took their places, the difference between the style of 
the corps and that of the Burschenschaft was at once appar- 
ent. The Saxon commenced in a dashing style, striking as 
rapidly as possible, and paying comparatively little attention 
to his own safety ; while his opponent remained cautiously 
on the guard, took three blows for one returned, and warily 
watched his chance. This style of fencing gave him a great 
advantage, which he soon turned to decisive account. As 
the Saxon delivered a blow at his face, he drew back his 
head so that the blow passed by him (a manoeuvre allowed 
by the Burschenschaft, but strictly forbidden among the 
corps), and then struck a blow upon the Saxon's unguarded 
cheek which the doctor pronounced sufficiently serious to 
occasion the discontinuance of the duel. Two or three 
duels of no particular note followed, and then a general stir 
and excitement could be observed, as the great event of the 
day was about to take place. The " senior," or president, of 
the Thuringers was to meet the senior of the Westphalians. 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 67 

These two were regarded as the two best " schlagers" in the 
university, and the issue of this encounter was looked upon 
as deciding the supremacy of one or the other. The West- 
phalian was a tall, active, rather dandified-looking fellow, 
with jet-black hair and mustache, and very few scars for so 
renowned a fighter. He was noted for the quickness of his 
eye, the suppleness of his waist, and the skill with which he 
struck a certain blow in tierce. The Thuringer was some- 
what shorter, but of far stronger build, had thick blond hair, 
and bore dozens of scars on his face. He was not regarded 
as so finished and elegant a swordsman as his antagonist, 
but his great strength, heavy blows, and endurance gave 
many ground for the belief that if he should not be disabled 
within the first five minutes his chances for ultimate victory 
were excellent. Great reliance was placed by his friends on 
a certain " durchzieher," or drawing-stroke, across an op- 
ponent's face, which he struck with tremendous force. The 
men took their ground, the swords were crossed, and the 
word given. It was at once apparent that two master-hands 
were at work. The heavy blades fairly whistled through the 
air, and the rapidity with which blows were given and re- 
turned was bewildering. Within a few minutes blood was 
flowing from three cuts on the Thuringer's head, while the 
Westphalian had only one slight scratch on the left cheek. 
But the work was beginning to tell. Both men breathed 
heavily during the pauses, but the beads of perspiration on 
the Westphalian's face showed that he was beginning to feel 
severely the exertion of striking and parrying the slashing 
blows of his opponent. At the third or fourth blow of the 
seventh round there was a tinkle and a crash, and the T hur, 
inger's blade flew half across the room, broken short off at 
the guard. As another sword was handed him, blood was 
observed to be trickling through his thick hair from a 
wound which had escaped even the quick eye of the oppos- 
ing second at the moment of infliction. The doctor looked 
at it, shook his head, looked at it again, but, apparently in 
response to the appealing glances cast upon him, suffered 
the duel to proceed. The five minutes regarded as so dan- 



68 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

gerous for the Thuringer had now passed, and his friends 
began to feel great confidence in the result. Still the West- 
phalian was a finished swordsman, and he attacked as boldly 
as at first. But it might be observed that the blows were 
not delivered with quite the same lightning-like rapidity as 
during the earlier rounds, and a slight slowness in returning 
to guard more than once caused him to make a very narrow 
escape. The Thuringer perceived this, and his blows came 
crashing in with redoubled force. They fell with tremen- 
dous violence on the blade and bandaged arm of his antag- 
onist, and it was evident that unless the latter could do 
something decisive within a very few minutes, failing 
strength would put him at his opponent's mercy. The 
Westphalian recognized this, and directed all his efforts 
to this end. The next few blows were struck with less 
attention to his guard and greater effort to end the contest 
with a single effective blow. The result of this was seen the 
next moment in a long gash on his forehead, showing where 
he had recovered guard too slowly after a reckless attempt 
to reach the Thuringer's head by striking over his arm. His 
strength was fast ebbing, but he had set his heart upon vic- 
tory, and determined to make one more desperate effort. 
Collecting all his remaining strength, and rising on his toes 
to increase the effort of the stroke, he discharged a blow 
with all his force at the top of the Thuringer's head. It was 
delivered with great judgment and skill. His blade seemed 
fairly to curl over the Thuringer's protecting arm, and the 
sharp steel cut a gash from behind the crown nearly to the 
forehead. A stream of blood at once covered the Thur- 
inger's face and shirt and dyed them a deep crimson. But 
this telling stroke had not gone unavenged. As the West- 
phalian lifted his blade he had, for an instant, exposed his 
left cheek, and at the very instant when he was himself 
struck the Thuringer brought his sword with terrific force 
across the Westphalian 's cheek, which was laid open from 
the ear to the nose. Both seconds cried " Halt !" simulta- 
neously, and struck up the swords. The doctor's verdict 
was not needed to inform every one that neither was able 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 69 

to proceed with the duel. Both were led to the operating- 
tables, thus ending what was universally admitted to be the 
best " mensur" ever seen by any present. It was not only 
remarkable for the skill displayed, but also for the severe 
character of the wounds, and for the very unusual circum- 
stance that both men received disabling cuts at the same 
instant, thus leaving the question of superiority undecided. 
As soon as the general excitement had somewhat dimin- 
ished, preparations for another duel were commenced ; but 
the men were scarcely half-armed, when one of the students, 
who had been stationed outside to keep watch, rushed in 
with the news that the police were approaching. Instantly 
all was hurry and copfusion. The young men who were 
being prepared for the next duel were hurried off into a 
loft, where their trappings were removed and hidden, the 
swords were thrown into the cellar, tables were drawn into 
the middle of the room, and when the representatives of the 
law appeared at the door, they saw only a number of stu- 
dents sitting over their beer. But as it was evident that 
nothing more could be accomplished for the present, it was 
decided to adjourn for the day, and a general move was 
made for the city, which we all reached late in the after- 
noon, after what was admitted to be a very successful day 
" on the mensur." 

No portion of Europe has been exempt from the 
evil of duelling; and next to those countries already 
presented may be placed Italy, then Spain, Russia, 
Sweden, and so on down to Denmark and Wales. 
The judicial duel, or trial by wager of battle, pre- 
vailed in the foregoing countries, as in the others 
heretofore described, for many hundreds of years, and 
at last gave way to the private duel. This latter 
raged in Italy from 1600 to 1700 with all the alarming 
popularity that it did in France during the same 
time; and the common inquiry was, when two gentle- 
men met in the morning, "Who fought yesterday?" 



?O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

or, "What is the news from the field to-day?" The 
judicial duel survived in Italy until nearly 1600; al- 
though, even at that latter date, the private affairs of 
"gentlemen of honor" were conducted upon a san- 
guinary scale. There are rigid laws in Italy at pres- 
ent against the custom, although there are meetings 
occasionally: as may naturally be expected in a 
country which permits its hot-blooded youth to study 
the art of killing as openly taught in the fencing- 
schools of Florence, Naples, and Milan. The Italians, 
and especially the Neapolitans, have always been 
regarded as the best swordsmen? in the world; and 
the first families of Italy still believe in "keeping 
their hands in" by constant practice. 

There have always^ been Spanish laws forbidding 
duelling; and in 1490 Ferdinand and Isabella made 
an example of the Count of Luna and the Count of 
Valencia for exchanging a cartel of defiance, and had 
them imprisoned, although Ferdinand had previously 
challenged Alfonzo, King of Portugal, >to meet him 
in mortal combat. There has been an act of the 
Cortes for three hundred years, which has never been 
repealed, subjecting all parties to a duel to the penal- 
ties of treason. 

One of the most romantic modern events was the 
duel fought at Temesvar, Hungary, on the 23d day 
of October, 1883, between Count Stephan Batthyany 
and Julius Rosenberg, a young advocate, in which 
the former was instantly killed. The particulars 
show the tragedy to have been the climax of a thrill- 
ing romance in real life, some of the personages of 
which, except the successful duellist, are connected 
with the highest Hungarian aristocracy. During the 
preceding summer, Dr. Rosenberg, who is a young 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 7 1 

Hebrew lawyer in Pesth, made the acquaintance at a 
Bohemian watering-place of Miss Hona von Schos- 
berger, the younger daughter of a rich Jewish banker 
and land-owner named Heinrich Schosberger de 
Tornya. The young people fell in love with each 
other. The girl's parents, however, influenced by 
their son-in-law, Baron Bornemissa, who had married 
their eldest daughter, and who declared that the mar- 
riage would be a mesalliance and would oblige him to 
break his (the Baron's) relations with them, refused 
their consent. The consequence was that the young 
couple were secretly married. Immediately after the 
ceremony the lady returned to her father's house. 
Dr. Rosenberg shortly afterward appeared there and 
demanded his bride. Herr von Schosberger was 
ready to acknowledge his son-in-law, but Baron 
Bornemissa was of a different opinion, and wanted 
to shoot the young plebeian. By the Baron's orders, 
the young lady was sent to Paris, and from there to 
one of her father's castles in one of the wildest regions 
in the interior of Hungary. Subsequently it was 
announced that Miss Hona von Schosberger had 
become a Catholic and had gone to Wiesbaden, 
Germany, where she had been betrothed to Count 
Batthyany. Dr. Rosenberg, hearing the rumor, 
hastened there and had an interview with the Count, 
in which he told him that the young woman he was 
about to marry was his (Rosenberg's) wife. He ap- 
pealed to his rival's honor, and begged him not to 
force the young girl into an illegal marriage to 
which she herself was opposed. The Count for- 
mally refused to either listen to him or to pay 
any attention to the challenge which the lawyer 
sent to him, on the ground that the challenger was 



72 THE FIELD OF HONOR, 

not his equal in birth. The matter was laid be- 
fore a "court of honor" in Pesth, and after a long 
argument it was decided that Rosenberg was compe- 
tent to challenge the Count. The latter still refused 
to pay any attention to it, and the lawyer published 
his challenge in all the journals, with the added 
stigma of such epithets as "coward," "poltroon," 
applied to the Count. The latter's friends came to 
his rescue, and a peculiar newspaper controversy 
ensued, in the midst of which the Count married 
Miss von Schosberger, and started on a wedding- 
tour with her to Italy. The young lawyer's vindic- 
tive lampoon must, however, have finally induced the 
Count to change his mind, for a few days before the 
duel he returned to Hungary and accepted the chal- 
lenge. The conditions were very rigorous. The pis- 
tols were rifled. The duellists were to fire at twenty 
paces. Three shots were to be exchanged, after each 
of which they were to approach five paces toward 
each other. The duel, as already stated, took place 
at Temesvar. The Count fired the first shot and 
missed. Dr. Rosenberg, without advancing the five 
paces as he had a right to, aimed at his opponent and 
fired. The ball struck the Count's right temple, and 
passed through his brain. Death was instantaneous. 
Leaving the seconds to take care of the corpse, Dr. 
Rosenberg left the scene of the tragedy. The next 
day at four o'clock the funeral-services of the Count 
took place at Temesvar. The coffin was covered 
with splendid wreaths, one of which bore the inscrip- 
tion, "To my adored husband." 

Gustavus Adolphus, of Sweden, was a prominent 
foe to all manners of mortal combat, and at one time 
during his reign established a court of honor, and 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 73 

issued an order that any subject, civil or military, 
who should send or accept a challenge should be 
punished by execution ; and it is related of the King 
that, upon a certain occasion, after granting permis- 
sion to two of his officers to engage in a duel, he 
repaired to the place selected for the hostile encoun- 
ter, accompanied by a squadron of cavalry and the 
public executioner, and surrounded the combatants 
and their friends, and said, just as the principals were 
advancing with their drawn weapons : " Do not be 
surprised, gentlemen ; for, according to the laws of 
your country, your lives are already forfeited. You 
may now proceed with the combat ; but, mark you ! 
the moment either of you falls by the sword of the 
other, that instant the executioner strikes off the 
head of the survivor by order of your king !" Of 
course, the combat did not proceed ; but, after re- 
covering from their surprise and mortification, the 
two officers knelt at the feet of their sovereign, im- 
plored his forgiveness, and then embraced and for- 
gave each other. Gustavus declared that, although 
he should positively never again interfere with the 
course of the law for the punishment of such of- 
fences, he would bestow his pardon upon the offend- 
ing officers, and added : " It is my wish to have 
soldiers under my command, and not gladiators. If 
any man is desirous of freeing his character from the 
imputation of cowardice in the eyes of his fellow- 
countrymen, let him do so at the expense of the 
common enemy." There is something seemingly 
noble and certainly dramatic in this whole perform- 
ance of Gustavus ; but not so highly dramatic as his 
galloping after Colonel Seaton, a Scotch officer in his 
service, whom he had offended, and exclaiming to the 



74 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

indignant Scot, after overtaking the latter outside of 
the Kingis dominions, "Dismount, sir! I acknowl- 
edge that I have injured you, and I have come to 
give you the satisfaction of a gentleman ; for we are 
now without my dominions, and Gustavus and you 
are equal !" Seaton, however (to complete the story), 
recovering from his surprise, dismounted, as Gus- 
tavus had already done ; and, falling on his knees, 
said : " Sire, you have more than given me satisfac- 
tion, in condescending to make me your equal. God 
forbid that my sword should do any mischief to so 
brave and gracious a sovereign. Permit me to re- 
turn to Stockholm, and allow me the honor to live 
and die in your service." The King raised his com- 
panion from the ground, embraced him, and they 
returned together to Stockholm. 

The laws against duelling in Russia, like many of 
the laws of that country, have been very severe ; and 
the terrors of Siberian exile have undoubtedly been 
the cause of prolonging many a valuable life which 
would have otherwise been lost unnecessarily had not 
the dreadful picture of the horrors of banishment 
been kept well in view. Fedor III., Peter the Great, 
and Paul all forbade duelling in the army, although 
the latter, in 1800, invited the sovereigns of Europe 
to meet at St. Petersburg and settle all existing dis- 
putes in a combat, with Talleyrand, Pitt, and Bern- 
stoff as seconds. During the reign of Catherine II., 
some time in 1776, Field-Marshal Potemkin, who had 
won the affections of the Empress, and who had 
afterward secured and maintained an arrogant ad- 
ministration of all Russian affairs of state, was chal- 
lenged by and fought with Alexis Orliff. The 
weapons used by these two princes were swords ; 



DUELLING IN GERMAN COUNTRIES. 75 

and, after a protracted combat, Alexis was defeated, 
although Potemkin came out of the difficulty with 
the loss of an eye. In 1849, Baron de Heckeren, an 
officer of the Russian Imperial Guard, killed Pouch- 
kin, the poet, in a duel with pistols, and was after- 
ward dishonorably dismissed the service and com- 
pelled to leave his country. 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER V. 
DUELLING IN AMERICA. 

The First " Affair of Honor" on the Western Continent The 
Four most noted Fatal Duels in the United States The Ameri- 
can Code: "Posting" Wilkinson and Randolph Captain 
Dawson, of South Carolina, knighted by the Pope The 
"Code" of the "Cowboys" A Desperate Encounter 
Characteristics of the Cowboys Early Days in California 
Hicks Graham and Yank Maguire An Incident in the Life 
of General Magruder The Tragic Story of the Bowie-Knife. 

THE history of duelling in America is replete with 
thrilling and heart-rending chapters and especially 
from 1770 until 1840 although public opinion in the 
United States has never sanctioned the custom to the 
extent that it has been countenanced in other coun- 
tries. It is a curious fact that the modes of dealing 
with the evil in the United States and in European 
countries have been quite the reverse : that, while 
European rulers have made every effort even to the 
dragging of wounded duellists from the field of 
action to places of execution to suppress the mur- 
derous custom, their subjects have generally held it 
in high favor ; and that, while the people of the 
United States, with too few prominent exceptions to 
mention, have always deprecated duelling in all its 
forms, the laws of many of the States up to 1850 
were not such as to make the practice criminal or 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 77 

odious, and a bill to prohibit the sending and accept- 
ing challenges in the District of Columbia did not 
pass until 1838 ; and even then the Hon. Thomas 
Clayton, United States Senator from Delaware, 
while he maintained his abhorrence of the custom, 
and believed duelling to be both illegal and im- 
moral, claimed " that it was not of that class of 
crimes which should subject offenders to the cells of 
a penitentiary and make them the associates of 
felons." Mr. Linn, a Senator from Missouri, was 
aware that duelling was not defensible on principles 
of Christianity, and concluded by saying: "All the 
States have concurred in denouncing the practice of 
duelling as an evil in itself ; and yet, have we not 
seen them, through their Legislatures or Executives, 
stay the laws ? From what I have seen, fighting is 
like marrying: the more barriers that are erected 
against it, the surer are the interested parties to 
come together." Mr. Preston, of South Carolina, 
who was also opposed to duelling, thought that " the 
severer the laws the more inefficient." Mr. Sevier, of 
Arkansas, "did not believe in legislating against the 
custom." The great Clay, of Kentucky, declared 
that he would be happy to see the barbarous system 
abolished. " The man with a high sense of honor," 
said Mr. Clay, "and nice sensibility, when the ques- 
tion is whether he shall fight or have the finger of 
scorn pointed at him, is unable to resist; and few, very 
few, are found willing to adopt such an alternative. 
When public opinion is renovated and chastened by 
reason, religion, and humanity, the practice of duel- 
ling will be discountenanced. It is the office of 
legislation," however, to do all it can to bring about 
this healthful state of the public mind ; and, al- 



78 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

though it might not altogether effect so desirable a 
result, I have no doubt it will do much toward it, and 
I shall give my vote for the bill " and the bill was 
passed by 34 yeas and i nay (Sevier of Arkansas). 

There are few commonwealths in the American 
Union in which duelling has been absolutely un- 
known ; even the little State of Rhode Island and 
her severer sister (Massachusetts) having been scenes 
of mortal combat, in which personal difficulties were 
forever settled upon bloody fields. It is a note- 
worthy fact, however, that the laws against the 
tyrannical custom have always been more vigorous 
and restraining in the Northern States than in the 
Southern, although two of the most eminent Ameri- 
can crusaders against the evil were Charles Cotes- 
worth Pinckney and Robert Barnwell Rhett, of South 
Carolina. It is the boast of Illinois that but one duel 
has ever been fought upon her soil in which the 
challenged party (Alphonso Stewart) was killed and 
the survivor (William Bennett) hanged. The records 
of duelling in the Southern States, so far as the 
author has been able to reach them, show that the 
custom has been most populaily adhered to in 
Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Loui- 
siana, and Arkansas, although all of the other com- 
monwealths in the Southern cluster are more or less 
dotted with sanguinary fields. There have been 
more fatal duels in California (fought according to 
the code duello % or similar regulations) than in all of 
the other so-called Northern States ; and between the 
years 1850 and 1860 more fatal encounters took place 
in the Golden State than elsewhere in the Union 
during the same length of time. 

Two tragic events took place in Virginia and South 



DUELLING IN AMERICA, 79 

Carolina early in the nineteenth century which had 
the effect of suppressing the custom in those States, 
for a short time, at least. In the former, near Rich- 
mond, there lived a notorious duellist named Powell, 
who purposely met and insulted an English traveller 
for having said that " the Virginians were of no use 
to the American Union, it requiring one half of the 
people to keep the other half in order." The remark 
was made the subject of a national quarrel, and at 
last Powell challenged the audacious Briton to fight. 
The latter accepted the challenge, and secured an- 
other noted American duellist as his second, and 
went into training for the combat, which took place 
in a few days afterward, in the presence of a large 
number of peopk, and in which Powell was killed at 
the first shot. At about the same time there was a 
duelling society in Charleston (S. C.), where each 
member took precedence according to the number of 
persons he had killed or wounded in duels ; and 
about this time an old weather-beaten officer of the 
English navy arrived at Charleston to look after some 
property which had devolved upon him by right of 
marriage with a lady of that city, and soon after got 
into an altercation with the president of the duelling 
club, who challenged the stranger and was accepted. 
Early the following morning eight or ten gentlemen 
called upon the Englishman and informed him that 
the American was a "dead shot;" and added that, 
although the members of the society were generally 
of the wealthy class, the organization was held in 
disrepute by the more respectable citizens, and that 
he would be held in no disesteem by declining to 
meet a professional duellist. The stranger replied 
that he was afraid of no duellist in the world ; that 



8O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

he had accepted the challenge in good faith and pro- 
posed to meet his man. The parties accordingly met, 
and at the first fire the Englishman mortally wounded 
his antagonist, who, while lingering in great agony, 
called the members of the club to his bedside and 
requested them to disorganize, and to do all in their 
power to suppress the further encouragement of an 
atrocious custom the practice of which had at last 
brought him to his grave'. The members carried out 
faithfully the dying request of their late comrade by 
disorganizing the day after the interment; and thus 
ended the first and last duelling society in the United 
States. 

Very good authority may be given for the state- 
ment that the first real duel fought in America took 
place at Plymouth (Massachusetts), on the i8th of 
June, 1621, between Edward Doty and Edward 
Leicester two servants both of whom fought with 
daggers and were wounded, one in the hand and the 
other in the leg. It was extremely fortunate for one 
or perhaps for both of the combatants that neither 
was killed : and, in all probability, it was the very 
best thing that could have happened both of them 
that each sustained serious injury ; for their meeting 
produced great excitement, not only on account of 
the outrage committed by them, but for the reason 
that the combatants were servants of gentlemen, and 
not "real gentlemen," therefore, themselves. Still, 
as both men sustained severe injuries, some sympathy 
was manifested for them, and they were only sentenced 
to the punishment of having their heads and feet tied 
together and of lying thus for twenty-four hours 
without food or drink which sentence, however, was 
suspended, after an hour's suffering, at the inter- 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 8 1 

cession of tneir masters and upon their own pitiful 
request and humble promise never again to startle 
the government under which they lived by the com- 
mission of a similar outrage. Thus the evil was 
"nipped in the bud," so to speak; and it was not 
until after the commencement of the revolutionary 
war that citizens of the United States met in mortal 
combat to any dangerous extent. The custom came 
into conspicuous practice, however, at the opening of 
the nineteenth century, and raged to an alarming de- 
gree (especially among officers of the army and navy) 
until it was frowned upon by public opinion and in a 
measure prohibited bylaws created for its abatement. 
During the war with Tripoli many fatal collisions 
took place between American and English officers, 
and also in 1819 between American naval officers and 
officers of the British garrison at Gibraltar. During 
the civil war in the United States there were few or 
no hostile meetings among Federal officers. Among 
the Confederates there were a number of fatal duels, 
the most conspicuous being that between General 
Marmaduke, of Missouri, and General Walker, of 
Georgia, in which the latter was slain. 

Undoubtedly the four most noted fatal duels 
fought in the United States were those between 
Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, at Weehawken 
(N. J.), July u, 1804; Stephen Decatur and James 
Barren, at Bladensburg (Md.), March 22, 1820 ; 
Jonathan Cilley and William J. Graves, near the 
boundary-line of Maryland and the District of Co- 
lumbia, February 24, 1838; and David C. Broderick 
and David S. Terry, near Laguna de la Merced, about 
twelve miles from San Francisco (Cal.), September 
T 3> T 859- All of the challenged parties in these 



82 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

encounters were mortally wounded or killed ; none of 
the others were injured, except Barren, who, though 
dangerously wounded, survived. The weapons used 
in three of these duels were pistols, while Messrs. 
Cilley and Graves fought with rifles. Hamilton had 
been a general in the army and Burr was Vice-Presi- 
dent of the United States; Decatur and Barron were 
post-captains of the navy ; Cilley and Graves were 
members of Congress from Maine and Kentucky ; 
Broderick was a United States Senator from Cali- 
fornia, and Terry was ex-Chief-Justice of the Su- 
preme Court of the same State. 

[The allusion just made to the four most noted fatal 
meetings upon American soil is merely general, as the 
author will present full descriptions of these encoun- 
ters in later chapters, as well as accounts of many oth- 
er distinguished combats, a number of which " were 
settled with satisfaction to both parties" without the 
shedding of priceless blood. He will also present de- 
scriptions of all or nearly all of the fatal duels which 
have taken place in America since the commencement 
of the practice in that country, and of a great many 
of the most celebrated European combats and chal- 
lenges ; having spent much of his leisure time during 
twenty years in obtaining accurate and interesting 
information of this character. He has visited the 
bloody field at Bladensburg, and surveyed the spot 
upon which the noble Cilley fell ; he has viewed from 
a western window of the Jumel mansion the well- 
known shore of Weehawken, beyond the quiet Hudson, 
where the illustrious Hamilton received his mortal 
wound ; and he is familiar with the bloody ground 
upon which the lamented Broderick madly flung a 
chivalrous life away.] 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 83 

There has been no strictly American Code of Honor, 
although a majority of the duels fought in the United 
States by gentlemen have been arranged and carried 
on according to rules and regulations promiscuously 
adopted from the code duello of foreign countries. " Post- 
ing," however, is strictly an American conceit, and 
seems to have originated with General James Wilkin- 
son, U. S. A., whose challenge to John Randolph, mem- 
ber of Congress from Virginia in 1807, was disdainfully 
declined by the haughty Virginian, who concluded his 
letter as follows : " In you, sir, I can recognize no 
right to hold me accountable for my public or private 
opinion of your character that would not subject me to 
an equal claim from Colonel Burr or Sergeant Dun- 
baugh. I cannot descend to your level. This is my 
final answer." The audacious Wilkinson was not to 
be thus summarily disposed of, and he indignantly 
replied: "I have received your letter of the 25th 
instant, by mail, in which you violate truth and honor 
to indulge the inherent malignity and rancor of your 
soul. On what level, pray, sir, shall we find the 
wretch who, to mask his cowardice, fabricates false- 
hoods, and heaps unprovoked insults upon unmerited 
injuries? You cannot descend to my level! vain, 
equivocal thing ! And you believe this dastardly 
subterfuge will avail you, or that your lion's skin will 
longer conceal your true character? Embrace the 
alternative, still in your reach, and ascend to the level 
of a gentleman, if possible ; act like a man, if you can, 
and spare me the pain of publishing you to the world 
for an insolent, slanderous, prevaricating poltroon." 
No further action in the matter was taken by Ran- 
dolph ; and the next time Congress assembled Gen- 
eral Wilkinson stuck up, or posted, notices, as follows, 



84 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

in all the taverns and street-corners of the National 
Capital : 

HECTOR UNMASKED. In justice to my character, I de- 
nounce to the world John Randolph, a member of Congress, 
as a prevaricating, base, calumniating scoundrel, poltroon, 
and coward. 

Posting became frequent in the United States after 
this episode, and it has been no uncommon thing to 
meet a card in a newspaper, or a notice in some pub- 
lic place, declaring that " is an unprinci- 
pled villain and a coward." The author has witnessed 
many cases of this custom of posting in New Orleans, 
Nashville, and Savannah, and calls to his mind, 
while writing, that of a young gentleman of Los An- 
geles (Cal.) who posted a former friend (with whom 
he had had a disturbance at a party, and subsequent- 
ly sent him a challenge which was unnoticed) " as a 
cur and a coward," and sat under the notice with a 
double-barrelled shot-gun for seventeen hours. 

At present, all of the States and Territories of the 
Union, either in their constitutions or laws, have rigid 
provisions against the giving or accepting challenges, 
acting as seconds, or in any way assisting those of- 
fending. A majority of the States and Territories 
prevent all such offenders from holding any office of 
profit; and quite a number of the States provide for 
the disfranchisement of such offenders. In California 
and in several other States the act of " posting" and 
publishing persons for not fighting a duel, or for not 
sending or accepting a challenge to fight, or for the 
use of any reproachful language verbal, written, or 
printed to or concerning persons for not sending or 
accepting a challenge to fight, or with intent to pro- 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 85 

voke a duel, is punishable by fine and imprisonment. 
There are also provisions for remedies by action for 
injuries arising from duelling in most of the States, 
and in a number there are laws providing that the 
survivor of a fatal duel who may also be tried for 
murder shall support the family of the deceased, 
either by aggregate compensation in damages to each 
member, or by a monthly, quarterly, or annual allow- 
ance, to be determined by a court; and the slayer is 
also liable for and must pay all debts of the person 
slain or permanently disabled. 

Articles 26 and 27 of Section 1342 Revised Statutes 
of the United States says: " No officer or soldier shall 
send a challenge to another officer or soldier to fight 
a duel, or accept a challenge so sent. Any officer 
who' so offends shall be dismissed from the service. 
Any soldier who so offends shall suffer such corporal 
punishment as a court-martial may direct; and all 
seconds or promoters of duels, and all carriers of chal- 
lenges to fight duels, shall be deemed principals, and 
punished accordingly." Article 8 of Section 1624 
says: "Such punishment as a court-martial may 
adjudge may be inflicted on any person in the navy 
who sends or accepts a challenge to fight a duel or 
acts as a second in a duel." 

It will be seen by the foregoing that duelling in the 
United States has been made not only as criminal 
and as odious as it seems possible to make the cus- 
tom, but it is also made permanently expensive to 
survivors of fatal encounters in many of the States, 
while its indulgence, either as principals or seconds, 
forever prohibits such offenders from holding politi- 
cal or other positions of profit; this last provision 
being (as United Senator Grundy, of Tennessee, once 



86 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

declared, while condemning the practice), "severer 
punishment, in the eyes of some people, even than ten 
years' confinement in a penitentiary." Practically, 
public opinion firmly sustains the consolidated enact- 
ments for the suppression of duelling in the United 
States; and, as an institution, it may be said to have 
ceased to exist in our beloved country, notwith- 
standing the Cash-Shannon duel in South Carolina in 
1880, the Elam-Beirne meeting in Virginia in 1883, 
and later the remarkable encounter in Louisiana be- 
tween a soda-water seller and a catfish dealer of New 
Orleans, which was fought with rapiers, and lasted 
eighty-three minutes before either of the combatants 
drew blood. 

No better illustration of the efficacy of the laws 
against duelling can be presented than the statement 
that the bill to remove the disabilities of persons con- 
nected with duelling was defeated in the Virginia Le- 
gislature on the ipth of December, 1883. During the 
discussion, Mr. Pollard, of King and Queen, said that 
duelling was contrary to the civilization of our age, 
and public sentiment should frown it down. " He 
had known men who had been in the front of battle 
refuse to fight duels. The Code was no test of true 
bravery in its highest sense." Mr. Leftwich thought 
the law ought to be either enforced or repealed en- 
tirely. Mr. Opie said that as nobody seemed to have 
been hurt he was in favor of the bill. Mr. Saunders 
said: "I am opposed to the bill." Mr. Opie " Do 
you believe any law can stop duelling ?" Mr. Saun- 
ders "I don't know whether it will or not." The 
vote was taken, and the bill was defeated by the failure 
to get a two-thirds vote. It will be remembered that, 
early in the summer of 1883, Richard F. Beirne, edi- 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 87 

tor of the Richmond State, and W. C. Elam, editor of 
the Whig, met in mortal combat, in which the latter 
was dangerously wounded. Mr. Beirne is one of the 
most prominent Democrats in Virginia. His name 
has been prominently mentioned in connection with 
the nomination of his party for Governor in 1885. 
The fact, however, that he has not attained the age re- 
quired by the Constitution makes him ineligible for 
that position. Mr. Elam is spoken of as the candi- 
date of his party for the same office. It is for these 
reasons that the Legislature was called upon, but re- 
fused, to relieve the disabilities of these two gentle- 
men incurred on the " field of honor." 

In this connection it is pleasant to note that Captain 
F. W. Dawson, editor of the Charleston (S. C.) News 
and Courier, was created Knight of the Order of St. 
George by the Pope, on account of his persistent op- 
position to duelling, on November 23, 1883. Captain 
Dawson is an Englishman by birth, joined the Con- 
federate service in 1861, and served with distinction 
during the civil war the latter part of the time on 
the staff of Fitz-Hugh Lee. After the surrender he 
went to Charleston and served for some time as asso- 
ciate editor on the Mercury, and left that paper on be- 
coming part owner and editor of the Charleston News. 
In a short time afterward he was challenged to mor- 
tal combat by the manager of the Mercury / to which 
Dawson responded that, being a Roman Catholic, 
under no circumstances would he accept a challenge 
or fight a duel. In 1866 a similar demand was made 
by General Gary, a well-known South Carolinian, and 
declined on the same grounds. Dawson then took an 
active part against duels, and especially when the 
Cash-Shannon duel took place in 1880. Up to that 



88 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

time there never had been in South Carolina a trial 
at common law for murder in a duel, and the Cash 
trials, although the jury disagreed on the first trial 
and a verdict of acquittal was rendered on the second 
trial, were the death-blow to duelling in that State. 
The Legislature took the matter up and passed a 
statute making duelling murder, and requiring every 
public officer in the State, in addition to the usual 
office oath, to take an oath not to send or receive a 
challenge or engage in a duel while in office; and 
there has not been a duel in the State since the pas- 
sage of the law. 

There is one exception, however, to the statements 
heretofore made; that is, there still remains a duel- 
ling custom among a class of Americans known as 
the " cowboys" of the West, which nothing but the 
overwhelming approach of civilization and power of 
empire can effectually obliterate. The cowboy is os- 
tensibly an owner or herder of stock upon unpur- 
chased or unpaid-for ranges of nutritious grasses in 
the western part of the United States; but, in reality, 
he is a stealer of horses and cattle, a guzzler of adul- 
terated spirits, and a shooter of men; and it may be 
said of him, with perfect truthfulness, that he fears 
neither God, man, nor devil. He roams over a vast 
area of sparsely settled or unsettled country lying be- 
tween the twenty-ninth and forty-seventh parallels of 
latitude and between meridians of longitude twenty- 
two and thirty-eight. He is most numerously and 
lawlessly found, however, in the Territories of Mon- 
tana, Arizona, and New Mexico; although he is by 
no means so scarce in the States of Texas, Kansas, 
and Colorado that he is never seen. He is an Apollo 
Belvidere in physical shape and beauty; he dresses in 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 89 

true frontier style in a blue flannel shirt and flam- 
ing red necktie, dark pants stuck into high-legged 
kip boots, and sombrero. He earries a wicked knife 
in a boot-leg, and one or more revolvers at his waist. 
His arms and ammunition are always kept in perfect 
order, and he is the most accomplished shot in the 
world. He is a matchless rider, and may often be 
seen by the traveller through Arizona and New 
Mexico tearing through the chapparal like lightning 
alongside of a railway-train, whooping like a Coman- 
che, and sending harmless bullets through the head- 
light of the locomotive. He is at once generous, 
reckless, lawless, dissipated, desperate, and danger- 
ous, and dashes furiously through the hell upon earth 
of his own creating like a picturesque devil to his 
grave. His "code" is to "always go well heeled and 
never let an enemy get the drop on him" 

There are different grades and samples of the genus 
cowboy: there is the " Howler of the Prairies," the 
" Terror from the Upper Trail," and the " Blizzard of 
the States." Their manners and customs, however, 
are about the same, except that many of them have 
had superior advantages of education and home in- 
fluences, while others were rocked in the cradle of 
infamy at the start. Few of them live to be thirty 
years of age, and ninety-nine out of every hundred 
who are sent to their last account fill dishonored 
graves through the medium of a deadly missile or 
the forbidding noose of the hangman. The writer 
has seen the redoubtable " Billy the Kid" (who, when 
only nineteen, had killed his eleventh man), and has 
heard him tell the story of his murderous exploits 
with marvellous nonchalance. He has witnessed 
" Curly Bill " shoot off the winkers of a man without 



90 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

harming the sight, and pick off the stoppers from 
liquor-decanters at twenty paces without fracturing 
their necks. He has heard this renowned devil boast 
of his own private cemetery, which, he said, lacked 
only one of a score of graves; and has then observed 
him draw his six-shooter quietly and take off a 
button from a companion's coat. Both of these 
desperate fellows have been laid away in unknown 
sarcophagi, like hundreds of others of the same kind, 
and the graveyards they created keep gradually fill- 
ing up. Large numbers of these cowboys meet 
death by fighting duels, without the aid of seconds 
or other assistants; and either one or both of the 
combatants are killed on the spot. There is this 
spark of honor exhibited, generally: an armed man 
will not shoot down an unarmed one; but will, in 
case of a quarrel with an unarmed person, direct him 
to go and get a weapon and return. Upon the re- 
appearance of the challenged party, the spectators 
afford them ample room, and the shooting is com- 
menced without further words and kept up until at 
least one of the combatants is killed or mortally hurt. 
One of the most desperate duels ever engaged in 
by any of these fellows was that fought by a Mexican 
cowboy named Jesus Garcia and a young Philadel- 
phian named Gus Davis at a camp on the . river 
Pecos (New Mexico), August 7, 1883, and which 
has been described by a correspondent of the New 
York Sun, as follows: 

Gus Davis, of Philadelphia, came here several months 
ago, and was engaged as a cattle-herder by Mr. John Shure, 
a wealthy stock-owner. Davis soon showed himself to be a 
useful man, and gained the esteem of his employer and the 
envy of the other herders. In less than three months he 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. QI 

had resisted so many temptations to quarrel with his associ- 
ates that he was nicknamed " The Northern Coward." One 
morning, about three weeks ago, while Davis was on duty 
looking after his cattle, Jesus Garcia, a Mexican, saluted 
him, as usual, with " Good-morning, Northern Coward." 
Human endurance has its limit, and Mr. Davis thought he 
had been insulted long enough. The Mexican was at first 
surprised at the stand taken by the Philadelphian, but word 
brought on word, until each determined that the other 
must die. The quarrel soon brought all the neighboring 
cowboys to the spot. The mode of combat was speedily ar- 
ranged. A chain thirty inches long was securely locked 
about their necks. A Mexican dagger (a two-edged knife 
six inches long) was given to each of the duellists. The 
obliging cowboys then lowered the men into a dog-canon, 
a descent of seventy-five feet. There they were to remain 
until one killed the other. A key to the lock was given to 
each, and no one was allowed to interfere further. The rest 
of the cowboys then went to work, as if nothing unusual had 
occurred. For some days nothing was known as to the re- 
sult of the encounter. Yesterday, however, Davis, weak and 
emaciated, returned to camp, dragging after him the lifeless 
body of Jesus Garcia. The story Mr. Davis tells is as 
follows : " The fight began as soon as we reached the 
bottom of the canon. Being locked together, each was 
always within reach of the other's knife. After such delib- 
eration as the few moments during our descent permitted, I 
decided that unless the first blow was fatal the chances were 
decidedly in favor of the party assailed. I accordingly 
allowed the Mexican to strike the first blow. He plunged 
his knife into my side. As soon as I found his arm thus 
stretched forward I cut the muscles of his right arm near 
the shoulder. Immediately his knife dropped. While he 
was stooping to pick up his knife I sent myblade into his 
body from the back. Before I could strike again he had 
picked up his knife and cut the cords of my arms, so as to 
render them both useless. Here we both stood for a few 
seconds, when I discovered that his heart had been reached. 



92 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

His body soon fell in the death-struggle to the ground. 
The chain was so short that he brought me down with him. 
In a few minutes he was dead. I was so weak from loss of 
blood that I lay down by his side. We lay there for five 
days and nights, until hunger drove me to make a last 
effort. I climbed the steep incline of the walls of the 
canon and reached the camp, carrying Garcia on my back." 

A correspondent of the New York Times, writing 
from Silver City (N. M.) in January, 1883, presents 
an interesting account of the characteristics of a 
number of these romantic fellows of the West, whose 
names are as familiar as household words along the 
Southwestern frontier: 

" 'Tis funny how whiskey scrapes a man's throat when he 
is not used to it." The man who used this expression is a 
character. The lines which here introduce him give his 
pet phrase when recovering from a spree. His throat was 
doubtless too familiar with bad liquor to be disturbed with 
anything less than a currycomb. He was standing leaning 
against the counter of a bar room in Silver City, as he made 
the above-quoted remark. It was a typical frontier saloon, 
and it was filled with strange characters. Here were two 
Indians sitting* on a bench, a couple of drunken freighters 
leaning against the wall, "two regular" soldiers half drunk, 
two or three hunting-dogs, several Winchester rifles, a pile 
of Indian trinkets, and a half-wagon-load of specimens of 
silver ore. A board covered with a little red calico and a 
half-dozen bottles stood for the bar. Curly Bill was a hard 
man, and as he stood taking his whiskey in this rude bar- 
room he was a perfect specimen of a rustler. His rude 
make-up of rough pants stuck in his boots, blue shirt, red 
necktie, and sombrero added to a not over-good counte- 
nance much that was picturesque. He had a knife in his 
boot, two six-shooters about his waist, and was ready for a 
frolic of any kind even at the risk of his life. He was a 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 93 

desperado of the dangerous sort, and had killed many a 
man. The boys gave him credit for having stocked a pri- 
vate graveyard, and he was consequently a hero. The 
drink was hardly down when Curly Bill whipped out his 
revolver, and, for amusement, shot a hole through the top 
of one of the freighters' hats. They then got to bantering 
each other about their skill as marksmen, and, walking out 
into the yard, they went to shooting silver half-dollars out 
of each others' fingers at twenty paces. Curly Bill soon 
tired of this monotonous excitement, and asked one of the 
soldiers to hold up a silver piece. The soldier agreed, and 
twice he sent his bullet against the coin, but the third time, 
for pure devilment, he shot the fellow's front finger off. 
When the soldier growled about the miss, Curly Bill's re- 
sponse was : " Oh, I thought you had been a soldier long 
enough." This ended this quiet sport for the day. The 
men walked back into the saloon, and I walked up to the 
further end of town. A few moments afterward a cry of 
fire was raised, and the place where Curly Bill and his 
companions were, soon burned to the ground. While the 
building was burning the clatter of horse's feet was heard, 
and Bill and his companions came riding up the street at a 
rattling pace, and the landlord with them. They stopped 
at another favorite bar-room, and the landlord who had 
been burned out said, " That Curly Bill got to shooting at 
the lamp and hit her a little two low and it exploded. 
He will pay the damage, though." Drinks were ordered 
for all the motley crowd in the bar-room, and they went to 
playing Spanish monte, the favorite game in the rude West. 
A few days after this Curly Bill barely escaped hanging for 
horse-stealing, and left for parts unknown. To-day there 
is a price upon his head in almost every Territory. He has 
been reported as dead half a dozen times, but he turns up 
in unexpected places to vex every community he strikes. 
Where he came from and who he was before he became a 
desperado no one knows. But he seemed to have had a 
fair early training, and to have drifted into this wild life 
from a taste for adventure. " Oh, hush !" shouted a long, 



94 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

lank fellow, as he jumped upon a table filled with rough 
men. The cause of his joy was the words of the dealer of 
the keno-bank, calling the number that made him winner of 
the pot. " I am a hard man from Bitter Creek, I eats b'ar- 
meat, weigh 4000 pounds, smells like a wolf, and the whiz of 
bullets is music in my year," yelled the fellow, as he threw 
his sombrero off from his villainous-looking countenance. 
One of the men who had been less fortunate at the game 
hit him a blow under the ear just as he finished speaking, 
and he fell like an ox. He picked himself up, looked 
quietly around the place, and then said, " Well, this is the 
most sociable community I ever struck. Come on, boys, 
let's liquor." It cost him five dollars to treat, but the ex- 
perience he got was worth it. These two characters repre- 
sent the two different classes of men you find on the border. 
The man who shouted when he won the pot at the keno- 
bank was a braggart. He would boast of his great exploits, 
of the horses he had stolen and of the men he had killed, 
and would swagger around with an air that would scare any 
one but a brave man. But when he met a fighter he always 
wilted. He and Curly Bill are fair representatives of the 
two classes of hard characters you find on the border. 
They all wear the broad-brimmed hats, dress alike, and 
have similar ambitions. Their open, reckless life gives 
them good health ; desperate dissipation and their animal 
spirits often run away with their sense. 

Among these desperadoes whom you discover under the 
broad sombrero the Spanish first introduced into the south- 
western territory you find many peculiar characters men 
who have been raised well and have had great opportunities, 
but who grew up to a wild life, and took their lessons of 
equity, justice, and humanity from association with the Texas 
steer. Russian Bill was a type of the better class, but in 
heart and impulse he was like the last man I introduced. 
He was highly educated, and spoke and wrote six languages. 
He was a " blower," who had committed many crimes in his 
mind. But Curly Bill and the brave men along the frontier 
never gave him credit for any exploits except with his 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 95 

tongue. He bragged so much, however, about his desperate 
deeds that one night, while under arrest for some petty 
offence, a vigilance-committee took him at his estimate of 
himself and sent him to his final account by what the fron- 
tierman call " grape-vine route." He died like a coward, 
and the people believe that he was never a very bad man. 
Sandy King was another desperate character. He was 
raised in Western New York, and had a good family. He 
came West to make his fortune, and, being an adventurous 
spirit, drifted in with the cowboys and became a leader in 
their crimes. Like all the rest of these characters, he was 
an open-hearted, free-handed fellow, and has many a kind 
act set down to his credit among the people of Grant County 
(N. M.). He was a companion of Curly Bill, and had shared 
with him the bounty and hazards of many a desperate game. 
He was very well educated, and was capable of much better 
things. The night the vigilantes hung Russian Bill they 
performed the same office for Sandy King. He died game. 
When he found that death was inevitable, he called to the 
lynchers, " Boys, give me a drink ; it will help me on the 
road to hell. I reckon this game you are playing is all right. 
I have got even with many of your kind while I've lived, and 
I don't know why I ought to squeal when you've nipped me." 
The nonchalance with which he looked upon death nearly 
captured the crowd. But they finally concluded to send him 
aloft. They gave him another drink, and when he had fin- 
ished it he straightened himself up and said, "Now, boys, I'm 
ready for the devil to get his own." How many of these 
strange things to civilized people I heard and saw during a 
stay of a few months on the southwestern frontier ! A vol- 
ume could be filled with interesting reminiscences, good and 
bad, of these strange people, whose lives have been bent 
from good to bad by their surroundings and the cravings for 
the adventures of chance. All men who wear the broad- 
brimmed hat are by no means bad. They are rude, rough, 
and uncouth, but in most cases brave, generous, and honest, 
as the world goes. You rarely get into trouble with any of 
them, unless you seek it, and you will meet lots of people 



go THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

who pass for respectable that have a worse record than even 
the characters I have described. 

Another newspaper-writer has this to say of Rus- 
sian Bill: 

His looks would have attracted attention anywhere, but 
dressed in the fancy cowboy garb he was particularly notice- 
able. His clear-cut features, long, drooping mustache, and 
curly blond hair, which fell in curls on his shoulders, made 
Russian Bill an object of special interest to strangers. 
Three years ago, when the writer first saw him, Russian 
Bill was known through southwestern New Mexico as one of 
the San Simon "rustlers," a gang of thirty or forty outlaws 
that made periodical raids through western Arizona, north- 
ern Mexico, and southern New Mexico, stealing cattle and 
horses and driving them to the San Simon Valley, where 
they were kept until an opportunity offered itself to dispose 
of them. Russian Bill was a man of good education ; he 
spoke five or six languages fluently, and delighted when- 
ever opportunity offered in discussing literature, science, or 
art. Of his past nothing was known, save that he was from 
Russia. His reputation was not that of a "bad man," but 
of being a braggart whose heart was really kind and whose 
courage was doubtful. About two years ago the residents 
of Shakespeare (N. M.) resolved to free themselves from 
the rough element that had for a long time ruled that place. 
The next morning twelve men were asked to leave, and 
when Russian Bill arrived in town a couple of days later, 
accompanied by another rustler named Sandy King, the 
citizens decided that the two men should die as an example 
to their companions in crime. Accordingly, at about mid- 
night, a dozen men entered the room of the Stratford Hotel, 
occupied by the rustlers. Before Sandy King and Russian 
Bill could offer any resistance they were tied securely, ropes 
were thrown over the beam above their beds, and they were 
pulled up and left hanging, until they were dead. The next 
morning a coroner's jury held an inquest and brought in a 
verdict that the men committed suicide by hanging. A 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 97 

short time ago the sheriff of Grant County (N. M.) received 
a letter from the American consul at St. Petersburg, saying 
that the Countess Telfuin was very anxious to learn the 
whereabouts of her son, who had been banished for political 
reasons, but who possessed large estates. The letter enclosed 
a photograph of Russian Bill. Word was sent that the 
Count had committed suicide at Shakespeare two years 
ago, and the true facts were kept from the knowledge of 
his mother. 

A letter from Flagstaff (A. T.) to the New York 
Tribune of September 9, 1883, presents a felicitous 
pen-portrait of Poker Bill, who, it will be seen, col- 
lapsed in the presence of the average railway " bag- 
gage-smasher" of the West : 

Poker Bill is not a John Oakhurst, although he is a pro- 
fessional gambler. In fact, my experience goes to show that 
gentlemen of John Oakhurst's type are extremely rare on 
the frontier. Poker Bill may have been endowed with an 
equally exalted spirit, but I regret to state that during my 
stay here he has been rudely buffetted by fortune. His place 
of business is in one of the dozen rude log-huts burrowed 
into the hillside and shaded by the pines. Thence Poker 
Bill emerged the other morning, wearing a grim and trucu- 
lent aspect, and started rapidly down the so-called street. 
The loungers, who sit all day beneath the deer's head nailed 
to the front of the chief store, roused themselves from their 
patient waiting for somebody to " set up the pizen," and 
originated the proposition that "somethin's up." For once 
they unwittingly told the truth. Poker Bill took his way 
down the track to the depot a term applied to a freight-car 
fitted up as an office. Presently he returned to his cabin, 
and when he reappeared his six-shooter was belted to his 
side. The loungers became visibly animated. When Poker 
Bill was seen to be bound for the depot again, an air of 
cheerful expectancy pervaded the group. It was felt proper 
that either the justice of the peace or the storekeeper, who 



98 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

were sitting on barrels near the bar, should invite the crowd 
to " irrigate" in view of the stirring times which had so 
suddenly come upon them. Meantime Poker Bill had been 
stopped and questioned by a friend, who carelessly drawled 
in parting, "That thar station-agent's a bad man." But 
Poker Bill would not be deterred. His beady eyes glittered 
wickedly and his hand softly caressed the handle of his 
revolver. When he disappeared into the depot he looked 
the dime-novel picture of a bloodthirsty and invincible 
desperado. Among the loungers it was whispered that a 
dispute had arisen between Bill and the station-agent re- 
garding the payment of charges on an express bundle. A 
few bets were quietly made on the question whether the 
station-agent would be killed or maimed. The justice of 
the peace, although fully alive to the interest of the occa- 
sion, recollected business elsewhere, for he had no desire to 
enter into a relation unpleasantly antagonistic to Poker Bill. 
Suddenly all the patient waiters leaped to their feet, al- 
though there had been no sound of shots. Such a sight as 
they beheld had never been seen since Antelope Spring was 
known to the white man. Out from the door of the station- 
agent's car, plunging headlong to the ground, came Poker 
Bill, propelled by a terrific kick. He was without his " six- 
shooter," his waistcoat had been torn off, and his remaining 
clothing had collected most of the dust from the car-floor. 
He gathered himself up, dodged under the car and ran up 
toward the town, shielding his head with his arms and evi- 
dently expecting to be followed by a bullet. There was no 
need of explanations. "What did yer do with yer gun, 
Bill?" asked one of the no-longer-respectful crowd as he 
passed. " I left it," snarled Bill ; and the point was not 
pressed, as Bill was known to possess other weapons. He 
equipped the justice and two others with shot-guns and 
rifles. Thus heavily loaded, the force moved upon the car 
and demanded the return of Bill's gun and waistcoat. Hav- 
ing obtained these articles, accompanied by much satirical 
language from the agent, Bill retired to his cabin. From its 
door throughout the day issued a mighty stream of highly 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 99 

flavored and picturesquely embellished profanity. Poker 
Bill's sun had set and his enemies had seen his fall. Never- 
theless the great sawmill in the opening across the track 
buzzed on as usual. The cool wind swept down from the 
mountains through the pines, but Poker Bill cursed him- 
self with exceeding bitterness because he had failed to add 
a fifteenth grave to the little " Boot-Hill Cemetery," near the 
corral, where eleven out of the fourteen dead came to their 
deaths by violence. For the route of the new road which 
has opened northern Arizona has, like the course of every 
Western railroad, been stained again and again with blood. 
Back at Coolidge, five desperadoes held the town in terror 
some two years since, until a brief but stirring conflict left 
three ruffians dead, one dying and two citizens pierced with 
balls. Here at Flagstaff, in the heart of the great pine- 
forests, the camps of wood-choppers and tie-cutters offered 
a ready asylum to thugs and outlaws. Every new railroad 
in the far West has been full of cost to human life. First 
come the engineers, daring the perils of Indians and the 
wilderness. Then follow the gangs of " navvies," who build 
the dump and lay the ties and rails ; a rough, wild set, the 
refuse of the cities. With them come swarms of blood- 
suckers, gamblers, thieves, and keepers of dance-halls, care- 
less whether they win a man's money by a rigged faro-bank, 
or " hold him up," or shoot him in the back on a dark night. 
No one knows their origin. They disappear on the comple- 
tion of the railroad, and no one knows where they go. They 
leave a few graves behind them, and these deep woods are 
shadowed by many an unknown tragedy. Life at the head 
of a railroad is like life nowhere else. The laborers are a 
source of profit to every one except themselves. They eat 
and sleep in long trains of freight-cars; and their eating and 
sleeping fill the pockets of some contractor. They build the 
road and receive their wages, and the wages are promptly 
transferred to the keeper of the gambling-tent, groggery, or 
dance -hall. Finally they are discharged. They return 
cooped up like cattle in freight-cars, they make for the 
mining-camps, or, provided with a "tie-pass," they pack 



100 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

their blankets on their backs and set out on the tramp along 
the track. The best of them are kept for the section-gangs ; 
the others vanish utterly away. With their departure and 
that of their attendant evil spirits a calm succeeds the 
storm. The stranded gambler talks mournfully of "the 
lively times when the road was here;" but the Eastern 
visitor possesses his soul in peace and no longer fears to be 
" held up" in the street. 

Not long ago a cowboy who had murdered a man 
in a New Mexican town, and was pursued for a day 
by the Sheriff, returned to the scene of his crime and 
compelled the Sheriff to go in his company to all the 
saloons in town, and treat him to the drinks, and 
after the rounds were made, he mounted his horse 
and rode off in safety. What came of trifling with 
some cowboys in Wyoming, is thus felicitously told 
by the editor of the Laramie Boomerang: 

Ben Carter had " heaps of fun," as he expresses it, at Rock 
Creek, west of Laramie, the othe^ day. Ben is a typical 
Western cowboy a whole-souled, dare-devil puncher of 
steers ; a fellow who will divide his last dollar with a friend, 
or ride anything that has not more than four legs and wears 
a saddle. Ben has one weak point, however, a fondness for 
the sulphuric acid annihilator which Wyoming barkeepers 
retail as whiskey, and when he is " full" he is windy and 
ready for any harmless mischief. On the day referred to 
Ben was at Rock Creek loading stock. A dozen or more 
,of his brother-cowboys were in town, and after the 
arduous duties incident to crowding twenty more steers 
into a car than the builders intended were over, the boys 
began to " booze up," and by the time it got dark enough 
to light the lamps the saloon-keeper found that he hadn't 
any that were fit to do duty as illuminators the boys 
had shot them to pieces. Every time a lamp would fall 
the marksman, who assisted at the post-mortem of said 
lamp, would cheerfully waltz to the bar and pay for it, and 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. IOI 

then try again. The lamp market was active for a few 
minutes, but the supply was limited. Ben hadn't taken a 
hand in the shooting-match as yet, but had made it a point 
to drink with the successful marksmen, so that, strictly 
speaking, he wasn't sober. Finally, he awoke to action. 
Seizing a revolver from a companion and drawing his own, 
he sprang to the centre of the room and delivered him- 
self of a speech. He told the boys that they ought to be 
ashamed of themselves. He was a perfect lady himself, and 
it shocked him to witness such disgraceful proceedings. He 
had been appointed as a Deputy Sheriff on his last visit to 
Laramie, and had decided to arrest every mother's son of 
them. The boys protested against such a strange procedure, 
but Ben flourished his guns, told them he had the whole 
United States at his back, and imperiously ordered them 
into an empty warehouse near, the door of which stood 
open. The novelty of the thing somewhat muddled the 
boys, and without a word they filed into the temporary 
prison, and Ben closed the door. He then rustled around 
and found several log chains, with which he securely fas- 
tened them, and, with the dignity of a high private in a State 
militia corps, mounted guard on the outside. The boys ven- 
tilated their prison cell as well as they could with what am- 
munition they had, and then dropped off to sleep. In the 
morning Ben released them, after exacting a solemn promise 
to Behave themselves like gentlemen and ladies thereafter. 
The boys walked over to the hotel as meek as lambs. While 
eating their breakfast they noticed that an unusual amount 
of hilarity seemed to prevail in the dining-room. The head 
and only waiter laughed boisterously while serving the soup ; 
the cook poked his head through the doorway leading to 
the kitchen, and drew it back again quickly, and a series 
of Comanche war-whoops that were positively painful to 
their listening ears, gradually subsiding into a low, mellow 
laugh which made the plates on the tables jingle, followed. 
Sounds of mirth also floated in from the office, until finally 
one of the boys went out to inquire the cause. He came 
back presently, and the most ignorant judge of the emotions 



102 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

as shown oy the human features could have told that he was 
unutterably mad. He consulted a moment with his compan- 
ions, and then called the waiter and ordered a box of " forty- 
fours." These were served cold, and the command loaded 
their weapons and marched down to the saloon, where they 
found Ben Carter. The spokesman, Broncho Bill, then and 
there told Ben that he was no gentleman. He had taken 
advantage of his friends, and made them the laughing stock 
of the community. He had pretended that he was the au- 
thorized Deputy Sheriff, when he had no more claim to the 
title of Deputy Sheriff than Ben Butler had to the spoons 
history says he hypothecated. Believing that he repre- 
sented the majesty of the law, they had given him the 
respect he deserved. He had insulted them by putting them 
in the " jug" over night, and they could only wipe out that 
insult by creating a vacancy in the atmosphere thereabouts 
of about the size of his body. He must go, and go quick. 
Ben is brave enough, but after he had looked over the 
crowd, and saw that each man had his hand on his per- 
suader, he concluded that perhaps Broncho Bill was right. 
He got : and when he had put several hundred yards of 
sagebrush and sand between himself and the station, the 
boys, having no further use of "forty- fours," emptied their 
revolvers. From the agile manner in which Ben was danc- 
ing around as he passed swiftly over the brow of the hill 
toward Laramie, and the amount of dust rising in little 
clouds all around him, it is believed the boys carelessly 
pointed their weapons his way while taking the loads out. 

What has been termed the cowboy-fight or a not 
dissimilar mode of combat raged in California from 
1849 to 1860, at least in the mining communities of 
the Golden State; and it has also been more or less 
indulged in throughout the Pacific States and Terri- 
tories in sections where mining operations have been 
extensively carried on. The street, or bar-room, duel 
flourished among members of the gambling fra- 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 1 03 

ternity in California for ten or twelve years, and the 
whizz of the deadly bullet was oftener heard in those 
days than are even the church bells of the present. 
The southern counties of California, where for thirty 
years there existed an almost unceasing strife among 
hordes of disorderly characters, but where there is so 
much perfect harmony and contentment now also 
contributed much toward a Golgotha over which 
" Resurgam" can never be truthfully written. 

It was no uncommon thing in California (as well 
as in other Western States), during its early days, for 
the real gentleman and the riot-loving desperado to 
come together; and it is a prominent fact in the an- 
nals of such events that, in a majority of cases, the 
former was never known (or seldom the first) "to 
weaken." A description of the bar-room duel be- 
tween Hicks Graham and Yank Maguire, as fur- 
nished the San Francisco (Cal.) Morning Call by a 
correspondent in August, 1883, is as interesting as 
any and much more thrilling and dramatic than many 
similar encounters: 

Graham, a backwoods disciple of Blackstone, was practis- 
ing law at Montgomery at the time. Yank Maguire came 
down from Aurora, where he enjoyed the reputation of a 
desperado. He was a big, savage fellow, coarse and over- 
bearing in his manners, the very opposite of Hicks Graham, 
who was below the medium size, delicate, and gentlemanly. 
From the first the two men seemed to hate each other. 
There was a natural antipathy between them. Instinct 
taught each to see in the other a deadly and dangerous ene- 
my. The little town just naturally knew, before Yank Ma- 
guire had been forty-eight hours within its limits, that 
trouble was brewing between the two men. They had met 
at Aurora a short time before the discovery of rich silver 
rock in Montgomery district, and came near having a diffi- 



104 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

culty there. The fact appeared to be that Maguire, who was 
crazy to be thought a fighter, was insanely jealous of Gra- 
ham's well-established reputation in that respect. The first 
night of his advent into the new camp he got on a jamboree, 
flourished his revolver, and swore that no man who wore a 
" biled shirt " and a " plug hat " could make him take water. 
As Hicks was almost the only one in camp who sported 
such evidences of civilization as a white shirt and a silk hat, 
of course we all knew that Yank meant him. But he only 
smiled at the riotous demonstrations of the big rough, and 
quietly walked off and went to bed. From that hour, how- 
ever, the town felt that something serious was going to hap- 
pen. Strangely enough, in a place where shooting scrapes 
were of daily occurrence, Montgomery got excited over the 
prospective quarrel between Hicks Graham and Yank Ma- 
guire. The death-dealing merits of the men were discussed 
very freely, and money was wagered on the final results. 
Notwithstanding Maguire 's size and blood-thirsty talk, Gra- 
ham was the popular favorite. The little fellow had won 
his spurs in many a hard-fought scrimmage, and most of the 
miners were ready to bet that he would kill his opponent or 
drive him out of camp. Montgomery had, among its cos- 
mopolitan population in those days, quite a sprinkling of 
Southerners, who believed that the right way for gentlemen 
to settle their personal troubles was "according to the 
code." Street fights and bar-room encounters were good 
enough in their way, but the proper thing was a duel ac- 
cording to the code of honor. Aurora bore testimony to 
their handiwork in this respect. Time and again had her 
high-toned and pugnacious citizens, governed by the true 
spirit of chivalry, gone out and shot each other in the most 
approved fashion. Why not arrange a regular "affair" be- 
tween Maguire and Graham ? The latter was a Pennsylvan- 
fan, it is true, but in love for the code duello he could not be 
excelled by the most ardent native of the "Sunny South." 
With him there could be no trouble, and he at once cheer- 
fully acquiesced in the proposal of his chevalier friends to 
avoid the vulgar barbarity of a street affray or a saloon ren- 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 10$ 

centre. Maguire, however, did not take to the thing kindly, 
so it was said, and gave his officious interviewers such a 
stormy reception as came near starting a riot in the camp. 
For this reason, to the sincere regret of not a few, the pro- 
posed duel had to be abandoned, and the town was left in a 
feverish condition of expectation, impatiently waiting for the 
fray. Fortunately, the good folks of Montgomery had not 
long to wait. A difficulty among some miners led to a law- 
suit before his honor, Judge Caliph, the judicial autocrat of 
the place, and Hicks Graham appeared as a lawyer for one 
of the parties. Happily, or unhappily, as the fact might be 
viewed from different standpoints, Yank Maguire was a wit- 
ness against the side represented by Graham, and when this 
condition of affairs became generally known it was in the 
air that the time had come for one or both to " pass in his 
checks," as the sports phrased it. When the belligerent wit- 
ness took the stand all eyes were turned upon him. With 
an angry glance at Graham, and a suggestive hitch at his 
hip pocket, where the handle of a big six-shooter could be 
plainly seen, he proceeded with his testimony, and for a time 
got along smoothly enough. The cross-examination, how- 
ever, was too much for the witness. Repeatedly he was 
admonished by the justice to answer the questions and 
avoid insulting personalities. Still he was ugly, coarse and 
abusive, and indulged in a vicious sneer when Graham 
quietly remarked that nothing he might say could make him 
forget that he was in a court of justice. At last, losing all 
patience, and finding restraint next to impossible, Graham 
insisted that the court should take a recess. Immediately on 
adjournment, the crowd poured into the " Montgomery Ex- 
change," directly across the way, and filled the saloon to its 
utmost capacity. While a long line of thirsty souls were 
standing before the bar, drinking or waiting to be served, a 
cry of " Look out !" was heard, and instantly the sharp and 
loud reports of two pistols scattered the crowd in all direc- 
tions. Who drew first none could say, but the little one 
evidently got in the first shot, for Maguire was seen to stag- 
ger and put his hand to his breast. He did not flinch, how- 



106 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

ever, and both men continued to fire with great rapidity. 
At this critical juncture, something was noticed to be wrong 
with Graham's pistol. It would not revolve, and in working 
with it, the chamber fell out and rolled on the floor. Again 
Maguire's pistol rang out, and a bullet-hole through his an- 
tagonist's hat showed that the effect of the first shot had 
not destroyed his aim, although he staggered around the 
room like a drunken man. Coolly stooping down, Graham 
picked up the chamber of his revolver, deliberately replaced 
it, and began firing again. While fixing his weapon he had 
got into a corner at one end of the bar or counter, and Ma- 
guire took a similar position at the other end. The fire now 
raked the counter from end to end, to the danger and hor- 
ror of a number of spectators who had taken refuge from 
the flying bullets behind the bar at the beginning of the 
fight. With every crack of the pistols was heard the wild 
cry of some poor devil in the line of fire. The shriek and 
fall of one of the number, a quiet, inoffensive Dutchman 
who had nothing to do with the affray, put an end to the 
bloody business. The proprietor of the " Exchange," now a 
well-known citizen of San Francisco, jumped across the 
counter and seized Graham with an iron grip, while others 
caught Maguire and wrenched the revolver from his hands. 
The result of the shooting was the death of the unfortunate 
German, shot through the heart, the fearful wounding of 
Maguire, who was sinking fast from a bullet in the breast, 
and a slight flesh wound received by Graham. The bar 
room duel over, Montgomery resumed its natural condition. 
The fight was eminently satisfactory. Both men were game, 
but the little one had come out on top. The writer knew 
Hicks Graham well in the sage-brush country ; cabined with 
him and shared his bed and board. On more than one oc- 
casion, while travelling together or watching the stars from 
under the same blankets, he talked over exciting scenes in 
his turbulent life. Few men ever knew how thoroughly he 
despised, in his later years, the reputation of a fighting man. 
Such a reputation, he would bitterly remark, is a curse to 
any one. Every reckless fool, \vho wants to get his name 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. IO/ 

up as a desperado, thinks he is in duty bound to have a dif- 
ficulty with you, while you are expected to resent every 
grievance, real or imaginary, with the knife or pistol. I re- 
member with what earnestness he said, more than once : " If 
I had my life to live over again, nothing short of absolute 
dishonor would make me fight anybody !" His reflections 
on the past were evidently not of a pleasant character, and 
there can be no doubt that he deeply and sincerely regretted 
many events in his reckless career. It was really singular 
how so quiet and gentlemanly a little man could get into so 
many ugly scrapes. Of a genial, sociable disposition, warm 
in his attachments, and courteous and obliging to every- 
body, it does seem strange that his life should have been so 
bloody and desperate. He had domestic griefs which 
weighed upon his mind, and, like many another gallant fel- 
fow, sought forgetfulness in strong drink. Doubtless this 
had much to do with his numerous deadly quarrels, for few 
men were more quiet and inoffensive when sober. Peace to 
his ashes ! After life's fitful fever may he sleep well. 

During the Autumn of 1852, in Los Angeles (Cal.), 
Colonel (since a distinguished General in the Con- 
federate army, and now deceased) J. Bankhead 
Magruder, Third Artillery U. S. A., who was visiting 
that city fron San Diego, commenced an evening at 
Harry Monroe's restaurant, in company with three or 
four other congenial fellows, by ordering a cham- 
pagne dinner of an elaborate character. It was not 
long after the initial movement of the real old Duff 
Gordon sherry from right to left that an exhilaration 
set in which was rapidly and radiantly heightened 
to a hilarious pitch, the reader may rest assured; so 
that, after the " feast of reason and flow of soul " had 
got completely under way, the nocturnal wayfarer 
might have misinterpreted the medley of mirthful 
vociferations for sounds of revelry second only to 



108 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

those attributed to the beauty and chivalry of Belgi- 
um's capital upon a momentous occasion by the 
author of " Childe Harold's Pilgrimage." In other 
words, ? an uproarious controversy had quickly fol- 
lowed the ample gastronomic discussion, during 
which Magruder declared, with his characteristic 
suavity, that Andrew Jackson was " the greatest man 
who ever trod in shoe leather." Colonel John O. 
Wheeler tossed off a goblet of Krug to " the greatest 
American statesman, Henry Clay;" while Thompson 
Burrill quaffed placidly away to the memory of 
' Daniel Webster, the greatest man the world ever 
produced." A certain disciple of Esculapius, who 
was present, then arose, as ostentatiously as it was 
possible for him to rise, under the circumstances, and 
said: "My father, who was Sheriff of Cayuga County 
(N. Y.), was the greatest of all Americans !" To 
which Magruder replied, vehemently: "Doctor, 
you're a damned fool !" The Doctor at once chal- 
lenged Magruder to fight, which cartel of defiance 
was at once accepted, the combat to take place on the 
spot, and over the dining table, from end to end, dis- 
tance twelve feet; weapons derringer pistols. Major 
Horace Bell, in his exciting book, entitled "Reminis- 
censes of a Ranger," presents his readers the follow- 
ing description of the duel: 

Wilson Jones, the Doctor's second, got the word, and the 
principals, without shaking hands, took their respective 
stations, the majestic form of Magruder towering above that 
of the diminutive Doctor, who paled and shuddered when 
brought face to face with the grim-visaged son of Mars. 
All was suspense. The word was to be: Ready! fire! One t 
two, three! At the word "ready," to the dismay of all, the 
Doctor blazed away. When the smoke cleared somewhat, 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 109 

to the horror of the valiant disciple of Esculapius, his an- 
tagonist stood as stiff and defiant as an avenging demon. 
The Doctor quailed ; Magruder glared savagely on him for a 
full minute. The spectators, spell-bound, looked on with 
horrible forebodings. Magruder took two "side steps to the 
right," which brought him clear of the end of the table. He 
then advanced the "right foot full to the front," with his 
glaring eyeballs bent fiercely on the now terrified Doctor. 
He then brought the left foot up to the rear of the right heel 
and leveled his derringer at the ghastly face of the tremb- 
ling Doctor. Then he advanced the right foot as before, 
and in this way, with firm and unrelenting tread, he slowly 
advanced on the now thoroughly frightened Doctor, who 
made a movement toward the door. The spectators inter- 
posed, and cut off the possibility of retreat in that direction. 
The Doctor tried to flank the Colonel by skirmishing around 
the table. Magruder faced to the left, as though moving on 
a pivot, and kept the direful derringer aimed directly at the 
Doctor's palid countenance. In the excitement the Doctor 
ran under the table, crawled through, grasped the knees of 
the irate hero, and affectionately embracing them, said : 
" Colonel Magruder, for the love of God, spare me for my 

family." The Colonel gave him a kick, and said : " D n 

you ! I'll spare you for the hangman." And, so saying, 
he handed the weapon to his second, and the festivities were 
adjourned. 

This mode of fighting over a table did not origi- 
nate in the "far West," however; for, as early as 
1771, the brother of General Delancey, the notorious 
barrack-master general of the British army, had high 
words one evening with a Charlestonian named 
Haley, in a coffee-house near the foot of Broadway, 
New York, during which the American called for 
pistols, and insisted upon fighting the Britisher in 
one of the coffee-rooms across a table. The English- 
man was kind enough to accommodate the belliger- 



HO THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

ent Yankee, and was shot dead as soon as the word 
was given. An account of this affair, published in the 
New York Evening Post in 1845, says that Delancey 
was murdered, as the American discharged his weap- 
on dishonestly before his time. Another account 
declares that the disturbance took place in South 
Carolina, and that Delancey and Haley both fired at 
the same time; and that the survivor was defended 
by the Pinckneys and Rutledges. 

Among the many descriptions of the bloody en- 
counter which gave the bowie-knife its name the 
writer has seen none so generally and briefly inter- 
esting as the account lately furnished the Philadel- 
phia Times by a correspondent of that paper, which 
is as follows: 

A feud had existed for years between two parties of the 
parish of Rapides (Louisiana), on Red River. The princi- 
pals were Dr. Maddox, Major Wright, and the Blanchards 
on the one part, the Curreys, the Wellses, and the Bowies 
on the other. A challenge was passed between Dr. Maddox 
and Samuel Wells, and the meeting was arranged to take 
place opposite Natchez (Miss.), in August, 1827. Hither 
the parties repaired with their friends. It was agreed that 
no persons should be present but the combatants, their sec- 
onds and surgeons. The place of meeting was a large sand- 
bar, immediately opposite Natchez. The sand-bar at low 
water is of considerable width, bordered above and below 
with forest growth ; on the opposite side of this bar were 
stationed the friends of each party ; one of these parties 
was something nearer to the combatants than the other. 
Colonel Crane was the second of Maddox. Between him 
and James Bowie and General Currey there had long existed 
a deadly feud, and several months before this affair General 
Currey shot Colonel Crane with a shotgun, on Bayou Rap- 
ids, disabling one of his arms. The parties to the duel ap- 
proached the spot selected for the combat from different 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. Ill 

directions. The preliminaries were soon arranged. The 
combatants took their positions and exchanged two shots 
without effect, and the difficulty was amicably adjusted. 
Bowie was just in the edge of the woods with Generals Wells 
and Currey, armed with pistols, Bowie carrying a huge knife. 
As the duelling party started to leave the grounds Bowie 
and party advanced to meet them. The friends of Maddox 
and Crane on the opposite side of the sand-bar, seeing this, 
and being furthest from the party, started to run to meet 
them as soon as they should reach the retiring combatants. 
General Currey was the first on the ground, closely followed 
by Bowie. Currey immediately advanced upon Colonel 
Crane and remarked : " Colonel Crane, this is a good time to 
settle our difficulty," and commenced drawing his pistol. 
Bowie did the same. Crane was armed with a brace of duel- 
ling pistols, and awaited the attack of Currey. At this mo- 
ment Currey was seized by his brother and begged to desist. 
Bowie and Crane fired at each other, it is said, without 
effect. There were those who said Bowie was wounded. 
The latter statement I think most probable, for Bowie 
stopped, felt of his hip, and then, drawing his knife, limped 
toward Crane, who was watching General Currey. Released 
from the hold of his brother, Currey was advancing. At 
this moment Crane leaped across a small ravine cut through 
the sand by the rain water flowing from the acclivities 
above, and, resting his pistol upon his crippled arm, fired at 
Currey, wounding him fatally, from the effects of which he 
fell. Crane was now disarmed, and Bowie advanced cau- 
tiously upon him. Clubbing his pistol he struck Bowie 
over the head as he avoided his knife adroitly, and felled 
him to the ground. Crane retreated a step as his friend, 
Major Wright, advanced upon him, and with a long, slender 
spear, drawn from a walking-cane which he carried, attacked 
Bowie, who made a pass to parry the spear with his knife, in 
which he failed. The spear was of cold iron, and striking 
the breast-bone bent and went round upon the rib. Bowie 
at this moment seized Wright and fell, pulling Wright down 
with and on top of him, and holding him strongly to his 



112 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

person. Wright was slender, and by no means a strong 
man, and was powerless in the hands of Bowie, who coolly 
said to him : " Now, Major, you die," and plunging the 
knife into his heart, killed him instantly. This knife was 
made by Resin P. Bowie out of a blacksmith's rasp or large 
file, and was the original of the famous bowie-knife. When 
James Bowie received it from his brother, he was told by 
him that it was " strong, and of admirable temper. It is 
more trustworthy in the hands of a strong man than a pis- 
tol, for it will not snap ; Crane and Wright are both your 
enemies ; they are from Maryland, the birthplace of our an- 
cestors, and are as brave as you are, but not so cool. They 
are both inferior in strength to yourself, and therefore not 
your equal in a close fight. They are both dangerous, but 
Wright the most so. Keep this knife always with you. It 
will be your friend in a last resort, and may save your life." 
After this conflict Resin P. Bowie earned this knife to Phila- 
delphia, where it was fashioned by a cutler into the form of 
a model made by him, and I presume the knife is yet in the 
possession of some member of the family. There was no 
reconciliation between Crane and Bowie after the conflict, 
though Crane aided personally in carrying Bowie from the 
ground, and Bowie thanked him and said : " Colonel Crane, 
I do not think, under the circumstances, you ought to have 
shot me." Almost immediately after the attack of Currey 
upon Crane, the fight between their friends became general, 
in which there were fifteen wounded and at least six killed, 
among whom were Currey and Wright. All the men en- 
gaged in this terrible affair were men of wealth and high so- 
cial position, and the two parties included almost every man 
of fortune in the extensive and wealthy parish of Rapides. 
All are gone save Maddox and Wells, both very old, and 
still residing in the same parish. 

Mr. S. P. Hall, a resident of San Francisco, con- 
tributed to the Alia of that city, in January, 1884, 
what he claims as a "truthful narrative," which dif- 
fered only in a few of the important details of the 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 113 

tragedy as chronicled by the correspondent of the 
Philadelphia Times, as follows: 

The grand fight which gave origin to the bowie-knife, the 
fearful fame of which is spread over all countries, occurred 
in the month of August, 1827. In that year the writer was 
fourteen years old, and stood by the side of his father and 
witnessed the fight. The facts were indelibly impressed 
upon his memory, and he proposes to give you a truthful 
narrative of them : In the year mentioned many persons, 
moved by the spirit of adventure, engaged in the speculation 
of the rich unentered cotton lands in the States of Missis- 
sippi and Louisiana. Among those adventurers were the 
brothers Resin and James Bowie, from the State of Mary- 
land. They were men of fair education, well raised, as the 
phrase goes, and of unshaken resolution. They were men 
of good intelligence, imposing presence and excellent phys- 
ique, Resin being the elder and more considerate, and 
James, the junior, having more of the dare-devil in his com- 
position. These men organized a party of land speculators, 
which soon came in antagonism with another party who 
acknowledged the leadership of Judge Crane, a cultured 
gentleman of Rapides parish, Louisiana. He was as brave 
and chivalrous as men generally get to be. Between him 
and James Bowie a deadly feud existed, resulting from a 
personal rencontre (no weapons) in which Judge Crane was 
worsted. The members of each party sympathized with 
their leaders, and several fights and duels had grown out of 
it. Among others, a duel was 'arranged to take place be- 
tween Dr. Maddox and Samuel Wells, on the sand-bar oppo- 
site the city of Natchez, the former being in the State of 
Louisiana, the latter in Mississippi. According to the terms 
of the fight, neither Judge Crane nor James Bowie were to 
be present. Bowie at the time had his residence in Natchez 
(Miss.), and Judge Crane at Alexandria (La.), but was then 
stopping at a hotel in the city mentioned. The parties to 
the duel met at the place appointed, but influential citizens 
from Natchez intervened and prevented hostilities. At this 



IU THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

place a spring gurgled from the bank, overshadowed by 
willows, with benches arranged for the accommodation of 
visitors. The parties and their friends thought it a fitting 
occasion and place to have a good time, and had cham- 
pagne, brandy, cigars, etc., brought over from Natchez, and 
sat enjoying themselves, when Judge Crane unexpectedly 
put in his appearance and joined in the convivial feeling, 
well pleased with the pacification. But another appearance 
was shortly to be put in which was to involve direful conse- 
quences. Bowie, doubting that Judge Crane would abide 
his promise to stay away from the place where the fight was 
appointed to take place, placed a spy upon his actions, who 
reported to Bowie that he had, with two friends, crossed the 
river in a skiff for the scene of expected action. Bowie, 
upon learning this much, crossed over on the ferry-boat, 
which landed half a mile below, and, all alone, walked up 
the bank. The citizens of Natchez, generally, were notified 
of the expected fight and had crossed over the river to see 
it. As the party quaffed the generous fluids, good feeling 
arose as the goblets declined, and everything was tinged 
with the rainbow hues of friendly feeling, when a rustle in 
the boughs, which overhung the path which led down to 
the spring attracted attention, and the manly form of 
James Bowie, couchant, to avoid the boughs, met the gaze 
of the party. Instantaneously, like a snowflake falling upon 
a heated furnace, the friendly feeling disappeared. The 
very presence of Bowie meant fight, and it took place be- 
tween the high-mettled parties, all of whom were men of 
wealth and social standing. Previous to the appearance of 
Bowie, Andrew Marschalk, editor of the Natchez Courier, a 
Revolutionary soldier highly respected and of strong influ- 
ence, remarked to Judge Crane : " Judge, this is a fitting oc- 
casion to bring about friendly relations between you and 
James Bowie, whom you acknowledge to be a gentleman." 
Judge Crane excitedly remarked, quoting from Shakspeare : 

" No! No! Ne'er can true reconcilement grow 
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep!" 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. 11$ 

Scarcely had the words died upon his lips when the " man 
of fight " descended the path and stood upon the sand-bar. 
Judge Crane arose and fired upon him with a pistol, the ball 
passing quite through his body. He staggered and fell. 
Judge Crane ran up with a sword-cane and attempted to 
stab him. Bowie skilfully warded the thrusts, and putting 
forth all his strength, grasped the spear with one hand, and 
with the other seized the judge by his cravat, which, ac- 
cording to the fashion of the day, men wore tightly secured 
around their necks, and drew him down closely upon his 
body. Disengaging the spear from the hand of Judge 
Crane, he pierced him through the body and heart, and 
he died upon the body of his prostrate foe, who fainted 
from the loss of blood. As intimated above, the charm of 
friendship was dissolved by the appearance of James Bowie, 
and the friends of the respective parties separated and fired 
upon each other. Six men were killed and fifteen wounded. 
Many citizens of Natchez who were present waded into the 
water of the Mississippi River, then at a low stage, to escape 
the bullets. Dr. Girault, who was present as surgeon of Dr. 
Maddox, a man of low stature, also waded in. His friends 
afterward jokingly would tell him that at every flash from 
the pistols of the combatants he would duck his head under 
water until he was nearly drowned. As stated, the ball 
from Judge Crane's pistol passed quite through the body of 
Bowie, but cut no chord which bound him to life, and his 
strong vitality enabled him to recover. He was confined to 
his bed for three months, and being a man of inventive 
genius, and fond of hunting, he whittled from white pine, 
with his pocket-knife, the model of a hunting-knife, and 
sent it to two brothers in the city of Natchez, skilful black- 
smiths, by the name of Blackman, from Massachusetts, with 
instructions to spare no expense in the making, They made 
a knife, according to the model, from a broad file or rasp, 
such as are used in saw-mills, ornamented with silver about 
the handle. This knife the writer has seen James Bowie, 
years after the events here written, exhibit to his friends. 
A hardware merchant of Natchez, catching the idea, sent a 



Il6 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

model of this knife to Philadelphia and had a large number 
manufactured, and they were sold rapidly. 

After presenting quite a number of characteristic 
incidents in the life of James Bowie, Mr. Hall con- 
cludes his sketch thus: 

Many years after this, a Methodist minister in the town of 
Clinton, Louisiana, told the writer this : That he was among 
the first preachers sent by the Methodist Conference to 
Texas, while it was in its embryo condition, to preach ; that 
he crossed the Mississippi below the old town of Fort 
Adams, and travelled up Red River, in Louisiana, to get to 
Texas. The first day after crossing the Mississippi he was 
overtaken by a horseman, dressed in a buckskin garb, armed 
with rifle, pistols, and a hunting-knife. They entered into 
conversation, and he found his travelling companion an in- 
telligent, agreeable gentleman, well acquainted with the 
geography of the country. They journeyed together for 
several days, one not asking the other his name or his busi- 
ness, until they reached a town in Texas which had been 
made the headquarters of desperadoes and refugees from 
justice from every State. There he gave notice that he 
would preach at night in the court-house. At the hour 
appointed the court-house was filled with men, only a few 
women. He said he gave out a hymn and all sang it and 
sang it well ; but when he took his text and attempted to 
preach, he was saluted by one with the bray of an ass, 
another by the hooting of an owl, and kindred noises. Dis- 
liking to leave without preaching, he waited until the inter- 
ruptions subsided, for three several times, when his travelling 
companion, whom he did not know was present, arose in 
the midst of the congregation and said : " Men, this man 
has come here to preach to you you need preaching to, and 

I'll be d d if he sha'n't preach to you. The next man 

that disturbs him shall fight me. My name's Jim Bowie." 
The preacher addeJ that after the announcement of the 
name Jim Bowie he never had a more respectful and atten- 
tive congregation. It is hardly necessary to say that James 



DUELLING IN AMERICA. II 7 

Bowie laid down his life at the Alamo, in the State of Texas. 
Greece, in ancient times, had her Thermopylae, from which 
only three persons escaped. The Alamo was the American 
Thermopylae, from whence only one woman and a negro 
boy escaped. Travis, the commandant, Crockett and James 
Bowie, his subordinates, a trio of heroes ! Patriotism mourns 
their fate and memory will bedew their graves with her tears 
as long as noble deeds move the human heart with pleasur- 
able emotions. In truth, every man who fell at the Alamo 
was a hero, because not one asked or expected quarter. 
They fought to protect the infant settlements of Texas 
from savage destruction. 

As a general thing, during the times of which we 
write, the favorite weapons with the Alabamians and 
Mississippians were rifles and shotguns, which were 
seldom used without fatal effect. The favorite weap- 
ons of the Creoles, however, were four-sided rapiers; 
and, as a matter of course, wounds were frequent and 
fatalities few. 



Il8 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER VI. 

INDIANS, MEXICANS, CUBANS, JAPANESE. 

Fall of a Noted Choctaw Chief Duelling among the Mexicans 
Mortal Combat of a Mexican Banker and a French Merchant 
The Custom in the West Indies Code Henri Restrictions in 
Cuba An Exciting Duel between Soler (a Cuban) and Palacios 
(a Spaniard) in Havana The Japanese Mode: " It is only an 
accident, and at best it is only a quarrel between the two 
swords." 

AMONG many tribes of American Indians duelling 
exists according to a fashion entirely their own.' 
With many tribes it is necessary that both the com- 
batants perish in all cases, thus: A member feels 
offended, and demands a combat; the day is fixed and 
the tribe assemble; the champions advance, the of- 
fended man armed with a rifle or shotgun, and the 
offender unarmed; the one without arms uncovers his 
breast and receives the missile of death, and the 
other, while the offender is weltering in his blood, 
presents his weapon to some relative or friend of his 
dying adversary, retreats a certain number of paces, 
points with his finger to the place where the heart is 
seated, and receives the mortal wound. 

This mode does not prevail among either the 
Choctaws or Cherokees, who fight their duels gener- 
ally according to the "code;" or, at least, like many 
" pale faces" whom they have seen fall upon the 



INDIANS, MEXICANS, CUBANS, JAPANESE. IIQ 

" field of honor." And the author is reminded, in 
this connection, that in July, 1883, Carpenter, the 
celebrated Choctaw Chief, fought a fatal duel near 
the Pine Creek Indian Agency (Arkansas), with a 
white man named Price. It seems that the two men 
got into a quarrel about some trivial matter, when 
Price called Carpenter a liar; whereupon the enraged 
Chief, after looking calmly into Price's face, ex- 
claimed: "Your heart's blood, sir, shall wash out this 
insult !" " My blood is yours, sir, when you have the 
power to take it!" responded Price, "and I will give 
you the opportunity right here and now!" "No, sir, 
not now," said the Chief, coldly; " but you must meet 
me at this spot to-morrow, without fail." " I'm your 
man, my friend, and don't you forget it. I'll meet 
you to-morrow, with the good friend I always carry 
in my hip pocket, at any moment you name-^when 
shall we meet? make it early, for I have an engage- 
ment at the Agency in the afternoon." "When the 
sun shines above the top of yon tree," responded 
Carpenter, pointing to a wild plum, as he spoke; " at 
that hour stand you here and you will see me." They 
then separated. The report of the quarrel and pro- 
posed duel spread far and wide, and before sunrise 
the following morning a large crowd had gathered 
upon the spot to witness the strange encounter. 
Price arrived first on the field. He was quickly fol- 
lowed by Carpenter, who appeared just as the sun 
rose above the tree-tops and illumined the open space 
upon which Price stood. Both men drew their pistols. 
Not a word was spoken. Raising their weapons they 
fired almost simultaneously. Carpenter reeled, but 
rallying, both fired again. This time Price dropped 
dead in his tracks. The crowd pressed forward with 



120 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

a wild shout. As they did so the Chief fell on the 
ground senseless. A bullet had entered his breast; 
blood gushed from his mouth, and he was thought to 
be dying. Price had been shot through the heart. 
Chief Carpenter was a splendid specimen of Indian 
manhood. He was tall and straight and comely. He 
was well educated and had natural talents which 
placed him head and shoulders above all his Indian 
associates. 

The Mexicans have not been much of a duelling 
people at least, the upper classes of Mexico have 
not indulged in the custom to the same extent that 
those of other countries have done, albeit fights with 
knives and assassinations have always prevailed to an 
alarming degree in all of the States of the Mexican 
Republic. The first duel (of which there has been 
any record) in that country jtook place in 1521, in 
which Nunez, of the staff of Cortez, slew a Mexican 
of great fighting renown, after a desperate combat 
with swords. Cortez himself, says Prescott, "was 
frequently involved in affairs of honor, from which, 
though an expert swordsman, he carried away scars 
that accompanied him to his grave." Among the 
lower classes of Mexicans fighting to the death with 
the lariata (lasso) is sometimes practised. Generally, 
however, these lower orders settle their disturbances 
(assassin-like) with the knife. 

In 1851 Senor Trias challenged an American named 
Richards for ungentlemanly language concerning his 
countrymen in the City of Mexico, and the latter was 
shot dead at the first fire. The latest duel upon 
Mexican soil took place near Chapultepec, just 
outside of the City of Mexico, on the morning of 
November 8, 1883, between Mr. de Ghest, of the 



INDIANS, MEXICANS, CUBANS, JAPANESE. 121 

Mexican National Bank, and M. Ollivier, a resident 
French merchant, in which the latter was killed and 
the former severely wounded in three places. The 
difficulty, says the New York Herald of November 
22d, arose out of a dispute at the Peralvillo races 
over the possession of some of the seats, and was 
aggravated by the fact that several of the disputants 
were foreigners. It appears that the British Minister, 
Sir Spencer St. John, two American ladies, and Mr. 
de Ghest, had been witnessing the sport from the 
raised seats on the grand stand. During the custom- 
ary promenade between the races the party left their 
seats unoccupied, and on their return were surprised 
to find that they had been taken by some other 
foreigners, among whom was M. Ollivier, a French 
merchant. Mr. de Ghest demanded that the intrud- 
ers should give up the seats. M. Ollivier refused, 
saying that, as the seats were not numbered or 
reserved, his party had as good a right to them as 
the former occupants. To this Mr. de Ghest replied 
that he was a member of the Jockey Club and would 
see that the seats were given up. Some friend of Mr. 
de Ghest said to him while the row was going on: 
"Do not mind these people; they are Barcelonnettes," 
alluding to the town in the south of France whence 
many of the French residents of Mexico had come. 
On the other hand a friend of M. Ollivier said to Mr. 
de Ghest: "You are an insolent fellow, and to-morrow 
you will answer to me for this; here is my card." 
" What have I to do with your name ?" answered Mr. 
de Ghest, excitedly; "I am not in your set and don't 
know you." He appealed to the police and caused 
M. Ollivier to be ejected from his seat and locked up 
in jail. The affair naturally caused great excitement 



122 THE FIELD OF HONOR, 

in the City of Mexico, partly on account of the dif- 
ferent nationality of the chief participants. Mr. de 
Ghest is one of the leaders of society in the Mexican 
capital, and is connected with the Mexican National 
Bank. M. Ollivier was connected with a French firm 
of high standing, and was accompanied by French 
ladies belonging to the best society in the city. Ex- 
citement ran very high in the French colony. The 
Colonie Fran$aise demanded the expulsion of Mr. de 
Ghest from the French Horse Club and the Cercle 
Franchise. A protest against M. Ollivier's arrest was 
signed by about two hundred French residents, and 
he was finally released from jail by the authorities. 
The next day there was a stormy scene at the Mexi- 
can National Bank. It appears that Mr. Robert, who 
is connected with the house of Ollivier & Co., and is 
a director in the bank, demanded the dismissal of 
Mr. de Ghest. The latter explained how the affair 
occurred to Mr. Robert, but he became indignant and 
denounced Mr. de Ghest as a liar. Mr. de Ghest 
then handed in his resignation, and said to Mr. 
Robert that he would send him a challenge. The 
latter, it is alleged, said he would kick Mr. de Ghest 
and his seconds out of his house, whereupon Mr. de 
Ghest struck Mr. Robert in the face. Mr. Robert 
announced that he would begin criminal proceedings 
against his assailant. After this scene Mr. de Ghest 
challenged M. Ollivier. The challenge was accepted, 
and M. Reganon was requested to act as a second. 
Not satisfied with this, Mr. de Ghest sent a general 
challenge to each of the persons who had signed the 
protest against M. Ollivier's arrest. In his letter Mr. 
de Ghest says: 
I will simply say that I caused a rule which rs enforced 



INDIAN'S, MEXICANS, CUBANS, JAPANESE. 123 

everywhere to be applied in the case of a person who lacked 
common politeness at a public gathering. The group who 
took up the quarrel try to bring in the whole French colony, 
but the latter should bear in mind that they would disregard 
national characteristics if they were to champion those who 
affront women, conceal their signatures, and receive blows 
without returning them. Now, as regards the persons di- 
rectly concerned who have mixed themselves up with the 
signers of the protest, I request you to make known to them 
and to the person who asserts that I refused to take his card, 
that I am at their service in my residence, No. 12 Guardiola 
Hotel. J hope that among those unknown signers there will 
be found one who will abandon the prudent reserve which 
has been displayed so far by the persons concerned, includ- 
ing M. Sebastien Robert, who has refused to name his sec- 
onds after compelling me to strike him. 

As has been stated, the duel took place on Novem- 
ber 8. It was fought with swords, and M. Ollivier 
was killed. About eight o'clock in the morning Mr. 
de Ghest and M. Emile Ollivier, with their seconds, 
repaired to a place in the vicinity of Piedad. After 
the usual preliminaries the combatants confronted 
each other. Thrusts were skilfully parried, but at 
length Mr Ollivier wounded his opponent in the 
shoulder. They fenced again, and Mr. de Ghest re- 
ceived a second thrust, also in the shoulder. At this 
moment there was intense anxiety manifested, and 
the seconds looked inquiringly at each other. It is 
said that M. Ollivier now inquired, " Are you satis- 
fied? implying that he was. Mr. de Ghest, who was 
angered by the wounds he had received, said, " Go 
on. It is not for you to speak; your seconds alone 
have that right/ The fight went on, and in a 
moment Mr. de Ghest ran his sword through the 
breast of his opponent, wounding him mortally. At 



124 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the same instant M. Ollivier's sword pierced the neck 
of his opponent, inflicting a third severe wound. The 
physicians did all that was possible for the wounded 
combatants, but M. Ollivier died in a short time. 
His remains lay in the afternoon at the French Hos- 
pital. Mr. de Ghest was assisted to his carriage and 
returned to town. 

Duelling in the West Indies, except upon Hayti 
and the islands under Spanish rule, used to prevail to 
a great extent, although the custom has pretty nearly 
died out; and " pistols and coffee" are not called for 
at the present day, either by quarrelsome youth or 
by "old stagers," with that same reckless demeanor 
they used to be in days of yore. Upon the small 
French islands, particularly, the " code of honor" was 
held in high esteem, both by foreigners and " estated 
gentlemen," some thirty, forty, and fifty years ago; and 
it was no uncommon thing, in those times, to witness 
two or more duels a month, on an average only a 
few of which, however, were attended by fatal conse- 
quences. Many a hostile meeting has been precipi- 
tated by the wine-cup at the "Cirque," the famous 
club-house of Basseterre (the capital of Guadaloupe), 
a resort of French army and navy officers, and by 
resident planters and merchants of wealth and re- 
spectability There was then no law in force against 
duelling; so the custom was practised without muni- 
cipal restraint or fear of legal consequences. It was 
generally understood throughout select society upon 
St. Martin that every gentleman must have empha- 
sized his polite breeding either by having been 
" called out" or of having challenged his man, unless 
his social life and business transactions had been 
phenomenally serene and satisfactory. There was an 



INDIANS, MEXICANS, CUBANS, JAPANESE. 12$ 

air of perfect refinement and absence of cruelty, how- 
ever, in the deportment of St. Martin duellists; and 
the bowie-knife, rifle, or double-barrelled shotgun 
was seldom ever used as a weapon the invitations 
were generally " pistols and coffee," and the terms 
"ten paces and balls thirty-two to the pound." 

Among the various methods resorted to in different 
countries for the suppression of duelling, none has, 
perhaps, been so decisive as that of Christophe, the 
black sovereign of Hayti; for in the criminal code 
which was formed during his reign, and to which the 
name of " Code Henri " was given in honor of him, 
" the king particularly forbids, under any pretence 
whatever, the officers of the army, and other indi- 
viduals belonging to it, to make use of sword, sabre, 
pistol, or other arms against each other, wherever 
they may be quartered; and every officer, or other 
individual of the army, or belonging to it, who shall 
be convicted of having fought a duel shall be shot as 
a rebel against the king, a violator of justice, and a 
disturber of the public peace; and any officer, or 
other person, who shall be convicted of having acted 
as a second, or even third person, in a duel, and to 
have repaired to the place appointed for that pur- 
pose in order to assist or sanction a duel, shall be 
considered as those already designated, and shall be 
shot accordingly." In consequence of the severity of 
this law, duels, which were very frequent prior to its 
taking effect, were never known during the reign of 
Christophe. 

Hot-blooded as the inhabitants of Cuba are be- 
lieved to be, and quarrelsome, certainly, as any other 
class of Spanish, as they are known to be, still there 
have been comparatively but few individual differ- 



126 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

ences settled at the point of the sword during the 
present century upon that island which state of 
things is, of course, almost entirely due to the exist- 
ing governmental restrictions upon duelling in all its 
forms, and to the frowning majesty of a place of con- 
finement adjacent to the Cuban capital known as 
Morro Castle. As a lesson to gentlemen of wounded 
sensibilities, the Captain-General of Cuba, in 1854, 
sentenced Sefior Sartorius, the then postmaster of 
Havana, and Sefior Gomusio, an officer of the cus- 
toms at the Cuban capital, to terms of imprisonment 
in Morro Castle and suspension from duties of their 
respective offices for their participation as principals 
in a duel, although both were severely wounded (the 
weapons used being swords). 

Of late years there have been numerous hostile 
meetings resulting from the turbulent state of politics 
which has prevailed upon the island for a long time; 
and not long ago a young Spaniard, named Nicholas 
Rivero, arrived at Havana, and commenced the pub- 
lication of a paper called El Ray o {The Thunderbolt), 
and defamed the Cubans mercilessly to such a 
degree, indeed, that the editor of the Palenque, Sefior 
San Miguel, challenged Rivero to meet him in mortal 
combat. This was on November 3, 1883, says a 
special despatch from Havana to the New York 
Herald; and on the same evening of the challenge 
Rivero was sauntering past the Louvre when a boy 
of nineteen, a hunchback, named Guintana, a Cuban 
of good family, approached and asked Rivero if he 
was the author of the insulting article in the Rayo, a 
copy of which the youth held in his hand. Rivero 
acknowledged the article, whereupon the hunchback 
sprang upon him, crumpled the paper in his face, and 



INDIANS, MEXICANS, CUBANS, JAPANESE. 127 

knocked him over against one of the tables. With 
Rivero was Palacios, a tall, strong young Spaniard. 
Palacios was what Mark Twain would call the fight- 
ing editor of the Rayo. At Guintana's assault a 
tumult immediately arose in the cafe, the habitues of 
which are more or less acquainted with each other. 
They gathered around the combatants. Palacios 
raised his cane to strike the boy, when he was seized 
by the neck by a Cuban officer named Angel Soler. 
Calling Palacios a coward, Soler thrust him aside. 
Intense excitement followed. The scene ended by a 
challenge there and then between Palacios and Soler. 
It was to be no child's play passions had risen too 
high for that. Palacios was famed for being a good 
swordsman, a dead shot, and with a nerve of iron. 
"These Cubans want me to kill two or three of 
them," he laughed at night, "in order to teach them 
manners." Soler had only recently entered the army, 
and was still in training. Both were of about the 
same age twenty-eight and of like physique. 
Soler's seconds were instructed to accept no terms 
less than a duel to the death, and, in order to bring 
that about, to agree, if need be, to whatever terms 
Palacios' seconds chose to make. Soler, having the 
choice of weapons, chose pistols at ten paces, the 
principals to advance five and fire. This was ob- 
jected to on the other side as simple murder. Terms 
were then allowed Palacios, who chose swords. Soler 
insisted that they should be double-edged and 
pointed, and after some demur those terms were 
finally accepted. Next morning at six the duel was 
to be fought at La Chorrera, a small town along the 
coast, three or four miles outside Havana. The prin- 
cipals rose at five, and, with doctor and seconds, met, 



128 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

prepared to take their fatal journey. A terrific rain 
poured down, and Heaven seemed to intervene in the 
sad folly. But they were bent on battle; so the party 
adjourned to the Payret Theatre, right in the heart 
of the city, just off the Prado. The Payret was the 
finest theatre in Havana. A year ago part of the roof 
fell in through the accumulation of rain on its flat 
surface, and the place is now in ruins. It is being 
rebuilt, and the doors are barricaded. They forced 
open one of the doors and entered the artists' dress- 
ing-room. The preliminaries were brief. The keen- 
pointed blades were drawn, and the duel began. 
Palacios, being the more skilled swordsman and 
confident of victory, attacked the other in a fury, and 
from the first forced the fighting. Soler, cool and 
wary, and knowing, his man, acted wholly .on the 
defensive. His failure to end the matter as briefly as 
he had expected seemed to exasperate Palacios. He 
pressed his adversary desperately, but was met with 
a firm defence. Not a word was spoken nor a sound 
heard, save the .rush of the rain without and the 
dish-clash of the steel. Palacios redoubled his 
efforts. A parry on Soler's part knocked his adver- 
sary's weapon wide aside. A swift, straight thrust 
followed instantaneously before the other could re- 
cover his guard, and through the left side of the 
throat entered the sharp-pointed blade, severing all 
the vessels in its passage and issuing clean out at the 
other side. It was all over. Palacios fell to the floor, 
past the care of doctor or priest. 

The mode among the Japanese may be illustrated 
by the following example: Two officers belonging to 
the Emperor's staff met upon the imperial staircase; 
their swords happened to entangle, and words arose. 



INDIANS, MEXICANS, CUBANS, JAPANESE. 1 29 

Said one to the other, coolly, " It is only an accident, 
and at best it is only a quarrel between the two 
swords." "We shall see about that," cried the* other, 
excitedly; and with these words he drew his weapon 
and plunged it into his breast. The other, impatient 
to obtain the same advantage, hurried away upon 
some errand of service which he was slowly perform- 
ing, and instantly returned to his antagonist, who was 
already at the point of death. On inquiring if he 
was still alive, and being informed of the fact, he also 
plunged his sword into his own body, exclaiming, 
" You should not have had the start of me if you had 
not found me engaged in the service of the Prince. I 
die contented, however, since I have had the glory of 
convincing you that my sword is as good as yours." 



ISO THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER VII. 
VARIOUS MODES OF FIGHTING. 

Fatal Encounter between Count de Luz and Duke de Guise near 
Paris Desperate Fight in Arkansas Colonel Jonah Barring- 
ton's Duel with Gilbert in Ireland Duelling in the Air Artil- 
lery Duels Scenes before Richmond, Corinth, Charleston, and 
Atlanta Spectacular Duels at Sea The Kearsarge and Ala- 
bama Bon Homme Richard and Serapis Huascar and Esmer- 
alda Miscellaneous Modes of Combat Tournaments and 
Jousts Duels of Fiction and of the Stage. 

DUELLING on horseback was not an uncommon 
mode of combat two or three centuries ago ; and 
especially in Ireland, where there still exist fields 
(with the old post-holes) upon which " real old Irish 
gentlemen" have fought many furious battles upon 
chargers. This mode of hostilities, says Harrington, 
" provided that combatants should gallop past each 
other at a distance marked out by posts, which 
prevented a nearer approach. They were at liberty 
to fire at each other at any time from the commence- 
ment to the end of their course, but they were com- 
pelled to do so at a hard gallop, their weapons 
having been previously charged alike with a certain 
number of balls, slugs, or whatever was most conven- 
ient, as agreed upon. The posts were usually placed 
eight or nine yards apart, being the nearest points 
from which the combatants might fire. If neither 



VARIOUS MODES OF FIGHTING. 13 1 

party were hit during one course tne comoatants 
proceeded to a second ; and if it was decided to con- 
tinue the fight after the pistols were discharged, they 
then either finished with broadswords on horseback 
or with smallswords on foot." 

During the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, Don 
Pedro Velasco and Ponce de Leon fought a fatal 
duel on horseback on a narrow causeway near Ma- 
drid, and the former was run through the body with 
a silver-pointed spear. In 1589 the young Count de 
Luz, whose father had been killed in a duel by the 
Duke de Guise, challenged the Duke, and the two 
noblemen met on horseback near Paris, the Count 
mounted on a white palfry and De Guise on a black 
stallion. The combat was of a fierce character, and 
was concluded by the Duke seizing the sword arm of 
the Count, forcing it backwards and plunging his 
own sword clear to its hilt through the neck of his 
antagonist, who fell from his saddle dead. In 1603 
Sir Mathew Brown, of Beachwood Castle (England), 
and Sir John Townshend, a distinguished member of 
the first parliament of James L, met at Hounslow 
Heath, and fought a desperate battle on horseback, 
during which each inflicted upon the other mortal 
wounds, Sir Mathew expiring upon the field and his 
antagonist dying as he was being conveyed to his 
home. Two young men (cousins), named Austin 
Guthrie and Franklin Meyers, near Black Creek 
(Arkansas), who were rivals for the affections of a 
young lady of the same town, early in the month of 
August, 1883, at first quarrelled and then proceeded 
to blows. In a short time afterward they met on 
horseback, according to agreement, to fight it out ; 
and as soon as they closed they drew their knives 



132 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

and commenced a contest which lasted ten or twelve 
minutes, at the end of which time each had been 
fatally hurt. Both were horribly cut about the head 
and body, Meyers' left arm having been nearly 
severed. The combatants evidently fainted, and 
then fell from their horses ; and, although conscious 
when found, soon afterward expired. One of the 
most interesting duels of this character was that 
fought by Colonel Jonah Barrington and a Mr. Gil- 
bert, at Maryborough (Ireland), in 1759, the story of 
which is felicitously told by Sir Jonah Barrington (a 
grandson of Mr. Gilbert's antagonist), as follows : 

My grandfather and Mr. Gilbert had an irreconcilable 
grudge ; I forget the cause, but I believe it was a very silly 
one. It increased, however, every day, and the relatives of 
both parties found it must inevitably end in a combat, 
which, were it postponed till the sons of each grew up, 
might be enlarged, perhaps, from an individual into a regu- 
lar family engagement. It was therefore thought better 
that the business should be ended at once; and it was 
decided that they should fight on horseback, on the green 
of Maryborough; that the ground should be one hundred 
yards of race, and eight of distance ; the weapons of each, 
two holster-pistols, a broad-bladed but not very long sword 
(I have often seen my grandfather's) with basket-handle, 
and a skeen, or long, broad-bladed dagger ; the pistols to be 
charged with one ball and swandrops. The entire country, 
for miles around, attended to see the combat, which had 
been six months settled and publicly announced, and the 
county trumpeter, who attended the judges at the assizes, 
was on the ground. My grandfather's second was a Mr. 
Lewis Moore, of Cremorgan, whom I well recollect ; Gil- 
bert's was one of his own name and family a captain of 
cavalry. All due preliminaries being arranged, the country 
collected and placed as at a horse-race, and the ground kept 
free by the gamekeepers and huntsmen mounted, the com- 



r A RIO us MODES OF FIGHTING. 133 

batants started, and galloped toward each other. Both fired 
before they reached the nearest spot, and missed. The 
second course was not so lucky. My grandfather received 
many of Gilbert's shot full in his face; the swandrops pene- 
trated no deeper than his temple and cheek bones ; the 
large bullet fortunately passed him. The wounds not being 
dangerous, only enraged old Jonah Harrington ; and the 
other being equally willing to continue the conflict, a fierce 
battle, hand to hand, ensued ; but I should think they did 
not close too nearly, or how could they have escaped with 
life? My grandfather got three cuts, which he used to ex- 
hibit with great glee ; one on the thick of the right arm, a 
second on his bridle-arm, and a third on the inside of the 
left hand. His hat, which he kept to the day of his death, 
was also sliced in several places ; but both had iron scull- 
caps under their hats, which probably saved their brains 
from remaining upon the green of Maryborough. Gilbert 
had received two pokes from my grandfather on his thigh 
and his side, but neither dangerous. I fancy he had the 
best of the battle, being as strong as, and less irritable than, 
my grandfather, who, I suspect, grew toward the last a little 
ticklish on the subject for he rushed headlong at Gilbert, 
and instead of striking at his person, thrust his broadsword 
into the horse's body as often as he could, until the beast 
dropped with his rider underneath him ; my grandfather 
then leaped off his horse, threw away his sword, and putting 
his skeen, or broad dagger, to the throat of Gilbert, told him 
to ask his life or die, as he must do either one or the other 
in half a minute. Gilbert said he would ask his life only 
upon the terms that, without apology or conversation, they 
should shake hands heartily and be future friends and com- 
panions, and not leave the youths of two old families to 
revenge their quarrel by slaughtering each other. These 
terms being quite agreeable to my grandfather, as they 
breathed good sense, intrepidity, and good heart, he ac- 
quiesced ; and from that time they were the most intimately 
attached and joyous friends and companions of the county 
they resided in. 



134 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

There have been quite a number of duels fought in 
the air all but one, however (that between M. de 
Grandpre and M. de Pique, near Paris, May 3, 1808, 
in which the latter was killed), so far as our informa- 
tion goes, having grown out of reconnoissances by 
military aeronauts, a description of which is pre- 
sented in Cassell's " Illustrated History of the 
Franco-German War," as follows : 

Few balloon voyages can compare, for exciting and peril- 
ous incidents, with one which was performed at the time of 
the siege of Paris, by the well-known M. Nadar. That gen- 
tleman left Tours for Paris with government dispatches at 
six in the morning. At eleven he was within view of the 
capital, and, while floating about three thousand metres 
above Fort Charenton, a second balloon was observed on the 
horizon. M. Nadar at once displayed the French flag, and 
the other responded by exhibiting the same colors. Gradu- 
ally the two balloons approached one another, being drawn 
in the same direction by the same current of air. When 
they were separated by only a short distance, several explo- 
sions were heard. The strange aeronaut continued to fire 
shots at M. Nadar's balloon, the Intrepide, which began to 
descend rapidly. The French flag had by this time been 
taken in by the other balloon, and the Prussian colors were 
exhibited instead. Those who were watching the affair 
from the French below, and who now saw the character and 
object of the pursuer, cried out that Nadar was lost. But 
they were mistaken. He had scrambled from the car up 
the network of the balloon, on the first shot from the 
enemy, apparently to stop a hole made in the tissue ; and he 
now descended as the balloon righted itself, and, on a quan- 
tity of ballast being thrown out, again rose high into the air. 
Shots were then fired in rapid succession from the Intrepide 
into the Prussian balloon, which suddenly sank to the earth 
with headlong rapidity. On reaching the ground a detach- 
ment of Uhlans, who had watched the combat from the 



VARIOUS MODES OF FIGHTING. 135 

plain, picked up the fallen aeronaut, and rode off to the 
Prussian outposts. M. Nadar then descended in safety at 
Charenton. 

What may properly be termed artillery duels (on 
land and on sea) are inevitable occurrences, nowa- 
days, during the progress of wars. The engagement 
of the Federal war vessel Kearsarge (Captain Wins- 
low), and the Confederate war steamer Alabama 
(Admiral Semmes), off Cherbourg (France), June 
19, 1864, may be referred to, perhaps, as one of the 
most brilliant and magnificent naval duels between 
wooden vessels of the present age, both as regards 
preparation for and performance during action; while 
a no less conspicuous and much more important 
"affair" was the "hostile meeting" in Hampton Roads 
(Virginia), March 9, 1862, of the little Ericsson 
Monitor (Captain Worden) and the formidable Con- 
federate ram Merrimack (Captain Buchanan), just a 
short time after the latter had destroyed the Federal 
war-vessels Congress and Cumberland. Undoubtedly 
the most desperate and bloody encounter which can 
be referred to was that during the American Revolu- 
tion between the Bonhomme Richard (Paul Jones, of 
the U. S. Navy), and the Serapis (Captain Pearson, of 
the British Fleet), a part of the engagement being 
" yard-arm to yard-arm." This was a naval duel in 
every sense of the word. In this connection may be 
mentioned the fact that Stephen Decatur, U. S. N., 
challenged Sir Thomas Hardy, of the British Navy, 
during the war of 1812, to meet the United States and 
Macedonian with the frigates Endymion and Statira, 
which Hardy declined, although that officer, in turn, 
proposed to fight the Macedonian with the Statira, 
which proposal, however, was not acceptable to the 



136 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

gallant Decatur. The most notable as well as the 
most desperate affair between ironclads was the fight 
in 1879 between the Peruvian Htiascar and the 
Chilian Admiral Cochrane, during which the former 
was whipped and captured. Previous to this engage- 
ment the Huascar (Don Miguel Grau) had met and 
sunk the Chilian Esmeralda (a wooden vessel com- 
manded by Don Arturo Pratt) in an encounter off 
Iquique (Chili), May 21, 1879 the particulars of 
which have been glowingly described by a number of 
English and Spanish writers. During the civil war 
in the United States, artillery duels were very fre- 
quent between Federal and Confederate batteries 
conspicuously so in Charleston harbor and near 
Vicksburg; and also in front of Atlanta, Richmond, 
and Corinth, and at many other strategic points in 
our country made historic during four years of war 
by episodes and achievements too numerous to 
chronicle here. From the time of the Battle of 
Shiloh (April 6 and 7, 1862, to the night of the 
evacuation of Corinth (April 30, 1862), and from 
the date of the Battle of Peach-tree Creek (July 20, 
1864), in front of Atlanta, to the Battle of Jonesboro' 
(August 31, 1864), the writer saw many artillery 
duels in which two or more batteries would engage 
each other at a distance of- a mile or more apart some- 
times for several hours, when otherwise it would be 
as quiet in camp nearly as upon a Sabbath in some of 
the most orderly New England villages. 

There are many other modes of combat which may 
be incidentally mentioned, but which hardly come 
under the head of duelling, however: In Persia men 
meet in mortal combat armed with maces, and batter 
away at each other until one or the other is van- 



VARIOUS MODES OF FIGHTING. 137 

quished. Zulus meet in mortal combat with assegais. 
The natives of Patagonia fight each other with slings, 
carrying round stones generally weighing a pound 
each, which they hurl with tremendous force and with 
remarkable accuracy. Prize-fighting, or boxing, 
originated among the Romans, and combatants often 
met each other wearing gloves loaded with metal, and 
generally with fatal consequences. In Tuscany, 
Florence, Sienna, Vicenza, Pisa, and Leghorn, up to a 
late day, certain classes met either with armed or un- 
armed fists to settle their disturbances. During the 
early part of the eighteenth century one Figg taught 
cudgelling and pugilism in London; and Broughton, 
who succeeded Figg, educated men for the prize-ring, 
and is known to-day throughout England as the 
father of the English school of boxing. 

" Pfcrring" (shin-kicking), which originated in 
Wales, is practised a good deal at the present day 
among the coal-miners of Pennsylvania. A Philadel- 
phia correspondent of the New York Sttnday Mercury 
presented to that paper an extended account of a 
"purr" which took place at Port Richmond (Penn.), 
in January, 1883, from which is taken a description of 
the first two rounds: 

At two o'clock the men appeared, wearing Lancashire 
shoes toed with copper, having submitted their feet for in- 
spection to show that there were no protruding nails, and 
James gave the word to purr. Grabby advanced cautiously, 
and appeared to forget about the shoulder-straps until his 
second reminded him of it. He took hold with apparent 
unwillingness, and then began the most brutal and savage 
contest that two men could engage in. For fully five min- 
utes they sparred with their feet in a manner that was sim- 
ply wonderful. Blows were countered and returned with the 



13$ THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

same skill and rapidity as shown by men fighting with their 
fists. Not once in that time did either man more than touch 
his opponent's skin. Then McTevish, taking a firmer hold 
on his opponent's collar, lifted his left foot and, after keep- 
ing it poised for a moment, make a straight toe kick for his 
opponent's right knee. Grabby deftly avoided the blow by 
spraddling his legs far apart, and with almost inconceivable 
quickness brought his left foot around and caught McTevish 
on the outside of the right calf. The flesh was laid open 
almost to the bone, and the blood spurted out in streams. 
McTevish never uttered a word. At the same instant that 
his own leg was cut he gave Grabby what is known as a sole 
scrape. Beginning at the instep and ending just below the 
knee-pan, Grabby 's left shin was scraped almost clear of skin. 
Both men were evidently in pain, and angry. They kicked 
and countered a dozen times again without doing any dam- 
age. Then Grabby, by some mishap, lost his hold on his 
opponent's shoulder-strap. In attempting to grasp it again 
he lifted his eyes for a moment, and before he could ^cover 
himself the calves of both his legs were laid open by a 
double-foot kick. In return for this he succeeded in deliver- 
ing a terrific kick on McTevish's knee, causing him to drop 
to the ground like a log, pulling the other kicker on top of 
him. The seconds rushed forward and separated the men 
and took them to their corners to bind up their wounds. 
The first go or round occupied sixteen minutes. When the 
call of purr came again the purrers hobbled to the centre and 
took another hold. They were, indeed, a pitiable-looking 
pair. McTevish's legs, although bound up in plaster, were 
bleeding freely, and the exposed places looked like beef- 
steak. His opponent's shins had been both scraped clean of 
the flesh, and the blood was oozing out from between the 
strips of plaster. Without any preliminary sparring Grabby 
made a vicious straight kick at his opponent's lame knee, 
bringing him to grass again before he had time to think. 

The " forehead fight," a brutal combat inherited 
from the old Turks, still survives in some districts 



VARIOUS MODES OF FIGHTING. 139 

among the Tartars of the Crimea. A duel of this 
savage kind, says some writer, took place a short 
time ago in a Crimean village. The report of it is 
given by a physician who was called to attend the 
defeated combatant. The two foes take their stand 
at measured distance from each other, with their 
heads bent forward; then at a given signal they rush 
at one another, butting forehead against forehead, 
like two goats. The remainder of the duel is fought 
wholly with the forehead; neither blows nor kicks are 
permitted, as the man who uses any weapon except 
his forehead is disgraced. In the recent duel blood 
streamed from the forehead of both the semi-savages; 
nevertheless, they continued butting at each other 
with ferocious passion, until at length one of them 
fell exhausted to the earth. He gathered up all his 
remaining strength to draw his knife from his girdle, 
and with one determined stroke he cut a wide gash 
across his throat. The physician states that the act 
of suicide on the part of the beaten man is to be re- 
garded as a direct consequence of the injury done by 
the fearful concussion of the brain. 

The forehead fight (or butting) is largely practiced 
by low negroes in America and England, while the 
higher grade of colored persons settle their differences 
with the razor. Negro barbers, coachmen, servants, 
waiters, traders, restaurant-keepers, stevedores, dan- 
dies and sports throughout the United States carry 
the razor as an implement of warfare, just as many 
white men carry the pistol or knife. 

The Chicago News lately had an interview with a 
negro policeman touching the razor as a weapon, thus: 

The razor is becoming an obsolete weapon among the black 
people on the levee, said a colored officer of the Harrison 



I4O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Street police station. The young bloods have mostly de- 
parted from the traditions of the plantation, and now if one 
of them wants to " get even" with anybody he generally pro- 
vides himself with a revolver. Of course it doesn't follow 
that he attempts to do any shooting. Frequently he merely 
carries it around in his pocket and brags about it, and shows 
it to his friends in the saloons. After a few days he pawns 
it or gets arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. No, the 
old days of carving cutlets out of a man with a razor have 
nearly gone by. Two or three times a year, maybe, some 
particularly vicious black man slices somebody with a dozen 
gashes each a foot long, but that sort of thing isn't consid- 
ered good form nowadays. How did colored people come to 
adopt the razor as a weapon ? Well, the slaves on the plan- 
tations were generally not allowed to own guns or pistols. 
It was against the law for any one to sell them ammunition. 
Many of them could get razors easily. They got accustomed 
to carrying razors, and many of those who moved north, 
after the war, brought razors in their pockets, sleeves, or 
stowed away in the legs of their boots. To carry razors had 
become a sort of a tradition with the bloodthirsty ones. 
How is an attack made with a razor? Rough-and-tumble, 
any way to get there. If the man who is attacked doesn't 
turn and run, he gets slashed in the face and arms, or both. 
If he tries to run away he is likely to get a rake in the back 
which will lay open the flesh so wide that the surgeon can 
look through the man's ribs into his interior like a small boy 
peeping through the pickets of an orchard fence. A razor is 
a terrible weapon. I would rather face a revolver than one 
of them any day. 

A late number of the Sioux City Journal presents 
the following description of a duel without arms: 

One of the most remarkable fights on record occurred re- 
cently between Loveland and Honey Creek, two small sta- 
tions between Missouri Valley and Council Bluffs, on the 
Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. Duggan Points and 
Will Moss engaged in a mortal combat over the rival claims 



VARIOUS MODES OF FIGHTING. 141 

to a woman. Points was killed, and Moss is supposed to be 
mortally injured. The fight was without arms, and in the 
presence of a large number of spectators, who permitted the 
fearful contest to go on until it terminated in the death of 
one of the combatants. The particulars of the brutal affair 
were not fully learned by the parties who brought the news 
to this city from Missouri Valley. As far as could be ascer- 
tained, it appears that about a year ago a young woman 
named Sallie Craig, living between Loveland and Honey 
Creek, was the sweetheart and promised bride of William 
Moss, a young farmer who resided in Loveland. In a few 
months it was agreed that they should be married. Before 
the wedding day arrived, however, trouble arose between the 
lovers over the somewhat too attentive presence of Duggan 
Points, also a young farmer, who resided near Honey Creek. 
Moss and the girl quarrelled and separated, and his rival 
was thereafter for a time her beau. Subsequently the first 
lover and the girl met again and partially made up their 
differences. This enraged Points, who had come to regard 
her as his own, and he sought to pick a quarrel with Moss 
and in some way get an excuse for putting his hated rival 
out of the way. The men met on two occasions during the 
past three months, and each time had a quarrel, and would 
have fought, but were prevented from doing much damage 
by the circumstances and parties who separated them. At 
a dance about ten days ago the rivals again met and came to 
blows. They were again separated, and the girl was appealed 
to to determine the question by choosing the one she liked 
best. She was unwilling to do so, but said she would go 
with the one who proved himself to be the best man. It was 
accordingly agreed that a time and place should be fixed, 
and there the men should fight it out, the one who was 
whipped to forever relinquish all claims to the hand of the 
cause of the trouble. The dispute by this time had been so 
widely talked of by the people of both Loveland and Honey 
Creek that a natural jealousy between the two places easily 
caused the citizens of each to take sides. The place of the 
fight was agreed upon as half way between the respective 



142 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

residents. A man from Loveland seconded Moss, and 
Points' brother acted as his second. The fight was not to be 
conducted according to any specified rules, but in the most 
approved rough-and-tumble style. About sixty people were 
on the ground, among whom was the girl over whom the 
contest was caused, to witness the brutal affair. The seconds 
stood with cocked revolvers in hand and warned no one to 
interfere. The men commenced fighting fiercely. They 
used fists, heels and teeth; and in clinching and tumbling 
about rolled over a large area of ground. The fight lasted 
fifty-five minutes, and throughout was one of the most brutal 
character. It was brought to a fatal conclusion by Points' 
strength entirely giving way, and then Moss, with the last 
efforts of his madness, stamped upon his prostrate foe and 
crushed in his breast and kicked in his head. The specta- 
tors at this overpowered the seconds and dragged the men 
apart. Points was dying when picked up, and expired soon 
afterward. Moss had been severely bitten by his antagonist, 
having had two fingers, an ear, and his nose taken off, and 
was in a deplorable condition from other injuries. 

Tournaments (or mock duels) seem to have origi- 
nated in Germany during the year 819, and were first 
introduced to dramatically commemorate important 
royal or military events, but soon degenerated to such 
an extent that they were rigidly prohibited by Church 
and State. From noo to 1605 the tournament among 
the French was most popular, although it commenced 
to decline after the death of Henry II., in 1559. This 
monarch, who excelled in every exercise of chivalry, 
was peculiarly fond of tournaments, and gave a splen- 
did succession of them at Paris on the marriage of his 
daughter to Philip II., King of Spain. The lists ex- 
tended from the Palace of Tournelles to the Bastile, 
across the street of St. Antoine. During the first two 
days the king broke several lances with lords of his 



VARIOUS MODES OF FIGHTING. 143 

court, in ail of which he showed extraordinary vigor 
and address. On the third day of the tournaments 
(June 30, 1559), towards the close of the evening, 
and before the conclusion, Henry betrayed a great 
inclination to try his prowess against the Count de 
Montgomeri, Captain of his Life Guards, who had 
formerly wounded Francis I., and was distinguished 
for his superior address and tact in combats of this 
character above any nobleman in the kingdom. 
Catherine de Medicis entreated the king not to re- 
enter the lists, but he resisted her solicitations, saying 
that he would break one lance more in her honor. 
Montgomeri accepted the challenge with great reluc- 
tance; Henry, however, commanded him to obey, and 
even fought with his vizor raised; but authors are 
not quite agreed whether it was raised intentionally 
or flew open by a blow from Montgomeri's lance in 
an encounter which was so violent that the count's 
lance broke against the king's helmet. The former 
then fought with the stump which remained in his 
hand, and with it had the misfortune to strike the 
king so violent a blow under the eye as threw him to 
the ground, and deprived him instantly of both 
speech and understanding, though he lived eleven 
days afterward. This sad circumstance occasioned 
the decline of tournaments in France, while the 
wounding of Francis de Bassompierre by the Duke of 
Guise, in 1605, brought about its total suppression. 
Tournaments were introduced into England during 
the reign of Stephen, in 1135, and were very popular 
among English and Scotch noblemen for several hun- 
dred years, during which time many illustrious persons 
lost their lives. It was finally suppressed in England 
in 1600. Tournaments were very popular in the States 



144 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

of Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina as late as 
1851, but were never maintained with that reckless- 
ness and chivalric display which characterized their 
existence in European countries. Quite a number of 
tournaments were given at Santa Monica (Cal.), in 
1874-5, similar to those given in Maryland and Vir- 
ginia twenty-five years before. Jousts differ from 
tournaments not essentially, except that the latter 
were always understood to be friendly engagements, 
or mock duels, while the former were generally hos- 
tile encounters by mounted lancers, intent on inflict- 
ing serious or mortal wounds. 

We cannot dismiss this portion of our subject with- 
out referring to the duels of fiction and of the stage 
many of which, however, are not purely fictitious, 
being founded on historical incidents and anecdotes. 
There is nothing more exciting or delightful in the 
whole catalogue of Thespian entertainments than a 
stage duel; from the " blood-and-thunder" broad- 
sword combat in the " French Spy," which so enlivens 
the "gods," to the artistic encounter with foils in the 
" Corsican Brothers," which never fails to entrance 
even the most genteel theatre-goers. Shakespeare, the 
greatest of all dramatic writers, presents many scenes 
of mortal combats in his plays; and in our mind's 
eye we can now see the little sleepy atom of humanity 
in the old Bowery pit tired to death, nearly, of the 
long speeches in Richard III. entreating the more 
robust urchin at his side to "Wake me up when Kirby 
dies." Bulwer's " Claude Melnotte" makes neat but 
short and entertaining work of the suspecting " Col- 
onel Damas," while Ned Adams' duel in the "Dead 
Heart" was simply matchless, and was worth sitting 
the whole play through to see. "Led Astray," "Ca- 






VARIOUS MODES OF FIGHTING. 14$ 

milla's Husband," " Frou-Frou," and " Les Horaces" 
all contain splendid duelling scenes; and those who 
have witnessed Forrest, Booth, Murdoch, Scott, Perry, 
Eddy, McDonough, Adams, Sullivan, Kean, Daven- 
port, Wheatley, Fechter or even Barrett, Keene, or 
McCullough in Shakespearean and other stage duels, 
have received impressions which will forever remain 
upon their minds. Descriptions and engravings of 
duels in fictitious works, while they are not, of course, 
so exciting or so impressive as stage encounters, are 
generally very delightful reading, and are seldom 
" skipped." And it is a noteworthy fact that there 
are but few authors of fiction of note who have not 
embellished their productions with scenes of mortal 
combat, of a character purely imaginary or other- 
wise conspicuously, Sue, "Sand," " Ouida," Dumas, 
Miihlbach, Bulwer, Marryatt, Thackeray, D'Israeli, 
Scott, Lever, Irving, Cooper, James, and many other 
charming romancers. 

" Comedy and Tragedy," the new play which W. 
S. Gilbert has written for Miss Anderson, is essen- 
tially a one-part piece, and is founded on a story 
which Mr. Gilbert wrote for Routledge's Christmas 
Annual for the year 1869. The heroine is Celine, wife 
of Phillip de Quillac, an actor of the Theatre Francais, 
in the year 1745. Celine was an actress, and captivated 
the Due de Richelieu, who tries to have her abducted, 
but fails. The main incidents of the drama turn 
upon a duel scene. Her husband and Richelieu are 
fighting in the garden while she is entertaining a 
number of friends with specimens of her powers as an 
actress. She imitates "comedy" while the clashing 
of swords is heard in the garden, and suddenly be- 
comes alarmed, fearing that her husband will be 



146 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

killed. She pleads to them to save her husband. 
They think she is playing tragedy and applaud her, 
and the more earnestly and terribly she begs of them 
to save her husband, the more they applaud her "act- 
ing" of tragedy, as they think it is. At last one of 
the company sees that she is in earnest and opens the 
door to go to the scene of the fight, when her hus- 
band stands before her uninjured, and informs her 
that the Due de Richelieu is wounded to the death. 



CLERGYMEN AND WOMEN. 147 



CHAPTER VIII. 
CLERGYMEN AND WOMEN. 

English Clergymen A Buccaneer Parson and his Duel Atti- 
tudes of Other " Holy Men" A Brilliant but Unfortunate 
Preacher Duelling among Women Desperate Duel between 
the Countess of Polignac and Lady de Nesle at Versailles 
Two Ladies of Quality Fight at Paris Other Affairs among 
Women Heroism of the Countess de St. Belmont The 
Heroic Agnes Hotot Youthful Affairs White and Black 
Brother and Sister Men and Women. 

To those who have never heard of such a thing, 
the statement that ministers of the Gospel have in- 
dulged in the polite luxury of killing their fellow- 
beings in duels will cause surprise. But such is the 
case; and, as late as 1799, the Reverend Henry Bate, 
an Episcopal minister, had fought and killed three 
men in duels. He died in 1824, holding a high posi- 
tion in Ely Cathedral, England. A description of 
this man's life shows him to have been a brilliant but 
profligate fellow, although a parson. He was a dead 
shot, but was " winged " at last by Captain Stoney 
Robinson, who was also dangerously wounded by 
the unclerical parson a lady having been the cause 
of the trouble. In 1815 the Reverend Mr. Bate (or 
Dudley as he had taken the name of Dudley in 
1784) was made a baronet. Two of his wrangles 
and duels were over actresses and another on ac- 
count of articles he had written besmirching the 



148 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

character of the Countess of Strathmore. In 1782 an 
Episcopal minister named Bennett Allen challenged 
and killed a Marylander named Lloyd Dulany. 
The duel took place in Hyde Park, London, a short 
time before midnight, and was fought with pistols at 
eight paces. Dulany fell to the ground and raised 
himself almost like a flash, and then tottered back- 
ward and fell into the arms of his second, Henry 
Delancy, of Hagerstown (Md.), mortally wounded. 
The difficulty was caused by the publication of 
anonymous articles in a London newspaper reflecting 
upon Dulany and other American loyalists, and a 
subsequent publication of a card in the same paper 
calling the writer of the articles a liar, a scoundrel, 
and a coward. Allen attempted to quit the country 
the day following the duel, but was arrested, and 
convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to six 
months' imprisonment in Newgate. In 1764 the Rev- 
erend Mr. Thomas Hill was challenged by Cornet 
Gardner, of the " Carabineers," for ungentlemanly con- 
duct, and was killed at the first shot. 

Perhaps one of the most interesting anecdotes of 
these Christian fighters, who seem, at times, to have 
altogether forgotten the Sermon on the Mount, is* 
the one about Doctor Blackburn, who was, in the 
early part of his life, an active buccaneer in the West 
Indies for even buccaneers could not do without a 
parson. And during one of their cruises, as the 
story goes, the first lieutenant, having a dispute with 
Blackburn, told him that if it were not for his gown 
he should treat him in a different manner. "Oho!" 
exclaimed the parson, " that need be no hindrance ;" 
and, stripping off the garment, he added: "Now I 
am your man!" At this it was agreed that they 



CLERGYMEN AND WOMEN. 149 

should fight on a small island near where their ship 
lay, and that the one who fell should be rolled into 
the sea by the survivor, that it might seem as if, 
while walking on the cliff, he had lost his footing 
and tumbled in. The lieutenant fell, to all appear- 
ance as if shot dead. Blackburn at once rolled the 
prostrate man down the cliff; but, just as they 
reached the last shelf of the declivity, the lieutenant 
recovered sufficiently to cry out, " For God's sake, 
hold your hand!" "Aha!" said Blackburn, "you 
called just in time, for in another moment you would 
have been in the sea." This same parson and buc- 
caneer was afterward made Archbishop of York ; 
and when Sir Charles Wager heard of the promotion 
he said: "What, my old friend Dr. Blackburn created 
Archbishop of York ? I ought to have been preferred 
to it before him, for I was the elder buccaneer of the 
two." 

Notwithstanding the many edicts issued by the 
Catholic Church, Cardinal de Retz once challenged 
a priest of high birth at the altar. It is said of this 
"holy man" that he was one of the most noted duel- 
lists of the seventeenth century, and was the hero of 
thirteen hostile meetings, in each of which "there 
was a lady in the case." Cardinal Norris once ac- 
cepted a challenge to fight a noted Jesuit named 
Macedo, in the forest of Boulogne, but the meeting 
was interfered with by the Pope; and Macedo, it is 
said, nearly died from grief in consequence. Joachim 
Murat, afterward King of Naples, and one of the 
deadest shots that ever lived, fought his first duel 
while occupying a high ecclesiastical position as the 
Abbe Murat the cause of the trouble being a 
pretty maiden of Toulouse. 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

The writer has no knowledge of such duelling 
scenes among American clergymen, although he has 
met "members of the cloth" who carried pistols and 
were known as excellent shots. He calls to mind a 
young Kentuckian, of most profligate habits, who 
preached at St. Athanasius' Church, in Los Angeles 
(Cal.), in 1868, who could whip out a six-shooter and 
knock the spots out of the six of diamonds at twenty 
yards, or ring the bell at a shooting-gallery with a 
rifle twelve times in succession. He was a brilliant 
young minister, but a slave to intoxicants; and died 
from the effects of intemperance shortly after having 
retired from the rectorship of a church at Elkhart 
(Ind.), in 1879. The last words of this gifted minis- 
ter uttered while at the very threshold of death 
are so full of startling pathos, and so painfully illus- 
trative of the course of so many who have looked too 
frequently upon the delicious nectar in its blush, 
that we present it here, trusting that it may not be 
without its lesson to those who are too heedless of 
the possible consequences of too much "drink:" 

But now the struggle is over. I can survey the field and 
measure the losses. The demon tore from around me the 
robes of my sacred office and sent me out churchless and 
godless, a very hissing and by-word among men. After- 
wards I had business, large and lucrative, and my voice was 
heard in many courts pleading for mercy, justice and right. 
But the dust soon gathered on. my books and no footfall 
crossed the threshold of the drunkard's office. I had 
money, ample for all necessities, but it took wings and went 
to feed the coffers of the devils which possessed me. I had 
a home adorned with all that wealth and the most exquisite 
taste could do. The devil crossed its threshold and the 
light faded from its chambers ; the fire went out from the 
the holiest of altars, and leading me from its portals, de- 



CLERGYMEN AND WOMEN. 151 

spair walked forth with me and sorrow and anguish lingered 
within. I had children beautiful, to me, at least, as a 
dream of the morning and they had so entwined them- 
selves around their father's heart that no matter where he 
might wander, ever it came back to them on the wings of a 
father's undying love. The destroyer took their hands in 
his and led them away. I had a wife whose charms of mind 
and person were such that to see her was to remember, and 
to know her was to love her. For several years we walked 
the rugged path of life together rejoicing in the sunshine and 
sorrowing in the shade. The infernal monster would not 
spare me even this. I had a mother, who for long years 
had not left her chair, a victim of disease, and her choicest 
delight was in reflecting that the lesson taught at her knee 
had taken root in the heart of her youngest born and that 
he was useful to his fellows and an honor to her who bore 
him. But the thunderbolt even reached there, and there it 
did its most cruel work. Other days cured all but this. 
Ah, me ! never a word of reproach from her ; only a tender 
caress, only a shadow of a great unspoken grief gathered 
over the dear old face ; only a trembling hand laid more 
lovingly upon my head, only a closer clinging to the cross, 
only a piteous appeal to Heaven if her cup was at last full. 
And while her boy raged in his wild delirium two thousand 
miles away, the pitying angels pushed the golden gates ajar, 
and the mother of the drunkard entered into rest. And 
thus I stand, a clergyman without a church, a barrister with- 
out brief or business, a husband without a wife, a son with- 
out a parent, a man with scarcely a friend, a soul without 
hope all swallowed up in the maelstrom of drink ! 

If women, as a general thing, do not countenance 
and have never countenanced, modern duelling, and 
are naturally averse to all systems of individual com- 
bats for varied and sometimes heroic reasons still 
they have their womanly sympathies at play, either 
upon one side or the other, in all encounters and con- 



152 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

troversies where they may be interested, however 
trivial or majestic the difficulty or its cause. During 
the existence of judicial duelling in European coun- 
tries, ladies of rank were always to be found among 
the respectable spectators, and there have been in- 
stances of the presence of women upon hostile fields 
since the prohibition of judicial duels, particularly in 
Italy and France. There are also records of hostile 
encounters between women conspicuous among 
which was the duel with pistols between Lady de 
Nesle and the Countess of Polignac in 1721, in the 
gardens of Versailles (France). The ladies had in- 
dulged in a most disgraceful quarrel two evenings 
before at a grand fete at the Palace, over the Due de 
Richelieu that wondrous character in the history of 
France during which Lady de Nesle, losing all con- 
trol of herself, had sprung like a tigress upon her 
rival, and attempted to tear a diamond necklace from 
the Countess's neck. Failing in this, however, she 
snatched the blush roses from their nest in the snowy 
bosom, and flung them in the face of her rival. Up 
to this time, says some English writer, the Countess 
of Polignac had kept down by a powerful effort the 
mighty rage which was inwardly consuming her, but 
this last indignity destroyed even outward calmness; 
and, casting aside all further reserve, she attacked 
Lady de Nesle in the same way she herself had been 
assaulted. In a moment jewels and flowers and rib- 
bons and kices strewed the floor, and there is no tell- 
ing to what extent the extraordinary exhibition would 
have gone had not the enraged amazons been sepa- 
rated by the Marquis de Malbuisson and Mademoi- 
selle Nathalie de Condacet. Out of this grew the 
duel, the Countess of Polignac being the challenging 



CLERGYMEN AND WOMEN. 153 

party. The ladies met at six in the morning, in July, 
1721, and fired one shot at each other without effect. 
Their seconds (the Marquis de Malbuisson and the 
Comte de Penthievre for Polignac and M. de Remusac 
and Vicomte D'Allagne for de Nesle) then rushed in 
to prevent further hostilities; the fair demons, how- 
ever, would not be appeased, but called for a change 
of pistols, and again blazed away this second time 
with satisfactory effect, for the Marchioness fell dan- 
gerously wounded by a bullet in her left side, while 
the Countess was just quietly touched in an ear. 

A duel took place at Paris, January 31, 1772, 
between Mademoiselle de Guignes and Mademoiselle 
d'Aiguillon (two ladies of quality), who had quar- 
relled about precedency at a soiree, and retired to a 
garden adjacent to the scene of disturbance, and 
fought with knives until both were wounded the 
former in the arm and the latter in the neck. It is 
recorded of Mademoiselle Moussin, a French prima 
donna, that, after killing three men in duels in the 
woods near Paris, by sword, she fatally wounded her 
fencing-master, Serane, and fled to Brussels, where 
she domiciled with the Elector of Bavaria for a brief 
period. Lola Montez was also skilful with both pis- 
tol and rapier, but it does not appear that she ever 
engaged in anything of a hostile character above the 
dignity of a street fight. She once challenged a jour- 
nalist at Grass Valley, Cal., to meet her with pistols 
according to prevailing rules governing such meet- 
ings ; and, upon his refusal to do so, thrashed him 
with a cowhide upon a public street. In 1845 she 
was a witness in the trial of Mons. Bouvallon for 
killing Mons. Dujarier, at Paris, and said, in her testi- 
mony: " I was a better shot than Dujarier; and, if 



154 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Bouvallon only wanted satisfaction, I would have 
fought him myself." Dujarier was the friend of Lola 
Montez, and in his will written the evening before his 
death he bequeathed the (afterwards) Countess of 
Lansfeldt one hundred thousand francs. On the 2ist 
of August, 1777, Mademoiselle Leverrier (a young 
lady of good family), who had been jilted by a navy 
officer named Duprez, met the latter in the street in 
Paris, and handed him a pistol and told him to 
defend himself; at the same time she drew a weapon 
and shot her false one in the face, while he discharged 
his pistol in the air. An extract from a Georgia 
newspaper, published in 1817, says: 

Last week a point of honor was decided between two ladies 
near the South Carolina line, the cause of the quarrel being 
the usual one love. The object of the rival affections of 
these fair champions was present on the field as the mutual 
arbiter in the dreadful combat, and he had the grief of 
beholding one of the suitors for his favor fall dangerously 
wounded before his eyes. The whole business was managed 
with all the decorum and inflexibility usually practised on 
such occasions, and the conqueror was immediately married 
to the innocent second, conformably to the previous condi- 
tions of the duel. 

A Buffalo (N. Y.) paper of August, 1853, gives an 
account of an arrest of Catherine Hurley and Jane 
Hall, "who had met on the toll-bridge on Ohio 
Street, in the presence of a vast assemblage, to fight 
a duel with Allen's revolvers." No other accounts of 
similar performances have come under the observa- 
tion of the writer. 

A very interesting anecdote, however, touching 
female heroism, may be related of the Countess de St. 
Belmont : When M. de St. Belmont, who defended a 



CLERGYMEN AND WOMEN. I$5 

feeble fortress against the arms of Louis XIV., was 
taken prisoner, his intrepid wife, Madame la Comtesse 
de St. Belmont, who was of a most heroic disposition, 
still remained upon the estates to take care of them. 
An officer of cavalry having taken up his quarters 
there without invitation, Madame de St. Belmont sent 
him a very civil letter of complaint on his ill-behavior, 
which he treated with contempt. Piqued at this, 
she resolved he should give her satisfaction, and sent 
him a challenge, which she signed " Le Chevalier de 
St. Belmont." The officer at once accepted the chal- 
lenge, and repaired to the place appointed. Madame 
de Belmont met him dressed in male attire. They 
immediately drew their swords, and in a short time 
the heroine disarmed him, when she said, with a 
gracious smile : " You thought, sir, that you were 
fighting the Chevalier de St. Belmont, but you were 
mistaken ; I am Madame de St. Belmont. I return 
you your sword, sir, and politely beg you to pay 
proper respect to the request of a lady in future." 
The heroic woman then took her departure, leaving 
the vanquished officer covered with shame and con- 
fusion. 

The most singular combat, says an English writer, 
by which arms were ever gained, was one which hap- 
pened in the family of Hotot. The family of Dudley, 
in Northamptonshire, bears for a crest a woman's 
head, with a helmet ; her hair dishevelled, and her 
throat-latch loose. The occasion of this crest was 
singular. In the year 1390, Hotot, having a dispute 
with one Ringsdale, about the title to a piece of land, 
they agreed to meet on the disputed ground, and 
decide it by combat. On the day appointed Hotot 
was laid up with the gout ; rather than he should 



156 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

suffer in his honor, or lose his land, his daughter 
Agnes armed herself cap-a-pie, mounted her father's 
steed, and went to meet Ringsdale at the place ap- 
pointed. After a stubborn fight she dismounted her 
adversary, and when he was on the ground she 
loosened her throat-latch, lifted up her helmet, and 
let down her hair upon her shoulders. Agnes after- 
wards married into the Dudley family ; and, in honor 
of her heroic action, her descendants have always 
used the above-described crest, with the motto, Galosa 
spes salutis. 

Among the youthful "affairs of honor," which have 
been settled upon the field, are two that deserve 
mention here : That meeting in England, in 1825, by 
Cooper (a son of the Earl of Shaftesbury) and Wood 
(a nephew of the Marquis of Londonderry), who first 
fought with swords, and then with their fists, until 
Cooper was killed ; and that affair in Poland, in 1851, 
between two boys aged respectively thirteen and 
seventeen, with pistols, in which the former was 
killed, and the survivor and the two seconds, aged 
fourteen and fifteen, were arrested, tried, and ac- 
quitted. 

There came pretty near being a modification of 
the Virginia code during the political campaign of 
1883 in that State, and there would have been, 
surely, had William Flanagan one of Senator Ma- 
hone's lieutenants proceeded as promptly to an 
acceptance of the cartel of defiance sent him by 
the negro whom he had assaulted as he did to knock 
said colored man and brother down for expressions 
of political difference. It has been stated that Sena- 
tor Mahone, in launching his readjuster craft, took in 
the Senegambian as a social equal ; and the point is 



CLERGYMEN AND WOMEN. 1 57 

made, therefore, that the white adherent aforesaid 
committed political hari-kari by declining to meet the 
colored F. F. V. on the "ground of race, color, and 
previous condition of servitude." The New York 
Times, of August 29, 1883, discusses this slightly 
mixed affair felicitously, thus : 

The quarrel between Mr. William Flanagan, a candidate 
for the Virginia Legislature, and a chivalrous colored person 
whose name is not yet announced, bids fair to modify the 
Virginia code of honor. Mr. Flanagan, having knocked the 
colored man down for differing with him in political opinion, 
was challenged to fight a duel by the aggrieved man and 
brother. Mr. Flanagan not only refused to fight but appealed 
to the law for protection. Of course, Mr. Flanagan bases 
his refusal Jo give the colored man the satisfaction of a gentle- 
man on the ground that the code is silent in regard to colored 
challenges, and that hence a challenge sent by a colored man 
can be ignored. But it is always open to a colored man 
whose challenge to fight is treated with disdain to post his 
enemy, and it is well agreed among Virginia gentlemen that 
to be posted is worse than death. In case Mr. Flanagan is 
posted, his only course will be to have a difficulty with his 
enemy and shoot him on sight. But where is the difference 
between a difficulty and a duel, and how can a man refuse to 
fight a duel with an enemy with whom he does not disdain to 
have a difficulty? If the colored challenger of Mr. Flanagan 
is arrested, he should at once bring proceedings against Mr. 
Flanagan under the Civil Rights bill. Mr. Flanagan, in dis- 
criminating against his challenger on the ground of color, 
has clearly violated the principles of the Civil Rights bill, 
and should be prosecuted to the extent of the law. His 
conviction would establish the principle that a white man 
must either accept a colored man's challenge, or abandon 
duelling altogether a principle that would very soon render 
the Virginia duel obsolete. 

A despatch from Nashville (Tenn.), of March 7, 



158 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

1884, gives a description of a fatal duel between a 
brother and sister, with knives, probably the only event 
of the kind on record: 

Meagre details have reached here of a terrible affair which 
took place last night at Baker Station, seven miles from here, 
on the Nashville and Southeastern Railroad. The facts as 
far as learned are that Jack Hirsch, a young man living 
at that place, had been on bad terms with his sister 
Rosa for some time. Several nights ago the brother and 
sister got into a quarrel, when Rosa cut Jack quite severely. 
This affair was quieted down until last night, when they be- 
came involved in another quarrel, and agreed to fight it out 
with knives to the death. She had a pocketknife and he a 
caseknife. They fought in a room of the house where they 
lived until Rosa was cut to death. Her brother then took 
her out and buried her. Hirsch learned that* a neighbor 
named Horton knew of the tragedy, and said to one of his 
friends that he wanted to leave before the officers of the law 
heard of the deed. He went to the station, purchased a 
ticket for Texas, and left on the first train that passed. The 
Hirsch family were formerly of this city, where their father 
was engaged in business. 

A North Carolina vendetta is described in a de- 
spatch dated Shelby (N. C.), January 7, 1884: 

A terrible and fatal knife combat took place about fifteen 
miles from here this morning. For some years past a ven- 
detta has existed between the Lepaugh and Runyan families, 
both of which have large connections. Philip Lepaugh was 
this morning driving his wagon to a saw-mill, when Craige 
Runyan, accompanied by his father and brother, made an at- 
tack upon him. They pulled Lepaugh from his wagon and 
cut and hacked him with bowie-knives, inflicting some terri- 
ble wounds. They left him for dead in the road. As they 
were fleeing, the wounded man's two sons-in-law came up, 
and he urged them to follow his murderers and avenge his 
death. They immediately galloped after and overtook the 



CLERGYMEN- AND WOMEN. 

Runyan party. A desperate hand-to-hand conflict ensued. 
G. McSwain and Reuben and Joseph Runyan were soon 
lying in the road with ghastly wounds. Masters McSwain 
and Craige Runyan were the last two to stand up, and they 
cut each other literally in shreds. The former, early in the 
conflict, had his left eye cut from the socket. Some farmers 
came up in time to see them grovelling in the road cutting 
at each other, although they had not strength to stand up. 

The following account of a street-duel between a 
man and a woman was telegraphed from Hanford, 
Tulare County, Cal., on October 30, 1883: 

M. H. Stewart, the man who shot three times at his sister- 
in-law yesterday in Hanford, because he could not extort 
money from her, is presumably a very bad man. A few 
weeks ago he was arrested for firing five shots inside his 
sister-in-law's house, but as there was no evidence to prove 
that he had shot at any one, he was fined $50 and costs and 
turned loose. Mrs. M. A. Lyle is a widow with one child, a 
girl about six years old. She came to Hanford about six 
weeks ago and opened a millinery and dress-making establish- 
ment. She had plenty money, apparently, to pay for all she 
bought, and to all appearances acted the perfect lady. Stewart 
came up a few days after, as he claimed, for the purpose of 
starting a lumber-yard. One evening he went to Mrs. Lyle's 
house while drunk and noisy. Mrs. Lyle ordered him to 
leave. This is the night he fired the five shots. When arrest- 
ed for this he made Constable Beckwith a present of the 
pistol, stating that he never would carry another. About 
two weeks ago, being again under the influence of liquor, he 
used very vile language on referring to Mrs. Lyle, calling her 
everything but a respectable woman. Some man in the party 
resented the insult, and pistols were drawn by both, but Stew- 
art was disarmed by bystanders, and the others then quieted 
down. Yesterday morning Mr. Stewart and a lawyer named 
Irwin, who, by the way, up to this time was counsel for Mrs. 
Lyle, called at her house. In answer to their knock, Mrs. 
Lyle appeared and asked what was wanted. Mr. Irwin said; 



l6o THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

" I demand of you fifteen hundred dollars in the name of 
Mr. Stewart, and if you don't give it up, I will attach every- 
thing you have." Looking up at Stewart, Mrs. Lyle asked, 
"Is that so?" Stewart nodded "yes," at the same time 
going for his pistol, Mrs. Lyle being ready with her pistol 
about the same time. Who fired the first shot it is difficult 
to tell. No two agree about it. Mrs. Lyle says she doesn't 
know who fired first. Stewart put his pistol close to her 
head and fired, the ball missing her and going through the 
rear wall of the house, the powder burning her face. Mrs. 
Lyle put her pistol directly into Stewart's face and pulled 
the trigger, but the cartridge would not explode. On pull- 
ing the second time her hand was struck down by Irwin, 
the ball entering the fleshy part of Stewart's leg above the 
knee. Mrs. Lyle then ran out at the front door and into the 
street. Stewart followed, braced himself behind and against 
one of the awning posts, and deliberately fired two shots at 
her retreating figure. Mrs. Lyle still had her pistol in her 
hand. Some one called to her to shoot the old villain, when 
she turned and again levelled her pistol at him. He then 
started to run down the sidewalk. When opposite Philip & 
Sweet's store William Camp held a double-barrelled shotgun 
on him and ordered him to drop his pistol. This he did in 
a hurry, after which both parties were arrested. 



DUELLING IN THE DARK. l6l 



CHAPTER IX. 
DUELLING IN THE DARK. 

Night Combats The Campbell-Boyd Encounter De Richelieu 
and De Lixen's Midnight Duel Senator Jackson's Last Affair 
Lebre and Duprez Aldworth and Buckingham Fatal Mid- 
night Duel in the Snow in New York Desperate Fight Between 
Byron and Chaworth Henry Grattan and Isaac Corry Fatal 
Meetings of British Officers by Candle-light Exciting Moon- 
light Encounter in New Mexico What Came of Expectorating 
on the Boot of a New Yorker in a Southwestern Town Modern 
Moonlight Methods in Virginia Captain Coote and the Earl of 
Warwick Garden Fight Between John Wilkes and Lord Tal- 
bot The Famous Duels of Richard Brinsley Sheridan and 
Captain Thomas Mathews. 

NIGHT combats have been frequent in Europe, and 
also in the United States. In 1821, in London (Eng.), 
a barrister, named Christie, and the editor of the 
London Magazine, Mr. Scott, fought a duel, so-called, 
at Chalk Farm, and the latter was killed. The origi- 
nal trouble occurred between Mr. Scott and Mr. 
Lockhart, the latter-named gentleman at that time 
editor of BlackwoocTs Magazine ; and, it seems, Scott, 
who had been challenged by Lockhart, and who had 
declined to accept, was called upon by Christie, and 
the two quarrelled, and subsequently agreed to meet 
the same evening to adjust their difficulties according 
to the " code of honor." The fight took place at ten 
o'clock, during the full of the moon, and Scott fell 



1 62 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

mortally wounded at the first fire. Christie was 
arrested and charged with wilful murder by a coro- 
ner's jury, but at the trial, a short time afterward, he 
was acquitted. 

In 1721, Captain Chickley and Lieutenant Stanley, 
while disputing in a mess-room in a town near Dublin 
(Ireland), agreed to fight with small swords in a dark 
room the following evening. Stanley was an adroit 
swordsman, but was run through the body by his 
antagonist in a few minutes after the commencement 
of the fight. 

Major Campbell and Captain Boyd, officers of the 
Twenty-first Foot (British army), fought a duel, with- 
out seconds, in the parlor of an Irish inn, at Newry, a 
short time before midnight, in January, 1807. Dur- 
ing the dispute Campbell challenged his brother 
officer to fight at once, but Boyd preferred that the 
meeting should take place the next day. Campbell 
then taunted his comrade, and insinuated that he was 
displaying the white feather. The result was that 
they left the garrison where they were quartered 
unaccompanied by friends, and fought as stated 
Captain Boyd receiving a mortal wound, from which 
he died in a day or two. Campbell was convicted of 
murder the i3th of August following, and executed 
on October 2. His wife, who belonged to a family 
of high standing, made a desperate effort to secure 
royal clemency ; but, as is known, without success. 
Boyd's last words were: " Campbell, you are a bad 
man ; you hurried me in a most wanton way, and 
have mortally wounded me in a fight of your own 
making and not according to established rules. I 
wanted to wait, and have the matter put in the hands 
of friends, and you would not let me." This terrible 



DUELLING IN THE DARK. 163 

arraignment by the dying man was as effective as the 
death-warrant, itself, and carried conviction before 
indictment. In a letter which Campbell left for pub- 
lication, he said: "I suffer a violent and ignominious 
death for the benefit of my countrymen, who, by my 
unhappy exit, shall learn to abhor the too prevalent 
and too fashionable crime of duelling." The writer 
once met a gentleman who was present at this execu- 
tion. Campbell was acknowledged to be one of the 
handsomest and bravest officers of the Twenty-first 
British Foot. While of an excitable nature, when 
angered, it is said of him that he was generally far 
more amiable and much less disagreeable than Boyd, 
although they had long been on terms of mutual dis- 
like of each other. The night before the execution 
Mrs. Campbell had managed to perfect methods of 
escape, as it was pretty generally understood that, 
although no royal mercy could be extended, no par- 
ticular means of vigilance had been adopted. His 
noble wife, who had planned the escape, reminded 
him of his heroic conduct in Egypt, of his family 
name, and of the unheeded recommendation of mercy 
by the jury which pronounced the fatal words. But 
he only replied: "The greatest struggle of all is to 
leave you, my darling ; but I am still a soldier, and 
shall meet my fate like a man." And so he refused 
to further dishonor himself, although the guard was 
asleep, the doors of the jail were unlocked, and horses 
and confederates were close at hand. He passed the 
following morning in prayer, and at the proper time 
ascended the stairs of the execution room with a firm 
step and without escort. There stood before him 
nineteen thousand sympathizing men with heads 
uncovered ; and among them the Fusileers, with 



164 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

whom he had intrepidly charged the enemy upon the 
burning sands of Egypt. The hum of a single bee 
might have been heard in that respectful crowd, as 
Campbell addressed it. " Pray for me," was all the 
poor soldier said; and, while the diapason of an 
impressive "Amen" went up unbroken by a single 
other utterance, or even whisper, the unfortunate 
man let fall his own cambric handkerchief as a signal 
that he was "ready," and simultaneously he dropped 
through the dreadful trap and went off on that uncer- 
tain pilgrimage to the unknown beyond. 

The notorious Due de Richelieu, of France, who 
fought so many successful duels, and who seemed to 
wield a magician's sword, met the Prince de Lixen 
whom he had purposely insulted on account of the 
hatred entertained for the latter by Madame du 
Rosiere near the trenches of Philipsbourg, in 1719, 
at midnight, during a storm, by the light of torches 
held by brother officers. As the story goes, De Lixen, 
who was a General in the French army (and a very 
tall man), had had a horse shot from under him 
during an engagement; and seeing a pony near, 
jumped upon him and rode into the presence of De 
Richelieu (who was also a General of that time), who 
burst into a loud laugh, and exclaimed: "No wonder 
we lost the day, when we have mountebanks for 
generals. Behold the horsemanship of the great 
Prince de Lixen, who keeps his feet close to the 
ground for fear of falling from his saddle." The 
Prince heard De Richelieu's voice and laugh, and too 
well knew what it meant, and the source of its 
inspiration. " I' If insult the villain in no uncertain 
way upon the first opportunity," murmured De Lixen. 
The next day, De Richelieu, whose command had 



DUELLING IN THE DARK. 165 

been the last to retreat from Philipsbourg, came into 
the presence of Prince de Conti (the commanding 
officer), with dishevelled hair, powder-stained face, 
and deranged toilet. His rival took this occasion to 
carry out his quiet threat of the day preceding, and 
said, sarcastically : " It is a matter of much surprise 
that the Due de Richelieu should come into the pres- 
ence of gentlemen with the hair and dress of a mas- 
querader." " I did not retreat so hurriedly from the 
field as some of those officers who appear here in 
toilettes more elaborately prepared, your highness," 
exclaimed De Richelieu; and then, turning to De 
Lixen, he continued: "I shall now go and purify 
myself, Prince, and in an hour you shall hear from me." 
And so he did, in the shape of a challenge, which was 
accepted; after which, arrangements were made and 
agreed upon that the two gentlemen should meet 
each other in the trenches at midnight. They met 
and crossed swords at exactly twelve, and in ten 
minutes the magical weapon of De Richelieu had 
flashed through the heart of his twentieth victim, and 
the survivor, stooping over the dead Prince, said: 
" Let us carefully bear his noble body with all honor 
to camp. It is the fortune of war, gentlemen, and 
may be our turn next." In a short time afterward De 
Richelieu went to Paris to acquaint his inamorata 
with the intelligence that he had removed one of her 
troubles from the world forever. But what was his 
astonishment to discover that the frail and faithless 
Madame du Rosiere had fled with an English noble- 
man to London. 

Some few years ago, Major Ben Perley Poore, then 
Washington correspondent of the Boston Journal, 



1 66 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

sent that paper the following account of a midnight 
duel upon an island in the Savannah river: 

Among the many bloody duels on record as having been 
fought by Congressmen was one in which James Jackson, of 
Georgia, who had been and who was afterward a United 
States Senator, was the challenged party. He was an English- 
man by birth, but he went to Savannah when a lad, studied 
law, was a leading Freemason, and fought gallantly in the 
Revolutionary War. He killed Lieutenant-Governor Wells, 
of Georgia, in 1780 in a duel/and was engaged in several 
other " affairs of honor," until he finally determined to 
accept a challenge on such terms as would make it his last 
duel. So, upon his next challenge, which was from Colonel 
R. Watkins, also of Georgia, he prescribed as the terms that 
each party, armed with a double-barrelled gun loaded with 
buckshot and with a hunting-knife, should row himself in a 
skiff to designated points on opposite sides of the Savannah 
river. When the city clock struck twelve each should row 
his skiff to a small island in the middle of the river, which 
was wooded and covered with underbrush. On arriving at 
the island each was to moor his skiff, stand by it for ten 
minutes, and then go about on the island until the meeting 
took place. The seconds waited on the main land until 
after one o'clock, when they heard three gunshots and loud 
and angry cries. Then all was still. At daylight, as had 
been agreed upon, the seconds went to the island and found 
Jackson lying on the ground insensible from the loss of 
blood, and his antagonist lying across him, dead. Jackson 
recovered, but would never relate his experience on that 
night, nor was he ever challenged again. He died in Wash- 
ington city while serving his second term as United States 
Senator, March 19, 1806. 

In 1728, a young gentleman named Benjamin 
Woodbridge was killed in a duel with swords, 
late at night, on Boston Common, by Henry 



DUELLING IN THE DARK. l6/ 

Phillips, after a short combat. Phillips, who was 
not hurt, made his escape from the city the next 
day, and later turned up in France, where he 
died in 1729. 

Eugene Bonnemere, in his " Historic des Pay- 
sans," tells the story of how a peasant, by the 
name of Lebre, who lived in the south of France, 
got more than even with a sergeant of the Royal 
Guard (which was quartered near Lebre's cabin). 
It was toward the end of the seventeenth century; 
and the sergeant, presuming upon his gallantry and 
manly beauty, and knowing the proverbial weak- 
ness of some women for even non-commissioned 
officers of his profession, took occasion to pay 
marked attention to Lebre's young and pretty wife; 
which, while being strictly agreeable to dainty Mrs. 
L., was highly unsatisfactory to the incensed hus- 
band; who, at last, gave Mr. Sergeant Duprez a piece 
of proper advice, and was promptly knocked down 
for his pains. Lebre at once challenged his antago- 
nist, who declined to recognize a -common peasant 
as his equal; and, shutting Lebre out of his own 
cottage, took immediate possession of it and its 
pretty matron. In a day or two, the sergeant quit 
the place for good, and Lebre returned, sold all his 
effects, packed the erring madame off to her father's, 
enlisted in the army, and was seen no more in that 
neighborhood for upwards of eight years. He 
fought through two campaigns bravely but without 
a scratch, and by gradual promotion reached the 
rank of sergeant. "Aha!" cried Lebre, joyfully, at 
the end of six years' service, " Sergeant Duprez, Ser- 
geant Lebre is your equal ! I shall seek you out, you 
villain, and punish you for the wrongs I suffered at 



1 68 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

your hands six years ago." Lebre was two years in 
finding this man. And when he did find him, they 
were at the point of sitting down at the same dinner- 
table, with a dozen other officers of about uniform 
rank. As soon as the repast was over, Lebre arose; 
and, addressing Duprez, inquired: "Suppose, sir, a 
man should give you a blow, what would you do?" 
" I would return it and challenge him to fight," re- 
sponded Duprez. " Take that, then," exclaimed 
Lebre, dealing his old enemy a tremendous blow, 
which staggered him considerably; and, then, ad- 
dressing himself to his other comrades, he recapitu- 
lated the story of how Duprez had knocked him 
down for defending his wife, and thereafter refused 
to fight him on the ground that he was not Duprez's 
equal. " Now, Sergeant Duprez," ejaculated that 
fellow's assailant, turning round and facing his 
enemy, " you and I are equal. I have returned the 
blow you gave me eight years ago, and now chal- 
lenge you to fight for your life." And as quick as 
lightning the two sergeants drew their weapons, and 
Duprez was killed in three minutes, the duel taking 
place by candle-light. 

In 1719, in London (Eng.), Captain William Aid- 
worth, of the army, and Owen Buckingham, member 
of Parliament, met, and dined, and quarrelled, and 
fought, all in one evening. It was so dark that they 
could not see each other, and they were so thor- 
oughly-well intoxicated that it did not make much 
difference whether they did or did not see each 
other; but, all the same, there was one less member 
of Parliament the following morning, for Bucking- 
ham was found by some friends shortly after the 
fight, pierced to the heart with his antagonist's ra- 



DUELLING IN THE DARK. 169 

pier, and Aldworth near by very drunk and covered 
with wounds. 

University Place, New York (N. Y.), was the scene 
of a fatal duel, one cold, snowy night in the winter 
of 1804, the parties to the combat being William 
Coleman, editor of the New York Evening Post (an 
organ of the Federalists), and Captain Thompson, 
Harbor-Master of the Port of New York. Thomp- 
son, who had made quite an effort to provoke Cole- 
man, remarked freely that he had no fight in him, 
and that if slapped well on one side of his face, he 
would only be too happy to present the other side for 
similar treatment. Coleman, after making sure that 
Thompson had used the language attributed to him, 
challenged the offender, who accepted, designated 
pistols as weapons, and named eleven o'clock as time 
of meeting, and at or near University Place the scene 
of battle. Each party had surgeons and seconds, 
and agreed, as it was snowing at the time, to fire at 
each other at twelve yards. Both fired the third 
time, when Thompson was heard to exclaim: "My 
God ! I have got it !" and, reeling sideways, fell mor- 
tally wounded into the snow, and died a short time 
after having been conveyed to his residence. The 
dying man made a statement in the presence of a 
number of friends to the effect that the duel and his 
death were the consequences of his own quarrelsome 
character and rashness, and his last words were for- 
giveness of Coleman, who, he believed, had no intent 
to kill. 

In 1765, while dining at the "Star and Garter," 
Pall Mall, London (Eng.), with a Mr. Chaworth, a 
famous duellist, William (the fifth Lord) Byron 
great uncle of the author of " Childe Harold " 



170 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

quarrelled with his friend regarding the manner of 
preserving game, and also concerning the game-laws; 
and the two retired to an adjoining room and fought 
by the light of a tallow candle. Byron entered the 
apartment first; and, as Chaworth was closing the 
door, turning his head round, he beheld his antag- 
onist's sword half drawn; and, whipping his own 
weapon out, he made a quick lunge at his opponent, 
and ran his sword through Byron's waistcoat; but, 
as Chaworth thought, through his body. His lord- 
ship closed, and, shortening his sword, stabbed Cha- 
worth in the stomach, making a wound fourteen 
inches deep, from which Mr. C. died the next morn- 
ing. English accounts have always differed as to 
which gentleman challenged the other, and also of 
subsequent proceedings concerning the shocking 
affair. The best authority says that Byron was 
arrested and tried before his peers in Westminster 
Hall, and that he read his defence, plead his peerage, 
and by his privilege escaped burning in the hand. 
Another account states that he was convicted of 
manslaughter by a vote of one hundred and twenty- 
four out of one hundred and thirty-one, and sen- 
tenced to the payment of fine and one day's im- 
prisonment. Public opinion frowned upon him ever 
afterward, and he was pointed at as a murderer 
even in his self-exile. It is an interesting fact that 
the poet fell desperately in love with Mary Chaworth, 
the pretty daughter of his uncle's antagonist, who led 
him on to some extent, and then married another. 

In 1800, Henry Grattan and Isaac Corry, members 
of the Irish Parliament, indulged in vehement debate 
over the question whether Ireland was to dwindle 
into a province or retain her name among nations, 



DUELLING IN THE DARK. l?l 

during which Corry said that Grattan, instead of en- 
joying the confidence of his countrymen, should be 
standing at the criminal bar to answer for treason 
to which the great Irish orator replied, concluding as 
follows: "The gentleman has calumniated me to- 
night in Parliament; he will calumniate me to-mor- 
row in the King's courts; but, had he said, or dared 
to have insinuated, one half as much elsewhere, the 
indignant spirit of an honest man would have an- 
swered the vile and venal slanderer with a blow." 
The parties left the house immediately with friends, 
although it was quite dark, and repaired to the near- 
est duelling ground and fought with pistols at twelve 
paces, Corry having his left arm shattered at the 
first shot. 

As late as 1853 Captain Phillips, of the British 
Army, in garrison at Bombay (India), took offence at 
Lieutenant Sheppard, of the same garrison, for triv- 
ial words, and the two officers indulged in volumi- 
nous correspondence, which resulted in a hostile meet- 
ing at night by the light of a single candle held by a 
native domestic in the service of Phillips, who was 
shot dead at the first fire. Sheppard was court-mar- 
tialed and dismissed from the army, and afterward 
tried upon the charge of murder and convicted of 
manslaughter. 

Captain Rutherford and Surgeon Cahill, of the 
British Army officers in the same regiment, on garri- 
son duty in Scotland in 1811, quarrelled over the 
trivial matter of Cahill carrying a file of London 
papers from the mess-room to his quarters, which 
was, really, contrary to garrison regulations. One 
word brought on another, when Rutherford, greatly 
enraged, challenged the surgeon to mortal combat, 



172 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

which the latter accepted, and named the same even- 
ing and a neighboring quarry as the time and place 
for the hostile engagement. The principals met 
promptly at the quarry at the appointed hour, accom- 
panied by seconds, and Rutherford received a mortal 
wound. The survivor was subsequently tried and 
acquitted. 

In the early part of 1883 there took place a char- 
acteristic encounter at Chama (New Mexico), the 
result of which produced much rejoicing among that 
element of border civilization which is rarely satisfied 
with one " man for breakfast," thus : Charles Reiser 
and Will Whitson were young men of Chama, and 
bosom friends. Whitson, who was known as " Tex," 
held the office of Town Marshal ; and, seeing Keiser 
carrying a pistol in violation of local ordinances, 
deemed it his duty, notwithstanding their friendship, 
to disarm him. Keiser resented this, and refused to 
surrender his pistol ; thereupon a quarrel ensued, 
and Tex proposed that they should fight a duel then 
and there. It was eleven o'clock at night, but clear. 
Keiser accepted the challenge, and, separating ten 
paces, they began to fire at each other. In less than 
a quarter of an hour both were dead. The manner 
in which they received their injuries was in itself 
singular. At the first fire Keiser shot Tex through 
the heart. As Tex stumbled and fell he fired four 
times in quick succession, and one of the balls passed 
completely through Keiser's body. ''They were 
both noble fellows," gently remarked a melancholy 
ruffian present, as he sent a leaden messenger of 
salutation through the plug hat of the newest Eng- 
lish arrival at Chama. " Yes, sir ; them boys have 
started many a cemetery of their own, and shan't 



DUELLING IN THE DARK. 173 

want for a decent funeral ; so I'll take it upon my- 
self to appoint " but the Briton with the narrow- 
brimmed nail-keg hat had quietly disappeared. 

Some years ago, in one of the southwestern States, 
a "native and to the manner born," named Gamble, 
while forming one of a group describing a semi-circle 
in front of an evening fire at an only town tavern, 
took occasion to vulgarly expectorate upon the well- 
polished boot of a stranger, named Schuyler, who 
had just arrived from New York. With the superior 
blood of the old General in his veins, the insulted 
man jumped up (as also did Gamble), and, in great 
anger, asked the fellow if he had purposely spat upon 
his boot ; to which the latter replied that Schuyler 
had guessed it the first time ; and, said Gamble, " If 
you don't like it I'll spit in your face." As quick as 
lightning Schuyler dealt the funny man a blow, and 
then the two closed, and " rough-and-tumbled " until 
the landlord suggested that they go into a dark room 
and fight it out with knives. " That suits me to 
death!" shouted Gamble. "All right, sir," replied 
Schuyler. They were then locked up in a dark room, 
where they fought with knives and pistols for nearly 
fifteen minutes, when all of a sudden the fighting 
ceased and the apartment became quiet. The land- 
lord then opened the door and found the two men 
prostrate together, Schuyler underneath. Both were 
covered with blood from head to foot. Gamble was 
quite dead, and Schuyler was supposed to be 
dying. The crowd quickly got the latter out into 
the air, applied restoratives and bandages, and in a 
few weeks he had fully recovered. The statement 
need hardly be made that thereafter in a certain 
southwestern town expectoration was discharged in 



174 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

cataracts all round Schuyler's boots, but never a 
sprinkle upon them. In describing this affair, some 
years afterward, Schuyler says that he had been 
pretty well used up by Gamble, but the latter got 
down upon him to see if he was dead, when he 
grabbed him and held him in that position with one 
hand and with his legs, and with his other hand 
drove the murderous blade clean into the fellow's 
heart. 

As late as October 5, 1883, two Virginians settled 
an affair of honor by moonlight, according to a 
dispatch from Fincastle (Va.), of the above date, 
which described the circumstances of the meeting 
and the meeting itself as follows : " George Thomas 
and Algerman Battleheim fought a duel near here 
this evening in a lonely spot known as Stony Battery. 
Thomas was armed with a doubled-barreled shotgun, 
loaded with heavy shot, and Battleheim with a six- 
shooter Colt's revolver. Battleheim, up to two weeks 
ago, had been a constant visitor at Thomas' resi- 
dence, and rumors had been industriously circulated 
that he was in love with his friend's wife ; and 
Thomas, after carefully watching the couple for 
several days, ascertained, as he thought, that Battle- 
heim had perfected a plot to entice Mrs. Thomas 
away. The next morning Thomas' wife was miss- 
ing, and was not seen for two days. After the first 
day Battleheim made his appearance, and Thomas 
charged him with having enticed his wife away. 
Battleheim indignantly denied the charge, and said 
he meant to hold Thomas responsible for his damag- 
ing accusation. They parted, and the next day the 
wife returned to her husband. Battleheim, however, 
demanded satisfaction of Thomas, and the latter 



DUELLING IN THE DARK. 1 7$ 

agreed to meet him in the evening, without seconds. 
Their singular choice of weapons was not in strict 
accordance with the code, but it was held that, while 
Thomas had only two barrels loaded with shot, they 
were capable of doing more damage than six barrels 
loaded with single balls, and so it proved. At the 
first fire, distance thirty paces, Thomas sent the full 
charge of shot into Battleheim's face ; and the latter 
fell mortally wounded, after having fired wildly a 
second time." 

Most readers of English literature are familiar with 
the story of the duel between Captain Coote and the 
Earl of Warwick. Each principal had two seconds, 
and the duel was fought at night in Hyde Park in 
1699. All the parties were intoxicated at the time, and 
the six combatants slashed at each other until Coote 
was killed. Lord Mohun and the Earl of Warwick 
were arrested and charged with murder, but were 
acquitted. 

John Wilkes, the famous English politician and 
writer, fought his first duel after dark in the garden 
of an inn near London, with Lord Talbot, in 1761. 
It seems that Talbot, who was to be present at the 
coronation of George III., as Lord Steward, had 
trained his horse to step backward, so that, at the 
ceremony, the animal should face, with his rider, his 
Majesty as he retired from Westminster Hall. Un- 
fortunately, however, this particular mode of training 
had been too severe, and Talbot's horse entered the 
hall tail first, despite every effort made by his morti- 
fied rider to reverse his position. This was too good 
a thing for the North Briton to let go unnoticed, and 
Wilkes made the most of it in an amusing way, 
which led to a correspondence and a duel, as stated. 



176 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

After an exchange of shots the parties (and their 
friends) repaired to the inn, formally made up with 
each other, ordered edibles and choice wines and 
made a night of it. 

One of the most noted duels of this character was 
that in which Richard Brinsley Sheridan (poet, 
dramatist, orator and statesman), upon whom Provi- 
dence had showered so many gifts, was engaged at 
an early period of his eventful life. Sheridan, as is 
well known to many, when about twenty years of 
age, was peculiarly fond of the society of men and 
women of taste and learning, and soon gave proofs 
that he was inferior to none of his companions in 
wit and argument. At this age he had recourse to 
his literary talents for pecuniary supplies, and 
directed a good deal of his attention to the drama 
and its literature ; and it was during this time that 
he saw and loved Miss Alicia Linley, a " lady no less 
admirable for the elegant accomplishments of her sex 
and the affecting simplicity of her conversation than 
for the charms of her person and the fascinating 
powers of her voice. She was the principal per- 
former in the oratorios at Drury-Lane Theatre. The 
strains which she called forth were the happiest 
combinations of nature and art. Her accents were 
so melodious and captivating, and their passage to 
the heart so sudden and irresistible, that listening 
Envy would have dropped her snakes, and stern-eyed 
Fury's self have melted at the sounds. Her father, 
Mr. Linley, the eminent composer, was not at first 
propitious to the young man's passion, and Mr. 
Sheridan had many rivals to overcome in his at- 
tempts to gain the lady's affection. His persever- 
ance, however, increased with the difficulties that 



DUELLING IN THE DARK. 1/7 

presented themselves, and his courage and resolution 
were displayed in vindicating Miss Linley's reputa- 
tion from a calumnious report which had been basely 
thrown out against it." About this time (1772), 
Captain Thomas Mathews, a gentleman well known 
in the fashionable circles of Bath (England), and a 
married man, pursued Miss Linley with dishonorable 
purposes, to the great distress and terror of the 
young lady, who acquainted Mr. Sheridan with her 
troubles, and soon afterward departed for a con- 
vent in France, accompanied by her honorable 
friend, with whom she married, however, upon 
their arrival at Calais. Captain Mathews became 
actually furious at this state of affairs, and caused a 
paragraph to be placed in one of the Bath papers, 
derogatory to the character of the bride, and was 
challenged by Charles Francis Sheridan, a brother of 
Richard, who had also been greatly in love with the 
sweet singer of Drury-Lane. In a few days Mr. 
Sheridan returned to London with his bride, and 
insisted on fighting Mathews himself. He thereupon 
sent a challenge, which was accepted, and the two 
rivals met, Mr. Sheridan accompanied by a Mr. 
Ewart, and Mathews by Captain Knight. They 
fought with swords in the parlor of a public house 
in London by lights held by Charles Sheridan until 
Mathews was disarmed, and (according to many 
authorities, among them Mr. Sheridan), begged his 
life. Mr. S. granted his request upon the condition 
that he should sign a retraction of the falsehood he 
had published (which Mathews did), and then started 
for Bath to give the apology the same newspaper 
notoriety enjoyed by the slanderous paragraph 
previously published by Captain Mathews. This 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

so incensed the latter that he repaired to Bath and 
challenged Sheridan, who accepted, and a second 
fight took place at Kingsdown, four miles from Bath, 
before daylight, Mr. Sheridan being attended by Mr. 
Paumier and Captain Mathews by Mr. Barnett. This 
was a most ferocious fight. The combatants first 
discharged their pistols without effect, and then went 
at each other with swords, which were broken at the 
first lunge. They then fought with the broken parts, 
until each received many wounds, Sheridan some 
very dangerous ones. They at last fell to the ground 
and fought until separated, Mr. Sheridan being 
borne from the field with a portion of his antagonist's 
weapon sticking through an ear, his breast-bone 
touched, his whole body covered with wounds and 
blood, and his face nearly beaten to a jelly with the 
hilt of Mathews' sword. After recovering from his 
injuries, Mr. Sheridan returned to London and was 
re-married to his wife (in their presence and with the 
consent of Mr. and Mrs. Linley), Mrs. Sheridan never 
again appearing as a public performer. Mr. Sheridan 
was perhaps the most matchlessly-endowed man who 
ever lived. His magnificent and wonderful genius 
and brilliant and commanding talent, and unrivalled 
powers of oratorical excellence, were only a few of 
his distinguishing traits. Yet he died partly from 
the effects of enormous excesses ; and it was only by 
the firmness and humanity of his physicians that 
obdurate creditors were prevented from dragging 
him from his house to a death-bed in jail this in 
July, 1816. 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 



CHAPTER X. 
NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 

The Famous Judicial Combat between La Chastaignerie and Jar- 
nac Savage Encounter between Sir Edward Sackville and Lord 
Bruce The Fatal Meeting of the Duke of Hamilton and Lord 
Mohun Famous Duel between Lord Camelford and Captain 
Best An Unfortunate Affair resulting from a Mistaken Sense 
of Honor The Grey-Egerton Duel Grey demands a Second 
Shot and receives a Bullet in the Heart Wellington and Win- 
chelsea Two Furious and Fatal French Duels Fatal Combat 
with Billiard-Balis Punctiliousness personified Beaumont 
and Manuel She kissed them both at the Door just as if Noth- 
ing unusual had happened What resulted from wringing a 
Meddlesome Lady's Nose " Je vous demande ma vie" Fatal 
Meetings of British Officers An Exciting Affair at Madrid 
Description of Pierre Soule's Duel by a Participant. 

IN an incidental way mention has been made of 
the noted duel which took place between Guy 
Chabot de Jarnac and La Chastaignerie, which was 
fought on the loth of June, 1547, and was the last 
judicial combat witnessed in France; for, on the day 
succeeding the death of the latter, Henry II. issued 
an edict prohibiting such combats; it having been 
pretty well demonstrated that Providence generally 
seemed to be on the side of the most skillful or mus- 
cular combatant, and that the ends of justice were 
often defeated by the inferior swordsmanship of par- 
ties known to have been innocent of charges of 



180 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

crimes preferred against them by men of doubtful 
character, but who were proficient in the use of the 
implements of the lists. La Chastaignerie was a 
favorite of the King, and at that time the most excel- 
lent and expert swordsman in France. He was the 
very picture of manly beauty, being tall and well 
formed, and but twenty-eight years of age. His 
heart was the heart of a villian, however; and, in 
order to besmirch the character of Jarnac, who had 
been a great favorite with Francis I., he circulated 
the detrimental report that his rival had been on 
terms of criminal intimacy with his mother-in-law. 
Jarnac pleaded with Francis to permit him to " pre- 
serve the right" by a resort to the judicial combat, 
which the King refused in all probability out of 
consideration of La Chastaignerie's proficiency with 
the sword. Jarnac, however, as soon as Henry be- 
came King, renewed his entreaties, which in due time 
were acceded to, and a day was at last set for the 
combat. The royal family, and great crowds of the 
nobility, together with officers of the court and army, 
were in attendance at St. Germain-en-Laye. It was 
a dazzling spectacle; and the day appointed had 
been made beautiful by a warm sun which had 
coaxed put the buds of roses into flowers which ex- 
haled sweet fragrance and filled the air with per- 
fume. Jarnac was also about twenty-eight. His fea- 
tures were regular and handsome, but so deadly pale 
as to seem like stone. He was as calm as a Madonna, 
and looked out modestly from his lustrous eyes into 
the insolent face of his arrogant and unrelenting foe. 
When the word was given to " Let the combatants 
go!" La Chastaignerie rushed viciously toward Jar- 
nac, who at first placed himself on the defensive. In 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. l8l 

a few moments, however, the combatants attacked 
each other savagely, and soon both had received 
desperate cuts in their arms. Then they stood off 
from each other for a brief space of breathing-time, 
and then La Chastaignerie attempted a murderous 
lunge, when Jarnac cut the ham of one of his legs, 
which dazed the wretch for a moment, and sent a 
thrill through the crowd. In another minute, and 
while La Chastaignerie was again attempting a 
second desperate lunge, Jarnac cut the ham of his 
other leg, and the famous courtier fell to the ground. 
It was the most sensational spectacle of the kind ever 
seen in France; and a great murmur went through 
the vast assemblage when the cleverest swordsman 
and wrestler of the age was sent so ignominiously to 
grass. " Confess yourself a liar, and restore to me 
my honor, and live!" shouted Jarnac; but the fallen 
courtier remained silent. Jarnac then addressed the 
King: " I beseech your majesty to accept the life of 
this man for God's sake and for love's. I do not 
wish to have his blood on my soul. I fought for the 
restoration of that honor of which he has robbed 
me." The King at first declined, but at last con- 
sented to accept the boon of La Chastaignerie's life. 
Meanwhile the poor creature moved round on his 
knees, and cut wildly and impotently at the object 
before him, but in a short time fell over and bled to 
death. Jarnac absolutely declined all privileges of 
triumphal pageant and procession, and advised that 
the body be committed to respectful interment. " I 
have triumphed over my false accuser; I gained all I 
fought for the full vindication of my honor and 
reputation; I am satisfied," said Jarnac to the King; 
and the latter replied, "You fought like Caesar and 



1 82 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

speak like Aristotle." So stung with defeat and hu- 
miliation was La Chastaignerie, even when bleeding 
to death, that he refused to submit to any operations 
of surgery, and tore off the few bandages with which 
his wounds had been bound. 

A memorable meeting was that of Lord Bruce and 
Sir Edward Sackville, partly on account of its san- 
guinary character, and partly on account of the 
prominence of the parties engaged in it. The duel 
took place at Bergen-op-Zoom, in the Netherlands; 
and there is to-day a spot about a mile and a half 
from the Antwerp gate of Bergen which goes by the 
name of Bruce-land. The duel took place in 1613, 
and was a most desperate affair. Lord Clarendon, 
Burke and other writers have described it as terribly 
fierce, during which Bruce was mortally wounded 
and Sackville desperately hurt. No writers agree as 
to the cause of the duel, and Clarendon says nothing 
respecting its origin. Sir Robert Preston states that 
" The cause of the quarrel has remained wholly un- 
detected, notwithstanding successive investigations 
at different periods." The parties fought on the 
Continent, so as not to incur the King's displeasure. 
Lord Leicester, after much investigation, was unable 
to discover the cause of the duel; but Chambers 
states that Bruce, while one day paying his addresses 
to Sackville's sister (Lady Clementina), was rudely 
assaulted by Sackville, who came into their presence 
greatly disordered by liquor or wine; and that, while 
Bruce made every effort to keep the matter from the 
public, Sackville acted in a contrary way, and subse- 
quently gave Bruce a blow, on a crowded street, at 
which a challenge was sent to the transgressor. 
" We met," says Sackville, in a letter which he wrote 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 183 

to a friend from Louvain, September 8, 1613, "in a 
meadow, ankle-deep in water at the least; and, bid- 
ding farewell to our doublets, in our shirts began to 
charge each other; having afore commanded our sur- 
geons to withdraw themselves a pretty distance from 
us; conjuring them, besides, as they respected our 
favors, or their safeties, not to stir, but suffer us to 
execute our pleasure; we being fully resolved to 
dispatch each other by what means we could." 
Sackville's letter then presents the following descrip- 
tion of the fight: 

I made a thrust at my enemy, but was short ; and, in 
drawing back my arm, I received a great wound thereon, 
which I interpreted as a reward for my short shooting ; but 
in my revenge I pressed into him, though I then missed him 
also, and received a wound in my right pap, which passed 
level through my body, and almost to my back. And there 
we wrestled for the two greatest and dearest prizes we could 
ever expect trial for honor and life. In which struggling, 
my hand, having but an ordinary glove upon it, lost one of 
her servants, though the meanest. But at last breathless, 
yet keeping our hold, there passed on both sides proposi- 
tions of quitting each other's swords. But when amity was 
dead confidence could not live, and who should quit first 
was the question, which on neither part either would per- 
form ; and re-striving again afresh, with a kick and a 
wrench, I freed my long captive weapon, which, inconti- 
nently levying at his throat, being master still of his, I de- 
manded if he would ask his life, or yield his sword, both 
which, though in that imminent danger, he bravely denied 
to do. Myself being wounded, and feeling loss of blood, 
having three conduits running on me, which began to make 
me faint, and he courageously persisting not to accede to 
either of my propositions, through remembrance of his for- 
mer bloody desire, and feeling of my present estate, I struck 
at his heart, but, with his avoiding, missed my aim, yet 



184 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

passed through the body, and, drawing out my sword, re- 
passed it again through another place, when he cried : " Oh ! 
I am slain !" seconding his speech with all the force he had 
to cast me. But being too weak, after I had defended his 
assault, I easily became master of him, laying him on his 
back. When being upon him, I re-demanded if he would 
request his life ; but it seemed he prized it not at so dear a 
rate to be beholden for it, bravely replying, " He scorned 
it." Which answer of his was so noble and worthy, as I 
protest I could not find in my heart to offer him any more 
violence, only keeping him down until at length his surgeon, 
afar off, cried, " He would immediately die if his wounds 
were not stopped." Whereupon I asked him if he desired 
his surgeon should come, which he accepted of ; and so, be- 
ing drawn away, I never 6ffered to take his sword, account- 
ing it inhuman to rob a dead man, for so I held him to be. 
This thus ended, I retired to my surgeon, in whose arms, 
after I had remained awhile, for, want of blood I lost my 
sight, and withal, as I then thought, my life also. But 
strong water and his diligence quickly recovered me ; when 
I escaped a great danger ; for my Lord's surgeon, when no- 
body dreamt of it, came full at me with his Lord's sword, 
and had not mine with my sword interposed himself, I had 
been slain by those base hands; although my Lord Bruce, 
weltering in his blood, and past all expectation of life, con- 
formable to all his former carriage, which was undoubtedly 
noble, cried out, " Rascal, hold thy hand !" 

One of the most noted duels ever fought in Eng- 
land was that between the Duke of Hamilton and 
Lord Mohun, in Hyde Park, London, with small 
swords, on the i5th of November, 1712. Mohun was 
at one time as great a scamp as ever lived, and had 
been concerned in several fatal encounters and was 
twice tried for murder. After having been acquitted 
of the assassination of Mr. Montford, an actor, " he 
expressed his confusion for the many scandals he 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 185 

had brought upon his degree, as a peer," says Noble, 
"and promised to behave himself so for the future 
as not to give further scandal; and he afterwards 
applied himself to pursuits becoming his station, and 
in the House of Peers often distinguished himself by 
judicious speeches. He afterward accompanied the 
Earl of Macclesfield to Hanover, and lived with 
great sobriety." Shortly after this, Macclesfield died 
and left Mohun a large estate. Later, Macclesfield 's 
bachelor brother dying, a dispute arose about the 
property between the Duke of Hamilton (who had 
married Elizabeth, sole heir of said property) and 
Lord Mohun (who also had claims upon the estate), 
and during their presence at an examination before 
a Master of Chancery, Hamilton reflected upon Mr 
Whitworth, who had been steward in the Macclesfield 
family, and said that "he had neither truth nor 
justice in him;" to which Mohun replied that " he 
had as much as his grace." On the following day 
Lieutenant-General Maccartney conveyed a chal- 
lenge from the Duke to Mohun, and on the next 
morning (Sunday) the two gentlemen met, and each 
killed the other, after a prolonged and savage fight 
Colonel Hamilton, the Duke's second (and cousin), 
who was severely wounded by Mohun's second, made 
oath, according to some accounts, that the Duke of 
Hamilton received his mortal wound from General 
Maccartney; which was partly corroborated by one 
of the surgeons, who declared that Hamilton could 
not have received his death-thrust from Mohun. 
Maccartney at once quit the country, but afterward 
returned, and was tried for murder and acquitted, 
and was discharged of the manslaughter by burning 
with a cold iron to prevent an appeal of murder. 



1 86 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Of modern English duels, none, perhaps, was more 
causeless, or more replete in distressing detail and 
circumstance, than the fatal encounter between 
Captain Best, of the British army, and Lord Thomas 
Camelford. The duel took place near Holland 
House, London, March 10, 1804. Camelford and 
Best had always been close friends, and both were 
very fond of women and wine and cards. Early in 
the month above named they had spent a few hours 
one evening at Hammond's, a noted gaming-place, 
when Camelford retired and left his companion at 
play with one Symons, who had already commenced 
to fleece Best through the medium of marked cards. 
The Captain shortly afterward caught the sharper 
just as he was about to introduce some extra cards 
from within a sleeve of his coat; and, jumping up, 
seized Symons by the throat, and hurled him vio- 
lently to the floor, and then kicked his face into a 
jelly, and otherwise so bruised the cheat that his wife 
hardly recognized him when they met. Mrs. Symons 
became pallid with anger and disappointment, and 
promised her husband that he should be avenged. 
"Leave the fellow to me!" the mad woman ex- 
claimed, " and I will see to it that he gets his 
deserts." So she sat down, quietly, with hell's own 
fury delineated in her face, and wrote to Camelford, 
as follows: "I beg you to be strictly on your guard 
in your future dealings and associations with Captain 
Best, who speaks of your lordship in disrespectful 
and disdainful terms, especially when he is beside 
himself with wine." " There," she murmured, after 
folding and addressing the note, " is your death-war- 
rant, my noble Captain; and I smile while contem- 
plating the consequences." In due time the letter 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 1 8? 

reached Camelford; and, upon his next meeting with 
Best, he declined to accept his friend's hand, and 
said: " Pardon me, Captain, if I inform you that our 
acquaintance must terminate. It has lasted too long, 
already." ''Your lordship has the most perfect 
liberty to do as he deems best; but, pardon me, my 
lord, if I ask you to assign a reason for such action ?" 
interrogated the other, calmly. " Speaking of me 
disrespectfully and disdainfully behind my back 
seem to me to be reasons abundant." " And, pray, 
sir, who is your informant ?" " I do not care to 
make that known." " O, of course not." "Sir, what 
do you mean ?" " I mean, sir, that your conduct is 
ungentlemanly and dishonorable do you under- 
stand that, my lord?" "I understand you to be a 
liar and a scoundrel, Captain Best, and I want 
nothing more whatever to do with you." "That is 
perfectly satisfactory, sir, except that I shall hold 
you responsible for your language. Some one has 
been slandering me and making a fool of you." 
But Camelford had strode away. In the meantime 
Best made some effort to solve the cause of his 
friend's misconduct, never for a moment dreaming 
of Symons or his vindictive wife. It was soon set- 
tled that they should fight with pistols, as both were 
excellent shots. When they appeared upon the field, 
each accompanied by two seconds, Best said: "It is 
scarcely probable, my lord, that both of us can 
leave here alive. You have undoubtedly been im- 
posed upon; and for that reason I am even now 
willing to receive an explanation of your action, not- 
withstanding the gravity of the insult. We have 
long been good friends, and I am anxious to make a 
last effort towards reconciliation." " I decline to 



1 88 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

retract a word; it is too late. We came here for 
another purpose, and I am ready," replied Camelford. 
They then took their positions at fifteen paces; and, 
at the drop of a white handkerchief held by one of 
the seconds (who had taken up his position midway 
between them, but out of range), and the words 
" One two three fire !" both gentlemen discharged 
their weapons simultaneously; Camelford drop- 
ping to the earth mortally wounded and Best 
escaping unhurt. The dying man then raised him- 
self upon his right hand, and motioned for his adver- 
sary to approach, when he whispered: "You have 
killed me, Best; but the fault is wholly mine, and I 
relieve you of all blame. Shake hands with me, and 
forgive me, and then fly and save yourself from 
arrest." Best and his seconds then mounted their 
horses and rode to Hounslow; and Camelford's 
seconds, becoming demoralized, also fled, leaving 
their principal to die alone on the field. 

A mistaken sense of honor prevented Lord Camel- 
ford from accepting terms of reconciliation; for, 
as the reader is aware, the slightest explanation 
would have been the means of an adjustment that 
would have been strictly honorable to both parties. 
These reflections may serve to introduce another 
affair which ought never to have taken place the 
duel between Captain Stackpole, of the British frig- 
ate Statira, and Lieutenant Cecil, of the Argo. A 
naval officer once inquired of Lieutenant Cecil if he 
knew Captain Stackpole; to which he replied that he 
did, and that he had the highest opinion of him as an 
intrepid officer and skilful seaman; adding, however, 
that he believed him capable of occasionally drawing 
a long bow. This remark at last reached the ears of 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 189 

Stackpole, who, after satisfying himself that Cecil 
had made use of such words, declared that he would 
hold the lieutenant to an account for them when and 
wherever he met him. It was so far fortunate that 
they did not meet for four years; but the opportu- 
nity at last arrived, when the Statira was lying in the 
harbor of Port Royal (Jamaica), and the Argo, of 
which Lieutenant Cecil was senior officer, happened 
to enter that port. Immediately on Captain Stack- 
pole being made aware of the circumstance he sent 
Lieutenant White on board the Argo, with a message 
to Cecil demanding an immediate meeting or a 
suitable apology for the slanderous words he had 
used. Lieutenant Cecil did not remember just 
exactly what he had said; but, as they had been 
quoted by a brother officer, he could not, as a man of 
honor, act otherwise than avow them; and, as to an 
apology, he wished Captain Stackpole to understand 
that, under all the circumstances, while he should 
have no objection in apologizing to any other officer 
in his majesty's navy, he could not do so to the Cap- 
tain of the Statira, who was known throughout the 
service as an excellent shot. In consequence of this 
reply the parties met at a place called Park Hender- 
son on the following morning, April 28, 1814, and 
took their ground at ten paces. They both fired at 
the same time, and Stackpole was instantly killed, 
never even uttering a groan. 

The duel between Colonel Grey and Major 
Egerton, of the British army, was fought at Putney 
Heath, in the year 1761. Egerton, while returning 
from the theatre one evening with a lady, was run 
into carelessly by Grey, who was somewhat under 
the influence of liquor. Egerton, in his excitement 



I9O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

applied the term " stupid booby" to Grey, who at- 
tempted to draw his sword. Seeing this, Egerton, 
instead of hurrying away with his lady, imprudently 
knocked the tipsy officer down, and received a chal- 
lenge the following morning, which he promptly 
accepted. The next afternoon they met, each with 
two seconds, who quietly measured off the distance, 
which was ten paces. The principals then confronted 
each other with pistols, and both fired simultaneously 
without effect. The seconds then attempted to end 
the meeting, but Grey demanded another shot. 
Captain Clifford, one of the seconds of the latter, 
again gave the signal, and Grey fell dead and 
Egerton received a wound in the side. 

In 1829, in England, the Earl of Winchelsea was 
challenged by the Duke of Wellington, and the dis- 
tinguished gentlemen met with pistols. The Duke 
fired first without injuring the Earl, who discharged 
his weapon in the air, and subsequently acknowl- 
edged, through his second, that he had made expres- 
sions against the Duke which were not warranted by 
facts, which he greatly regretted, and for which he 
would amply apologize. 

A violent polemic had lasted for a long time be- 
tween two Bonapartist journals of Paris (le Petit Cap- 
oral and le Combat], which resulted in a duel between 
the two editors-in-chief (Diehard, of the Petit Caporal, 
and De Massas, of the Combat). The police, however, 
interfered with the first meeting, and the fight was 
therefore further continued in the columns of the two 
papers; until, finally, it was agreed that Paul de Cas- 
sagnac and Cuneo d'Ornano should be called as arbi- 
ters. These gentlemen declared that a duel was 
necessary, and so Diehard and Massas met again 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. \\ 

September 3, 1882, in a private park at Nogent on the 
Marne. Monsieur de Massas at once attacked his ad- 
versary with vigor, and wounded him three times (in 
his head, on the shoulder, and in the hand), where- 
upon Diehard rushed desperately upon and stabbed 
Massas through his lungs, who staggered and fell on 
his back. Friends immediately hastened to the side 
of the wounded man; and the doctor, upon examin- 
ing the wound, perceived that no blood was flowing 
" the surest sign of death," he said. The internal 
hemorrhage was not long in doing its worst; for, in a 
few moments, without saying another word, De Mas- 
sas made the sign of the cross and expired. The re- 
mains were taken to his residence at Colombes, near 
Paris, where his mourning widow and her four chil- 
dren are living at present. Dichard's wounds did not 
prove to be serious or severe. De Massas was but 
thirty- three years of age. He had been an officer in 
the Third Infantry regiment of the Marine, and had 
distinguished himself during the war of 1870. 

In an avenue of the forest of Planoise, at a short 
distance from Autun, two men met on the i8th of 
May, 1883, with swords in their hands, and exchanged 
a few strokes. Suddenly the seconds heard a cry and 
saw one of the combatants fall to the ground. They 
hastened to his support; but, in four hours afterward, 
the wounded man was dead. In explanation, it may 
be stated that M. Asselin, of the Department of the 
Saone and Loire, was the possessor of a very rich es- 
tate; and, having been invested with the title of Lieu- 
tenant of Game-Hunting, he assumed the privilege of 
operating over a vast domain for the purpose of rid- 
ding the neigboring country of various kinds of de- 
structive game. Monsieur de Saint Victor fifty 



I Q2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

years old and without a fortune had been an officer 
of the Cuirassiers. After quitting service he had ac- 
cepted an offer of his cousins (the Talleyrand-Peri- 
gords) to act as superintendent of their large estates 
in the Department of the Saone and Loire. Saint 
Victor did not approve at all of the frequent presence 
on the latter-named estates of Monsieur Asselin; and, 
therefore, directed his employees to quietly and care- 
fully watch the movements of this gentleman when 
on hunting expeditions which took him over the 
Talleyrand property. It was not long before Asselin 
had organized a boar-hunting expedition, at which 
one of Saint Victor's vigilant guards presented a com- 
plaint to the effect that Asselin had exceeded his 
powers by not announcing his visit previously, as re- 
quired by the law. And Monsieur de Saint Victor, 
while he did not intend to proceed legally, transmit- 
ted a letter to Monsieur Asselin, in which he ap- 
proved of the action of his subaltern. A lively dis- 
cussion followed, of course; and, after an exchange of 
several letters between the two gentlemen, Asselin 
despatched two of his friends to De Saint Victor with 
authority to effect terms of permanent settlement. 
The latter, on his part, selected two friends, and a 
duel was quickly agreed upon; and De Saint Victor 
(who had been an officer of cavalry) chose the saber 
as a weapon, expressing the hope "that the duel 
would have a good ending." " Is it a duel for life and 
death that he wants ?" interrogated Asselin, who 
was an expert only with pistols and the sword, but 
not with the saber. " Oui, Monsieur." At which 
Asselin rushed furiously upon De Saint Victor and 
gave him a stab of such force that his weapon went 
clean through the intestines and out by the spinal 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 193 

cord, causing almost instant death. " I am dying," 
murmured De Saint Victor; "call my wife and a 
priest." He was then taken to a house at Fragny, 
and Madame de Saint Victor was sent for, and arrived 
just in time to receive the last breath of her husband. 
The survivor only received a slight cut or two on the 
hand and cheek. 

On the 4th of September, 1843, in the commune of 
Maisonfort, France, two young men named Lenfant 
and Melfant, quarrelled while playing at billiards, 
and agreed, at last, to settle their disturbance by a 
duel with billiard balls; after which they drew lots to 
see which one should get the red ball and throw first. 
Melfant won the red ball and the first throw, and the 
two at once took their positions in a garden at a 
measured distance of twelve paces from each other. 
Melfant, when the signal was given to throw, made 
several motions, saying to his adversary, " I am 
going to kill you at the first throw." And then he 
hurled the ivory sphere with deadly aim and effect, 
for it struck Lenfant in the middle of the forehead, 
and he dropped dead without uttering a word. The 
survivor was arrested and tried for wilful murder, and 
convicted of manslaughter. 

Lord Shelburne (with Lord Frederick Cavendish 
as his second) and Colonel Fullerton (accompanied 
by Lord Balcarras) met in Hyde Park, March 22, 
1780, and fought with pistols at twelve paces. After 
the parties had taken their ground Colonel Fullerton 
desired Lord Shelburne to fire first, which he declined 
to do. The seconds then commanded Fullerton to 
fire, which he did, and missed. Then Shelburne fired 
and missed. Fullerton then fired a second shot and 
hit his antagonist in the right groin. Mr. Shelburne, 



194 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

however, declined to give up his pistol to his second, 
saying, "I have not yet fired a second time." Mr. 
Fullerton, at this, returned to his place, which he had 
left with a view of assisting his lordship, and com- 
manded Mr. Shelburne to fire. The latter cried out, 
" No, sir; I hope you don't think I would fire again at 
you;" and his lordship then discharged his weapon in 
the air. The seconds then asked Shelburne if he had 
any difficulty in declaring he meant nothing personal 
to the Colonel, and he replied, " This is no time for ex- 
planation, as the affair has taken another course. Al- 
though I am wounded, I am able to go on if Colonel 
Fullerton feels any resentment." The latter declared 
that he was incapable of harboring any such senti- 
ment. "Besides," added Fullerton, " as your lord- 
ship is wounded, and you have fired in the air, it is 
impossible for me to go on." Both were members of 
Parliament at the time, and Fullerton had been com- 
missioned a Lieutenant-Colonel in the army and had 
been a member of the English Embassy at the Court 
of France. The cause of the duel was an attack upon 
Fullerton by Shelburne, who intimated that the Colo- 
nel and his regiment were as ready to act against the 
liberties of England as against her enemies. 

A duel of much the same character took place in 
Hyde Park between William Adam and Charles 
James Fox, Members of Parliament, in 1789. Gen- 
eral Fitzpatrick acted as second for Mr. Fox, and 
Major Humbertson for Mr. Adam. The latter fired 
first and wounded Fox, who fired without effect. 
The seconds then interfered and asked Mr. Adam if 
he was satisfied, who replied, "Will Mr. Fox declare 
he meant no personal attack upon my character?" 
Upon which the latter said, "This is no place for 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 19$ 

apologies go on." Mr. Adam then fired his second 
pistol without effect, and Mr. Fox discharged his re- 
maining weapon in the air, and declared that, as the 
affair was ended, he had no difficulty in stating that 
he meant no more personal affront to Mr. Adam than 
he did to either of the other gentlemen present. Mr. 
Adam then advanced and replied, " Sir, you have 
behaved like a man of honor." Mr. Fox then said 
that he believed himself wounded, which was a fact. 
It is a curious circumstance that Adam wounded his 
antagonist with the same pistol with which Fullerton 
used in his duel with Shelburne a few months before, 
and that both gentlemen were hit in the groin. Mr. 
Fox, in speaking of the duel afterward, maintained 
the same opinion he had expressed in interrupting 
Colonel Fullerton in his invective against Lord Shel- 
burne that "if it were once admitted as a principle 
that a personal affront was offered to gentlemen 
whenever their names and conduct were mentioned, 
the most essential of all the rights of Parliament 
would be lost, and there would be an end to all free- 
dom of debate." 

Manuel and Beaumont were wealthy bankers and 
stockbrokers of Paris. Mrs. Manuel, who was young 
and beautiful, had fallen in love with Beaumont. 
Of this fact Manuel was first notified by one of 
those cunning devils an anonymous correspondent. 
Thereupon he watched the erring couple, and soon 
learned the worst. He immediately quarrelled with 
and challenged Beaumont, and they soon afterward 
met with pistols, and Manuel was shot dead. This 
affair took place in the Bois de Boulogne in 1821. 
Previous to the fatal meeting, Manuel, who was an 
excellent man, besought his erring wife to abandon 



IQ THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Beaumont. " For the sake of our six children," en- 
treated the frantic husband, " give up this base man. 
If you are lost to all honor, yourself, spare our dear 
little ones the further taints of your dishonor and 
disgrace." But the guilty creature turned a deaf ear 
to these, the last words of her husband. In a short 
time after the killing of Manuel, Beaumont aban- 
doned Mrs. M., of course. Both gentlemen were 
possessors of great wealth. 

An exciting duel took place during the reign of 
Henry the Third of France between two officers 
named Deveze and Soeilles. The latter had been 
discovered to be on too intimate terms with the wife of 
Deveze, who challenged his brother-officer and shot 
him in the shoulder. After his recovery Soeilles 
challenged Deveze, who accepted, fired first, and then 
turned and. showed his heels. Soeilles afterward be- 
trayed Deveze's sister, and was waylaid and killed by 
Deveze as soon as he was made aware of the fact ; 
while the latter was in turn murdered by a cousin of 
Soeilles named D'Aubinac. 

La Fontaine, who had a very pretty wife, became 
jealous of a young officer, whose really honorable in- 
tentions were too marked to please a certain gentle- 
man of the lago stamp and who, in reality, was at 
the bottom of the whole affair, and who was quite 
willing to see either the old philosopher or the young 
ensign or both put out of the way and a duel was 
the consequence. La Fontaine was disarmed, artisti- 
cally, when he invited his antagonist home, where the 
madame met them at the door, and kissed them, as 
was her custom often before they fought. 

On March 19, 1778, the Count d'Artois (the 
youngest brother of the French King) and the Duke 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 1 97 

of Bourbon (a son of the Prince of Cond6) fought 
with swords, near Paris ; and, after a furious en- 
counter, d'Artois was wounded in the arm. This 
duel grew out of an affair at a masquerade, at which 
the Duchess of Bourbon lifted the mask of the Count 
who was incognito with a dismissed lady of honor 
(Madame de Cavillac) and had her nose vigorously 
wrung for her pains, to the great confusion of all 
present. The young Count was afterwards exiled by 
the King, notwithstanding the injuries he had re- 
ceived in his duel with the husband of the meddle- 
some Madame la Duchesse de Bourbonne who was, 
in fact, greatly infatuated with the young Count, and 
was naturally enough turbulent with jealousy and 
rage at the presence together of d'Artois and the be- 
witching De Cavillac. 

On the iyth of November, 1778, at Bath (England), 
Count Rice and Viscount du Barry quarrelled at the 
home of the latter, and agreed to settle their disturb- 
ance just outside of the city the next morning at day- 
light. Early the following day the principals met 
according to agreement, accompanied by seconds and 
a surgeon, provided with pistols and swords. As 
soon as they arrived, the ground was marked out by 
the seconds, and the principals took their places. 
Viscount du Barry fired first and lodged his bullet in 
Rice's thigh, the ball from the Count's weapon tak- 
ing effect in Du Barry's breast ; at the second shot 
they both fired together, but their pistols "flashed in 
the pan." They then threw away their pistols and 
advanced toward each other with their drawn swords, 
when, all of a sudden, Du Barry fell, saying: " Je 
vous demand ma vie" (I ask you for my life) ; to which 
Rice replied ; " Je vous la donne" (I give it to you)-, 



198 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

and in a few seconds Du Barry expired. Rice was at 
once conveyed to his own home, where he lay in great 
agony for a long time, but finally recovered. The 
coroner's jury rendered a verdict of manslaughter, 
but at the trial Rice was acquitted. 

On July i, 1843, Lieutenant-Colonel David Lynar 
Fawcett, of the Fifty-fifth Regiment (British) Foot, 
was killed by Lieutenant Alexander Thompson of the 
Royal Horse-Guards. The two officers had married 
sisters, and the settlement of some property which 
had fallen to the ladies had been left to Thompson, 
whose manner of proceeding had not been satis- 
factory to Fawcett. The latter not only gave the 
lieutenant a vigorous piece of his mind concerning 
the matter in trust, but ordered him out of his (Faw- 
cett's) house this, on the 3oth of June, 1843. "You 
shall hear from me, sir, for this, immediately," ex- 
claimed Thompson, as he departed. " And you will 
not have to wait long for a reply, rest assured," re- 
joined Fawcett. They fought with pistols at Camden 
Town the following morning, and Fawcett received a 
mortal wound in the side at the first fire, and died in 
three days. On the 4th of May, 1790, Mr. Power, son 
of Richard Power, fought with Captain Grumbleton, 
of the Thirteenth Dragoons, in the county of Water- 
ford (Ireland). The weapons were pistols, at twelve 
paces, and Mr. Power fell mortally wounded at the 
first fire, and died while being taken home. 

On the 4th of September, 1783, Colonel Cosmo 
Gordon and Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas met at 
Hyde Park and fought with pistols. The terms 
were that they should, after receiving their weapons, 
advance and fire when they pleased. When within 
about eight yards the Colonel fired without effect, 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 1 99 

but was wounded by his antagonist in the thigh. 
They fired the second time without effect ; but at the 
third fire Thomas fell mortally wounded, and died 
while being taken from the field. On the seven- 
teenth of the following month of the same year, 
Captain Munro, of the Sixteenth Regiment of Dra- 
goons, and Mr. Green met with their seconds near 
Battersea bridge and fired at each other three times, 
when Green was wounded in the side. The seconds 
then asked Mr. Green if he was satisfied, and he 
replied that he was not unless Mr. Munro was willing 
to make a public apology ; which the latter declined 
to do. "Then one of us must die," exclaimed Green; 
and they again fired, Mr. Munro receiving a bullet in 
the knee and Mr. Green one in the heart. 

An exciting event transpired at Madrid in 1855; 
many accounts of which (some of them very contra- 
dictory) were published at the time in English, 
French, and American newspapers. It seems that at 
a soiree given at Madrid by Marquis de Turgot (the 
French ambassador), at which were present Pierre 
Soule (Minister from the United States to Spain) and 
his wife, the latter was likened to Margaret of Bur- 
gundy, in the hearing of her son, Neville Soule, by 
the Duke d'Alba. The next day the latter was chal- 
lenged by young Soule, and upon the following morn- 
ing the parties met and fought with swords for more 
than half an hour, when the Duke was wounded in 
the neck; after which their seconds (Colonel Milans 
del Bosch and Secretary Perry for Mr. Soule, and the 
Count of Punonrostro and General de la Concha for 
the Duke) brought about a termination. That same 
day it became very generally reported thoughout 
genteel society in Madrid that the French ambassa- 



200 THE FIELD OF 

dor himself had first made use of the insulting ex- 
pression; and he was promptly challenged by the 
American Minister, which challenge was accepted by 
the Marquis, who designated pistols as weapons. Mr. 
Soule was attended by M. Picon and General Valdes, 
and de Turgot by Lord Howden and General Caillier. 
They fought at ten paces and fired once without ef- 
fect. At the second fire the French ambassador was 
severely wounded in the left leg near the knee, and 
fell to the ground. While being taken to his carnage 
the Marquis stated that he had never used the ex- 
pression, or any insulting remarks whatever, regard- 
ing Mrs. Soule, as reported. The New York Home 
Journal of January 18, 1884, contained a description 
of the foregoing duel contributed by Mr. A. L. 
Taveau, an eye-witness, as follows: 

Upon arriving at Madrid, in the month of December, 1854, 
I repaired to the elegant palace of the American Embassy 
with letters of introduction. But I had scarcely seen the 
major-domo disappear up the massive marble stairway with 
my missive^ when, in a few moments, one of the most remark- 
able men I ever saw came descending to meet me. With 
both hands extended for a cordial shake of the hand, and re- 
turning me, at the same time, my document, he exclaimed, 
" Take this back, my friend, you come from a State of gen- 
tlemen a gentleman from South Carolina needs no letters 
of introduction to Pierre Soule ;" and shaking my hand very 
cordially with both of his, led me into his private cabinet. 
His tout ensemble was so striking that the whole man was 
instantly photographed on my mind ; and I do not know 
how better to draw his portrait than to say that I could al- 
most imagine myself standing in the presence of Napoleon 
Bonaparte. Nor was it a personal resemblance alone ; but 
his whole manner, together with his rapid and eloquent 
speech, recalled to mind all that his biographers tell us of 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 2OI 

the emperor. The next day found me installed in his cabi- 
net as private secretary : " I want you," said he, " to receive 
my letters, read them over, and give me the important 
points of each ; and I will instruct you what to reply." Such 
a position was a very important advantage to me, as it im- 
mediately introduced me to court, and gave me the entree 
to all the best salons. It was thus that I was enabled to 
hear everybody talk about the famous duels, and ascertain 
the facts connected with them. It was during Mr. Pierce's 
administration that the subject of the annexation of Cuba 
to the United States was the all-engrossing topic of the day ; 
and Mr. Soule, who had warmly supported the idea in Con- 
gress, was appointed by Mr. Pierce as Minister to Spain. 
This appointment was so distasteful to France that Mr. 
Soule, on entering that kingdom, en route to Spain, was sub- 
jected to much annoyance, and slighted by the government 
of Napoleon III. It was not long after the minister's arri- 
val in Madrid that it was made known to him, in various 
ways, by the minions of Louis Napoleon, that his presence, 
as ambassador, was distasteful. This culminated in an af- 
front offered to Madame Soule by the French Minister, 
Monsieur de Turgot, at a ball given at his own palace, to 
which, of course, the American Minister and family were in- 
vited. When the Soules arrived, the marquis, with the 
Duke of Alva and others, were standing at the entrance-door 
of the ball-room. The Soules paid their compliments of 
salutation to the host, and passed on. One gentleman re- 
marked both upon the beauty of Madame Soule and her rich 
attire. " Dou you think so ?" replied the marquis, " well, 
I do not share in your admiration of this woman, for she 
strongly reminds me of Margaret of Burgundy." So shocked 
were the Soules' friends at such an insulting remark by the 
host himself, of so estimable a lady, that Mr. Soule was 
promptly informed of it. - Walking deliberately toward the 
marquis, he hunched him in the side with his elbow, and, 
giving him a significant look from his splendid, but now 
fiery eyes, quietly remarked : " I have heard, sir, of your inde- 
cent remark ; you shall also hear from me to-morrow ;" and, 



2O2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

rejoining his family, the Soules immediately retired. In the 
meantime it began to be whispered about that the remark 
had originated with the Duke of Alva. He, being a younger 
man, Mr. Soule's son, Nelville Soule, promptly sent him a 
challenge next day. This the duke at first declined, on the 
plea that he was not the author of the insulting remarks. 
But a telegram soon came from France announcing to him 
that, unless he accepted the challenge, he was no more to 
call himself the brother-in-law of the emperor the Duchesse 
of Alva and Eugenie, the empress, being sisters. This set- 
tled the matter at once. The challenge was accepted, and 
the duke being the challenged party, exercised the privilege 
of the choice of weapons. Being one of the best swordsmen 
in Spain, he chose broadswords as the weapons for the com- 
bat. This was awkward for young Soule, who had never 
handled a sword in his life. Nevertheless, the choice was 
accepted and an instructor procured. Only one lesson, how- 
ever, was the professor allowed to give, for he was a French- 
man, and was -promptly warned of his likelihood of being 
sent to Caen, if he persisted. With one lesson did the 
young champion of America enter the lists, and so lustily did 
his sinewy arm sway the falchion, that the duke shortly be- 
came demoralized, and, after receiving a wound in the neck, 
from which sangre azul (blue blood) poured very freely, the 
fight was arrested by their mutual seconds, and satisfaction 
declared given and received. This being ended, Mr. Soule 
then challenged the French Minister, M. de Turgot, to com- 
bat also. The challenge was promptly accepted, and pistols 
chosen. The hostile parties met outside the city, in an open 
field, bounded on one side by a high wall, adown which, was 
afterward remarked, descended a line, in front of which Mr. 
Soule was unwittingly posted. Upon shots being exchanged, 
the marquis fell prostrate to the ground Mr. Soule unhurt 
remained immovable as a " Stonewall " and it was found 
that Mr. Soule's ball had inflicted a very painful, if not dan- 
gerous wound in the marquis' hip. The fight was declared 
ended, and once more the "star spangled banner waved over 
the free and the brave," at the American embassy, where it 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 2O$ 

Continued to float, unmolested or insulted again by any 
power until Mr. Soule's return to America. So far from 
these duels causing the Soule's to become unpopular with 
the Madrilenos, they became the cynosure of all eyes, and 
received the most marked attention from the whole royal 
family. The writer of this, having remained in Madrid the 
whole winter, was thus enabled, personally, to see not only 
what popularity the Soules had gained by their courage, but, 
also, that los Etados Unidos (the United States) were more 
respected than ever. 



204 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XL 

EUROPEAN DUELS CONTINUED. 

The Fatal Meeting between Colonel Montgomery and Captain 
Macnamara Two Sanguinary Affairs Lord Macartney's Two 
Duels A Number of Memorable Combats The Foolish Apoth- 
ecary How Aldworth Obtained Satisfaction A Number of 
Fatal Duels Fatal Quarrel between English Officers concern- 
ing Americans Alphonse de Lamartine's Duel M. Pierre 
Bonaparte's Affairs of Honor Other Quarrels among Distin- 
guished Persons The Fatal Duel between Signers Levito and 
Nicotera, the Picturesque Italian Conspirator, at Rome 
Aurelian Scholl, the Witty Chroniqueur, and Count Albert de 
Dion settle their Long-standing Difficulty with Swords at the 
Race-course of Longchamps Signer Rossi's Duel at Casala 
and its Consequences. 

THE fatal duel between Colonel Montgomery, of 
the British army, and Captain Macnamara, of the 
British navy, in 1803, may be presented as one of the 
most melancholy events in all the annals of duelling. 
Both officers had distinguished themselves in hard- 
fought battles, and both were under thirty years of 
age. They were one day riding in Hyde Park, 
accompanied by their dogs. The latter quarrelled, 
during which the two officers got into an angry alter- 
cation, which ended by Montgomery presenting Mac- 
namara his card of address. In three hours afterward 
the two gentlemen met at Primrose Hill Mont- 
gomery being attended by Sir William Kier, and 
Macnamara by Captain Barry. They fought with 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 2O5 

pistols, at twelve paces, and at the first fire Mont- 
gomery received Macnamara's bullet in the heart, 
and the latter received his antagonist's missile in the 
hip. Colonel Montgomery was taken from the field 
dead, and Captain Macnamara was shortly afterward 
tried at the Old Bailey on a charge of murder, and 
acquitted. During the trial the survivor read a 
paper in his defence, which concluded as follows : 

The origin of the difference, as you see it in the evidence, 
was insignificant. The heat of two persons, each defending 
an animal under his protection, was natural, and could not 
have led to any serious consequences. It was not the de- 
ceased's defending his own dog, nor his threatening to 
destroy mine, that led me to the fatal catastrophe ; it was 
the defiance which most unhappily accompanied what was 
said. Words receive their interpretation from the avowed 
intention of the speaker. The offence was forced upon me 
by the declaration that he invited me to be offended, and 
challenged me to vindicate the offence by calling upon him 
for satisfaction. " If you are offended with what has passed, 
you know where to find me." These words, unfortunately 
repeated and reiterated, have over and over, and over again, 
been considered by criminal courts of justice as sufficient to 
support an indictment for a challenge. The judgments of 
courts are founded upon the universal understandings and 
feelings of mankind, and common candor must admit that 
an officer, however desirous to avoid a quarrel, cannot refuse 
to understand what even the grave judges of the law must 
interpret as a provocation and a defiance. I declare, there- 
fore, most solemnly against the deceased ; nothing, indeed, 
but insanity could have led me to expose my own life to 
such immense peril, under the impulse of passion from so 
inadequate a cause as the evidence before you exhibits, when 
separated from the defiance which was the fatal source of 
mischief, and I could well have overlooked that too if the 
world, in its present state, could have overlooked it also. I 



206 THE FIELD OF 

went into the field, therefore, with no determination or 
desire to take the life of my opponent, or to expose my own. 
I went there in hopes of receiving some soothing satisfac- 
tion for what would otherwise have exposed me in the gen- 
eral feelings and opinions of the world. The deceased was 
a man of popular manners, as I have heard, and with a very 
general acquaintance. I, on the other hand, was in a man- 
ner a stranger in this great town, having been devoted from 
my infancy to the duties of my profession in distant seas. 
If, under these circumstances, the words which the deceased 
intended to be offensive, and which he repeatedly invited to 
be resented, had been passed by, and submitted to, they 
would have passed from mouth to mouth, have been ever 
exaggerated at every repetition, and my honor must have 
been lost. Gentlemen, I am a captain in the British navy. 
My character you can only hear from others ; but to main- 
tain my character and station, I must be respected. When 
called upon to lead others into honorable danger, I must 
not be supposed to be a man who had sought safety by sub- 
mitting to what custom has taught others to consider as a 
disgrace. I am not presuming to urge anything against the 
laws of God or of this land. I know that, in the eye of 
religion and reason, obedience to the law, though against 
the general feelings of the world, is the first duty, and ought 
to be the rule of action. But in putting a construction upon 
my motives, so as to ascertain the quality of my actions, 
you will make allowances for my situation. It is impossible 
to define in terms the proper feelings of a gentleman ; but 
their existence have supported this happy country many 
ages, and she might perish if they were lost. Gentlemen, I 
will detain you no longer; I will bring before you many 
honorable persons who will speak what they know of me in 
my profession, and in private life, which will the better 
enable you to judge whether what I have offered in my 
defence may safely be received by you as truth. Gentlemen, 
I submit myself entirely to your judgment. I hope to 
obtain my liberty through your verdict; and to employ it 
with honor in the defence of the liberties of my country. 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 2O? 

In 1721, in Lincoln's Inn Fields (England), Mr. 
Fulford and Captain Cusack met with swords, at- 
tended by two seconds on each side. A description 
of this duel, in an old English magazine, concludes 
as follows: " It had lasted but a few minutes, when 
Fulford had the imprudence to raise his arm and 
expose his chest ; the Captain's sword glided swiftly 
below it, and pierced him to the heart. Fulford fell 
back and died without a groan." The same maga- 
zine presents a graphic description of the duel (in 
1589) between Henry of Essex (who bore the royal 
standard of Henry II. when that monarch invaded 
Wales) and Robert de Montford who commenced 
their fight on horseback, and followed it up on foot 
which concludes: "The encounter was desperate; 
and, so equal were the parties to the struggle, that 
it was uncertain to give the chance to either. At 
last, with a more than human strength, and with a 
false parry on the side of Essex, de Montford hurled 
his adversary to the ground, and with a quick and 
sudden motion, drove his sword into the neck of 
Essex." 

Lord Macartney and Mr. Sadlier had an altercation 
at the Council Board at Bombay on March 16, 1784, 
and afterwards fought with pistols, Macartney receiv- 
ing a dangerous wound, from which he recovered, 
however. On the 8th of June, 1786, Macartney met 
General Stuart near Kensington, and fought with 
pistols at twelve short paces. When they were about 
to fire Stuart told Macartney that his pistol was not 
cocked, at which his lordship thanked the General, 
and cocked. Macartney was wounded at the first 
fire, and the seconds at once declared that the matter 
must rest. But Stuart exclaimed : " This is no sat- 



208 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

isfaction;" and asked Macartney if he was not able 
to fire again. His lordship replied: " With pleasure;" 
and urged Colonel Fullerton (his second) to permit 
him to proceed. Colonel Gordon (Stuart's second) 
informed the General that his antagonist was 
wounded and could not proceed ; who replied : 
"Then I must defer it till another occasion." To 
which Macartney added: "If that is the case we had 
better proceed again, now." But the seconds put an 
end to all further conversation between the parties, 
and his lordship was removed from the field in an 
easy carriage to his home. 

In 1794, in England, Lord Tankerville and Edward 
Bouverie, Member of Parliament, met with pistols, 
and the latter was killed. In 1740, in England, Gen- 
eral Braddock (who afterward died in America) and 
Colonel Gumley, officers of the British army, fought 
with swords, and Braddock was disarmed, but unin- 
jured, although he refused to beg for his life. In 
1699, in England, Colonel Oliver le Neve and Sir 
Henry Buckinghamshire, Member of Parliament, met 
with swords, and the latter was mortally wounded. 
In 1809, in England, Lord Castlereagh and George 
Canning (then Foreign Secretary) met with pistols 
on Putney Heath, and at the second shot Canning 
received a thigh wound, after which the seconds of 
the two statesmen put a stop to the combat. In 1841, 
in England, Captain Harvey G. Tuckett and James 
Thomas Cardigan met with pistols on Wimbledon 
Common, and the former was severely wounded at 
the second shot. 

On May i, 1760, at Manchester (England), while 
Major Glover, of the Lincolnshire militia, was pass- 
ing pompously along, a Mr. Jackson (an apothecary) 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 209 

dashed out of his store and tapped the militiaman 
playfully on his back. Subsequently the two met, 
and Glover touched the frolicsome compounder of 
nauseating preparations perceptibly with a switch; 
at which the apothecary flew into a rage, and chal- 
lenged the militiaman to meet him at once in mortal 
combat. The latter was greatly surprised, apolo- 
gized for what might have seemed insulting, and 
declared that what he had done was only meant as a 
joke. But the apothecary would listen to nothing 
short of a hostile meeting; so the two at last went 
into a neighboring coffee-house, and in a very few 
moments Jackson received satisfaction by being run 
through with Glover's sword ; and just before he 
died, the foolish apothecary declared that everything 
connected with his death was his own fault. 

In 1714, in England, Colonel Chudworth, of the 
British army, insulted William Aldworth, Member of 
Parliament, by calling him a Jacobite. The latter 
challenged Chudworth, and a meeting was arranged 
to take place at Marylebone Fields, at which Aid- 
worth was killed; weapons, swords. In August, 1790, 
M. de Cazales and M. Barnave, two French lawyers, 
fought with pistols near Paris, and the former was 
wounded in the leg. In 1790 Barnave fought a* duel 
with Viscount de Noailles with pistols, but neither 
received serious injuries. Oliver St. John, of the 
house of Bolingbroke, and Captain Best, of the 
Queen's Guards, fought with swords in 1589, in 
England, and Best was killed. In 1760, in England, 
James Stewart and the Duke of Bolton met at Mary- 
lebone Fields with swords. Bolton had wounded his 
antagonist, and while making a desperate pass fell 
and broke his leg, and was unable to rise. " Get up 



2IO THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

or beg for your life!" cried Stewart. " Never!" ex- 
claimed the Duke. And thus the combat ended. 

On June i, 1790, Mr. Macduff captain's clerk of 
the British sloop-of-war Racehorse, and midshipman 
Prince, of the same vessel, fought in England, and 
the latter was killed at the first fire. On the 3d of 
July of the same year Mr. John Alcock and Mr. Sewell 
met with pistols at Guilford (England), and fired at 
each other once without effect. They then fired a 
second time, when Sewell's pistol went off accident- 
ally, and the bullet went through his own foot, while 
the ball from his antagonist's weapon passed through 
the skirt of his coat. The seconds then arranged the 
matter with satisfaction to both parties. On the 6th 
day of the same month Lieutenants Cowper and Dyer, 
of the Fifty-Sixth Regiment of English Foot, met 
near Dublin, and the latter was severely wounded at 
the first shot. On the 2oth of the same month, same 
year, Mr. Stephens, a young gentleman of twenty 
years of age (and only surviving son of Philip 
Stephens, of the Admiralty), and Mr. Anderson, an 
attorney, met at Margate (England), and exchanged 
shots without effect. The seconds then interposed, 
but Stephens insisted on an apology from his adver- 
sary. Mr. Anderson replied that he could not apolo- 
gize for words he had never used. Whereupon 
Stephens demanded another shot, and received his 
antagonist's bullet in the head and fell dead. On 
August 3, 1772, near Paris, between Marquis de Fleur 
and Captain Cardineaux, in which the latter was 
killed and the former wounded in the arm ; weapons, 
pistols. On the i6th of May, 1767, at Marseilles 
(France), between Signor Romanza (a Corsican) and 
the Duke of Triffonier. The latter had made 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 211 

derogatory remarks about the British nation and its 
sovereign, to which Romanza responded by saying 
that the British nation was a nation of men, and that 
the King was the best monarch in Europe; for which 
declaration Triffonier challenged the Corsican, and 
received a mortal wound; weapons, pistols. On the 
3d of August, 1769, at Plymouth (England), two 
English officers (a captain and a lieutenant of ma- 
rines) went out with each other to dine, during which 
they got into an intoxicated condition, and afterward 
quarrelled and fougnt each other, the lieutenant 
being killed; weapons, swords. In August, 1769, in 
Dunmore Park, near Kilkenny (Ireland), a second 
duel took place between James Agar and Henry 
Flood (the former having been wounded in the arm 
in the first affair), in which Agar was shot through 
the heart. The second quarrel grew out of a con- 
troversy over the loss of a case of duelling pistols. 
Agar fired first, and then took up a second weapon, 
and cried out to Flood, who was about to discharge 
his pistol in the air: "Fire, you scoundrel, fire!" 
And Flood did fire, and Agar never knew what 
killed him. 

In August, 1779, Major Ackland and Lieutenant 
Lloyd, of the British army, fought near London, 
with pistols, and the former was killed. Lloyd had 
charged the American people with ingratitude and 
cowardice, and Ackland, in defending the Americans, 
gave Lloyd the lie, which resulted as aforesaid. On 
the nth of September, 1765, two gentlemen, who had 
long been intimate friends, quarrelled and fought 
with swords near Kensington (England), and both 
were severely wounded. One of the combatants, after 
arriving upon the field, drew from his pocket his will, 



212 - THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

in which he had bequeathed to his antagonist ^1000; 
and which he declared he would not take back. The 
duel was proceeded with, however. 

In Hyde Park, in 1748, Captains Innes and Clarke, 
officers in the British navy, fought with pistols, and 
the former was mortally wounded. The survivor was 
afterward tried and convicted of murder, but was 
pardoned by the King. The same year Mr. Ball, an 
attorney, fought the Earl of Kilkenny with pistols, in 
Ireland, and the latter was wounded twice. In 1825, 
Alphonse de Lamartine, the celebrated French poet, 
and Colonel Pepe, an officer in the Italian army, 
fought near Florence (Italy), and Lamartine was 
seriously wounded. In 1794 Colonel Roper and 
Lieutenant Purefoy, officers of the same regiment in 
the British army, met near London with pistols, and 
Roper was shot through the heart. In 1850, M. 
Valentine and M. Clary, members of the Chamber of 
Deputies, fought with swords near Brussels, and the 
former was dangerously wounded. 

On the 24th of November, 1849, M. Pierre Bona- 
parte fought M. Rovigo (whose face he had slapped 
publicly) with sabres, in the Bois de Boulogne, and 
was wounded. A day or two afterward he exchanged 
shots with Adrian de la Valette, a Parisian journalist, 
in the woods near Paris, without injury to either. In 
1851 M. Pierre Bonaparte and the Count Nienkerke 
met with swords in the Bois de Boulogne, and the 
latter was sevely wounded in the thigh. 

On the 24th of February, 1832, in Paris, Charles 
Leon, a natural son of Napoleon, dined with M. de 
Rosambert, and met, at dinner, Captain Hesse. 
During the evening play was introduced, and Leon 
lost eighteen thousand francs; after which, he quar- 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 21$ 

relied with Hesse, and the two arranged for a duel, 
which was fought in the woods upon the following 
morning, and Hesse was mortally wounded. On the 
i9th of March. 1830, Captain Smith, of the Thirty- 
second Foot, British army, and Standish Stamer 
O'Grady accompanied respectively by Captain 
Markham and Lieutenant Macnamara met with 
pistols near Dublin, and O'Grady was shot dead. 
Subsequently Captains Smith and Markham were 
arrested and tried for murder, and convicted of man- 
slaughter and sentenced to twelve months' imprison- 
ment in Kilmainham jail. Smith, after listening to 
the sentence, cried out, "My God! my God! I am 
disgraced forever!" and fell into Markham's arms. 

In 1835 Morgan O'Connell, Member of Parliament, 
and Lord Alvanley fought in Hyde Park with pistols, 
and fired at each other three times without effect. In 
1853 M. Charles Moncelet and M. Emile Angier met 
near Paris and settled their difficulty by firing at 
each other once without effect. In 1731 Lord Hervey 
and William Pulteney fought with swords near Bath, 
and the former was slightly wounded. In 1822 the 
Duke of Bedford and the Duke of Buckingham met 
in Hyde Park with pistols. The Duke of Bucking- 
ham fired without effect, and his antagonist dis- 
charged his pistol in the air. In 1849 M. Berard and 
M. Brives, members of the Chamber of Deputies, met 
near Paris with pistols, and satisfied honor after one 
shot from Brives; Berard's weapon missing fire. In 
1833, in England, Sir John Jeffcott and Captain Hen- 
nis fought with pistols, and the latter was mortally 
wounded. In 1835, after a quarrel in the Cortez, 
Sefior Mendizabal, Prime Minister of Spain, and 



214 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Sefior Isturitz, fought with pistols near Madrid, and 
exchanged shots without effect. 

On the 7th of December, 1883, Signers Levito and 
Nicotera met with sabres near the iron bridge which 
spans the Tiber, at Rome; and, after a desperate en- 
counter, the former was dangerously wounded in the 
heart. The seconds then endeavored to terminate 
the affair, when Levito suddenly rushed forward, 
snatched Nicotera's sabre away and slashed the un- 
armed man a deadly blow over his head and neck, 
from which he died in a short time afterward. The 
New York Times, in noticing this affair, said: 

The killing of Baron Nicotera, although it took place in 
a duel, was a murder, or rather a bloody butchery, for his 
antagonist killed him in a way which involved a total disre- 
gard of the "code," and which will probably result in the 
homicide's trial and condemnation by a criminal court. 
The death of Nicotera is an event of no little political im- 
portance. He led a small party in Parliament which was 
absolutely devoted to his interests, and his hold on his 
Calabrian constituents, being purely personal, could not be 
shaken, whatever political somersaults he might have made. 
Nominally a leader of the Left, he fought for his own ad- 
vantage, and his readiness either to ally himself with any 
party that would purchase his services or to attack any 
Ministry or measure, made him a factor in politics that no 
party or statesman could entirely ignore. There is no 
principle nor programme that loses by his death, but the 
complete extinction of the Nicotera group which it necessa- 
rily involves will simplify the problem of parliamentary 
government. Nicotera was a picturesque figure in the 
rapidly diminishing ranks of the Italian revolutionary pa- 
triots. He belonged to the era now happily closed of 
Italian conspirators. During the greater part of his turbu- 
lent life he was always conspiring or fighting against tyr- 
j and he began this course so young that by the time he 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 

was twenty he was an exile from Naples and had been 
wounded by a French bullet while fighting for the Roman 
Republic of '48. Twenty years more were passed by him in 
the underground work of the Italian secret societies, and at 
the end of that time he was captured and condemned, first 
to death and afterward to the galleys for life, for having 
made one of an armed band sent out by Mazzini to face 
almost certain death by landing in Southern Italy and at- 
tempting to incite an insurrection against the king. Liber- 
ated by the Sicilian revolt, Nicotera was sent by Bertani to 
head an expedition against Rome. The expedition was os- 
tensibly a Garibaldian movement, but was undertaken with- 
out the knowledge of Garibaldi, and was afterward de- 
nounced by him as a specimen of the folly of republican 
doctrinaires. It was broken up by the Sardinian Govern- 
ment, and Nicotera thereupon joined Garibaldi in South 
Italy. At Aspromonte he was with the simple-minded 
hero whom Rattazzi had lured into loyal rebellion ; for there 
is now no question that Garibaldi was made to believe 
that in engaging in the Aspromonte campaign he was really 
obeying the wishes of Victor Emmanuel. Such a man 
able, fearless, trained to conflict with authority was not 
the man to suddenly develop into a statesman. Nicotera 
was a* guerrilla in politics as he had been in war, and he 
never learned that there could be virtue in obedience to 
law. As Minister of the Interior his manipulation of elec- 
tions was more reckless and shameless than anything of the 
kind ever perpetrated by an imperialist Prefect in the early 
days of the last French Empire, and it stained his reputa- 
tion ineffaceably. Had he lived, he could have had no 
reasonable prospect of ever again entering an Italian Cab- 
inet. His political career after his withdrawal from office 
was that of a clever, unscrupulous trickster, and with the 
growth of true parliamentary government his influence as 
the leader of a group would have steadily diminished. 
There was one touch of chivalry in the veteran conspirator. 
The magic of the beautiful Italian queen made him, repub- 
lican as he was, thoroughly loyal to the throne ; and that 



2l6 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the queen could have exerted this influence over such a 
man without the loss of dignity or the slightest breath of 
suspicion is not the least of her claims to the respect and 
love of her people. The conspirators with whom Nicotera 
belonged, and of a certain class of whom he was a type, will 
soon have passed out of the political life of Italy. In their 
day they did good service, and those whose freedom was in 
large measure won by the bravery and sufferings of these 
men can well afford to pardon the offences that die with 
them. With all his faults Nicotera never hesitated to 
brave the gallows and to face the bullets of the enemies of 
Italian freedom. He was useless and out of place as a law- 
maker ; but before the Italian Parliament was born he had 
worthily filled a place among the soldiers of freedom. Italy 
will be less heroic when the men of Mazzinian conspiracies 
and red-shirt campaigns are gone; but the cause of good 
government loses nothing by the death of the bold, restless, 
and reckless Calabrian Baron. 

A special cablegram to the New York Herald from 
Paris, dated the loth of January, 1884, presented the 
following spirited description of the duel between 
two famous Parisians, as follows: 

The duel between M. Aurelien Scholl, the witty chroni- 
queur of the Evtnement, and Count Albert de Dion, a prom- 
inent ornament of the gayest coterie of Parisian society, 
took place at noon yesterday. To-day it exclusively absorbs 
the attention of Paris. The cause of the duel originated 
four years ago, and is too complicated to be unravelled in a 
telegraphic summary. Readers of the Herald will doubtless 
recall the scene at the famous restaurant Bignon in 1880, 
when the Count de Dion threw a bottle of champagne at 
M. Scholl's head and otherwise roughly handled him. The 
Count de Dion was for this assault locked up in jail for two 
months. When the Count de Dion came out M. Scholl's 
two seconds waited upon him. The Count de Dion was 
most eager to fight, but in Belgium, not in France, as the 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 

cumulative punishment for a duel on top of an assault and 
battery would be too serious a matter. M. Scholl, on the 
other hand, refused to go to Belgium. Hence the status 
quo was maintained until last week, when the Count de 
Dion fought a duel with M. de Bryas. This duel fanned 
into activity the latent fire of M. Scholl concerning the im- 
broglio with the Count de Dion, and on Tuesday M. Scholl 
published in the Evenement a sarcastic appreciation, of the 
Count de Dion, headed " A Surprise." The Count de Dion 
never reads the Evtnement, but the next day (yesterday) 
his friend M. Sohege showed him M. Scholl's provoking 
sarcasm. The Count de Dion did not allow the grass to 
grow under his feet, and ten minutes after reading the 
article he sent the General Prince de Bauffremont and 
Commandant Franchet d'Esperet as seconds to demand 
reparation of M. Scholl, who referred those gentlemen to 
his own seconds, MM. Robert Mitchell and Adolphe Taver- 
nier. The following is the narrative of the details of the 
duel as related to your correspondent by one of the four 
seconds who officiated on the occasion : The duel took 
place at noon near the grand stand of the race-course of 
Longchamps. We wanted it to take place in the pesage, 
but when we arrived with our principals the keepers said 
that the proprietors of the race-course would not allow any 
duelling to take place on their property. So we were 
obliged to go further. We halted finally in one of the 
retired and picturesque promenades of the Bois. M. Taver- 
nier tossed up a louis for the choice of position. Prince 
Bauffremont cried " Head !" and won. M. Tavern ier then 
tossed up again a louis for the choice of weapons. Prince 
Bauffremont cried " Head !" and again won. The Count 
de Dion then selected his position and chose his own 
weapons, a magnificent pair of swords with costly steel 
guards ornamented with his initials and the coronet of the 
count embossed in solid gold. M. Tavernier, to whom we 
delegated the direction of the combat, put the adversaries 
in position and engaged their swords. At the command, 
" Allez, Messieurs /" the two combatants took ground en 



218 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

rampant. Then M. Scholl attacked furiously with right 
points and thrusts. The Count de Dion all the while smiled 
most ironically and parried M. Scholl's attacks with highly 
finished but rather fantastic play, frequently tantalizing his 
adversary by raising his sword quite out of position of guard, 
for an instant completely exposing himself. M. Scholl 
made play at the chest, the Count de Dion at the stomach. 
At the expiration of four minutes M. Tavernier, believing 
that the Count de Dion was wounded in the wrist, stopped 
the combat, but it was merely the Count de Dion's shirt 
sleeve which had been torn. At the second engagement 
the adversaries ceased to rompre and the play was more 
earnest. M. Scholl continued to attack vigorously and 
nearly succeeded in wounding the Count de Dion, but the 
latter very adroitly sprang back, missing the point by a 
hair's breadth. The combat continued in the most spirited 
manner imaginable. M. Scholl kept advancing and making 
play at the Count de Dion's chest, followed by a well-exe- 
cuted degagement dans la tigne basse. The Count de Dion 
always responded by the riposte en seconde after each pas- 
sage. Finally, by a beautiful riposte du tac au tac the 
Count de Dion wounded M. Scholl in the side, his sword 
entering between the eighth and ninth ribs. The sword 
bending, broke at twenty centimetres from its point, the 
broken piece remaining in the wound. M. Scholl stepped 
back, saying " Je laisse." We seconds all approached, anx- 
ious to see if the wound was dangerous. M. Scholl smiled, 
and said, " I have had worse wounds than this," referring to 
a severe wound in the chest received from M. Paul de Cas- 
sagnac. "That's what comes of being so near-sighted," 
continued M. Scholl. Your correspondent here asked 
" What was the real feeling of the adversaries before and 
after the combat?" The second answered "They both 
did their best to kill each other." " Was there a reconcilia- 
tion ?" " No ; but before the combat we seconds insisted 
that our respective principals should formally agree that 
this duel would finally settle the quarrel." " Is M. Scholl's 
wound serious ?" " No ; he went at five o'clock to Tortoni's 






NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS, 2ig 

as usual, and then went to his editorial chair in the 
Evtnement" 

Rossi was playing Hamlet one night at Casala, 
when a party of young Italians of both sexes, who 
had dined too copiously, spoke so loud that the actor 
was obliged to stop. "I'll keep quiet until you do," 
said the tragedian, quietly folding his arms. The 
public applauded and demanded the expulsion of the 
disturbers, but after the performance Signor Rossi 
found a card left with the stage doorkeeper. The 
owner of it insisted upon satisfaction for the insult. 
Signor Rossi pulled a long face. He did not mind a 
duel, but he was expected next night at Milan and 
was bound to start at eight o'clock in the morning. 
He went straight to the residence of the challenger, 
whom he found engaged in trying his skill with a 
pair of pistols on an iron plate fixed against the wall. 
He explained the situation to him. " The rumor of 
a duel between us has already gone abroad; the gen- 
darmerie are sure to prevent us in the morning. I 
have a very spacious apartment at the hotel. Will 
you come and settle our quarrel there ? We are not 
likely to be disturbed, especially if we can manage to 
slip in unnoticed." So said, so done. They repaired 
to Signor Rossi's hotel; the conditions had been ar- 
ranged; and they were just about to begin when there 
was a knock at the door. It was the host, who, see- 
ing a light so late, feared that his visitor was ill, and 
would not accept his assurance to the contrary for an 
answer. " There is but one way out of the difficulty 
we must blow out the candles and take aim by the 
glow of our cigarettes we are going to light." The 
condition was accepted ; Signor Rossi hit his adver- 
sary in the shoulder, but the discharge awakened the 



220 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

whole house. The tragedian had got from the fry- 
ing-pan into the fire, for he was conducted to the 
juge de paix. In vain did he consult his watch ; the 
hands pointed to seven. To make matters worse, the 
magistrate received him with a crushing speech. 
"You deserve five years' imprisonment," he began. 
"But now that the man of the law has spoken," he 
continued, suddenly changing his tone, " the playgoer 
must add a last word. I was at the theatre last 
night ; you acted like a god and you did very well to 
chastise this good-for-nothing. I know that you are 
expected in Milan, and take this ring as a remem- 
brance of how I look upon your conduct." 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 221 



CHAPTER XII. 

EUROPEAN DUELS CONTINUED. 

A Fight to the Death The Fatal Duel between O'Connell and 
D'Esterre A Combat with Cavalry Sabres Harry Bellasses 
and Tom Porter An Old-Time Duel All about the Countess 
of Yarmouth Aston and Fitzgerald A Number of Fatal Duels 
Fighting Musicians A Fatal Encounter with Scissors Killed 
and Left in the Street Midshipmen Armstrong and Long 
General Pepe and Caraocosa Duels from Trivial Causes A 
Disrespectful Frenchman Neatly Dispatched The Desperate 
Encounter between Valois and Bezarier A Spectacular Combat 
and its Tragic Result Two Desperate Affairs Extraordinary 
and Fatal Duel Atrocities of the Field. 

DURING an animated discussion between Lieu- 
tenants Zigang and Suprin, of the One Hundred and 
Thirteenth (French) Infantry, concerning military 
matters, early in September, 1881, at Paris, the former 
gave his brother officer the lie, and was dealt a violent 
blow in the face in return. A duel was the conse- 
quence; and the parties met, with pistols, on the 
twelfth of the month, at Saules, between the rivers 
Sanitas and Loire. The combatants confronted each 
other at thirty paces, and at the signal both fired and 
both fell Zigang hit in the hip and his antagonist in 
the breast. They were then conveyed to the hospital, 
where Suprin died in a few days. 

When Henry III. was king of France there were 
among his courtiers two gentlemen who were noted 



222 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

as masters of the sword Caylus and D'Entraquet. 
During a night's dissipation, in which his majesty was 
a jolly participant, Caylus and D'Entraquet quarrelled 
over cards, and the latter accused the former of cheat- 
ing, and threw his glove in Caylus' face. Caylus 
sprang upon D'Entraquet like a tiger and seized him 
by the throat, but in an instant the two courtiers were 
separated by friends. "I'll have your life for this!" 
cried Caylus, in great rage. "Well said, sir to 
Fourelles, then, at once," responded D'Entraquet. 
Arrangements were quickly made for a meeting at 
Fourelles early upon the following day, with two sec- 
onds on each side. Morning came (writes a contributor 
to an English magazine), and no sooner had the seconds 
arranged all the preliminaries than the principals 
confronted each other and their shining blades glided 
into collision. For some moments neither gained any 
advantage. Then every movement was cautious, for 
each wished to learn the skill and power of his oppo- 
nent. Caylus was the first to break ground. He 
made a rapid parry, and lunged like lightning at his 
opponent. A thrust so quick and true that only by 
a desperate backward spring did the latter escape. 
Again the swords crossed, and steel played along 
steel till Caylus, seeing an opportunity, made a leap 
and thrust, and his sword was beaten down when 
only within an inch of his enemy's heart. It was 
clearly evident now that Caylus was by far the most 
expert swordsman of the two, and nothing but 
D'Entraquet's strength of wrist had saved him from 
receiving a deadly wound. That strength stood him 
in good stead, and he was determined to exert it to 
the utmost. D'Entraquet now pressed his antagonist 
heavily and closely, thrust following thrust in rapid 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 22$ 

succession. Soon the strength of Caylus began to 
fail him, and his defence grew weaker as D'Entraquet, 
seeming to gather strength, pressed him hotly. The 
seconds resolved to interpose. " Enough," they cried. 
" Honor is satisfied, what more would you have ?" 
D'Entraquet seemed inclined to listen to this sugges- 
tion; not so Caylus. He smiled, and waved the sec- 
onds back with a gesture of contempt. " Our quar- 
rel cannot be so easily appeased. Fall back ! we 
fight to the death!" he cried. "Be it so," said 
D'Entraquet; "your blood be on your own head, not 
mine." And bearing down the point of his antago- 
nist's sword with a straight thrust, delivered with all 
his strength, he drove the cold steel through the breast 
of his enemy with such force that the point came out 
at his back. That thrust was a fatal one. Caylus 
stood for one brief second, and then dropped dead. 

There are Irish writers who have stated that the 
Count d'Esterre was imported for the sole purpose of 
killing the famous Daniel O'Connell. Be this as it 
may, it was not long after d'Esterre became a member 
of the corporation of Dublin that the illustrious Irish- 
man referred to that body as " a beggarly corpora- 
tion." This was the Count's opportunity; and he 
quickly embraced it by sending O'Connell a challenge. 
This was duly accepted, although O'Connell declared 
that the meeting was party subterfuge to cut him off. 
The Count was known to be a dead shot, while no one 
would have wagered a shilling on O'Connell, who had 
never fought a duel, and who was at best an in- 
different marksman. After taking their stand, arid 
getting the signal, the parties fired so nearly together 
that it seemed like one report, and d'Esterre fell mor- 
tally wounded, while O'Connell escaped unhurt. This 



224 THE PI ELD OF HONOR. 

took place at Bishop's Court, in 1815. In 1829, while 
Sir Robert Peel was Secretary for Ireland, O'Connell 
called the distinguished statesman the " son of a cot- 
ton-jenny," which resulted in an agreement fora meet- 
ing, which was prevented by the proper authorities. 
Subsequently the parties made preparations to depart 
for France, but the " Irish Liberator" was arrested 
while on his way from Dublin and held on bail not to 
fight. 

In 1852, in Paris, M. Laury and M. Vieyra quar- 
relled in a billiard saloon, and agreed to settle their 
grievance at sunrise the following morning at a stated 
place in the woods near the city, the weapons to be: 
first, pistols, at twelve paces; and then, second (if 
neither was hit), to advance with cavalry sabres. 
After arriving upon the ground, it was arranged that 
the combatants should proceed at once with their 
sabres, as the reports of firearms might bring the 
authorities (who were on the track of the parties) 
quickly to the scene of action. The duel lasted twenty 
minutes, when Vieyra was severely wounded in the 
breast. 

A singular duel was that in London, in 1677, between 
Sir Henry Bellasses and Thomas Porter. Like Camel- 
ford and Best, Harry Bellasses and Tom Porter were 
genial fellows, and fond of the good things of the 
world. They met, with some other fellows, one even- 
ing, and dined at Jack Castle's, in Spring Garden. 
Slight intoxication soon followed, and Bellasses and 
Porter had words, during which the former gave the 
latter a light slap upon the face. At this, one of the 
company, who were all by this time nearly intoxicated, 
sprang up at once, crying: "Tom, I wouldn't stand a 
blow." "Nor will I!" cried Tom Porter, staggering 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 22$ 

to his feet. " Sir Harry, a word with you. Bellasses 
looked at him aghast. "What, Tom !" said he, " are 
you going to quarrel ?" "No. Quarrel!" he cried, 
" I am not going to quarrel. I have quarrelled 
follow me." "I will not fight you!" Sir Henry re- 
plied; and making for the door he rushed into the 
street. A coach was passing, into which he leaped, 
and, just as Tom Porter came rushing out urged on 
by the words of his friends, he cried: " Up the Strand, 
and then to Covent Garden." " Ha, ha !" cried Tom 
Porter, now maddened by drink and excitement. 
" Did you hear ? He is going round by Covent Gar- 
den. We can cut across and meet him." In the still 
small hours of the morning, just before the market 
became alive with people, Tom Porter met the coach, 
and, calling out, " Coward," and stopping it faced Sir 
Henry and challenged him to fight a duel. " You are 
mad, Tom !" he cried, drawing his sword as Porter 
flung his coat and vest to the ground; "but as you 
will it, be it so." The duel, founded on nothing, and 
urged on by foolish men, was not many minutes in 
duration, and presently Tom Porter's sword ran into 
the breast of his bosom friend, who fell, bathed in 
blood, to the ground. In an instant, when he beheld 
the form of his comrade fall death-struck to the earth, 
Porter saw his crime, and fell on his knees weeping at 
the side of his friend. " Forgive me I was mad, 
Harry," he cried, in broken accents. "Away, Tom; 
save yourself," cried Bellasses. "I forgive you. 
Fools have wrought this between us." And dragged 
away by his friends Tom Porter was placed in a 
coach, forced down to Dover and away to France. 

During the reign of Henry the Second, of France, 
Jthere was a famous duel between Baron des Guerres 



226 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

and Seigneur Fondelles, in which the former was de- 
feated and badly wounded. They fought with swords, 
and both received many desperate cuts. There were 
many thousands of people present, and during the 
progress of the combat a scaffold fell containing spec- 
tators, and a number of ladies were seriously injured. 

In 1750, two German noblemen, named Swiegel and 
Freychappel, who were visiting England, fell desper- 
ately in love with the beautiful Countess of Yarmouth 
(then a mistress of George II.), and, becoming greatly 
enraged with each other, in consequence, repaired to 
Hyde Park one morning with swords for the purpose 
of settling their differences in the premises of love. 
The combat lasted nearly an hour, during the prog- 
ress of which both were many times wounded. 
Freychappel, at last, while rushing furiously upon his 
antagonist, slipped and fell, and was instantly run 
through and killed. 

On the 29th of June, 1790, Captain Harvey Aston 
and Lieutenant Fitzgerald, of the Sixtieth Regiment 
of (English) Foot, who had quarrelled a long time 
before at Ranelagh, met in a field at Chalk-lodge farm, 
near Hampstead, at the break of day, with pistols; 
Aston being seconded by Lord Fitzroy, and Fitzgerald 
by Mr. Wood. They fought at ten paces; and Fitz- 
gerald, having the first fire, rested his pistol on his 
left arm, and took an aim which sent a bullet through 
his antagonist's neck. On receiving the wound, 
Aston called to his antagonist, without firing: " Are 
you satisfied?" The answer returned was: "lam 
satisfied." Mr. Aston was then assisted to his car- 
riage suffering greatly from his wound, which was a 
very severe one. On the 28th of June, 1796, Lord 
Valentia and Henry Gawler met in a field three miles 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 22 ? 

from Hamburgh, and Valentia was wounded in the 
breast at the first fire, while his lordship's bullet 
passed through the hat of his antagonist. On the 
loth of August, 1796, two Americans named William 
Carpenter and John Pride fought in Hyde Park, 
London, and the former was shot through the body 
and died the next day. The coroner's jury rendered 
a verdict of wilful murder, but Pride was acquitted 
upon trial. 

On January 12, 1818, near Chalk-farm, Mr. O'Cal- 
laghan and Lieutenant Bayley, of the Fifty-eighth 
British Foot; they fought with pistols, and Bayley 
was mortally wounded. O'Callaghan and the two 
seconds were charged with murder by a coroner's 
jury, and at their trial were convicted of man- 
slaughter. In the duel between Redmond Byrne and 
Thomas O'Connor, near Cork (Ireland), in July, 1820, 
a spectator at a distance of a quarter of a mile re- 
ceived one of the shots in the arm, while neither of 
the principals was hurt. On December 13, 1817, in 
Northwood Park, Isle of Wight, John Sutton and 
Major Lockyer; the former was killed at the first fire. 
The coroner's jury returned a verdict of wilful 
murder against Lockyer and the two seconds, all of 
whom fled the country. On July 19, 1813, near Park- 
hurst Barracks (England), Edward McGuire and 
Lieutenant Blundell; they fought with pistols, and 
Blundell was killed. McGuire and the seconds were 
convicted of murder and sentenced to death, but the 
sentence was commuted to imprisonment. In 1728, 
in England, Captain Peppard, of the British army, 
and Mr. Hayes, an attorney, met at Hyde Park, with 
swords, and Hayes was killed. In 1748, in Hyde 
Park, Messrs. Morgan and Hamilton, with swords; 



228 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the latter killed. On November 13, 1779, in England, 
Mr. Donovan and Captain Hanson; the latter killed. 
In Paris, in 1862, the Due de Grammont Caderousse 
and Mr. Dillon, a journalist; the latter killed. In 
1788, in England, Mr. McKeon and George Nugent 
Reynolds, in which the latter was killed and the 
former convicted of murder. In England, in 1802, 
Right Honorable George Ogle and Bernard Coyle; 
the latter slightly wounded at the eighth shot. In 
1861, in Berlin, General de Manteuffel and M. Twes- 
ten, with pistols, at eleven paces. At the first shot 
the General was grazed in the head, and at the 
second his antagonist was wounded in the wrist. 
These gentlemen held prominent positions under the 
King, who was highly indignant over their offence. 

In 1711, in England, Mr. Thornhill and Sir Chol- 
meley Dering; they fought with pistols, and the 
Baronet was killed at the first fire. In France, in 
1851, M. Chavoix and M. Dupont; they fought with 
swords, and the latter was slain. In 1752, in Eng- 
land, Lord Lempster and Captain Grey, of the 
British army, with swords; Lempster was run 
through the body and died while being taken to his 
carriage. In 1851, in England, Viscount Maiden and 
Captain Hawkins, with pistols; the officer fired and 
missed, and his lordship discharged his weapon in 
the air. In 1854, in France, M. Alphonse and M. 
Isidore, with swords; Isidore was severely wounded. 
In 1495, the Emperor Maximilian, of Germany, and 
Claude de Batre, with swords; the latter was de- 
feated. In 1789, at Wimbledon, the Duke of York 
(afterward George the Fourth) and Colonel Lenox 
(afterward the Duke of Richmond), with pistols. The 
latter fired first arid disarranged a lock of his noble 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 

antagonist's hair, and the Duke of York discharged 
his pistol in the air. Theophilus Swift, an Irish at- 
torney, upon learning of the meeting, although unac- 
quainted with Colonel Lenox, declared that the latter 
ought to be challenged and made to fight until some 
one killed him for having dared to fire upon a son of 
the King; and he issued a cartel of defiance accord- 
ingly. Lenox accepted the challenge, the parties 
met, and Swift was shot through the body at the first 
fire. In 1647, in Scotland, Donald McCallum and 
Colkitto Alister, with swords; McCallum was desper- 
ately wounded and died the following day. In 1714, 
in Ireland, Cornet Castine and Dudley Moore, with 
swords; Moore was killed. In 1764, in England, the 
Duke of Pecquigny and M. Virette, with swords; the 
former was badly wounded. In 1503, in Spain, the 
Chevalier Bayard and Alonzo de Sotomayor. Bayard 
issued the challenge, and the parties met with swords 
and daggers, and after a desperate struggle the 
Spaniard was killed. 

Ole Bull, one of the greatest violinists that ever 
lived, fought and killed a fellow musician in Paris in 
I ^37- Jullien, the eminent musical director, just be- 
fore sailing for America, in 1853, fought a duel near 
Paris, and was run through the body and taken off 
the field for dead. In 1851, at Versailles, Prince 
Charles Bonaparte and Count Rossi, with pistols; 
neither hit. In 1660, in England, Sir William Gray 
and the Earl of Southesk, with swords; the former 
killed. James Bruce, the distinguished traveller, 
fought a duel with a gentleman at Brussels, and 
wounded his adversary several times, in 1757; 
weapons, swords. The first Sir Colin Campbell was 
killed by the Lord of Lorn, in Scotland, in 1291. Sir 



230 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

James Johnston and Lord Maxwell, in Scotland, in 
1613; the former slain. In Ireland, in 1808, Mr. Al- 
cock and Mr. Colclough; they fought with pistols, 
and Colclough was shot dead at the first fire. 

On February 26, 1812, in Ireland, O. Joynt and P. 
McKim; they fought with pistols, and the latter was 
killed at the first fire. On January 3, 1806, near Not- 
tingham (England), Ensigns Brown and Butler, of 
the British army; Brown was shot through the heart 
and Butler fled the country. On May 5, 1807, at 
Combe Wood, near Wimbledom Common, James 
Paull and Sir Francis Burdette; they fought with 
pistols, and Burdette was severely wounded in the 
thigh at the second shot. On June 8, 1807, on the 
Strand, at Ferrybank, near Wexford (Ireland), 
Thomas McCoard and Standish Lowquay; the latter 
wounded in the groin at the second shot. In Sep- 
tember, 1820, two young gentlemen named Fenshaw 
and Hartinger fought with pistols on the Ascot-heath 
race-course (England), and at the third fire both fell 
dangerously wounded. On April 14, 1813, two French 
prisoners-of-war on board the English prisonship 
Sampson fought with scissors tied to ends of brush 
handles, and battled desperately for an hour, when 
one of them fell dead, while the survivor was cut 
in forty places. 

On the 2ist of September, 1806, in Hyde Park, 
Baron Hornpesch and Mr. Richardson; the latter was 
shot dead at the first fire. On the i2th of October, 
of the same year, Midshipman Armstrong, of the 
Prince of Wales, and Midshipman Long, of the Resist- 
ance, quarrelled at dinner, at Plymouth, and went out 
and fought with pistols, and Long was killed and left 
in the street, where he was found by the Port Ad- 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 

miral about ten o'clock. Armstrong was charged 
with murder by the coroner's jury, and sent to jail in 
chains. In 1823, in England, near Kew bridge, Gen- 
eral Pepe and General Carascosa; they fought with 
swords, and Carascosa was severely wounded in the 
right shoulder. In 1851, near Bologne, John Petit 
and George Roussell; they fired twice without effect, 
but at the third shot the former was killed. 

In 1743, in Italy, two Italian noblemen (the Mar- 
quis Bagnesi and Marquis Strozzi) fought with 
swords, and both were badly wounded. The duel 
grew out of a quarrel over a small gambling debt. 
A still more trivial cause for a duel was that of Mr. 
MacDonnell, who got enraged at Lieutenant McLeod, 
at a ball, in Scotland, in 1790, because the latter 
"gave him an impertinent look;" and for this 
MacDonnell struck the officer with a cane and drove 
him out of the room. McLeod at once challenged 
the offender, and the parties met, near Edinburgh, 
with pistols, the following morning. Before taking 
their places, MacDonnell said to McLeod: " Lieuten- 
ant, I am fully convinced that I was in the wrong 
last night, and I am willing to make a proper apol- 
ogy." McLeod turned to his second, who claimed 
that MacDonnell should also submit to the same pun- 
ishment that he had inflicted upon McLeod, which 
terms were not acceded to; after which they fired at 
each other, and the officer was killed. MacDonnell 
was at once arrested and tried on a charge of murder, 
but was acquitted. 

Wraxhall, in his " Memoirs," relates a very interest- 
ing account of a duel which took place in Germany, 
while the Earl of Stair commanded the British army 
in that country, in which Lord Mark Kerr (Stair's 



232 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

nephew) neatly disposed of an ungentlemanly 
Frenchman. The quarrel grew out of misconduct 
at a dinner on the part of a French officer, thus: 

A difference of opinion having arisen during the repast, 
on some point which was maintained by one of the French 
officers with great pertinacity, Lord Mark Kerr, in a very 
gentle tone of voice, ventured to set him right on the 
matter of fact. But the Frenchman, unconscious of his 
quality, and perhaps thinking that a frame so delicate did 
not enclose a high spirit, contradicted him in the most gross 
terms, such as are neither used nor submitted to among 
gentlemen. The circumstance took place so near to Lord 
Stair as unavoidably to attract his attention. No notice 
whatever was taken of it at the time, and after dinner the 
company adjourned to another tent, where coffee was served. 
Lord Mark coming in about a quarter of an hour later than 
the others, Lord Stair no sooner observed him, than, calling 
him aside: " Nephew," said he, " I think it impossible for 
you to pass by the affront that you have received from the 
French officer at my table. You must demand satisfaction, 
however much I regret the necessity of it." " O, my lord," 
answered Lord Mark, with his characteristic gentleness of 
manner, 'you need not be under any uneasiness on that 
subject. We have already fought. I ran him through the 
body. He died on the spot, and they are at this moment 
about to bury him. I knew too well what I owed myself, 
and I was too well convinced of your lordship's way of think- 
ing to lose a moment in calling the officer to account. 

One of the most memorable, as well as one of 
the most desperate, duels in the annals of France 
took place in Paris during the reign of Henry the 
Fourth between Lagarde Valois (a gambler, roue, 
and swash-buckler) and Constant Bezarier. The 
former had stabbed a lad named Chretien, whom 
he had attempted to rob, at a restaurant; and during 
the melee Bezarier, a friend of the young nobleman, 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 233 

precipitated himself into the room, just as Valois was 
making his exit. Despatching a domestic for a sur- 
geon, Bezarier took off Chretien's hat, with its rich 
ostrich plume, and attaching a slip of paper to it, 
with the words, " Thou thrice-accursed coward, Valois, 
meet me, Bezarier, and wear this hat, if thou darest," 
he sent it by his own servant to Valois' lodgings, and 
then looked carefully to his sword and dagger, and 
left for the " Three Brothers," the residence of his 
friend .Chretien. He had only proceeded, however, 
as far as the Church of the Sacred Heart when he 
saw approaching him Valois himself, with the identi- 
cal hat on his head. It was a lonely road, and there 
was ample room there for two desperate men bent on 
fighting a duel to the death. In an instant their 
swords were drawn, and they sternly saluted each 
other. The next and the blades crossed. For some 
minutes each man feinted and lunged in turn, and did 
his utmost to discover the strength of his adversary's 
resources. Then there was a quick pass or two, then 
an involuntary pause. " We meet sooner than I 
expected," said Valois, his face aglow with the 
delight of battle. " I knew the Sieur Bezarier would 
keep his promise to meet me, but I did not expect to 
see him again before sunset." " You are a liar and a 
cur," retorted Bezarier, sternly, " and may think 
yourself fortunate that I condescend to cross swords 
with you. Shake not your head in that way, man; 
I know you ! Him you did breakfast with, and ply 
with wine, and afterwards rob, he was my friend, and 
I am about to be his avenger. Therefore, make your 
peace with Heaven, for short is the shrift I shall allow 
you." "Fool!" retorted Valois, white with rage. 
" Who are you, that, on the repute of a few chance 



234 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

encounters with obscure men, would face the best 
swordsman in Paris ? I hurl your defiance back in 
your teeth. Have at you, now!" With that he 
raised his sword, and with a quick and nimble rush 
broke over Bezarier's guard, and wounded him in the 
forehead. " How like you that ?" he demanded. 
Bezarier made no answer, but quietly wiping the 
blood from his face, smiled disdainfully, and ad- 
vanced to the attack. Again the swords crossed. 
In mere skill and dexterity the combatants were 
pretty evenly balanced, but Valois was the most 
active and by far the stronger of the two. Twice 
had the point of his sword swept like lightning 
within an inch of Bezarier's heart, and only by the 
merest good fortune did the latter escape untouched. 
But his coolness and resolution, his patience and per- 
tinacity, never left him. Even these tokens of 
his adversary's superiority failed to provoke him to 
be indiscreet. He parried Valois' impetuous outsets 
with a calm courage that left nothing to be desired. 
For the third time they closed. Though Bezarier 
was bleeding freely from the wound he had received, 
he bated no jot of his vigilance eye, foot and hand 
were equally firm and true. Evidently it was his 
design to tire out Valois before he attempted any 
serious effort on his own account. Of this Valois 
soon became aware, and his curses were frequent and 
deep. Once more he made a savage rush, and though 
Bezarier parried it, the exertion seemed to tire him, 
and he hung longer on the other's blade than was 
altogether safe. Valois noticed it. Quick as 
thought he disengaged, and with a straight and 
deadly thrust run Bezarier through the body. The 
latter staggered, but stood his ground without fall- 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 235 

ing. " That is for the hat !" cried Valois, mockingly. 
And again he came on. Two quick feints, two 
nimble parries, and once more Valois pierced his 
enemy. '* For the feather, fair sir !" he said. No 
reply. Mute and grim, deadly pale, and bleeding 
profusely, Bezarier fought on. The tenacity of the 
man was wonderful. There were no signs of yielding 
about him, and it was evident that he would sur- 
render only with his life. Another minute, and 
Valois for the third time in succession broke down 
his opponent's guard, and, as his sword went through 
him, exclaimed exultingly: " And that is for the 
loop !" Then Bezarier drew himself together, and 
spitting out the blood from his mouth, drew his 
dagger, and leapt like a tiger at Valois' throat. Taken 
wholly by surprise at the unlooked-for display of 
phenomenal vigor, the latter lost his footing, and fell 
heavily to the ground. That fall doomed him to 
sure death. Bezarier planted his knee upon his 
chest, and held him down powerless. Then he 
stabbed Valois in throat and breast, and forehead, 
again and again fourteen gaping wounds in all. 
Then Bezarier rose, and spurning the body of his 
dead enemy with his foot, walked quietly back to the 
inn. And, it may be stated, in conclusion, that, 
although Bezarier was run through the body three 
times, he lived for nearly forty years afterward. 

On the third of May, 1808, took place the spec- 
tacular duel between M. de Grandpre and M. de 
Pigne, in balloons, above Paris. An immense crowd 
of people had assembled in a field near the Tuileries. 
Each principal was accompanied by one second ; the 
weapons were blunderbusses, and the terms were to 
fight at will. The ascent took place before noon; 



236 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

and when at a height of about nine hundred feet, 
and within less than eighty yards of each other, De 
Pigne opened fire, the masses below sent up a great 
shout. But De Pigne missed, while De Grandpre 
blazed away. Another shout; and then all was still; 
for De Pigne's balloon had collapsed, the basket had 
turned over and let its occupants out, and they came 
down through the air heads foremost, and were dashed 
to pieces upon the same housetop. 

Another strange duel was this : Captain Raoul de 
Vere and' Colonel Barbier-Dufai, of Paris, during a 
quarrel, agreed to settle the matter by getting into 
a coach with daggers in their right hands, and with 
their left arms tied, and fighting while the carriage 
was being driven twice around the Place du Car- 
rousel by their seconds. Raoul was killed and 
Barbier-Dufai was mortally wounded. 

In England, in 1608, Edward Morgan killed John 
Egerton, although the latter had in a former duel 
spared Morgan's life. In 1580, in France, the Vis- 
count Turenne was challenged by two brothers, 
named Duras and Rosan, whom he fought. The 
latter, however, took many advantages unfairly, and 
the Viscount was wounded in twenty-two places, but 
lived. During the early part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury two English physicians named Bennett and 
Williams fought in Hyde Park with swords and pis- 
tols. They first exchanged shots, in which both were 
hit, and then fell to with their swords. Bennett, at 
last, fell, mortally wounded, but cried out : " Merci- 
ful God Almighty ! give me a little more strength !" 
at the same time giving his antagonist a cut that 
brought him down also; in this condition they fought 
for nearly fifteen minutes, then both expired. 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 

Of all the duels which have been fought in defer- 
ence to the modern principle of honor, none that we 
have ever read of is more affecting or more sangui- 
nary and deadly than that between his Grace the 
Duke of B. and Lord B.; a manuscript description of 
which was found in the library of Mr. Goodwin, 
author of the life of Henry VIII. during whose reign 
the affair is supposed to have happened. The cause 
of the duel was an affront given the former by the 
latter at a ball, out of which an agreement was made 
to fight in Hyde Park at half-past five in the morning 
of the second day following. The description of the 
affair is as follows: 

His Grace stripped off his coat, which was scarlet, 
trimmed with broad ^pld lace, when my Lord B.'s second 
stepped in to unbutton his waistcoat , on which, with some 
indignation, his Grace replied : " Do you take me to be a 
person of so little honor as to defend myself by such base 
means as hiding a shield under my doublet ?" Lieutenant 
De Lee desired his excuse, adding, he was bound in honor 
to see justice done to the cause he had espoused. The 
same ceremony passed upon his Lordship, who had already 
pulled off his coat, which was crimson, with broad silver 
lace; and both the combatants being ready, my Lord B. 
added : " Now, if it please your Grace, come on ;" when they 
instantly both stepped into the circle. His Grace fired and 
missed ; but my Lord B. perhaps from more experience, 
knew that battles were seldom won by hasty measures, de- 
liberately levelled his, and wounded his antagonist near the 
throat. They both discharged again, when his Lordship 
received a slight wound in his turn. On which, they 
instantly drew their swords, and impetuously charged each 
other; rather each of them meditating the death of his 
adversary than his own safety. In the first or second 
thrust Lord B. entangled the toe of his pump in a tuft of 
grass, and, in evading a push from his antagonist, fell on his 



238 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

right side, but supporting himself on his sword hand, by 
inconceivable dexterity, sprung backwards and evaded the 
push, apparently aimed at his heart. A little pause inter- 
vening here, his Grace's second proposed to his Lordship a 
reconciliation; but the ardent thirst after each other's blood 
so overpowered the strongest arguments of reason, that they 
insisted to execute each other's will, whatever might be the 
consequences. Nay, the anger of his Grace was raised to 
such a pitch of revenge, that he, in that critical moment, 
swore if, for the future, either of the seconds inter- 
posed, he would make his way through his body. Thus, 
after finding all remonstrances of saving them without 
effect, they retired to their limited distance, and perhaps 
one of the most extraordinary duels ensued that the records 
of history can produce, fairly disputed, hand to hand. The 
parrying after this interval brought on a close lock, which, 
Monsieur des Barreaux says, nothing but the key of the 
body can open. In this position they stood for, I dare say, 
a minute, striving to disengage each other by successive 
wrenches, in one of which his Grace's sword-point got en- 
tangled in the guard of his Lordship's, which, in fact, his 
Lordship overlooked, so that this disadvantage was recov- 
ered by his Grace before the consequence which it might 
have brought on was executed. At last, in a very strong 
wrench on both sides, their swords sprung from their hands; 
I dare say his Lordship's flew six or seven yards upright. 
This accident, however, did not retard the affair a moment, 
but both seizing their thistles at the same time, the duel 
was renewed with as much malevolence as ever. By this 
time his Lordship had received a thrust through the inner 
part of his sword arm, passing right forward to the exterior 
part of the elbow ; his, at the same time, passing a little 
over that of his antagonist; but alertly drawing back, I 
think, partly before his Grace had recovered his push, run 
him through the body a little above the right pass. His 
Lordship's sword being thus engaged, nothing was left for 
his defence but a naked left arm ; and his Grace being in 
this dangerous situation, yet had fair play at almost any part 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 239 

of his Lordship's body, who bravely put by several thrusts 
exactly levelled at his throat, till, at last, having two fingers 
cut off in defending the pushes, and the rest mangled to a 
terrible degree, his Grace lodged his sword one rib below his 
heart, and in this effecting condition they both stood, with- 
out either being able to make another push, and each of 
them by this time was in a manner covered with blood and 
gore, when both the seconds stepped in, and begged they 
would consider their situation, and the good of their 
future state ; yet neither world consent to part, till, by the 
greater loss of blood which his Lordship sustained, he fell 
down senseless, but in such a position that he drew his 
sword out of his Grace's body ; but recovering himself a 
little before he was quite down, faltered forward, and falling 
with his thigh across his sword, snapped it in the middle. 
His Grace, observing that he was no longer capable of 
defence, or sensible of danger, immediately broke his own, 
and fell on his body, with the deepest signs of concern, and 
both expired before any assistance could be got, though Dr. 
Fountaine had orders not to be out of the way that morn- 
ing. Thus fell these two gallant men, whose personal 
bravery history can scarcely equal, and whose honor 
nothing but such a cause could stain. 

In 1852, near Windsor (England), M. Barthelmy 
and M. Courtney, two notorious French duellists, 
met with pistols, at forty paces to advance ten paces 
before firing, and then fire twice, and conclude with 
swords. Courtney fired first and missed (for the first 
time in nearly a score of duels), when Barthelmy pro- 
posed to surrender his right to fire if Courtney would 
agree to proceed with swords. Courtney declined, 
however, and Barthelmy presented his weapon, 
which snapped. He then recapped, and presented 
again; and again the pistol snapped. It was then 
agreed that Barthelmy should use Courtney's pistol, 
which he did with fatal effect. Upon the return of 



240 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the weapons to the shop where they were hired, it 
was found that the " charge" in the " loaded " one 
consisted of a linen rag, which too plainly and too 
atrociously explained why Barthelmy's pistol twice 
snapped. 

On the 7th of June, 1769, M. Chelais, a Member of 
Parliament in France, was challenged by Captain 
Beguin, an ex-army officer, who covered himself with 
an armor which broke the sword of his antagonist, 
whom he stabbed to death, and was afterward ar- 
rested, tried, and convicted, and sentenced to be 
broken upon the wheel. 

During the reign of Henry II., Chateauneuf, a 
young Parisian duellist of nineteen, challenged his 
guardian, M. Lachesnaye, an old man of eighty, and 
literally hacked the octogenarian to pieces; while 
protecting his own person, it was afterward dis- 
covered, with a neatly-fitting cuirass. At or about 
the same time a youth named St. Andre and an old 
gentleman called Matas fought with swords near 
Paris, and the former was disarmed but given his 
life by his humane antagonist; who, while turning 
toward his horse, was stabbed to death by the infuri- 
ated youth. During the reign of Louis XIII. two 
men of Marseilles agreed to fight each other in a tub 
with daggers, and both were stabbed to death. 
Charles Armstrong, of England, after killing his 
antagonist, was assassinated by the second of the 
latter. William Harrington, a younger brother of 
Sir Jonah Harrington, during his duel with Lieu- 
tenant McKenzie, in 1777, was shot dead by 
Captain Gillespie, McKenzie's second. M. Aubarrye, 
in one of his duels, after being disarmed, stabbed 
his antagonist with a dagger. Armand Carrel, 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 241 

after having made a written apology to Emile de 
Girardin, was slain by the latter in the woods near 
Paris in 1836. The Prince of Clarence and his two 
seconds were assassinated by the Duke of Biron 
and his seconds near Paris, in the sixteenth cen- 
tury. The killing of M. Dulong by Marshal 
Bugueaud, near Paris, in 1834, was clearly a case of 
murder. John Felton (a notorious villain), when he 
challenged the Duke of Buckingham, cut off one of 
his fingers and sent it with his challenge. It was 
proven that Major Oneby, who fought William 
Gower, in Hyde Park, in 1725, committed murder; 
he was sentenced to be hung, but cheated the 
executioner by taking his own life. 



242 THE FIELD OF HOHOR. 



CHAPTER XIII. 
EUROPEAN DUELS CONCLUDED. 

Old-Time Encounters between Highland Cavaliers The Unfor- 
tunate Duel between Lieutenants Riddell and Cunningham 
Many Meetings in Europe; also of Europeans in India, Canada, 
Mexico, the Barbadoes, and at the Cape of Good Hope Lord 
Lauderdale and Benedict Arnold A Number of Judicial Duels 
On Account of a Gambling Debt Challenged for Disrespect- 
ful Utterances of the Queen Lord Maiden and the Duke of 
Norfolk On the Beach at Sandymount Sir Philip Francis 
and Warren Hastings Fatal Duels in many Lands The Duke 
of Martina and Count of Conversano An Affair of Honor be- 
tween Gentlemen seated in Chairs A Number of Desperate 
Combats Some Furious Encounters A Duel on Account of a 
Dispute at College Fifteen Years Before Miscellaneous En- 
gagements down to March, 1884. 

IN 1653, on the arrival of General Middleton, to 
take chief command of the forces which had been 
raised in the Highlands of Scotland for the king's 
service, the Earl of Glencairn, who had previously 
been their general, invited Middleton, with all his 
suite, to dine with him. Glencairn's quarters was at 
the Laird of Kettle's house, four miles south from 
Dornoch. The following account of a remarkable 
quarrel which occurred after dinner is from a manu- 
script, written by John Graham, of Deuchrie, who 
was eye- and ear-witness to all that passed, from first 
to last: 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS, 243 

The grace said and the cloth withdrawn, his lordship 
called for a glass of wine, and then addressed the general in 
these words: "My lord general, you see what a gallant 
army these worthy gentlemen here present, whom I have 
gathered together, at a time when it could hardly be ex- 
pected that any number durst meet together ; these men 
have come out to serve his majesty, at the hazard of their 
lives, and of all that is dear to them ; I hope, therefore, you 
will give them all the encouragement to do their duty that 
lies in your power." On this, up started Sir George Monro 
from his seat, and said to Lord Glencairn, " My lord, the 
men you speak of are nothing but a number of thieves and 
robbers, and ere long I will bring another sort of men to the 
field." On which Glengarie started up, thinking himself 
most concerned ; but Lord Glencairn desired him to forbear, 
saying, " Glengarie, I am more concerned in this affront than 
you are ;" then addressing himself to Munro, said, " You, 
sir, are a base liar ; for they are neither thieves nor robbers, 
but gallant gentlemen, and good soldiers." General Middle- 
ton desired them both to keep the king's peace, saying, " My 
lord, and you, Sir George, this is not the way to do the 
king service ; you must not fall out among yourselves ; 
therefore, I will have you both to be friends ;" and immedi- 
ately calling for a glass of wine, said, " My Lord Glencairn, I 
think you did the greatest wrong in giving Sir George the 
lie ; you shall drink to him, and he will pledge you." The 
noble and good Lord Glencairn accordingly took the glass, 
as ordered by the general, and drank to Sir George, who, in 
his old surly humor, muttered some words which were not 
heard, but did not pledge his lordship. The general gave 
orders to sound to horse ; and Lord Glencairn went out in 
order to accompany him to the headquarters ; but the gen- 
eral would not allow him to go above a mile of the way. His 
lordship then returned back, having none in his company 
but Colonel Blackader, and John Graham, of Deuchrie. 
When arrived, he became exceeding merry, causing the 
laird's daughter to play on the virginals, and all the servants 
about the house to dance. Supper being now ready, and on 



244 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the table, as my lord was going to sit down one of the ser- 
vants told him that Alexander Monro, Sir George's brother, 
was at the door. My lord immediately commanded to let 
him in, and met him at the hall door, where he saluted him, 
and made him very welcome, saying, "You see, sir, the meat 
is on the table, and will spoil if we sit not down to it." He 
placed Monro at the head of the table, next the laird's 
daughter. All present were very merry. My lord told 
Monro he would give him a spring if he would dance ; which 
accordingly he did with the rest, the laird's daughter play- 
ing. While the rest were merry, his lordship and Monro 
slipped aside ; they did not speak a dozen words together, as 
all thought, and after drinking a little longer, Monro de- 
parted. My lord then called for a candle, and went to bed. 
There were two beds in his room, in one of which he lay, 
and in the other lay Blackader and Deuchrie. The whole 
family in a little time went to bed. None knew of his lord- 
ship's design but one John White, who was his trumpeter 
and valet-de-chambre. The night being very short, and my 
lord being to meet Monro half-way between his quarters and 
Dornoch, their meeting was to be as soon as they could per- 
ceive daylight : so that his lordship got not two hours' rest 
before he rose ; and, notwithstanding the two aforesaid gen- 
tlemen lay in the room with him, he went out and returned 
from the encounter without the knowledge of any one in the 
house except John White, his servant, who accompanied 
him. Monro came, accompanied by his brother. They were 
both well mounted : each of the parties was to use one pis- 
tol ; after the discharging of which they were to decide the 
quarrel with broadswords. Their pistols were fired without 
doing any execution, and they made up to each other with 
their broadswords drawn. After a few passes his lordship 
had the good fortune to give Sir George a sore stroke on 
the bridle hand ; whereupon Sir George cried out to his 
lordship that he was not able to command his horse, and he 
hoped he would allow him to fight on foot. My lord re- 
plied, " You base carle ! I will show you that I will match 
you either on foot or on horseback." They then both quitted 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 24$ 

their horses and furiously attacked each other on foot. At 
the very first bout, the noble earl gave him so sore a stroke 
on the brows, about an inch above his eyes, that he could 
not see for the blood that issued from the wound. His lord- 
ship was just going to thrust him through the body ; but his 
man, John White, forced up his sword, saying, " You have 
enough of him, my lord, you have got the better of him." 
His lordship was very angry with John, and in a great pas- 
sion gave him a blow over the shoulder. He then took 
horse and came back to his quarters. Monro went straight 
away to the headquarters, and his brother had much ado to 
get him conveyed there, by reason of the bleeding both of 
his hand and head. The general being acquainted with this 
meeting, immediately sent Captain Ochtrie Campbell, with a 
guard, to secure the Earl of Glencairn in his quarters, which 
accordingly was done before six in the morning. The gen- 
eral had ordered Captain Campbell to take his lordship's 
sword from him, and to commit him to arrest in his 
chamber, taking his parole. This affair happened on Sunday 
morning. In the week ensuing there fell out an accident 
which made the breach still wider betwixt his lordship and 
Monro. One Captain Livingston, who came over with 
Monro, and a gentleman called James Lindsay, who came 
over with Lord Napier, had some hot words together. Liv- 
ingston alleged Monro was in the right, and Lindsay in- 
sisted in the contrary. They challenged each other, and 
went out early in the morning to the links of Dornoch, 
where, at the very first bout, Lindsay thrust his sword 
through Livingston's heart, so that in a short time he ex- 
pired. Lindsay was afterward shot to death, notwithstand- 
ing Lord Glencairn and many other officers did all they 
could to secure the setting aside of the sentence. 

In 1783, in England, Lieutenant Riddell, of the 
Horse Grenadiers, and Lieutenant Cunningham, of 
the Scots Grays, quarrelled at play, and Riddell chal- 
lenged Cunningham, who declined to meet him; but 
many of the officers often recurring to the circum- 



246 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

stance, Mr. Cunningham found it necessary, for the 
full restoration of his honor, to call Mr. Riddell out. 
This appeal Mr. Riddell considered as out of season, 
and declined yielding to it until he had consulted his 
brother officers, who agreed that there was no obliga- 
tion on him to answer Mr. Cunningham. On learning 
this determination, Mr. Cunningham, with the view 
of forcing Mr. Riddell to fight, publicly insulted him. 
The latter observed that as this was a fresh affront it 
should not pass unnoticed. He then returned home, 
and proceeded to make some necessary arrangements, 
when he received a note from Mr. Cunningham, re- 
minding him of the affront which he had passed 
upon him, and declaring his readiness to give him 
satisfaction. This note coming, while the wafer was 
yet wet, to the hands of Sir James Riddell, who was 
under some apprehension of his son's situation, 
opened it, and having read it, closed it, without tak- 
ing any other notice of its contents than providing 
the assistance of the most eminent surgeons. The 
parties met, and eight paces were measured, at which 
distance they took their ground. They tossed up for 
the first fire, which Mr. Riddell won. He fired, and 
shot Mr. Cunningham under the right breast; he 
reeled back, but did not fall. Mr. Riddell still kept 
his ground. Mr. Cunningham, after a pause of a few 
minutes, declared he would not be taken off the field 
till he had fired at his adversary. He then presented 
his pistol, and Mr. Riddell was mortally wounded. 
He died in the course of the evening, a victim, not to 
the passion, but to the custom of duelling. 

On the i8th of July, 1791, at Paris, political ani- 
mosities sent the Duke de Castries and Monsieur 
Lameth into the field, and the latter was danger- 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 247 



ously wounded. On the iQth of July, same year, 
Messrs. Graham and Julius, attorneys, dined to- 
gether and quarrelled during a discussion about re- 
ligion, and settled their differences the next morning 
upon Blackheath (England) with pistols; Graham 
(who was an eminent special pleader) being mortally 
wounded at the first fire. Julius was the challenged 
party, his second being Mr. Maxwell; while Mr. Ellis 
acted as second for Mr. Graham. On the ist of 
March, 1792, Messrs. Aikin and Kemble, of Drury 
Lane Theatre, fought near London, the former firing 
without effect and the latter declining to discharge 
his weapon. They had no seconds, but Mr. Bannis- 
ter, a mutual friend, accompanied them, and effected 
a reconciliation after the first fire. 

On the 2d of July, 1792, a hostile meeting took 
place between Lord Lauderdale and General Bene- 
dict Arnold (the latter the notorious American 
traitor), near Kilburn Wells (England). Arnold 
fired without effect, and Lauderdale withheld his fire. 
He said: "I did not come here to fire at the General, 
nor can I retract any of the offensive expressions. If 
General Arnold is not satisfied he may fire until 
he is;" after which, Messrs. Fox and Hawke, the 
seconds, succeeded in terminating the affair. A day 
or two before a similar meeting had taken place be- 
tween the Earl and the Duke of Richmond. On the 
8th of November, 1792, M. Charles Lameth, who had 
been dangerously wounded in a duel about sixteen 
months before, by the Duke de Castries, met M. de 
Chauvigny upon the grounds near the residence of 
M. Lameth, near Paris, and was again wounded. 
The weapons used were swords, and the seconds 
were the Duke de Pierine and Count de Chabane for 



248 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Chauvigny, and Mr. Maselet and the Duke d'Aiguil- 
lon for Monsieur Lameth. In 1827, at Dublin, be- 
tween Mr. Brie and Mr. Hayes, in which the former 
was killed; weapons, pistols. 

In 878 a judicial duel was fought in France be- 
tween Ingelgerius and Gontran, with swords, and the 
latter was killed. The victor was only sixteen years 
old. After killing Gontran, Ingelgerius cut off his 
head and presented it to Louis the Second. Another 
memorable French judicial duel was that between 
Troussel and Du Gueschin, in which the latter was 
victorious. During the reign of Charles the Sixth a 
judicial duel was fought between Sieur Carrouges 
and Sieur Leguis, in which the latter was defeated 
and then hanged. In 1509, in Paris, between L'Isle 
Marivant and Marolles the former killed. During 
the reign of Louis the Thirteenth, between the Mar- 
quis de Themines and the Marquis de Richelieu (a 
brother of the great Cardinal), in which de Richelieu 
was killed. Also between Marquis de Valencay and 
Marquis de Cavois the latter killed. 

On the 3oth of October, 1824, at Bull Inn, Edin- 
burgh, Captain Gourlay and Mr. Westall quarrelled 
over a gambling debt of seventy guineas, when the 
latter called the officer a liar and Gourlay struck the 
offender with a poker; after which they repaired to a 
field near town and fought with pistols, Gourlay be- 
ing shot dead at the first fire. On the 2ist of Febru- 
ary, 1827, in Paris, two medical students named Gou- 
lard and Caire quarrelled over a game of billiards, 
and went to the Bois de Boulogne and fought with 
pistols, and the former was killed. Caire was ar- 
rested upon the following day, tried and convicted of 
murder, and branded and sentenced to hard labor for 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 249 

life. On the 8th of June, 1830, in England, Richard 
William Lambrecht and Oliver Clayton fought with 
pistols, and the latter was killed. At Boulogne, 
April i, 1829, Captain Helsham and Lieutenant 
Crowther of the British army met with pistols at ten 
paces, and the latter was killed. 

On the i5th of July, 1842, between Hon. Craven 
Berkeley, M.P., and Captain Boldero, M.P., near 
Osterly Park, with pistols. The latter was charged 
with utterances disrespectful of the Queen by Berke- 
ley. The two gentlemen were attended by Hons. W. 
Ridley Colbourne and W. F. Mackenzie, Members of 
Parliament, who terminated the meeting after a 
harmless exchange of shots. On the iyth of Decem- 
ber, 1842, between J. P. Stanfield and Sir R. Carding- 
ton, near London, with pistols, at twelve paces. The 
latter was wounded in the arm, while his own bullet 
passed through the collar of Stanfield's coat. On the 
loth of December, 1839, between Lord George Loftus 
and Lord Harley, at Boulogne; the parties ex- 
changed one shot, without injury to either. On the 
i3th of June, 1839, between Lord Londonderry and 
H. Grattan, on Wimbledom Common; Grattan fired 
and missed, and his lordship discharged his pistol in 
the air. In 1809, near London, between Captain 
Cadogan and Lord Paget, who fired once at each 
other without either sustaining injury. 

On the 3oth of April, 1796, in England, the Duke 
of Norfolk and Lord Maiden met in a field beyond 
Paddington and fired once without effect, when a 
reconciliation was effected by their seconds Cap- 
tains Taylor and Wombwell. On June 19, 1794, Mr. 
Rowlls, a brewer, was killed by Richard England in 
a duel at Cranford Bridge. The affair grew out of a 



250 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

disturbance between the two gentlemen at Ascot 
races a few days before. On the ipth of July, 1796, 
England was found guilty of manslaughter, and was 
sentenced to pay a fine of one shilling and to be im- 
prisoned in Newgate for twelve months. In Paris, in 
1819, between Theophilus Walsh and Edward Pellew, 
(officers of the British army), with pistols; Pellew 
killed. In 1819, in Ireland, between Charles Phillips 
and Mr. Henriquez; two shots and neither hurt. In 
1685, in England, Robert Radcliffe was killed. In 
1829, in England, Captain Plowden. In the province 
of New Brunswick, in 1821, George F. Street and 
George L. Wetmore; they fought with pistols, at fif- 
teen paces, and Wetmore was mortally wounded at 
the second shot, the first shot from his antagonist's 
pistol taking effect in Wetmore's arm. The survivor 
and his second (Lieutenant R. Davis, of the Seventy- 
fourth British Foot) were tried for murder and ac- 
quitted. 

On February 12, 1814, on the beach at Sandy- 
mount, near Dublin, Counsellors Hatchell and Mor- 
ley. The latter fired first and missed, and was then 
shot dead by his adversary. In May, 1812, two 
French officers on parole in Reading (England), be- 
ing unable to get a case of pistols, agreed to fight 
with a single fowling-piece, first one to take a shot 
and then the other, at fifty paces. The first shot, 
however, took effect. On October 7, 1812, Lieuten- 
ants Bagnall and Stuart, of the Royal Marines, 
fought with pistols, near Portsmouth, and Bagnall 
fell mortally wounded at the second fire. On 
September 6, 1810, on Wimbledom Common, George 
Payne and Mr. Clark; they fought with pistols, and 
Payne was mortally wounded at the first fire. On 



NO TED E UROPEAtf D UELS. 2 5 1 

March 4, 1811, at Barbadoes, Captain Boardman, of 
the Sixtieth Foot, and Ensign De Betten, of the 
Royal West Indies Rangers; at the first fire Board- 
man received his antagonist's bullet in the heart and 
fell dead. In January, 1812, two men fought at Bor- 
deaux, and one of them fell dead at the first fire. It 
was discovered, however, upon examination of the 
victim, that he had died from either excitement or 
fright, as he had not been touched by his adversary's 
bullet. 

In 1783, in India, Sir Philip Francis and Warren 
Hastings, with pistols; the former was dangerously 
wounded, but recovered. In India, in 1775, General 
Clavering and Mr. Barnwell; they fought with 
pistols, and fired once without effect. In 1819, in 
Canada, Mr. Caldwell and Mr. O'Sullivan fought 
with pistols, and both were badly wounded at the 
first fire. In 1720, at or near Hanover, Vice-Admiral 
Tordenskiold, of Denmark, and Colonel Stahl, of 
Sweden. The latter had swindled a young officer 
out of a large sum of money at cards, at which the 
Admiral gave Stahl a piece of his mind; who, in 
return, called Tordenskiold a rascally sailor. The 
latter then drove the Colonel out into the street with 
a cane, and afterward snatched from the officer the 
sword he had drawn and broke it over his head. 
Stahl then challenged the Admiral, who accepted, 
and was run through the body and killed. 

On the pth of May, 1802, Generals Regnier and 
Destaing fought in the Bois de Boulogne with pis- 
tols, and the latter was killed at the first fire. Des- 
taing had been made a general of division for gallant 
behavior at the Battle of the Pyramids; and at the 
Battle of Aboukir he repulsed the first line of the 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Turks and drove the latter into the sea. He was the 
challenging party, but the French Government pen- 
sioned his widow. At Rathgar, near Dublin, on the 
8th of June, 1802, Sir Richard Musgrave was shot in 
the thigh by William Todd Jones, the latter having 
been the challenged party. At the Cape of Good 
Hope, on the i4th of March, 1802, Lieutenant Rae 
and Purser Bremen, of his Majesty's ship Hindostan, 
fought with pistols in the East India Company's gar- 
dens, and Bremen was killed at the third fire. Saw- 
yer, a captain's clerk of the British war-vessel, 
Inflexible, fought with a marine near Deal (Ireland), 
on the pth of October, 1804, and was killed at the 
first shot. On the 4th of January, 1806, near Liver- 
pool, Colonel Brookes and Major Bolton; the latter 
killed at the first fire. On the 22d of March, 1860, 
on Galleywood Common, near Chelmsford (England) 
Lieutenant Turrens and Surgeon Fisher, both of the 
Sixth Regiment Foot, with pistols ; the former mor- 
tally wounded at the first fire. The coroner's jury 
returned a verdict of wilful murder against Fisher, 
and he absconded. 

In 1784, in England, Count Alfieri and Lord Lig- 
onier, in which the latter was wounded ; weapons, 
swords. In 1664, in Naples, the Duke of Martina 
and the Count of Conversano, with swords. Pre- 
vious to the duel the Duke executed a will and made 
religious preparations for his death, while the Count 
ordered a magnificent dinner to which he invited a 
large number of his friends. The Count, however, 
was killed. In 1809, in England, Viscount Falkland 
and A. Powell, with swords; the former was mortally 
wounded. In 1770, in Ireland, Sir Edward Crofton 
and George French, with pistols ; the latter was 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 253 

killed. In 1825, in France, Count Segur and Baron 
de Gourgaud, with swords; the former was wounded. 
In 1809, in England, Lieutenant Sparling and Cap- 
tain Grayson, with pistols ; the latter was killed and 
the former was tried for the offence and acquitted. 

On the 22d of August, 1838, on Wimbledom Com- 
mon, Francis Lionel Elliott and John Flower Mirfin, 
in which the latter was killed at the first shot; Elliott 
then made his escape ; but the two seconds (John 
Young and Henry Webber) were arrested and con- 
victed of manslaughter and sent to Guilford jail for 
one year. On the 26th of July, 1882, M. Pinac was 
killed in a duel at Begnires by an Englishman, who 
had been challenged for writing on the margin of a 
pamphlet that " Everything concerning the battle of 
Toulouse within is false. Wellington gained a com- 
plete victory, and the French army is indebted to the 
generosity of Wellington that it was not put to the 
sword." On the 6th of January, 1882, M. Benjamin 
Constant and M. Forbin des Issarts, near Paris, 
seated in chairs, at ten paces, on account of the rheu- 
matism of the former. They fired two shots at each 
other, when the seconds terminated the affair. 

On the igih of February, 1797, in Phoenix Park, 
Dublin, Lord Blaney and the Duke de Fitz James, in 
which the latter was shot in the side. Also in Dub- 
lin, on the i2th of December, 1797, between Colonel 
Fitzgerald and the Earl of Kingston, in which both 
were slightly wounded. A son of the latter then met 
Fitzgerald, and after firing once they grappled with 
each other ; and, just as Fitzgerald was in the act of 
killing young Kingston, the Earl rushed in upon the 
combatants and shot Fitzgerald through the heart, 
thereby saving his son's life. The Colonel died 



254 TfE FIELD OF HONOR. 

lamented by none, as he had betrayed a daughter of 
the Earl. Early in 1802 Lieutenant Bailey and Mr. 
Forbes fought with pistols at Bombay, and the latter 
was killed at the first fire. Bailey and his second 
were sent to Botany Bay the former for fourteen 
and the latter for seven years. On the 6th of Octo- 
ber, 1802, at Quebec, Major Impey and Lieutenant 
Willis, of the Sixth (British) Foot, quarrelled in the 
mess-room and fought the next day with pistols, 
Impey falling mortally wounded at the first fire. On 
March i, 1802, at Paris, in the wood of Boulogne, 
Captain Knoring, a Livonian, was killed at the 
fourth fire by a Hanoverian gentleman named 
Brusch. The cause of the duel was a dispute at 
college fifteen years before. 

In July, 1775, at the Cape of Good Hope, Captains 
Ferguson and Roach, of the East India Company's 
Land Service, quarrelled at the dinner-table, and 
shortly afterward retired to the street, and fought it 
out with swords, Ferguson at last being killed ; but 
not until Roach had received several serious cuts in 
the head and* sustained a dislocation of the left arm. 
The survivor was tried for murder, but was acquit- 
ted at the Cape. He was afterward tried for man- 
slaughter in England, and was again acquitted. In 
1618, in England, Edward Percy and Philip Consta- 
ble met with swords, and after a furious contest the 
latter was killed. On the 2d of February, 1773, the 
Earl of Bellamont and Lord Townshend fought at 
Marylebone Fields, near London. They went to the 
grounds armed with swords and pistols, but upon 
their arrival it was decided by their seconds (Hon. 
Mr. Dille for Bellamont and Lord Ligonier for 
Townshend) that they should fight with the latter 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 255 

weapons, and the Earl was dangerously wounded at 
the first fire. He was in such great agony from the 
wound, which was in the belly, that he could not ride 
in his chaise, and was carried to his residence in a 
chair. 

In Ireland, in 1772, Captain Benjamin Barne and 
Charles Mathews fought with pistols, and Barne was 
killed at the first fire. In 1849, near Paris, Monsieur 
Lacombe and Monsieur Charles Blanc fought with 
swords, and the former was wounded in the arm. In 
1822, in Scotland, James Stuart and Sir Alexander 
Boswell fought with pistols, and Boswell was killed. 
The survivor was tried for murder, but was acquit- 
ted. It was shown at the trial that Stuart's friends 
made all reasonable efforts to adjust the difficulty, 
but that the attitude of Boswell made the meeting 
unavoidable. The second of Mr. Boswell testified 
that the Earl spurned all overtures tending toward 
reconciliation or adjustment. 

On the 1 7th of January, 1821, at Calais, between 
Lieutenant-Colonel Burgos Cumac, of the First 
(British) Life Guards, and Richard Gough ; the 
parties fired once without effect, and at the second 
shot Cumac was hit in the leg. On the i3th of Feb- 
ruary, 1832, on Wimbledom Common, between 
Major-General Lorenzo Moore and Miles Stapylton 
the latter wounded at the first fire. On the 8th of 
April, 1826, on Wormwood Scrubs, with pistols, Cap- 
tain Dickson and Colonel Evans (both of the British 
army) ; the latter wounded. At Simla (India), in 
January, 1837, between Lieutenant Frazer, of the 
Seventh (British) Cavalry, and Lieutenant Rose, of 
the Eleventh Dragoons the latter wounded in the 
thigh. Also, in England : On September 18, 1820, 



256 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Mr. Henshaw and Mr. Hartinger both desperately 
wounded ; on February 12, 1814, Mr. Hatchel and 
Mr. Morley the latter slightly wounded ; October 
7, 1812, Lieutenants Stewart and Bagnal the lat- 
ter mortally wounded ; February 7, 1815, Colonel 
Quentin and Colonel Palmer no fatality ; Novem- 
ber 19, 1835, Mr. Roebuck, M.P., and Mr. Black, 
editor of the London Morning Chronicle two shots 
each and neither hurt ; January 22, 1833, Mr. Storey 
and Mr. Mathias the latter wounded ; on the same 
day Mr. Maher and Mr. Colles neither hurt ; in 
December, 1817, Captain Fottrell and Colonel Ross 
five shots each, but no fatality ; in August, 1827, 
Rev. Mr. Hodson and Mr. Grady the latter severely 
wounded ; May 29, 1835, Sir Colquhoun Grant and 
Lord Seymour no fatality ; May 26, 1836, Mr. Ruth- 
ven fought two duels, one with Mr. Scott and one 
with Mr. Close, wounding the latter. On March 9, 
1884, at Antwerp, General David (Commander of the 
Civic Guards) and Mr. Williams (a broker), with 
swords the latter badly wounded. In Paris, De- 
cember 1 8, 1883, between Octave Mirabeau and Paul 
Bonnetain (on account of Marie Colombier's book on 
Sarah Bernhardt), with swords ; Bonnetain wounded 
twice. At Lisbon, on March 12, 1884, between Vis- 
count Roberdo and Major Serpa Pinto, with swords 
the former wounded in five places. On the 3d of 
March, 1884, near Matamoras (Mexico), Major Lopez 
Martablo was killed at the first shot by the editor of 
the Matamoras Cronista. 

On the i4th of February, 1884, a duel took place in 
Paris between M. Laguerre and M. Chauriance, 
(members of the French Chamber of Deputies,) with 
pistols, and the former was wounded in the knee. 



NOTED EUROPEAN DUELS. 

On the 2oth of April, 1884, a duel with swords was 
fought in the Bois de Boulogne between Joseph 
Casey, a Fenian, and Captain Scully, an Irish-Ameri- 
can. Scully had been suspected of being an in- 
former. The duel resulted in Scully being slightly 
wounded in the neck. His sword was also broken. 
On the 8th of May, 1884, near the city of Mexico, 
between Sefior Torres (formerly Governor of Sonora) 
and Sefior Garza, with pistols Torres wounded in 
the right hand. 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XIV. 
NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 

The First Fatal Meeting in the United States A Number of 
Early Affairs Gwinnett and Mclntosh Generals Howe and 
Gadsden Lee and Laurens Con way and Cadwallader De 
Witt Clinton and Swartwout Gardenier and Campbell Finch 
and White, and many others What English Rudeness to Amer- 
ican Officers Cost Affairs of British Officers in America 
Philip Hamilton's Fatal Duel A Savage Encounter at Blad- 
ensburg between Mason and McCarty A Number of Despe- 
rate Affairs Prue and Throuet Philadelphia Physicians Kill 
Each Other Dromgoole and Dugger of North Carolina Stuart 
and Dade of Virginia Jones and Anderson of Tennessee 
Allston and Reed and Jones and Gronard of Florida Gist and 
Fair of Georgia Lanusse and Marigny of Louisiana Huger 
and Rutledge of South Carolina The First Duel in Kentucky 
How Two Prominent Americans Took their Positions with 
Rifles at Sixty Yards on Account of a Quarrel over Twelve and 
a Half Cents Sullivan's Sentiments Comical Termination of 
a Seriously Commenced Affair No Bloodshed but Plenty of 
Whiskey "All's Well that Ends Well "Two Old New York 
Duels The Maryland Duelling Family of Wrights Shooting a 
Bunch of Keys out of a Man's Pocket. 

THE first fatal duel in (what is now) the United 
States was fought on the Common, in Boston (Massa- 
chusetts), between Benjamin Woodbridge and Henry 
Phillips, on the evening of July 3, 1728. These young 
gentlemen had quarrelled over cards at the Royal 
Exchange Tavern, in King Street (now State Street), 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 259 

Boston; and, under the influence of strong drink, had 
agreed to settle their differences with their swords in 
the public grounds above named. They met at a 
little after eight in the evening, and Woodbridge was 
mortally wounded, and was found dead on the Com- 
mon upon the following morning. Both were gentle- 
men of good social position. Phillips was a brother 
of Gillam Phillips, who had married Marie, the sister 
of Peter Faneuil, the builder of Boston's famous 
hall. The visitor at the metropolis of New England 
while passing along Tremont Street may stop at the 
old Granary Burying Ground, between the Tremont 
House and Park Street Church, and read upon a 
plain slate stone the following: 

Here Lyes Interred The Body of Mr. Benjamin Wood- 
bridge, Son of the Honourable Dudley Woodbridge, Esq., 
Who Dec'd July y e 3d, 1728, In y e 2oth Year of His Age. 

In other words, that simple slate slab, with its un- 
ostentatious inscription, marks the mound under 
which were deposited the remains of the first victim 
of the code duello in the English-speaking portion of 
America. Requiescat in pace. 

In 1777 Hon. Button Gwinnett, M. C. from Geor- 
gia (a signer of the Declaration of Independence), and 
Lackland Mclntosh, an officer in the army of the 
Revolution, fought with pistols, near Savannah 
(Georgia), and both were wounded Gwinnett mor- 
tally. On the i3th of August, 1778, Generals Howe 
and Gadsden fought a duel with pistols, in Georgia, 
in which the latter was slightly wounded. During 
the same year Major-General Charles Lee and Colo- 
nel John Laurens, aide-de-camp to Washington, 
fought with pistols, near Philadelphia, and Lee was 



260 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

wounded. It was in 1778, also, that General Cadwal- 
lader fought and dangerously wounded General Con- 
way both of the Revolutionary Army. The same 
year Pierre Landais and William Cottineau, Captains 
in the United States Navy, fought with small swords, 
in Holland, and the latter was severely wounded. In 
1819 Midshipmen Cannon and Pierson, of the United 
States Navy, met with pistols, near Havana, and the 
former was killed at the first fire. In 1814 Edward 
Hopkins, an ensign of infantry, was killed at Bladens- 
burg. Hopkins was a native of Maryland, and was 
slain within sight of his own home. 

Samuel C. Bloomfield, an officer of the army, was 
killed near Weehawken (New Jersey), in 1814. 

William K. Blue, of Virginia, a captain of infantry, 
was killed in a duel, in 1802, at Fort Washington 
(Ohio). 

In 1786, in South Carolina, Mr. Ladd, a distin- 
guished surgeon, was killed by Mr. Isaacs. 

Lieutenant James J. Bowie, U. S. A., was killed in 
a duel near Lake Pontchartrain, in 1809. 

In 1808 Henry Clay and Humphrey Marshall 
both members of the legislature of Kentucky at the 
time met near Lexington, with pistols, and both 
were touched at the second fire. 

In 1802 Barent Gardenier, M. C. from the Ulster 
district of New York, was drawn into a duel with 
George Washington Campbell, M. C. from Tennessee 
(afterward Minister to Russia), and the two gentle- 
men met at Bladensburg, and Garde-nier was danger- 
ously (it was thought at the time mortally) wounded. 
Gardenier was a favorite with the Federalists of New 
York, who re-elected him after his recovery. He 
edited a New York newspaper a number of years, and 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 26 1 

died at Kingston in 1822. His daughter became the 
wife of Theodore Fay, a prominent journalist. While 
Campbell was Minister to Russia a daughter was 
born to him, whom he named Leczinska, and who be- 
came the wife of General Ewell, a distinguished offi- 
cer of the Confederate Army. 

In 1803, apparently a combative year, in Virginia, 
Wyndam Grymes challenged Mr. Terrell; and, in the 
duel (with pistols) which followed, Mr. Grymes was 
killed at the second fire. In 1803, in Georgia, Samuel 
Howard was dangerously wounded by Joseph Welcher 
at the first fire. In 1803, in Virginia, James Hughes 
was killed by James Tucker, who was seriously 
wounded. Paymaster James, U. S. A., was killed 
near Savannah, in 1815. In 1819 Lieutenant Francis 
B. White, of the United States Marine Corps, and 
Lieutentant William B. Finch, of the Navy, after quite 
a correspondence, met on an island in Boston harbor, 
with pistols, and White, who was the challenger, was 
instantly killed at the first fire. In 1803, in the Medi- 
terranean, Lieutenant Osborn, of the United States 
Marine Corps, and Lieutenant Vandyke, of the United 
States Navy, fought with pistols, and both were se- 
verely wounded at the first fire. In 1786 Colonel 
Maurice Simons, who had given offence to Major Wil- 
liam Clay Snipes by the character of his testimony in 
a court of justice, was challenged by the latter and 
killed. Snipes was afterward arrested and tried on a 
charge of murder, but was convicted of manslaugh- 
ter. In 1794 Lieutenant Huston and Ensign Brad- 
shaw fought in Pennsylvania, near Lake Erie, and 
both were killed. In 1803 Dr. James Wyer was killed 
by Surgeon Sargent at Natchez (Mississippi). Also 
in Mississippi, in 1812, Captain John Stewart, U. S. A., 



262 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

by Henry Mason, at the first fire. In 1810, in Missis- 
sippi, Lieutenant Stephen Rose, U. S. A., was killed. 
In 1809, near Carlisle (Pennsylvania), Cornet Huxton 
Milton, U. S. A., was mortally wounded. In 1814, near 
New York, Captain Macomb, U. S. A., was killed by a 
brother officer at the first fire. In 1802, at Leghorn 
(Italy), Captain James McKnight, of the United 
States Marine Corps, and Lieutenant Lawson, of the 
United States Navy, fought with pistols, and the for- 
mer was killed. In 1803 Lieutenant Buck, while on 
duty near Natchez, was challenged by Thomas 
Moore, of that city, who was killed at the first shot, 
the weapons being rifles, distance twelve paces. 

In 1803, at Malta, Midshipman Joseph Bainbridge, 
United States Navy, after having been rudely and pur- 
posely run against three or four times by one Coch- 
ran, the English Secretary at Malta, in the lobby of 
the theatre, knocked the offender down, and was 
challenged the same night. Bainbridge, who had 
never fired at a mark in his life, placed the matter in 
the hands of Stephen Decatur then a lieutenant in 
the American Navy who, having been informed that 
Cochran had been practising with a pistol at ten or 
twelve paces for weeks, named four paces. Cochran's 
second objected, saying that the distance was simply 
murderous. Decatur admitted the fact, but declined 
to modify his terms, and so the combatants met, and 
the aggressive Englishman was killed at the second 
fire, while Bainbridge escaped unhurt. A similar af- 
fair was the duel at Gibraltar, in 1820, between Lieu- 
tenant Downing, of the United States Navy, and 
Lieutenant Smith, of the British Army, in which 
Smith, who was the challenging party, was killed. 

On the loth of October, 1777, in New York, Cap- 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 263 

tain Pennington, of the Coldstream (Foot) Guards, 
was challenged by Captain Tollemache, of the Royal 
Navy, for writing a sonnet reflecting upon the wit of 
the wife of Captain T. The combatants first used 
pistols, without damage to either, and then fell at 
each other with swords Tollemache Toeing killed on 
on the spot and Pennington sustaining severe 
wounds. In 1783 General Coffin and Colonel Camp- 
bell, also officers of the British Army during the 
Revolution, fought in New York, and the former was 
seriously wounded. In 1781 Colonel Stuart, of the 
British Army, and Captain John Smith, of the Ameri- 
can Army, met near Guilford (South Carolina) and 
fought with sabres; and Smith, after receiving many 
wounds, brought his weapon down furiously upon 
his adversary's head, cutting it open down to the 
spine. 

In 1802 Hon. De Witt Clinton and Hon. John 
Swartwout, of New York, became involved in the 
same political dispute which brought on the duel 
between Hamilton and Burr between two and 
three years later, and met, with pistols, near the city 
of New York, and exchanged five shots the fourth 
and fifth of which took effect upon Mr. Swartwout. 
Mr. Clinton then declined to fight further or to make 
an apology. In 1879 a correspondent of the Phila- 
delphia Times furnished that paper with the following 
account of that duel, which was not precisely like any 
other meeting ever chronicled: 

It is a notable fact, however, that the most determined duel 
of which I have any record was fought in New York State 
and very near the metropolis of that name. The meeting 
was between De Witt Clinton and John Swartwout, in 1802. 
It appears probable that if the dispute in which this duel 



264 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

originated had taken its natural course the most famous 
duel in any history that between Hamilton and Burr 
would have been omitted. Clinton and Burr had a very 
fierce and truculent political dispute, which finally became 
personal. Before it had fairly come to an issue John 
Swartwout became involved in it, taking Burr's place. He 
challenged Clinton, who accepted. On the field Clinton 
remarked that he wished he had the principal (Burr) 
before him. If his wish had been gratified there is little 
doubt that his fatal precision of shot would have put Burr 
where he could not have killed Hamilton three years later. 
Mr. Swartwout insisted that he should have an apology, and 
prepared one that he insisted Mr. Clinton should sign. Mr. 
Clinton, of course, declined, and the parties went to the 
field. The duel was such a remarkable one that I present 
an account given by Mr. N. S. Smith, who was Swartwout's 
second. He says : The gentlemen took positions and fired 
without effect. At Mr. Riker's request, I asked Mr. Swart- 
wout if he was satisfied. He answering in the negative, 
the second shot was fired without effect. I again asked Mr. 
Swartwout if he was satisfied. He replied, " I am not," and 
the third shot was exchanged without injury. I then asked 
Mr. Swartwout, " Are you satisfied, sir ?" He replied, " I 
am not, neither shall I be until the apology is made which 
I have demanded. Until then we must proceed." I then 
presented a paper to Mr. Riker for Mr. Clinton's signature, 
containing the apology demanded, observing that this paper 
must be signed or we would proceed. Mr. Clinton declared 
he would sign no paper on the subject, that he had no ani- 
mosity to Mr. Swartwout ; and would willingly shake hands 
and agree to meet on the score of former friendship. Mr. 
Swartwout insisted on the signature to the apology, and Mr. 
Clinton declining, they stood at their posts and fired a fourth 
shot. Mr. Swartwout was wounded in the left leg, about 
five inches below the knee. Being asked if he was satisfied, 
Mr. Swartwout replied : " It is useless to repeat the question. 
My determination is fixed, and I beg we may proceed." Mr. 
Clinton repeated that he had no animosity against Mr. 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 26$ 

Swartwout ; was sorry for what had passed ; proposed to 
advance, shake hands, and bury the past in oblivion. Dur- 
ing the conversation the surgeon, kneeling at his side, 
extracted the ball from Mr. Swartwout's leg. The fifth 
shot being fired, Mr. Swartwout received a ball in the left 
leg, about five inches above the ankle, still, however, stand- 
ing at his post perfectly composed. At the request of Mr. 
Riker I asked : "Are you satisfied ?" He forcibly answered : 
" No, sir ; I am not. Proceed." Mr. Clinton then quit his 
post, declining the combat, and declared that he would fire 
no more. Mr. Swartwout expressed himself surprised that 
Mr. Clinton would neither apologize nor give the satisfaction 
required, and addressing me, said : " What shall I do, my 
friend ?" I answered : " Mr. Clinton declines making the 
apology required, refuses taking his position, and positively 
declares he will fight no more. His second appearing to 
acquiesce in the disposition of his principal, there is nothing 
further for you to do now but to have your wounds dressed." 
The surgeons attending dressed his wounds, and the gentle- 
men returned in their respective barges to the city. 

One of the most distressing among the early Ameri- 
can " affairs of honor" was that in which Philip Hamil- 
ton (eldest son of General Alexander Hamilton who 
was killed by Aaron Burr some thirty months later) 
lost his life. This young gentleman was only eighteen 
years of age; had just graduated from Columbia Col- 
lege with high honor, and was a lad of great promise. 
He was a favorite with all with whom he came in con- 
tact, and to a remarkable degree mirrored the brilliant 
talents, elevated ambition, and arrogant temper of his 
distinguished parent. On the 4th of July, 1801, Philip 
stood and listened to an orator who hurled severe in- 
vective at his father. A short time afterward young 
Hamilton and a friend occupied a box at a theatre; 
and in an adjoining compartment sat G. J. Eaker 



266 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the orator alluded to. Hamilton and his companion 
at once let fly furious and incessant shafts of ridicule 
of Eaker's Independence Day pyrotechnics, and were 
at last summoned to the lobby, where Eaker met 
them, and, applying an insulting epithet to Hamilton 
and his friend, seized the former by the nape of the 
neck and rushed him out into the street. Hamilton's 
friend sent Eaker a challenge the following day, a 
duel took place and four shots were exchanged with- 
out injury to either. This termination of the affair 
was so unsatisfactory to Philip Hamilton that he re- 
opened the controversy by sending Eaker a challenge, 
which was at once accepted. The combatants met on 
January 10, 1802, at Weehawken (N. J.), and fought 
with pistols at twelve paces Hamilton receiving his 
antagonist's bullet in a vital part, from which he died 
after an excessive agony of twenty hours. General 
Hamilton, when apprised of the place of meeting, 
hurried forward to prevent it, but fainted on the way. 
On the 6th of February, 1819, Bladensburg, Md., 
already the locus in quo of belligerent meetings was 
made additionally famous by the desperate encounter, 
with muskets, of General Armistead T. Mason and 
Colonel John M. McCarty (cousins), both of Virginia. 
The two gentlemen had quarrelled at an election, out 
of which grew a challenge from McCarty to Mason, 
who was a United States Senator from Virginia at the 
time. The former, having substantially prescribed 
terms and conditions and method of arrangement, 
met with refusal, although Mason, in his letter of de- 
clension, intimated that he would accept a challenge 
written and sent in proper form. McCarty then 
" posted" Mason as a coward, and was quickly chal- 
lenged by the latter, and declined on the ground that 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 267 

the challenger was wanting in courage and did not 
"mean business." Here the matter ended for some 
time, when General Jackson came upon the scene, and 
it was unexpectedly reopened by Mason sending 
McCarty a challenge, which the latter declined by 
proposing that he would submit to one of three 
things, namely: either that they should leap together 
from the dome of the Capitol, fight together on a 
barrel of powder, or meet in a hand-to-hand encounter 
with dirks. It was at last arranged that they should 
meet with shotguns, each loaded with a single ball, 
at four paces. When they were placed in position 
the muzzles of their weapons nearly touched ; and at 
the word of command both fired together, and Mason 
fell dead and McCarty was seriously wounded. Mason 
was a member of that distinguished Virginia family 
to which belonged James Mason, the Senator, and 
James Y. Mason, the Minister of the Confederate 
Government to France, who was taken from an English 
ship by Commodore Wilkes during the first year of 
the War of the Rebellion. 

In New Orleans, many years ago, two Frenchmen 
named Pauline Prue and Hippolyte Throuet fought 
by being placed back to back, at five paces, with in- 
structions to turn at the given word and fire at will. 
They both turned at the word ; and, though Prue's 
weapon was discharged accidentally, Throuet took 
deliberate aim and shot his antagonist through the 
heart. A most sanguinary encounter took place in 
Philadelphia in June, 1830, between two physicians 
named Jeffries and Smith. They had arranged to 
meet with pistols, at eight paces ; and, at the first 
shot, both missed ; but at the second Smith had his 
left arm shattered. The wounded man then de- 



268 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

manded another shot, and this time Jeffries received 
Smith's bullet in the thigh. At the fourth fire both 
fell mortally wounded and died upon the field. When 
Jeffries was informed that Smith had expired, he said : 
"Well, I am willing to die, too." And he never spoke 
afterward. In 1837, in North Carolina, Hon. G. C. 
Dromgoole, M. C., and Mr. Dugger fought with pis- 
tols, at four paces, and the latter was mortally wounded 
at the first fire. In May, 1820, Richard Stuart and 
Townsend S. Dade (relatives), of King George County 
(Virginia), met with double-barrelled shotguns 
loaded with buckshot. Each received the other's fire 
Dade falling dead and Stuart receiving a wound 
from which he died upon the following day. 

In 1837, in Tennessee, Richard M. Jones and Henry 
W. Anderson met in murderous combat with pistols, 
at four feet, in which Jones was shot dead ; the bullet 
from the weapon of the latter lodging in the muzzle 
of Anderson's pistol. In 1823, in Virginia, Colonel 
Richard Graves sent a cartel of defiance to Captain 
Lacy, and proposed that two cups should be filled 
one with deadly poison and the other with pure water 
and that they should draw lots to determine which 
one should drink the poison; and that the one who 
should draw the blank should have the choice of cups 
and swallow the contents of the one selected ; and that 
the other, who must draw the letter P, should be 
bound upon his honor to swallow the contents of the 
remaining cup. Lacy replied that he would fight 
Graves like a gentleman, but declined to drink poison 
to accommodate any one. Graves then renewed his 
challenge and proposed that they fight with knives, 
whereupon he was arrested and afterward tried for 
his atrocious conduct, but acquitted. 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 269 

In 1852, in Florida, Colonel Gronard and Major 
Jones met with bowie knives, and after a desperate 
encounter in which both were horribly cut, Jones was 
killed. In 1839, at Tallahassee (Florida), Major All- 
ston challenged General Reed and was killed. Willis 
Allston, a brother of the deceased, then killed Reed 
and fled the State. On the loth of December, 1841, 
near Brazoria (Texas), the latter got into an alterca- 
tion with Dr. John Stuart and killed him, at which 
a party of vigilantes " took out" Allston and perfo- 
rated him with bullets. In 1832, in Georgia, two 
young men named Gist and Fair met with pistols, 
and the latter was killed. Three of Gist's brothers 
were in attendance with pistols and shotguns, pre- 
sumably to see fair play. In 1830, at New Orleans, 
Mr. Lanusse and Mr. Marigny met with swords and 
pistols, and after firing at each other twice, fell to 
with their swords, during which both were many times 
desperately wounded, Marigny dying while being 
conveyed from the field. In 1853, in the same city, 
two men named Scott and Travis fought with bowie 
knives, and both were desperately wounded, Scott 
dying from the effects of his injuries some months 
afterward. 

Judge Huger, of South Carolina, once challenged 
Major Rutledge (his brother-in-law), to the great sur- 
prise of the latter, who, being an officer of conspicuous 
honor and courage, felt the necessity of accepting the 
challenge ; but inquired of Mr. Loundes, who bore 
the challenge, what offence he had given. Mr. 
Loundes, however, although an intimate friend of the 
challenging party, declared that he had no knowledge 
whatever of the cause of the hostile message. The 
duel took place, nevertheless, and Major Rutledge 



2/O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

was wounded, although no one could ever tell what 
was the cause of the hostile affair. 

The Southern Bivouac, early in 1884, presented its 
readers with the following graphic description of the 
first duel (so called) in Kentucky: 

Previous to the separation of Kentucky from Virginia 
there were hostile meetings between her citizens, but the 
combatants were usually plain pioneers, who, knowing little 
and caring less about the code, settled their difficulties with 
the weapons with which nature had armed them. They 
battered and bruised with fists and feet, gouged out eyes 
with their thumbs, and bit off ears and noses with their 
teeth, and thus inflicted injuries which the chivalry of a 
later day pronounced worse than the effects of the fatal 
steel and deadly lead. The first duel a la mode in the State 
of Kentucky was arranged at Louisville in 1792, and luckily 
for all concerned, had a comic instead of a tragic termina- 
tion. The principals and seconds were among the most 
prominent citizens of that period, whose descendants are 
yet in our midst, occupying the highest social positions. 
John Thurston, a son of the celebrated fighting parson of 
Virginia, who at the beginning of the War of Independence 
laid aside his sacerdotal gown, put on the uniform of the 
rebellion, raised a company and led it against the British, 
was the challenging party. John Harrison, a member of 
that distinguished family which gave a Governor to Virginia 
and a President to the United States, who went into the 
Revolutionary war a private and by brave deeds came out a 
Major, was the challenged party. Robert Breckinridge, a 
member of the convention which framed our first Constitu- 
tion and sat as the first Speaker of our House of Represen- 
tatives, was the second of Thurston, and Jacobus Sullivan, a 
fearless pioneer, who would at any time avoid a good dinner 
for what he called a good fight, was the second of Harrison. 
In those early days the best citizens of each county were 
commissioned by the Governors as Justices of the Peace. 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 2/1 

Thurston and Harrison had both held this office under 
Governor Randolph of Virginia, and as soon as Governor 
Shelby was seated in the Gubernatorial chair of Kentucky 
he recommissioned them for Jefferson county. It was not 
long after 'Squire Thurston opened his office in the new 
State before he was called upon to try an issue between two 
of his neighbors. It was Thurston's first case under his new 
commission, and he saw in it the elements of a family quar.-- 
rel, which indicated that no matter what judgment he 
might render one of his neighbors would be dissatisfied. 
He therefore issued the warrant and made it returnable 
before 'Squire Harrison for trial. Harrison, in trying the 
case, discovered that it was based on family differences that 
ought to be adjusted, and as it was his first case also in the 
new State, he took particular pains to reconcile the parties. 
He succeeded in bringing the parties to a better understand- 
ing, rendered a judgment satisfactory to both, and, being 
pleased with his own work, charged no fees. Soon after the 
trial was over Thurston called on Harrison for the twelve and 
a half cents allowed him by law for issuing the original warrant 
in the case. Harrison told him he had charged no fees in the 
case and had not collected the twelve and a half cents. Thurs- 
ton replied that while it was Harrison's unquestioned right to 
charge nothing for his own services, yet that right did not 
extend to the remission of the fees of another for services 
rendered. Harrison admitted that this was true, but said 
that if he were to pay the twelve and a half cents it would 
have to come out of his own pocket, and this he did not 
intend should be done. One word brought on another until 
a quarrel ensued, and epithets were exchanged that were 
easier spoken than borne. They separated full of wrath, 
with mutual assurances that each might expect to hear 
further from the other. Thurston hurried from the scene, 
sent for his friend Breckinridge, detailed the occurrence at 
Harrison's office, and, without asking the advice of his 
friend as to what should be done, handed him a peremptory 
challenge with a request that he bear it immediately to 
Harrison. Breckinridge did not like the lightning speed 



2/2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

with which things were starting off, but in a kind of me- 
chanical mode bore away the hostile note, and before the 
sun of the same day was set handed it to Harrison. What 
Harrison might have done if a little more time had been 
allowed does not appear, but it is possible if he had not 
received a challenge he would have sent one. As soon as 
Harrison received Thurston's note he accepted its terms, 
and named rifles at sixty yards as the weapons and distance. 
Then summoning his friend Sullivan to his aid he directed 
him without delay to arrange with Breckinridge the time 
and place of meeting. Here Sullivan, like Breckinridge, 
was hurried along with a rapidity he did not fancy, but 
knew not how to avoid. The seconds got together the 
night of the same day of the difficulty, and arranged for the 
hostile meeting the next afternoon at a small opening in 
the woods back of the present Broadway. When the place 
of meeting was reached at the appointed time sixty yards 
were stepped off by the seconds and the positions of the 
principals designated. The rifles were then loaded by the 
seconds Breckinridge loading one and handing it to Sulli- 
van for Harrison, and Sullivan loading the other and hand- 
ing it to Breckinridge for Thurston. Everything was 
conducted with the scrupulous courtesy indicative of the 
ball-room rather than the duelling-field ; and no one would 
have inferred from the countenances of Thurston and 
Harrison that anything involving life was in contemplation. 
The principals having been placed in position and their 
rifles handed them, the seconds tossed a dollar for the word. 
Breckinridge won ; but instead of turning at once to the 
principals and giving the word, he asked Sullivan what he 
thought of the affair, anyhow. Sullivan answered that the 
movements had been so rapid that he had had no time to 
think at all, and in turn asked Breckinridge what he thought. 
Breckinridge replied that he did not like the appearance of 
things, and feared that the world might misinterpret the 
facts and assume that two prominent citizens had been 
hurried into a duel about twelve and a half cents. Sullivan 
admitted that such might be public opinion, and added that 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 2/3 

if the duel should prove fatal it would be too bad for the 
world to say two such citizens had slain one another for a 
ninepence. The seconds, therefore, agreed to call the prin- 
cipals together and try to reconcile them. When they got 
together Breckinridge, in an earnest and feeling manner, 
stated that he and Sullivan had just talked the matter over, 
and were agreed that the meeting had been unwisely hurried 
too far without the advice of friends, chosen for the purpose, 
having been either asked or given ; that the fact of the diffi- 
culty having arisen out of the twelve and a half cents allowed 
a magistrate for issuing a warrant would lead many to say, 
no matter how unjustly, that the duel was fought for that 
paltry sum, and that such a reputation would be intolerable 
for men in their positions. He reminded them that they 
were both heads of families and civil officers, with other 
claims than their own upon their lives and reputations ; that 
although the affair had been too rapidly conducted to allow 
hot blood to cool, there was yet time for reason to resume 
her sway over passion; and then besought them as old 
friends, with but a single jar in a life of unusual smoothness, 
to forget and forgive a single offence, and act toward one 
another as if nothing to ruffle their former feelings had 
occurred. If there was any hesitation in the minds of the 
principals as to the propriety of a reconciliation, after these 
manly words of Breckinridge, it was not increased by the 
unexpected speech and queer proposition of Sullivan which 
followed. As soon as Breckinridge had ceased, Sullivan, 
without waiting to hear what Harrison or Thurston might 
say, spoke as follows : " Fellow-citizens, them's my senti- 
ments ! It won't do for this fight to go on ! The Bargrass 
people, whar 'Squire Thurston lives, will swar he fit for 
twelve an' a half cents; and them bad town boys, where 
'Squire Harrison lives, when he runs them out of his water- 
million patch, will call him an 'old fightin' ninepence.' I 
like a good fight better than a hot toddy of a cold night, 
but I hate a bad fight worse than a nest of yaller-jackets. 
There ain't no good in this fight, nohow. I don't like the 
weepons, nuther. Rifles is all right for Injuns and bars, but 



274 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

they are awful things turned agin friends. If you had 
painted yer eyes black with yer fists, or even doubled one 
another up by kicks in the belly, when you quarrelled, it 
would have been reg'lar, but to go to borin' holes through 
one another with rifle balls, like augers through poplar 
logs, won't do at all. The commandment of the Scripter 
says: 'Thou shalt not kill,' but it don't say thou s halt not 
hit with the fist and kick with the foot when a feller makes 
you mad. I propose, tharfour, that we wind up this fight 
with a shootin'-match for a gallon of whiskey. Our side agin 
your side will shoot at a tree the size of a man, sixty yards, 
at the word, and the shot nearest the .centre wins." As soon 
as Sullivan finished his speech, Thurston and Harrison, who 
had both been compelled to laugh at its oddity, simulta- 
neously extended to one another the right hand. A hearty 
shake followed and the difficulty was all over. Nothing 
now remained to be done on the ground but to have the 
shooting-match proposed by Sullivan. A beech, about 
the size of a man, was selected, at sixty yards, and Thurston 
made the first shot. The tree was hit on the left side, and 
Harrison acknowledged that, if he had been there, he should 
have had a stitch in the side. Harrison shot next and hit 
the tree in the centre. Thurston now acknowledged that if 
he had been there he should have had a stomach-ache. 
Breckinridge shot next, and hit midway between the shots 
of Thurston and Harrison. All now agreed that this was 
the shot of a mediator, and that it was in its proper place, 
midway between the other two. Last of all, Sullivan shot, 
and missed the tree. A hearty laugh followed at the ex- 
pense of Sullivan, but he said he imagined the tree to be a 
man shooting at him, and suggested that if the others had 
shot at men shooting at them their shots might have been 
different. The ball of Harrison having hit the centre, it 
was decided that Thurston and Breckinridge must pay for 
the liquor. Off all started in high good humor for the 
grocery store of Charles Nabb to get the whiskey. A gallon 
was measured into a stone jug, and after all had taken a 
friendly glass the balance was voted to Sullivan for his 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 2?$ 

remarkable speech and shot. Sullivan bore off the jug in 
triumph, and would often have gone through the same scene 
for such a reward. Thurston and Harrison were the good 
friends in after life that they had been before, and both of 
them often told and joked of the intended serious meeting 
that ended so comically. 

A New York paper gives the following account of 
a singular and fatal duel which was fought many 
years ago in New York by the late Stephen Price, well 
known in England as a former lessee of Drury Lane 
Theatre: 

Benjamin Price was considered the handsomest of his 
family, though his brother Stephen was not to be despised, 
either as regards good looks or abilities. Benjamin one 
evening had escorted a very pretty woman to the Park 
Theatre, when, during the performance, a British offi- 
cer in an adjoining box took the liberty of staring her 
full in the face. She complained of it to Ben Price, who, 
on its repetition, seized the offender by the nose with " his 
finger and thumb and wrung it most effectually." The offi- 
cer left his box and went to Ben Price's. Ben in answer to 
a knock opened the door, when the officer, whose name was 
Green, asked Ben what he meant, remarking at the same 
time that he meant no insult to the lady. " Oh ! very well," 
replied Ben, " neither did I mean to insult you by what I 
did." Upon this they shook hands as sworn brothers, and 
some time afterward Mr. Green went to Canada to join his 
regiment. The facts of the affair, however, reached Canada 
before Mr. Green did, and of course got noised about. An 
officer of his regiment having a pique against him was par- 
ticularly active in airing the scandal, and brought the matter 
so strongly before his brother officers that one of them, a 
Captain Wilson, insisted upon Green being ostracized unless 
he went back to New York immediately and challenged 
Price. Green, however, being no shot, he was allowed time 
to get up his pistol practice to a favorable standard, and 



276 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

having practised for five hours daily, until he could hit a 
dollar at ten paces nine times out of ten, then he came to 
New York and challenged Ben Price. They fought at 
Hoboken, Price being killed at the first fire. The seconds 
immediately decamped, while Green, who had obtained 
leave to go to England on urgent private affairs, took a 
small boat, crossed the river, and got on board a vessel in 
the bay ready to sail for the old country. Price's body was 
found where he had fallen, with a piece of paper attached to 
the breast, on which were written the following words : 
*' This is Benjamin Price, boarding in Vesey Street, New 
York; take care of him." The body was brought to the 
city quietly, and he was buried in New York. The death of 
Ben Price was, however, but one-half of the tragic transac- 
tion that resulted from the pulling of Mr. Green's nose. 
Some years later Captain Wilson, who has been already re- 
ferred to, arrived in New York from England on his way to 
Canada, and put up at the Washington Hotel. There one 
day at dinner the conversation turned on the death of Ben 
Price and the manner thereof, when Captain Wilson, who 
had joined in the conversation, took credit for having been 
mainly instrumental in bringing about the duel, detailing all 
the particulars connected therewith. This statement was 
carried immediately to Stephen Price, who was lying ill of 
the gout at home. His friends said that he at once implic- 
itly obeyed the instructions of the physician, and, obtaining 
thereby a short cessation of the gout, was enabled to hobble 
out of doors, his lower extremities being swathed in flannel. 
His first course was to seek the Washington Hotel, where 
his inquiry was : " Is Captain Wilson within ?" " He is," 
said the waiter. "Show me up to his room," said Stephen, 
and up he was shown accordingly. Hobbling up-stairs with 
much difficulty, cursing alternately as he went the gout 
which caused the pain and the Captain who was the cause 
of his having to hobble with equal vehemence, he at last 
reached Captain Wilson's room, his feet cased in moccasins 
and his hand grasping a stick. Captain Wilson rose to re- 
ceive him, wondering all the time who his lame visitor could 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 

be, but his mind on that point was soon relieved. " Are 
you Captain Wilson?" said the stranger. "That is my 
name," replied the Captain. "Then, sir, my name is 
Stephen Price. You see, sir, I can scarcely put one foot be- 
fore the other ; I am afflicted with the gout. My object in 
coming here is to insult you. Shall I have to knock you 
down, or will you consider what I have said a sufficient in- 
sult to act accordingly?" " No, sir," replied the Captain, 
smiling; "I shall consider what you have said quite suffi- 
cient, and shall act accordingly. You shall hear from me." 
In due time there came a message from Captain Wilson to 
Stephen Price ; time, place, and weapons were arranged ; 
and early one morning a boat left New York in which were 
seated face to face Stephen Price, the Captain, and two 
friends. They all landed at Bedloe's Island, the principals 
took their positions, and Captain Wilson fell dead at the 
first shot. The Captain's body was interred in the vault 
there, and Price and the two seconds returned to New 
York. Captain Wilson's friends in America thought he had 
departed suddenly to Canada, and his friends in England 
thought he had either died suddenly or had been killed in a 
duel on his way to join his regiment. 

The Baltimore Sun of April 23, 1884, tells the fol- 
lowing interesting story of a duelling family: 

Dr. Robert Wright, whose death at Centreville, Md., in 
his eighty-seventh year, was announced yesterday, was the 
son of Solomon Wright, who was a judge of the Maryland 
Court of Appeals from 1778 to 1801, and the grandson of 
Solomon Wright, who was a distinguished lawyer, and 
represented Queen Anne County in the Provincial Assem- 
bly as far back as 1709-11. One of Dr. Wright's uncles was 
Robert Wright, for whom he was named, one of the most 
successful politicians that the Eastern Shore has ever pro- 
duced. He was successively a member of the House of 
Delegates, the State Senate, the United States House of 
Representatives, and the United States Senate. In 1806 he 



278 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

was elected Governor of Maryland, and at the time of his 
death, in 1827, was a judge in the judicial circuit compris- 
ing his native county. Dr. Wright was a gentleman of 
varied information, and a mine of interesting reminisences 
about men and affairs in his section of the State. Just a 
year ago he wrote and published an interesting sketch of 
his family. In this he stated that some of the Wrights had 
a marked propensity for duelling, and narrated the following 
anecdotes concerning those of his relatives who became in- 
volved in affairs of honor : " Gov. Robert Wright fought a 
duel with Gen. Lloyd, the former being shot in the wrist, 
which ended the matter. Robert, son of the Governor, 
fought with Alexander Stuart, and was shot in the shoulder. 
Gustavus fought with Benjamin Nicholson. They both ex- 
pected to be killed, and it is marvellous how they escaped 
death, as each had two shots and were only stationed six to 
eight feet apart. At the first shot Nicholson was shot in 
the hand, and at the second in the side. The wound being 
considered mortal ended the matter. Nicholson, as brave a 
man as ever lived, recovered, and was aide to Gen. Z. Pike, 
and, with Pike and his whole command, was blown up and 
killed at Little York, now called Toronto, Canada, in the 
war of 1812. Mr. Wright also had a duel with Capt. Wat- 
son, whom he killed. Clinton had a duel with Lieut. 
Jarman ; they had two shots. At the second shot Wright 
was wounded in the arm. He afterward fought a duel with 
Major Hook. Wright was shot down at the first shot, and, 
being unable to stand, proposed to Hook to lie side by side 
and take another shot. To this both Hook and his second 
objected, and very properly, but said if they could make 
Mr. Wright stand they would give him another exchange 
of shots. Wright put his hand in his pocket, and drawing 
out an old bandana handkerchief, gave it to his second, tell- 
ing him to pass it under his arms and draw him up to the 
limb of a small tree close by. This being done, they had 
another exchange of shots, when Hook received what was 
supposed to be a mortal wound, but both he and Wright 
recovered. Henry R. Pratt (who married one of the 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 279 

Wrights) had a duel with William Elbert. He shot a bunch 
of keys out of Elbert's pantaloons pocket, and, both being 
thereby satisfied, kissed and made up. They afterward 
became and continued fast friends. Another one of the 
family was on the eve of a duel with Cadet Lindsey, of 
Philadelphia, but a timely apology from Lindsey put a stop 
to it. By way of showing that the Wrights were not quite 
so bloodthirsty as some have endeavored to make them out, 
I will say that in every instance, I believe, the Wrights were 
the challenged parties." 



28O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XV. 

NOTED AMERICAN DUELS CONTINUED. 

Andrew Jackson's Famous Meeting with Charles Dickinson 
"Great God! have I missed him?" The Iron Will of "Old 
Hickory" Sam Houston's Duel with General White Gumming 
and McDuffie The Fatal Crittenden-Conway Duel in Arkansas 
in 1830 The Dreadful " Meeting of Major Riddle and Hon. 
Spencer Pettis on Bloody Island in 1831 Both Combatants 
Mortally Wounded at the First Fire The Weapons used by 
Riddle and Pettis at present the Property of Innis Hopkins of 
St. Louis The Fatal Duel near Vicksburg between Menefee and 
McClung A Highly Dramatic Affair Tragic End of a Poker 
Game on the Mississippi James Bowie Surprises a Gang of 
Sharpers A Duel upon the Wheel-houses of a Steamboat 
What came of a Military Man's Boasting. 

THE fatal duel between General Andrew Jackson 
and Charles Dickinson, which was fought near Adair- 
ville (Tennessee), on the 3oth of May, 1806, ranks 
among what are justly termed the noted American 
duels; not only on account of the distinguished char- 
acter of the combatants, but because they were in- 
comparably " crack shots," and because each intended 
to kill the other. Dickinson had invited a challenge 
from Jackson by aspersing the character or social 
standing of the wife of the latter. Each undoubtedly 
expected to receive a mischievous bullet, but hoped, 
at the same time, to dangerously wound or kill his 
adversary. It was understood that there would be no 



frOTED AMEKiCAtf DUELS. 28l 

love or sentiment displayed during the hostile meet- 
ing, and, of course, no white feather. Both men were 
notoriously brave and unspeakably angry. Both were 
experts with rifle and pistol; and Dickinson, while on 
his way to the rendezvous, amused his associates by 
displaying his wonderful skill with a pistol. Once, at 
a distance of twenty-four feet, he fired four balls, 
each at the word of command, into a space which 
could be covered by a silver dollar. Several times he 
cut a string with a bullet from the same distance. It 
is related that he left a severed cord hanging near a 
tavern, and said to the landlord as hg rode off: " If 
General Jackson comes along this road, be kind 
enough to show him that." The meeting took place 
in the morning, and both parties appeared to be per- 
fectly collected. The arrangement agreed upon was 
that the pistols were to be held downward until the 
word was given to fire, then each man was to fire as 
soon as he pleased. As soon as the word was given 
Dickinson raised his pistol and fired. A puff of dust 
flew from the breast of'Jackson's coat, and his second 
saw him raise his left arm and place it tightly across 
his chest. The General, however, stood firm, while 
Dickinson recoiled, crying out: "Great God! have I 
missed him?" A moment after, Jackson took deliber- 
ate aim and pulled the trigger, but the weapon 
stopped at half-cock. He drew it back to its place, 
took aim a second time, and fired. Dickinson reeled, 
and his face turned white; and, as his friends hurried 
toward him, he sunk upon the ground. The murder- 
ous missle had passed through the body below the 
ribs. It was only after this that it was discovered 
that one of Jackson's shoes was full of blood. On 
examination, it was found that the bullet from Dick. 



282 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

inson's weapon had hit Jackson in the breast, break- 
ing two ribs, and making a painful but not dangerous 
wound. Dickinson lived until about nine o'clock in 
the evening, at which hour he expired, having bled to 
death. It was on this occasion that Andrew Jackson 
exhibited his iron will by saying to his second that he 
would have lived long enough to have killed his an- 
tagonist even if he had been shot through the heart. 
Jackson fought Dickinson for the honor of the woman 
he loved. A description of this duel lately appeared 
in the Louisville (Ky.) Courier- Journal, which called 
out a communication from S. Park Baker, of Youngs- 
town (N. Y.), which concluded as follows: 

There is one feature about this duel with Dickinson, how- 
ever, that seems a little peculiar, and that is that General 
Jackson, who was a very spare man in his person, should 
have been dressed in a loose-fitting gown or coat, so that his 
antagonist could not readily tell the location of his body." 
Dickinson aimed right; and if Jackson's body had been 
where Dickinson supposed it was, and where, perhaps, the 
code duello would say it ought to have been, there is no just 
reason to doubt that General Jackson would at that time 
have "passed in his checks;" for the ball from Dickinson's 
pistol would have struck his heart beyond any doubt, accord- 
ing to the account of the duel. Now, the criticism and 
point I make in the character of " Old Hickory," in respect 
to this duel, is this : Having dressed himself in a manner to 
deceive Dickinson as to the precise location of his (Jack- 
son's) body, and having received Dickinson's bullet without 
any serious injury, it was not a just and fair thing in Jackson 
afterward to take deliberate aim at Dickinson and kill him. 
No matter what the provocation was on the part of Dickin- 
son which led to the duel, it seems to me that, having re- 
sorted to what was then considered an honorable method of 
settling the difficulty, they were each bound to give the 
other fair play ; and the only excuse or justification I can 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 283 

find for General Jackson for his deliberate and premeditated 
killing of Dickinson is the fact that, perhaps, upon general 
principles, Dickinson ought to have been killed for slander- 
ing so upright and honorable a woman as the wife of Gen- 
eral Jackson. 

Near Nashville (Tenn.) is the " Hermitage," which 
is approached through a long row of cedars on either 
hand. Here, says the Courier -Journal, 

in this quaint old building, main rooms and shed-rooms of 
brick, with wooden columns and wooden copings in front, 
resided Colonel Andrew Jackson, adopted grandson of the 
hero, with his wife and mother and two old negroes, man 
and wife. He was about sixteen years old when it was 
purchased by Jackson, nearly sixty years ago. General 
Jackson and wife sleep side by side in the little garden 
near the residence, each beneath a broad granite slab. In- 
scribed in old-fashioned Roman letters are the words on the 
slab which covers Mrs. Jackson, composed by her devoted 
husband : " Here lie the remains of Mrs. Rachel Jackson, 
wife of President Jackson, who died the 22d December, 
1828." The old hero had been elected President for his first 
term, but did not take his seat till March 4th following. The 
inscription recounts her virtues in words forcible and tender : 
"A being so gentle and yet so virtuous, vile slander might 
wound but could not dishonor. Even death, when he tore 
her from the arms of her husband, could but transport her 
to the bosom of her God." The day of the funeral, Jackson, 
feeble and heartbroken, walked slowly behind the coffin, 
leaning upon a long cane he was accustomed at that time to 
carry about his farm. As the friends of the dead gathered 
about to look for the last time upon her face, General Jack- 
son lifted his cane as if appealing to Heaven, and by a look 
commanding silence, said, slowly and painfully, and with a 
voice full of bitter tears : " In the presence of this dear 
saint I can and do forgive all my enemies. But those vile 
wretches who have slandered her must look to God for 



284 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

mercy." One of the most beautiful and redeeming traits in 
all this rugged and heroic nature was the unaltering love 
and devotion he bore his wife. For seventeen years after 
her death the memory of this noble woman was cherished, 
until the summer of 1845, when he was laid to rest beside 
the only woman he ever loved loved with a romantic ten- 
derness and strength surpassing the dream of fiction. 

General Sam Houston, while M. C. from the Nash- 
ville (Tennessee) district, in 1826, fought a duel with 
General White, which created much excitement 
throughout the United States at the time. The duel 
was fought on the farm .of H. J. Duncan, in Simpson 
County, about six miles south of Franklin. It was a 
curious circumstance that which brought about this 
fight: Houston had sent to his constituents a number 
of documents and some seeds for distribution, which 
they had failed to receive, and for which failure he 
blamed Postmaster Curry, of Nashville, whom he 
denounced as a scoundrel. For this Curry sent 
Houston a challenge by General White; who de- 
clined to receive a cartel " from such a contemptible 
source." "I am not surprised, sir," said White, ad- 
dressing himself to Houston, "as no one who knows 
you expected you would fight." "I will fight you, 
sir, or any gentleman; but I will not fight a scoundrel 
like Curry," replied Houston. "I am not sure of 
that." "Try me." That same day White sent 
Houston a challenge, which was promptly accepted, 
and time, place, terms, and conditions named: on 
the 23d of September, 1826, at sunrise, near the 
State line; weapons, holster pistols; distance, fifteen 
feet. The parties met, according to agreement, and 
White fell dangerously (it was thought at the time 
mortally) wounded at the first fire. Houston started 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 285 

for the State line, about two hundred yards distant, 
when he saw his adversary fall; but, upon hearing 
White call, returned, and knelt by his side, when the 
wounded man said: "General, you have killed me." 
" I am very sorry for you, White," responded 
Houston, " but you know it was forced upon me." 
"I know it, and forgive you." White had been shot 
through just above the hip, and the surgeons, to 
cleanse the wound of blood, drew one of their old- 
fashioned silk neckerchiefs through the bullet-hole. 
Upon the complete recovery of White none were so 
overcome with joy as the one who had narrowly es- 
caped becoming his executioner. 

Colonel Gumming, of Georgia, and Hon. George 
McDuffie, of South Carolina, met near Sister's Ferry 
(South Carolina), on the 8th of June, 1822, to settle a 
political quarrel which they did by firing at each 
other once with pistols at twelve paces Mr. McDuffie 
receiving his adversary's bullet in the back just 
below the short ribs. The South Carolinian, while 
he declared his intention of firing a second shot, was 
induced by his seconds and the surgeons of both 
parties to retire from the field, they having assured 
him that he had received a dangerous wound. 
McDuffie's pistol was prematurely discharged, its 
ball striking the ground about midway between the 
combatants; and, although the distinguished states- 
man never fully recovered from his severe wound, his 
Georgia " friends" never let up on him for getting 
shot in the back. 

A remarkable meeting took place in Arkansas in 
1830 between General Conway and Colonel Robert 
Crittenden, in which the former was killed. These 
two gentlemen were canvassing the (then) Territory 



286 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

of Arkansas for delegate to Congress. Conway was 
what was then politically termed a "Jackson man," 
while Crittenden sailed under Anti-Jackson colors. 
A correspondent of the New York Courier and 
Enquirer, who was present, tells the story of the duel, 
as follows: 

They met in debate at Little Rock. There was an im- 
mense concourse of people in attendance, and party feeling 
ran very high. The discussion became personal, and 
Crittenden at the close of his second speech remarked that 
he " trusted no gentleman would utter words in the heat of 
debate toward him such as could not be tolerated by the 
code of honor." Conway retorted in a torrent of bitter in- 
vective and personal denunciation. Crittenden briefly and 
calmly rejoined : " Your language, General Conway, admits 
of only one answer ; and that, you may be sure, I will make 
right speedily." A hostile message was sent the same day, 
and the meeting arranged for the following morning. A 
vast throng had collected to witness the duel, for there had 
been no attempt made to conceal it. Ben Desha, a son of 
Governor Desha, of Kentucky, was Crittenden's second, and 
Colonel Wharton Rector was the second of Conway. 
There was some delay in settling the preliminaries, at which 
General Conway became impatient and excited, while 
Crittenden remained perfectly cool, stretched quietly on a 
blanket, with his eyes closed, as though he was sleeping. 
Finally, the principals were called to their positions. The 
spectators, says an eye-witness, at a glance contrasted their 
aspect and bearing. Crittenden inherited the noblest of 
human forms, with fair hair, blue eyes, and a lofty counte- 
nance, frank and open in its expression, and wearing the 
seal of death-defying bravery. He stood cool, collected, and 
unconcerned, like a rifleman about to fire at a mark. But 
Conway had a stern face, eyes dark as night, and his look of 
indubitable courage was perceptibly tinged with revenge. 
At length Desha gave the word in a voice that rang over the 
hills like the peal of a trumpet Fire ! One Two Three ! 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 287 

At the sound " Fire " Conway raised his weapon and 
drew the trigger. His bullet grazed Crittenden's breast and 
cut a button off his coat, without more injury. But 
Crittenden waited until the last echo of the word "Two," 
and then his pistol exploded. General Conway dropped to 
the earth like lead. The ball had pierced his heart. 
Crittenden died of fever a few years after these events. 

On the 27th of August, 1881, Mr. Edward Dobyns, 
of Fulton (Mo.), addressed the editor of the St. Louis 
Globe-Democrat the following interesting communica- 
tion: 

Just fifty years years ago to-day, August 27, 1831, at three 
o'clock P.M., Major Biddle, of the United States Army, and 
the Hon. Spencer Pettis, only member of Congress from 
Missouri, met on Bloody Island, opposite St. Louis, to 
settle an affair of honor. They took position at five feet 
apart and exchanged shots. Both fell mortally wounded, 
and were borne across the river by their respective friends 
to their homes. It was my privilege to stand by the bed- 
side of the dying statesman through a night of 
pain and agony. Never can I forget the look of 
the young statesman. He turned his head, and looking 
me in the face, said : " Oh, if I can only survive this." 
I well knew the meaning of these words. Nor can I 
forget the majestic form and noble bearijig of the late 
Hon. James H. Peck, then Judge of the United States . 
District Court for the District of Missouri, who passed that 
memorable night at the bedside of Mr. Pettis, cheering and 
encouraging him in his last hours; in this showing his 
gratitude for kindnesses Mr. Pettis had shown him when he 
(Judge Peck) had been impeached and tried before the 
Senate of the United States for "alleged charges of oppression 
of a distinguished lawyer of St. Louis, Colonel Luke E. 
Lawless. Though an avowed political enemy to the party 
to which Mr. Pettis belonged, I felt there was a beauty and 
moral grandeur surrounding the scene, and there was. 



288 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Gratitude is one of the noblest instincts of man. Just as 
death was approaching Mr. Pettis gave a deep moan. 
Judge Peck said : " Mr. Pettis, you have shown yourself a 
brave man, now die like a man." Mr. Pettis replied, " Yes, 
sir." I believe these were his last words. On the morning 
of August 28, 1831, about ten o'clock, his spirit left its 
frail tenement and passed away. Major Biddle survived 
until three o'clock Sunday morning, when his strong consti- 
tution and athletic frame yielded to the fatal wound, and 
his spirit took its flight. Thus ended this tragic affair 
which has been so much misrepresented. 

The pistols used in the Biddle-Pettis duel are at 
present owned by Innis Hopkins, of St. Louis, having 
been left him by his father, Colonel Brent Hopkins, 
who died at Henderson (Kentucky) on the yth of 
March, 1884. It has been stated that these same 
pistols were used by Hamilton and Burr, which is a 
positive mistake; as the latter are owned by a gen- 
tleman of Rochester (N. Y.), and are three inches 
longer than these used at Bloody Island: they were 
once the property of Aaron Burr, however, who 
brought them from England upon his return to his 
native land. They were manufactured by H. W. 
Mortimore, of London, gunmaker to his Majesty. 
The pistol which was used by Pettis may be identi- 
fied by a long deep notch indented on the handle the 
one used by Burr is marked by a cross filed under 
the lower part of the barrel. The barrels of these 
pistols are thirteen inches long and carry an ounce 
ball. They have flint-locks; the pans for the priming 
are lined with gold, and the touchholes are bushed 
with the same metal. They are hair- triggers, and 
shoot with great force and accuracy. The locks are 
pieces of very superior mechanism. The pair came 
into the possession of Colonel Brent Hopkins, through 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 289 

his uncle, Captain Samuel Goode Hopkins, U. S. 
A., who purchased them from Burr, paying him a 
large amount for them. The weapons have 'surely 
a blood-stained history. They have been used with 
fatal effect in eleven duels. Pettis killed Biddle 
with one of them; Edward Towns of Virginia killed 
a Frenchman near New Orleans; Captain Sam 
Goode Hopkins killed a Spanish Count near New 
Madrid (Mo.); Hugh Brent killed a man from 
Georgia on Diamond Island, below Henderson (Ky.), 
and they were used several times in Virginia, twice 
in South Carolina, and more than once in Kentucky, 
with deadly effect. 

McClung and Menefee met near Vicksburg a short 
time before the Mexican War in the presence of a 
large number of spectators. The weapons were 
Mississippi rifles, distance sixty yards. McClung 
was a dead shot, having never missed his man, while 
Menefee, who had lately arrived in Mississippi from 
Kentucky, was no novice with shooting-irons. The 
description of the duel is thus told by a correspond- 
ent: 

Sixty yards was the distance chosen, and when the 
seconds went to measure off the ground it was with great 
difficulty that the crowd could be forced back so as to allow 
the fight to go on. The positions were taken and the rifles 
were placed in the combatants' hands. "Are you ready?" 
" Ready," both firmly responded. " Fire; one, two" 
Here Menefee's rifle exploded, and the bullet whistled by 
the head of McClung and lodged in a tree that appeared to 
be on an exact line with the body of the latter. To the sur- 
prise of everybody, instead of firing his piece, McClung at- 
tempted to break it in half, and with a fierce oath hurled it 
a distance of twenty feet away, where it alighted upon a pile 
of sand and stuck, muzzle down, several feet in it. The 



290 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

seconds soon learned the cause of this strange action the 
gun had hung fire. It was rescued, the sand removed from 
the muzzle, and reloaded. After an interval of ten minutes 
the combatants resumed their positions, and the crowd 
gathered around them again. During the interval many 
bets had been wagered on the result of the duel, the odds 
being generally in favor of Menefee, who was a popular 
favorite, and who, moreover, was generally supposed to be 
more proficient with the rifle. The word was again given. 
This time McClung's piece was more faithful. Before 
Menefee's finger had pressed the trigger of the rifle that of 
McClung had been discharged, and the ball, striking the 
cock of Menefee's gun, hurled a piece of it deep into the 
brain of the unfortunate young man, who fell, and died 
before he could be removed from the field. 

In ante-bellum times nowhere on the continent 
were more exciting scenes witnessed than in the 
cabins of some of the Mississippi river steamers, and 
of these none were more dramatic and tragical than 
the following incident. Gambling, oftentimes for 
the highest stakes, was universal, particularly on the 
New Orleans packets, and professional gamblers fre- 
quently made these boats their homes. Much has 
been written concerning the lives and characters of 
these men, and many are the incidents related in 
which they bore conspicuous, if not always honorable, 
parts. Amongst the various gambling scenes that 
have occurred on western and southern rivers, there 
is one which should not be forgotten, the more so as 
one of the principal actors in the event is known 
throughout the country to have been a man of tried 
bravery and courage, and his name, James Bowie, is 
always associated with the idea of fearlessness. In 
a recent conversation with an old steamboatman, a 
reporter of the St. Louis Republican learned of the 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 29 1 

following, which occurred on board the steamer 
Orleans, Captain Davis father of Captain John B. 
Davis, late of the Diamond Jo line master, in the 
Fall of 1832. At that time the river steamers were be- 
ginning to be infested with organized bands of gam- 
blers, which in a few years embraced in their ranks 
as allies and confederates many of the barkeepers 
and other officers of the boats of higher rank, and 
with their assistance and connivance many a planter 
was robbed of his all and driven to suicide or mur- 
der. In the Fall of the year the merchants and 
planters of the country along the lower river went 
East to purchase goods or to collect the proceeds of 
the year's crop of cotton or sugar, and their arrival 
at and departure from New York were carefully 
noted by emissaries of the gamblers. If it was 
known that they carried back to the West or South 
any large amount of money, they were watched, and 
an efficient gang of sharps was placed upon their 
tracks. In the summer of 1833 a young gentleman 
of Natchez, who had just been married, made an ex- 
tended wedding trip to the North, and on his way 
back home had stopped in New York to collect a 
number of bills which had been intrusted to him for 
collection by planters at and near Natchez, and the 
amount in the aggregate was quite large. Shortly 
after his arrival in New York the young man was 
spotted, and his acquaintance made by several of the 
gambling fraternity, but, though they tried hard to 
do so, they failed to inveigle him into any of their 
dens. When he had transacted his business there 
the young man started for home with his wife, but, 
knowing of his probable route, a well-organized gang 
started ahead of him, leaving two of the fraternity to 



292 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

accompany their intended victim and keep him in 
sight. Learning at Pittsburg that he would take a 
steamer there for Louisville, where he would remain 
a few days, and then take one of the New Orleans 
packets for Natchez, they joined him on the boat, 
and on the trip to Louisville card playing was intro- 
duced to while away the time. Having been allowed 
to win small sums, by the time they had reached 
Louisville the victim imagined he knew all about the 
game. This game, which at the time referred to was 
much in vogue, was called 20-card poker, and was 
played with the tens, jacks, and queens, kings, and 
aces of the pack, and as but four could play at a 
time the game was admirably adapted for what is 
known to the gambling fraternity as "three pluck 
one." After a pleasant visit in Louisville the young 
man took passage on the steamer Orleans for Natchez. 
The gentlemen's cabin, where all the card-playing 
was done, was on the main deck, directly under the 
ladies' cabin. Instead of the round wheel-houses 
now seen, the Orleans' were square, flat on top, and 
came up to within two feet of the hurricane deck, 
and the distance between them was about thirty-five 
feet. Not long after leaving Louisville card-playing 
was resumed, and so effectually had the gamblers car- 
ried out their scheme that they had won nearly all 
their victim's money before reaching Vicksburg, and 
had intended to complete their work before Natchez 
was reached, a comparatively easy task, as he was 
drunk and desperate. A few miles above Vicksburg 
a tall, straight, and dignified gentleman, having much 
the appearance of a preacher, got aboard the boat, 
and in a few minutes took a seat near the gamblers, 
where he could see all that was going on. Several 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 293 

times during the continuance of the game, and after 
the tall stranger had come aboard, the young wife 
of the gamblers' victim had besought him to leave 
their company, but in vain, so deep was the infatua- 
tion of the game, and so strong his belief that he 
could yet win back the money which he. had lost. 
Play continued into the night, and by i o'clock in 
the morning his money was all won from him, and, 
rendered desperate by the knowledge that he had 
been recreant to the trust reposed in him, the victim 
rose from his seat and rushed wildly to the side of 
the boat, intent upon self-destruction, but just as he 
was in the act of springing overboard he was seized 
by a grip of iron and held, and, his young wife ap- 
pearing at that time, he was taken to his room by 
the stranger, who assured her that all would be right 
if she would only keep her husband in the room until 
his return. Returning to the cabin, where the gam- 
blers and their friends were standing around the bar 
drinking, the stranger drew out of his pocket a well- 
filled wallet, and taking out of it a $100 bank note, 
asked the barkeeper to change it for him. This the 
barkeeper could not do, but referred him to the prin- 
cipal gambler, saying: " This gentleman can change 
it for you." "Oh, yes," he answered at once, "won't 
you take a drink?" Thanking him, the stranger ac- 
cepted the invitation, and whilst the change was 
being made, just touched his glass to his lips. The 
gamblers had all seen the well-filled wallet, and, as 
the stranger casually remarked that he stopped at 
Natchez, they determined to try to catch and fleece 
him. One of them remarked that he did not care to 
go to bed, and proposed that another game be played, 
to which, of course, the others agreed, but, as there 



294 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

were but three of them who understood the game, and 
it required four to play it, the stranger was invited 
to join them, which, after a little hesitation on his 
part, he assented to. The game began by the 
stranger being allowed to win several large bets. 
But he kept his eyes open, and although they did 
not know it, he was perfectly aware of what was 
going on. After playing for about an hour, and just 
as day was breaking, the gamblers concluded to 
finish by giving the stranger a hand which would 
induce him to bet largely, and as there were three of 
them, and he could not call, they felt certain they 
could force him to put up all he had before they 
would allow him to have a show. Everything worked 
as they had anticipated ; the man opposite the 
stranger dealt the cards and the man on his right 
went $10 blind; the ante was $5. When the cards 
were dealt the stranger put up $20, and the next 
man did the same, when the dealer raised him $20, 
putting up $40. When it came to the turn of the 
one who made the blind he put up $130, thus raising 
it $100. The stranger quietly put up the requisite 
amount, and when the next man bet $100 more, the 
next man, the dealer, then threw up his hand and drew 
out. The two remaining gamblers then kept raising 
the bet whenever it came their turn, the stranger 
coolly putting up whatever sum was necessary until 
the total amount on the table was fully $100,000, of 
which the stranger had contributed one third. Whilst 
the betting was going on the stranger had kept his 
eye on the dealer and had, by his watchfulness, pre- 
vented any changing of cards. Toward the last he 
saw a card slipped by the dealer to the man who had 
made the blind, when, seizing him by the wrist with 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 295 

one hand, he drew a murderous looking knife with 
the other and forced the gambler to lay his cards on 
the table face down. All sprang to their feet and 
the stranger quietly said that when that hand was 
raised and it should be found to contain six cards, 
he would kill the owner; telling the other to show 
his cards, he threw down his own hand, which con- 
sisted of four kings and a ten spot. The baffled 
gambler, livid with rage and disappointment, swore 
that the stranger should fight him, demanding, with 
an oath, to know who he was anyway. Quietly, and 
as if in the presence of ladies, the stranger answered, 
"James Bowie." At the sound of that name two of 
the gamblers quailed, for they knew that the man 
who bore that name was a terror to even the bravest; 
but the third, who had never heard of " James 
Bowie," demanded a duel at once. This was ac- 
ceded to at once by Bowie, with a smile; pistols 
derringers were the weapons selected, the hurri- 
cane-roof the place, and the time at once. Sweeping 
the whole of the money into his hat, Bowie went to 
the room where the unhappy wife sat guarding her 
husband's uneasy slumbers, and, rapping on the door, 
he handed her, when she had opened it, the hat and 
its contents, telling her that if he did not come back, 
two thirds of the money was her husband's and the 
balance his own. Ascending to the hurricane-roof 
the principals were placed one upon the top of each 
wheel-house. This brought them about twelve yards 
apart, and each was exposed to the other from the 
knee up. The pistols were handed to them and the 
gambler's second gave the word, "one, two, three, 
fire, stop," uttered at intervals of one second each, 
and they were allowed to fire at any time between 



296 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the utterance of the words one and stop. As "one" 
rang out in the clear morning air both raised their 
weapons, as " three" was heard the gambler's pistol 
rang out and before the sound had ceased and whilst 
the word "fire" was being uttered, Bowie's pistol 
sounded, and simultaneous with this sound the gam- 
bler fell, and giving a convulsive struggle rolled off 
the wheel-house into the river. Bowie coolly blew 
the smoke out of his pistol, shut down the pan (the 
flint-lock was in use at the time), and going down 
into the ladies' cabin obtained his hat and divided 
the money which it contained into three portions. 
Two of these he gave to the young wife and the 
other he kept, as it was his own money. Having 
awakened her husband, the fond wife showed him 
the money, and told him all she knew about the 
affair, not having heard of the duel. When the hus- 
band became acquainted with all the facts, his grati- 
tude to his benefactor was deep and lasting. Not 
desiring to be made a hero of, Bowie, when the boat 
reached Rodney, determined to go ashore; and as he 
was leaving the boat both the husband and wife 
clung to him as though he was a father leaving them. 
It was afterward ascertained that the amount which 
Bowie returned to the wife was within less than $100 
of the sum which the gamblers had won from her 
husband. 

A Buffalo (N. Y.) correspondent of the New York 
Times writes as follows, under date of August n, 
1883: 

One of the handsomest residences along the Niagara 
River is that of W. C. Allen, near the head of Grand Island. 
A portion of his lawn now occupies a spot which should 
have no little historical interest. The incident giving it that 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 297 

interest is probably little known outside of local circles, and 
is now recalled only through the existence of a document 
which has been preserved in a prominent family now resi- 
dent at Niagara Falls. This document is as follows: 

" A meeting took place between General Smyth and Gen- 
eral Porter yesterday afternoon on Grand Island in pur- 
suance of previous arrangements. They met at Dayton's 
Tavern, and crossed the river with their friends and sur- 
geons. Both gentlemen behaved with the utmost coolness 
and unconcern. A shot was fired in as intrepid and firm a 
manner as possible by each gentleman, but without effect. 
It was then represented by General Smyth's second that 
General Porter must now be convinced that the charge of 
cowardice against General Smyth was unfounded, and should 
in honor be retracted, which, after mutual explanations as 
to the matters which had given rise to the charge, was ac- 
cordingly done by him. 

" General Smyth then explained that his remarks on Gen- 
eral Porter were the result of irritation, and were intended 
as provocation from having been assailed by General Porter, 
and that he knew nothing derogatory to General Porter's 
character as a gentleman and an officer. The hand of recon- 
ciliation was then offered and received. 

"We congratulate the friends of these gentlemen upon 
this fortunate termination of a difference arising from too 
much precipitation, but which has been adjusted in a man- 
ner so honorable to both. 

"WILLIAM H. WINDER, 
"SAMUEL ANGUS. 

"BLACK ROCK, Dec. 13, 1812." 

In 1810 General Peter B. Porter was a resident of Canan- 
daigua, which was then the most prominent place in western 
New York, much of which was, in fact, but little more than 
a wilderness. In the year named he was elected to Con- 
gress, but, disliking political life, he retired from it the next 
year and removed to Black Rock, where he owned large 
estates, which are now a portion of Buffalo. He resided 
there at the breaking out of the war of 1812, and as the 



298 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Canadian frontier was to be an important strategic point in 
the contest, all of the militia of western New York was 
ordered for service at the various points along the frontier. 
General Porter was appointed to the command of the militia 
by the Governor of the State, to act in concert with the 
regular troops, which were placed under command of a 
Virginian named Alexander Smyth. The latter had no 
military experience, except in a local way, but he was a man 
of great assurance, and of a bombastic, vainglorious dispo- 
sition. Porter's headquarters were at Black Rock, and 
Smyth's were nearby. "Soon after establishing himself at 
Black Rock," says a gentleman to whom General Porter 
related the circumstances fifty years ago, "General Smyth 
issued a long proclamation to his troops, couched in the 
most extravagant language and filled with boasting prog- 
nostications of what he intended to do with the British 
upon the opening of Spring. The tenor of the proclamation 
was that if Spring opened early and favorably he would im- 
mediately invade Canada, capture all of its strongholds, and 
put a summary end to the war. This bombastic document 
made the egotistical Southerner the subject of the greatest 
ridicule both in and out of camp. It so disgusted Gen- 
eral Porter that he charged openly that such language and 
silly boastfulness could not emanate from a man of courage 
and bravery. This remark of General Porter was commu- 
nicated at once to General Smyth, and he sent at once a 
fiery challenge to General Porter to meet him on the field 
of honor and test his courage. General Porter was not a 
duellist nor a believer in duelling, but, holding the position 
he did, he did not feel that he could decline this challenge, 
and he promptly accepted it. He selected General William 
Winder, of the regular army, as his second, and General 
Smyth chose Adjutant Samuel Angus, of his command. 
Dayton's Tavern, where the parties met, was then a well- 
known hostelry of that day, but was long ago torn down. 
Its site is six miles below Buffalo, on the banks of the 
Niagara River, and is now occupied by the residence of the 
John A. Hopkins family. The official report of the duel 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 299 

reads well, but General Porter always said that General 
Smyth's bearing and conduct during the affair were in no 
way calculated to convince any one that he was courageous 
or in any way fitted for a military command. Smyth gave 
up his command soon afterwards, and returned to Virginia, 
He was returned to Congress for his district for several 
years, where his manners made him the constant butt of his 
fellow-Congressmen." 



300 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

NOTED AMERICAN DUELS CONTINUED. 

Journalistic Encounters Editors who have Backed Up their 
Opinions with Swords, Pistols, Knives, Rifles, Shotguns, 
Blunderbusses, and Yagers Fatal Meetings in Virginia A 
Bloody Affair at Belle Isle Messrs. Beirne and Elam's Pictur- 
esque Drama Joaquin Miller's Symposium Belligerent Mis- 
sissippi Editors A Fighting Newspaper and no Mistake 
Louisiana Belligerents Creole Punctiliousness Duels among 
California Editors Gilbert and Denver John Nugent's Two 
Duels Badly Wounded in both Carter and DeCourcey 
Washington and Washburne Will Hicks Graham's Desperate 
Duels with Frank Lemon and General William Walker, the 
Great Filibuster Calvin B. MacDonald's Graphic Description 
of the Tevis-Lippincott Duel The Meeting between Judge 
Stidger and Colonel Rust A Clash between Northern and 
Southern Pluck Wilson and Beane James Watson Webb 
and Thomas F. Marshall Gibson and Irving, of Tennessee 
Bynum and Perry, of South Carolina James Gordon Bennett 
and Fred May, of New York Goodman and Fitch, of Nevada 
An Episode of Mobile, after the War How two Men 
Fought with Rifles and afterward " Drowned their Sorrows in 
the Flowing Bowl." 

TIME was when the average American editor was 
liable to be called upon to defend his printed state- 
ments upon a hostile field; and it is a noteworthy fact 
that many an unfortunate scribe has been ceremoni- 
ously slain thus proving conclusively that the pen is 
not always mightier than the sword. Seriously, the 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 3OI 

practice of duelling prevailed to a considerable ex- 
tent among American journalists in ante-bellum days, 
and especially among the editorial brotherhood in 
the States lying south of the so-called "Mason and 
Dixon's line" and in the States and Territories of the 
u Far West." Many famous meetings have taken place 
among belligerent members of the Virginia press, one 
of the most noted being that fatal one a number of 
years before the Southern Rebellion between Mr. 
Ritchie (of the Richmond Enquirer] and John Hamp- 
den Pleasants (of the Richmond Whig). Ritchie 
was the editor of a violent Democratic paper, while 
Pleasants was an uncompromising Whig. A per- 
sonal attack in the columns of one paper, responded 
to by a no less personal answer in the other, resulted 
in a challenge and a meeting. The scene was Belle 
Isle, the little islet in the James River, at Richmond. 
Here, in sight of the city's busy streets, the two 
editors met and fought. They had each gone to the 
fray armed with duelling pistols and swords. The 
conditions of the fight, as agreed upon by their 
seconds, were that after the first fire with the pistols, 
if neither should be hurt, they should have recourse 
to their swords. The swords remained in their scab- 
bards, however, for at the first shot Pleasants fell 
dead in his tracks. On the i2th of June, 1869, 
Robert W. Hughes (of the Richmond State Journal) 
and William E. Cameron (of the Richmond Index) 
fought with pistols in North Carolina, and the latter 
was hit in the breast at the first fire. In March, 1843, 
Melzer Gardner, editor of the Portsmouth (Va.) 
Chronicle, was killed by a lawyer named Mordecai 
Cook, Jr., on Ferry Wharf; and on the following day 
a mob threatened to tear down Cook's house, at 



302 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

which Mrs. Cook took fright and died in a few hours. 
During the Summer of 1883 Messrs. Beirne and Elam 
(respectively of the Richmond State and Despatch) 
created a great sensation throughout the whole coun- 
try by their picturesque drama, which culminated in 
the wounding of Elam. E. W. Johnson and J. M. 
Daniel, Virginia editors, met at or near Bladensburg 
in 1852, exchanged harmless shots, and then retired 
friends. During the following year Robert Ridge- 
way (a Virginia editor) and HOJI. S. G. Davis en- 
gaged in a similar affair at Bladensburg. 

On the 20th of October, 1883, Joaquin Miller, 
who had been studying the traits of a number of the 
modern duellists of Virginia, writes, felicitously, as 
follows from Richmond to the San Francisco 
Chronicle: 

"Going down South as far as Richmond, are you? Well, 
let me give you a letter to my friend Beirne, editor of the 
State" "What ! Beirne, the fighting editor, who shot Elam 
last Summer, and who fought United States Senator Riddle- 
berger ? Yes, give me a letter to this gay duellist. I want 
to see him. I want to ask him just exactly how a man feels 
when standing face to face with a Christian gentleman only 
ten steps away, waiting for the word of death. I will make 
a letter of it. I will publish it to the world exactly as he 
tells it to me word for word, letter for letter. It will make 
good reading ; maybe it will do good. It will certainly do 
no harm." Finding I was really interested in duellists, my 
friend gave me a cordial letter not only to Beirne, editor 
of the State, at Richmond, but also to Mr. C., editor and 
owner of the Dispatch, as was his father before him. This 
latter gentleman has in fact been in even more mortal com- 
bats than Mr. Beirne. But they were not quite so recent nor 
so fresh in my mind ; in fact, not nearly so picturesque as 
the singular duel between Beirne and Elam last Summer, in 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 303 

which the latter was thought to be mortally wounded for 
the second time. And so my heart went out with a bound- 
less desire to see, to shake hands, if I could do it safely, 
with this bloody duellist, who had shot down Elam, grace- 
fully lifted his hat, bowed good-morning to him as he lay 
there in his blood on the grass, and turned back to his work 
at the editorial desk as if nothing had happened. As I 
whirled away on the road to Richmond I recalled the comic 
as well as the serious incidents of the Beirne-Elam duel last 
Summer. You may remember that they went from Rich- 
mond to West Virginia to fight ; were arrested at once, 
released on giving security to keep the peace in that State, 
and so agreed to fight somewhere else. You will also re- 
member that it was afterwards and finally settled that 
Beirne was to meet Elam several hundred miles distant in 
Virginia, but somehow the word did not reach Beirne so 
soon as expected informing him of the place of meeting ; 
that he had set out at midnight and in the midst of a 
thunder-storm ; that there was no railway and the journey 
had to be made on horse-back and by carriage. You will 
recall the fact of this bloodthirsty gentleman in his zeal to 
reach the spot in time being washed away by a mountain 
stream, borne half a mile down in the freshet, carriage and 
all, drowning his horses and barely escaping with his life. 
But he crawled out of the water and kept on. Then to add 
to all this the officers of the law were close on his heels, and 
were only kept back by the dangerous mountain torrents. 
You may remember, too, that at one mountain hamlet the 
officers lodged in the house while the duellist, whom they 
supposed still ahead of them, was cosily and peacefully 
sleeping in the chicken-coop, while the seconds kept watch 
and cleaned and dried the pistols for the deadly encounter 
on the morrow. Well, you see, I did not care so much 
about this funny part of it, but what I wanted was to get 
right at the heart of the man's heart, if you will pardon the 
expression. I wanted a candid, square man to tell me just 
precisely how he felt, whether angry still ; whether bitter at 
heart, or kind and forgiving ; whether he did not wish he 



304 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

hadn't come after all and let the other fellow have his say 
and his way, rather than have at the last to plug an ounce 
bullet in his breast, and send him home a bleeding corpse 
to his wife and babes. The day after my arrival in Rich- 
mond I sent my letters of introduction to the newspaper 
offices and waited the result. About noon the cards of the 
two famous duellists came up together. This was delicious. 
Now I indeed should know all about the singular sensation 
of standing before a Christian gentleman and looking down 
the muzzle of his pistol as the moments swelled into hours 
while waiting the words, " one, two, three Fire T The 
handsome young editor of the Dispatch put me at ease at 
once by his quiet and graceful way of bidding me welcome 
to Richmond. But the other man absorbed all my atten- 
tion instantly. Desperate? Tall, gaunt, bony and blood- 
thirsty? Why, God bless your soul, he is the sleekest, 
sleepiest, best-fed, fattest, best-natured looking editor in 
the United States. His blue eyes are mild as a child's. 
He looks and acts in fact like a great big green boy just 
out of school. And intellectually, he looks as if, like my- 
self, he had never been quite able to enter into familiar 
relations with the multiplication table, or even any high 
degree of mental arithmetic. Permit me to say here, by 
way of parenthesis, so that my friends in California may not 
be uneasy on my account, that before this sketch is pub- 
lished I shall be on my way either to London or San Fran- 
cisco. Well, after the ordinary salutations we sat down and, 
ordered cigars. No ; they would not smoke, these young 
fire-eaters. " I never smoke but one cigar a day and that is 
at night," calmly said the editor of the Dispatch, as he 
toyed with his cane and glasses. Then I had brandy 
brought up, as I had been taught to believe that these 
bloody duellists and Southerners lived on brandy when they 
could not get blood to drink. No ; they would not drink at 
all. The big, green schoolboy who had stretched so many 
of his enemies on the grass said he never drank anything 
stronger than beer, and only a glass or two of that toward 
the close of the day, when his work was done. I did not 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 305 

see just then any good opportunity to wedge in an inquiry 
directly about duels, as the conversations led over the ordi- 
nary routes of congratulation and inquiry as to the various 
features of the South, and so felt a bit disappointed. But 
when they arose to leave it was to my infinite delight ar- 
ranged that we should all three, along with an old Califor- 
nian, also a dead shot and duellist, go out driving under the 
magnolia trees and through the beautiful and sadly impres- 
sive Richmond Cemetery. The first thing these three duel- 
lists did was to drive me to the famous club-house here, cel- 
ebrated not only for its wide-door hospitality, but for many 
costly and historical pictures. That of Pocahontas seemed 
to abound everywhere. How many Virginians have de- 
scended from Pocahontas it is hard to say. But if any ten 
other Indians had increased as she is supposed to have in- 
creased it is safe to say that the race of savages, so far from 
perishing from the earth, would to-day, numerically at 
least, be in the ascendant over the Saxon. At this elegant 
club my recollection- is that these three duellists ordered 
brandy and seltzer, but as they drank only seltzer they left 
me nothing but brandy. I had to drink what was left, for 
no wise man will be particular when alone with three duel- 
lists. The conversation as we sat there took a historic turn 
the early settlement of Virginia, the great battle just out 
at the edge of the town at what is still called Bloody Run, 
the Indians, the generosity of Virginia in giving half a 
dozen States to the Union and receiving, asking, indeed, not 
one cent for all that boundless domain. Then we had more 
brandy and seltzer, divided up as before. By this time I 
had mustered- a little valor and tried to get my shoulder 
under the conversation and lift it up into the atmosphere of 
the field of honor, but just then the black boy in buttons 
called out the carriage at the club-house door, and in a mo- 
ment more we were driving toward the great cemetery under 
the beautiful magnolia trees, up the banks of the classic 
James, overlooking Belle Island. Nearly a mile of the most 
delightful drive on this earth, so far as scenery goes, peeps 
through the trees a drop-curtain for a theatre, in fact, at 



306 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

almost every turn of the wheel and we drove through the 
gate, with its great broken ivy-covered columns. 

The Mississippi editors were quite as hostile as the 
Virginians. In 1838 Dr. James Hagan, of the Vicks- 
burg Sentinel, fought with the editor of the Vicks- 
burg Whig, and the latter was wounded. In 1843 
Hagan was assassinated on a public street in Vicks- 
burg by Daniel W. Adams, who admitted the shoot- 
ing at the Coroner's inquest, and said that he had 
killed Hagan on account of an article written by the 
latter reflecting on Judge George Adams, of Jackson 
(Mississippi), father of Daniel. In June, 1842, James 
F. Fall, one of the editors of the Sentinel, fought with 
T. E. Robins, of the Railroad Bank, and was wound- 
ed. In May, 1844, Robins again met an editor of the 
Sentinel, James M. Downs, and the latter was wound- 
ed. They fought with "yagers,." at fifteen paces. 
Shortly after this affair Captain Walter Hickey, a 
fresh Sentinel editor, had a meeting, with revolvers, 
with Dr. Macklin, and the latter was mortally wound- 
ed. After this duel Hickey came out best in several 
encounters in and around Vicksburg, but was finally 
"laid out" in Texas by Joseph Moses, in 1849. In 
1845 James Ryan, another Sentinel editor, was sent to 
his last account by R. E. Hammet, of the Whig. 
Still later, an editor of the Sentinel named Jenkins was 
killed by H. A. Crabbe, who was afterward beheaded 
in Sonora. 

In 1851 John William Frost, one of the editors of 
the New Orleans Crescent, and Dr. Thomas Hunt, a 
distinguished physician of New Orleans, fought near 
the United States Barracks, below the city, with 
double-barrelled shotguns, and the editor was mor- 
tally wounded at the second shot and died in half an 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 307 

hour. Dr. Hunt was the challenged party. A few 
months previous to this fatal affair, Messrs. Walker 
and Kennedy, both editors of New Orleans papers, 
had met with pistols at twelve paces, exchanged shots, 
and retired satisfied. In 1852 E. T. Carroll, editor of 
the Crescent, and J. M. Barbagon, met near Lake 
Ponchartrain, with rifles, took two shots at each other 
without effect at forty paces, and then declared their 
difficulties at an end. In 1853, Mr. Cohen (editor of 
the New Orleans Staats Zeitung) and Dr. Wintzel (of 
the Deutsche Zeitung) met with pistols, and at the first 
shot Cohen was dangerously wounded. In August, 
1843, there was a desperate encounter between J. 
Hueston, editor of the Baton Rouge (La.) Gazette, 
and Alcee Lambranche, M. C. from that district. 
The parties met at "The Oaks," with double-bar- 
relled shotguns, loaded with ball, distance forty yards, 
and Hueston fell mortally wounded at the fourth fire. 
In 1825 Michael De Armas was a notary and attorney 
of New Orleans, and a representative of a fine old 
Spanish family. During his term of office a Mr. 
Jackson, an editor of a New Orleans paper, criticised 
De Armas one morning severely. Michael was both 
a French and Spanish scholar, but spoke very little 
and read no English. Seventeen years younger than 
Michael was his brother Felix. The latter read the 
English as well as the French and Spanish news- 
papers. Felix perused with horror the article re- 
ferred to, and in the afternoon called upon Mr. Jack- 
son, and said: "I fear, Mr. Jackson, that you are 

laboring under some misapprehenson " "Don't 

you give yourself any uneasiness, Mr. De Armas; I 
am laboring under no misapprehension." " But you 
will permit me " "No, sir, I will permit " "I 



30S THE FIELD Of HONOR. 

was merely going to say, Mr. Jackson, that you will 
permit me to demand that satisfaction which one 
gentleman has a right to demand from another." 
"Oh, certainly; that is the custom of the country, 
you know." Jackson received and accepted the chal- 
lenge from Felix De Armas the same day, and upon 
the following morning the two gentleman met with 
pistols, near the U. S. Barracks, and Jackson fell dead 
at the first fire. Michael knew nothing of the affair 
until he read of it in detailed form in the afternoon 
edition of his favorite French paper. 

Hostile meetings among California journalists were 
quite frequent during the early days of the Golden 
State. It was at a date among a people and in a 
country when, as Judge Edward McGowan has 
many times truthfully said and written, "it required 
more bravery to decline than to accept a challenge." 
The code was generally acknowledged, declared 
Judge McGowan; "and the man in California in 
those early days who refused to fight when chal- 
lenged was considered outside the pale of genteel 
society." A description of the fatal meeting between 
Hon. Edward Gilbert (at the time editor-in-chief of 
the Daily Alta California) and General James W. 
Denver (then Secretary of the State of California) is 
presented as one of the most dramatic and con- 
spicuous affairs of this character. The Legislature 
of California, at its session of 1852, had passed a bill 
to provide for the sending of relief to overland im- 
migrants who might be in a destitute condition, or 
exposed to danger from hostile Indians. This bill 
required the Governor, who had made the recommen- 
dation to the Legislature, to raise a company and 
supply trains sufficient to meet the necessities which 






NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 309 

might exist during the season. The Governor had 
obeyed these instructions, and had marched in front 
of the train through the capital of the State as it was 
setting out upon its humane expedition. Mr. Gilbert 
vigorously opposed .this whole measure, frankly 
stating that he believed the movement was designed 
for the purpose of making political capital, and that 
it would be a heavy expense to the State, and render 
little aid to the immigrants. When the press an- 
nounced the departure of the supply train, and com- 
plimented the Governor, who escorted it out of 
Sacramento, Mr. Gilbert ridiculed the parade and 
show that was made about it, and intimated that the 
whole thing was projected to increase the Governor's 
popularity. General Denver, who was connected 
with the relief train, and who was a personal friend 
of Governor Bigler, replied to Mr. Gilbert's articles 
by publishing a card, in which he made use of un- 
mistakably discourteous language. Mr. Gilbert re- 
plied, and General Denver retorted. A challenge 
was immediately sent to General Denver, and ac- 
cepted, and rifles selected as weapons. Mr. Gilbert 
fell at the second shot and expired in less than five 
minutes. The victim was a native of Albany (New 
York), and was a member of the convention to form 
the Constitution for the State of California, and im- 
mediately after her admission into the Union was 
chosen a Representative to Congress. He was only 
thirty-three years of age at the time of his death, had 
been a pioneer of the daily press of San Francisco, 
and was an earnest if not brilliant writer. The 
author has carefully perused a great many accounts 
of this melancholy affair, which agree, in the main, 
with the foregoing. In 1880 General Denver's name 



310 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

was mentioned in connection with the Democratic 
nomination for the Presidency, which prompted the 
New York Herald to reproduce a description of this 
episode in Denver's life, which it is presumed should 
or would handicap Denver for such eminent prefer- 
ment. This article was replied to by Mr. W. A. 
Cornwall, of San Francisco, as follows, in a com- 
munication to that paper: 

The San Francisco Bulletin republished an article from 
the Herald, in which General James W. Denver is men- 
tioned as an eligible candidate for the Presidency. In it 
reference is made to the fact that at the time Denver was 
Secretary of State of California he engaged in a duel with 
Edward Gilbert, who was then editor of the Alt a California. 
The article is prejudicial, because it does not detail the cir- 
cumstances connected with that fact and the deplorable 
duel. The incident of which it was the result was an article 
published in the Alta California respecting a family named 
Donner, which perished en route in its attempt to emigrate 
overland to California in 1850. The State, learning of the 
distress of the emigrants, provided means for their relief; 
and the duty of dispensing it was delegated to the Secretary 
of State. This was prompt and humane, but it was bitterly 
criticised and sharply assailed by Gilbert. Denver is a clear- 
headed, sound man, sensitive and brave. He retorted, and 
his retort was terrible. Gilbert, who was a member of 
Colonel Stevenson's New York regiment, challenged Den- 
ver, and the parties went upon the field. The weapons were 
rifles, at short range ; and I assert, as a witness, that no man 
in the tide of all the centuries ever displayed a more daunt- 
less temper than Denver. He knew that Gilbert was a 
brave soldier, and that he was reckoned to be a deadly shot. 
Nevertheless, Denver reserved his fire, and purposely threw 
away his own. Happily, Denver escaped untouched. Every 
effort was then made by the seconds and by mutual friends 
for peace ; Gilbert was informed that his antagonist wished 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 31 1 

to clasp hands, but Gilbert refused the request in terms 
which showed his friends that he had determined to kill 
Denver. The principals returned to their positions. 
" Now," said Denver, in a tone I shall never forget, " I 
must defend myself ;" and at the word Gilbert fell, pierced 
through the heart. I assert that no man more than Denver 
disdains this deadly mode of arbitration, but Washington 
himself would have defended his own life. He offered it, 
like Denver, to his country. He would have defended it as 
a trust and legacy from the Creator. He was an imperson- 
ation of the great thought, Duke et decorum est pro pair id 
mart. 

In 1884 General Denver's name was again men- 
tioned in connection with the Presidential nomina- 
tion, and Judge Edward McGowan, on the lyth of 
April, 1884, wrote as follows from Washington to the 
San Francisco Evening Post : 

In my obituary notice of the late Judge McCorkle I in- 
advertently referred to the duel between General James 
Denver, now a resident of this city, and Edward Gilbert, 
founder of the Alta California of your city, which took 
place over thirty years ago at "The Oaks," forty miles from 
Sacramento. General Denver will be a candidate for Presi- 
dent before the Democratic National Committee, which will 
meet in Chicago on the 8th of July, and the old story of 
censure, which was cast upon him by the anti-duellists and 
the friends of Mr. Gilbert at the time the affair came off, 
has been revived in certain circles in this city to his great 
detriment, although he was not altogether to blame for the 
"taking off" of Mr. 'Gilbert, as every opportunity was 
afforded his friends by the friends of General Denver for a 
settlement of the difficulty without a further resort to arms, 
after one shot had been exchanged between the parties 
without either being hit. At the time of the duel General 
Denver was Secretary of State, under the administration of 
the late Governor John Bigler. The meeting was caused by 



312 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

a severe article in the Alfa California, an opposition press, 
criticising the conduct of the Governor in appointing Gen- 
eral Denver to the head of the expedition over the moun- 
tains for the relief of the emigrants. This was at the time 
a position of the most difficult and responsible character. 
Denver replied to these strictures in the Alta in pretty severe 
terms, and Mr. Gilbert, being the responsible editor, sent the 
challenge. General Denver threw his first shot away being 
an expert with the rifle, although his opponent was no novice 
in the use of firearms. After the first fire a proposition 
was made by the friends of the challenged party to adjust 
the affair. This the friends of Mr. Gilbert refused to assent 
to. General Denver then threw off his coat and took his 
position, making a remark to one of his friends Dr. Wake 
Brierly about "not standing here all day to be shot at." 
At the second fire Mr. Gilbert fell dead pierced through 
the heart by a bullet from his opponent's rifle. Mr. Gilbert 
himself would not agree to a settlement, fearing he would 
be compromised. He had had a previous difficulty with 
John Nugent, editor of the San Francisco Herald, and the 
affair was adjusted without resorting to the field of honor, 
and it was reported that Mr. Nugent had the best of the 
settlement. If this were true, it was a wrong settlement. 
All adjustments of affairs of honor should be made without 
casting a shadow of doubt upon the standing of either party 
as a gentleman and man of courage. General Denver was 
elected to Congress from California, serving in that body in 
the year 1855-6. His colleague was Colonel Philemon T. 
Herbert, who since received his death-wound at the battle 
of Mansfield, Texas, while in command of the Seventh 
Texas. Denver was also appointed. Governor of the Terri- 
tory of Kansas by President James Buchanan during 
"Border Ruffian "days. His predecessors as Governors of 
that Territory, during the contests of the free-State and pro- 
slavery men for the supremacy in that Territory in those 
bloody days of intestinal strife, were Robert J. Walker, 
Edwin M. Stanton, Colonel John W. Geary, first Mayor of 
San Francisco, and Wilson Shannon, afterward a resident of 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 31$ 

California. All of these men had wrought faithfully, in 
vain, in the work of pacification, and had either thrown up 
the task in despair, or had been removed by the President 
for inefficiency. While Governor of Kansas, Denver held 
the respect of the free-State men ; and the late Albert D. 
Richardson speaks of him in his well-known work, " Beyond 
the Mississippi." He says: "Though a Buchanan Demo- 
crat, Denver proved more fair and just than any previous 
Governor of Kansas. During the rebellion he won a Briga- 
dier-Generalship in the Union service, and the thriving 
metropolis of Colorado still perpetuates his name." He is 
now President of the Mexican Veteran Association, and did 
good service among his Congressional friends for the passing 
of a bill for a pension to the Mexican veterans, which bill 
the House passed this session. 

John Nugent, who died in San Francisco a short 
time ago, fought two duels one in 1852, with Alder- 
man Cotter in Contra Costa County, in which he was 
severely wounded in the left thigh at the second shot; 
and the other in 1853, near San Francisco, with Al- 
derman Hayes, in which he was again severely wound- 
ed at the second fire. The first duel was fought with 
pistols, at ten paces, and the second with rifles, at 
twenty paces. Nugent was for many years editor of 
the San Francisco Daily Herald, a noted newspaper in 
its day. 

In 1852 W. H. Carter and Harry De Courcey, editor 
of the Calaveras Chronicle, met in Yolo County with 
pistols, and the latter was dangerously wounded. Mr. 
James A. Avers, State Printer of California under 
Governor Stoneman, in a contribution to the Sacra- 
mento Bee of January i, 1884, writes of De Courcey as 
follows: 

Harry De Courcey was a peculiar character. A man of fine 
presence and very dressy, he would be noticed in any crowd 



314 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

for the remarkable likeness he bore in the shape and devel- 
opment of his forehead and in his facial features to the im- 
mortal bard of Avon. Harry was, however, more showy 
than substantial. He was a pretty good paragraph ist, but 
lacked depth of understanding and reach of thought. He 
was, withal, a great spendthrift, and delighted in display and 
splurge. With all his faults he was a splendid fellow and a 
man of nerve. He fought a desperate duel in Washington, 
Yolo county, in 1852, with one Carter, who sent his bullet 
clear through De Courcey's abdomen. Fortunately, Harry's 
second, Ed. Kemble, of the Alt a California, was a shrewd 
manager of such affairs, and had had great experience with 
the duello. When Harry asked him to act, he consented to 
do so on the condition that he would throw himself entirely 
into his hands. De Courcey agreed, and Kemble shut his 
man up in a room. He then entered into a dilatory corre- 
spondence with the opposite party, so as to gain time to get 
his man in condition. Two days were consumed in sparring 
between the seconds before the affair came off, and when it 
did take place Carter's bullet, as before stated, made a hole 
clear through De Courcey's body. When I got to the 
wounded man's bedside, about two days after the affair, I 
was not only astonished to find him alive after the terrible 
wound he had received, but amazed to see him in jovial 
spirits. I could not believe my eyes when I looked at the 
ugly aperture and beheld the pleased, confident, self-satisfied 
countenance of the victim. To my remark that I feared it 
was all day with him, he ridiculed the idea and fairly 
laughed at me. Of course I went away in the belief that he 
was near his end, and that the surgeons were merely keep- 
ing up his spirits with stimulants. I came over to Sacra- 
mento and found Kemble. I asked him what he thought of 
Harry's chances. He coolly replied that he was all right and 
would get well. " But," I said, "he is shot clear through the 
bowels, and a man so shot cannot live." " In most cases," 
he said, " that would be true. But in De Courcey's case it is 
different." He then went on to explain that he had, during 
the two days' negotiations, kept his man closely locked in 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 31$ 

his room, and had only allowed him a little tea and toast at 
very long intervals. The result was he went on the field 
with an empty stomach, and the bullet passed through be- 
tween the intestines without cutting any of them. Kemble's 
care saved Harry's life ; for he soon recovered, and lived for 
years afterward in excellent health. 

In 1854 Frank Washington (of the San Francisco 
Times and Transcript) and C. A. Washburn (since 
Minister to Paraguay) met with rifles, at forty paces, 
and the latter was severely wounded at the second 
fire. In 1851 Will Hicks Graham and S. Frank 
Lemon, a San Francisco editor, met near Benicia 
with pistols, and Lemon was badly wounded at the 
second shot. Shortly after this affair Graham and 
William Walker, the " gray-eyed man of destiny" as 
the famous filibuster was often called (then an attache 
of the San Francisco Herald} met with pistols, and 
Walker was very severely and dangerously wounded. 
An old Californian miner, speaking of Graham, says, 
in the San Francisco Call of a late date: 

Thar was true grit in that little cuss, and the biggest rough 
in the Territory gave him a wide berth. As fur me, I know'd 
all the time what kind of stuff he was made of. Maybe I 
warn't down to 'Frisco when Hicks fought the great filibuster 
Walker. He was a youngster then, working as a clerk in a 
law- office near the Plazer. Walker had a newspaper, and 
used ter pitch inter everybody red-hot. Nobody liked to 
tackle him, for somehow or other he had got the reputation 
of the gamest man that ever came to Californy. Well, one 
day Walker's paper made an all-fired savage attack on an old 
friend of little Graham's, who held an office there, and the 
youngster went right off and writ the worst kind of a letter 
to the fighting editor, calling him a coward, a liar, and 
everything else. Of course, there was bound to be a fight, 
and the old question about North and South got mixed up 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

in it, too. Yer see, Walker was a regular Southern fire-eater, 
and the young bloods from the South rallied around him as 
their champion. When it was known that little Hicks was 
to fight the famous duellist, people jist smiled fur pity of the 
poor young feller who was a-throwin' of his life away. But 
he fit him all the same, and showed that William Walker 
met his match when he met Will Hicks Graham. The duel 
was talked about all over town, and a terrible big crowd 
went out to see the fun. Walker was jist as game as 
Graham, but he couldn't shoot worth a cent, and the end of 
it was that the Pennsylvania boy shot him so bad that the 
surgeon said he couldn't live an hour. But Walker pulled 
through, as you all know, and afterward became a great fili- 
buster. And that wasn't the only fight Hicks Graham had 
in 'Frisco. Another of them editor chaps, named Frank 
Lemon, got after him on the street, one day, knocked the 
spunky little cuss down, and shot nearly all the teeth out 
of his head. I tell ye, boys, it's a purty close call when a 
feller gets yer down and then jams a pistol inter yer mouth 
and teches it off. Everybody thought it was all up with 
Graham that day. But he got 'round again, although badly 
shot in two places. And would ye believe it, 'fore he was 
half well, and while toting his left arm in a sling, Graham 
challenged Lemon to a duel to the death. They fought, it 
'pears to me, near Benisha, and this time the tables war 
turned, and the big feller didn't have everything his own 
way. Like Walker, Lemon was a brave man, but he had 
met his match. By the terms of the duel, proposed and in- 
sisted upon by Graham, they were to fight to the death. At 
the first fire nobody was hurt, and friends tried to make it 
up betwixt 'em, but 'twas no use. Both insisted on fighting, 
and at the second fire Graham shot him through and 
through. Dr. Hitchcock said it was all over with Frank 
Lemon, and so Graham left the ground. He got well, how- 
somever, after a long spell of sickness, and just as soon as he 
got 'round agin Graham sent another challenge. Friends in- 
terfered with better luck this time, and the trouble between 
'em was patched up. 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 

General Walker, in later years, left California, and, 
after stirring up Mexico and Central America by his 
daring exploits as a filibuster, perished by the hands 
of the people he had alarmed and whose country he 
had invaded. Frank Lemon went East when the 
civil war broke out, and died fighting gallantly for 
the Union at the head of a New York regiment. As 
for Graham, after a life full of excitement and adven- 
ture in the wildest days of Nevada, during which he 
shot Jack McBride and one or two others, he removed 
to Los Angeles and died there in peace and poverty. 

A correspondent of the San Francisco Evening Post, 
in alluding to Walker, says of him: 

" The Gray- Eyed Man of Destiny" the greatest filibuster 
of modern times was a lawyer, and followed the profession 
in several States. He also studied two other professions 
medicine and divinity. He was a Tennesseean ; small in 
stature, quiet in manner, always self-possessed, and attracted 
the eye chiefly by his own enormous gray orbs, which gave 
him the title above. He was a born adventurer. Yet was 
he gentle in speech and subdued in demeanor. His infor- 
mation was wide. He frequently had personal altercations, 
and fought several duels, but went into conflicts of every 
kind with phenomenal composure. His habits were good, 
and he was generally well liked. A mighty visionary was 
he. His ambition was to effect a conquest on the Isthmus 
as a nucleus for a broad dominion, to be extended into Mex- 
ico and South America. In both Honduras and Nicaragua 
he was a conqueror. The land was his, and the people at 
his feet, but Anglo-Saxon power overthrew him. After 
being driven out of Nicaragua, he repaired to New York to 
devise other plans of conquest. Colonel E. C. Marshall 
there met him, by chance, under the gaslight. He was en- 
thusiastic over his Honduras scheme said that it dwarfed 
all his former plans. He was going to establish a great re- 
public between the continents. It is believed by those who 



318 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

knew him that had he succeeded in establishing his power he 
would have been a wise and beneficent ruler. His political 
knowledge was great. General Walker had all Europe and 
half of America against him. He had not been long in Hon- 
duras when the forces from a British fleet, well knowing 
that Uncle Sam would interfere, captured him and turned 
him over to the native Honduras authorities. He was 
promptly shot. The fate of Walker was that of Henry A. 
Crabbe and State Senator McCoun, two lawyers of this 
State, who led an expedition into Sonora, Mexico, in 1857. 
Crabbe was from Tennessee, and practised law in Stockton. 
He was one term senator from San Joaquin. His name, 
which was that of his father, once prominent at the Tennes- 
see bar, was before the Know Nothing caucus with those of 
Foote and Ferguson for United States Senator. McCoun 
was in the Senate from Contra Costa County. He was a 
Kentuckian. They entered Sonora with a few hundred men, 
relying upon an uprising of the people against the govern- 
ment. They were attacked by a force largely superior in 
numbers and retreated into a church, which was set on fire 
by a burning fagot attached to an arrow shot into the roof. 
Compelled to march out, they were captured in a body, and 
summarily and ignominiously put to death. They were 
stationed in rows in front of their open graves, hands tied 
behind them, and shot in the back. McCoun, on hearing the 
command to fire, quickly faced about, and received his bul- 
let in his breast. He was a man of commanding form and 
noble spirit. Crabbe, who had a wife, a Mexican lady, in 
California, was given time to write to her a letter, and he 
was then beheaded. 

The duel in which young Robert Tevis (brother of 
Lloyd Tevis, the famous capitalist of San Francisco) 
lost his life, in 1855, near Downieville, was a pecu- 
liarly unfortunate affair. Tevis was a Kentuckian, 
and had betrayed political aspirations from a " Know- 
Nothing " standpoint. Charles E. Lippincott, a Dem- 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 319 

ocratic editor from Illinois, burlesqued the would-be 
candidate for Congress, who published a card in 
which he referred to Lippincott as a "liar and a 
slanderer." The latter at once challenged Tevis, 
who promptly accepted, of course, and the result 
was that the two gentlemen met soon afterward 
with double-barrelled shotguns, carrying ounce balls, 
distance forty yards, and that at the given word both 
fired at the same time, the bullet from Lippincott's 
weapon going directly through his antagonist's heart, 
and the survivor narrowly escaping as was shown 
by his losing a large lock of hair from the left 
side of his head. Mr. Calvin B. MacDonald con- 
tributed a very touching and very graphic account 
of this duel to the Sacramento Record- Union in 1879, 
which follows : 

Some time in 1855 there came to this State a female 
temperance-lecturer, Miss Sarah Pellet, a friend qf Lucy 
Stone Blackwell, Antoinette Brown, and that confederation 
of lady reformers. She was young, intelligent, good-look- 
ing, and pure, and will be kindly remembered by many who 
shall read this sketch. The writer of this was then con- 
ducting the Sierra Citizen at Downieville, and Miss Pellet 
having been scurrilously referred to by certain other papers, 
she there found defenders, came to Downieville, and we 
became fast friends. Through her exertions a large and 
flourishing division of the Sons of Temperance was there 
established, and all the respectable young men temporarily 
stopped drinking and became enthusiastic advocates of 
total abstinence. A temperance Fourth-of-July celebration 
was projected, and we nominated our friend Miss Pellet to 
make the oration, and, notwithstanding a strong prejudice 
against women orators, succeeded in procuring her the 
coveted invitation. A short time before that, Mr. Robert 
Tevis-, a promising young lawyer and a brother of Lloyd 



32O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Tevis of San Francisco, who had come there to run for Con- 
gress, joined the Temperance Division, and was anxious to 
make the speech in order to present himself favorably to 
the public. He was hard to be put off, and was never 
reconciled to the disappointment ; though to pacify his 
opposition to the lady speaker he was appointed to read 
the Declaration of Independence, with the privilege of 
making some remarks on the illustrious document. The 
glorious Fourth shone brightly on two or three thousand 
people. The celebration began with a salvo of all the anvils 
in town ; the primitive band blew the blast of Freedom 
through patriotic brass, and Mr. Tevis, having read, began 
to comment on the Declaration in a long speech, greatly to 
the displeasure of the gallant Sons. In order to 'terminate 
his malappropriate oration, the anvils were set to firing 
with such a thundering and consecutive noise that nothing 
else could be heard, and Mr. Tevis, being very angry, gave 
way for the orator and sat down. The event made a great 
deal of talk, and brought the ambitious young man into 
very unpleasant notoriety instead of fame. The Democratic 
party had procured the use of two columns of the local 
paper, and had appointed as editor the Hon. Charles E. 
Lippincott, State Senator from Yuba County. Lippincott 
had a keen appreciation of the ludicrous, and as Tevis was 
a Know Nothing, he took occasion to roast the unfortunate 
young man in the Democratic corner of the paper, and it 
created a great deal of fun in the town. The next day Mr. 
Tevis came to me I had no jurisdiction in the Democratic 
side of the paper and demanded the publication of a card 
which pronounced the author of Lippincott's article " a liar 
and a slanderer." He was white with rage and trembling, 
and would not be reasoned with. Knowing the nature of 
his antagonist and his deadly skill with arms, I tried to dis- 
suade Tevis from the rash and dangerous publication, and 
dwelt on the inevitable consequence. But he would hear 
nothing ; he wanted to fight, he said, and would fight in the 
street or otherwise ; and if the card was not published he 
would consider it an act of hostility to himself; and so the 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. $21 

unconscious type gave out the fatal impress, and a challenge 
from Lippincott followed promptly, and was as promptly 
accepted. The difficulty took a political shape Democrats 
and Know Nothings though some leading Democrats did 
their best to prevent the meeting. Both belligerents be- 
longed to the order of Odd Fellows, but as neither was a 
member of the local lodge no direct authority could be im- 
posed, though the good brethren kept in session all night 
devising means to prevent the encounter. Several times 
the difficulty was supposed to be settled, but as often it 
would be renewed by certain chivalric vagabonds, who 
seemed eager to see bloodshed when not flowing from their 
own veins. Morning came ; the forenoon passed. The 
peacemakers having been so often baffled gave up their 
humane exertions, and it was understood that the fight 
would come off that afternoon. In the mean time the prin- 
cipals and their friends had gone to the wood, the public not 
knowing when or where, and the sheriff was in pursuit. 
The duelling-ground had been selected some six miles from 
town, on a flat near the top of the lofty hills of Sierra 
County, where never a bird sings and where the sombre fir- 
trees spread their eternal pall; but when nearly ready for 
their sanguinary proceedings the sheriff and his posse were 
descried on a distant eminence, and the duelling-party 
moved on into an adjacent county, beyond the jurisdiction 
of the pursuers. There another arena was prepared, and 
the great act of the tragedy was ready to come on. In the 
mean while the principals had been away with their seconds 
in opposite directions, practising with double-barrelled shot- 
guns, loaded with ball, at forty yards, the weapons and 
distance agreed on, and I was afterward told that each had 
broken a bottle at the word. Lippincott was a low, heavy- 
set man with light hair, piercing black eyes, deliberate and 
resolute in his speech, and with that peculiar physical 
structure indicating steadiness and self-possession. He was 
the son of a clergyman in Illinois, and was exemplary in his 
habits, except the ordinary drinking of that time ; was 
highly cultivated in mind, and was an exceedingly good 



322 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

humorous and sentimental writer. He declared he did not 
wish to kill his adversary, to whom he had never spoken in 
person, did not want to fight if it could be avoided, but the 
nature of the public insult and the customs of the time 
compelled him to send the challenge. During a previous 
winter he had been engaged in hunting deer and bear, and 
was known to be a remarkably good woodsman. In making 
his choice of weapons, Tevis unknowingly selected those 
with which his adversary was most familiar, double- 
barrelled shotguns carrying ounce balls. Mr. Tevis was a 
tall, spare man, of a highly nervous and excitable tempera- 
ment. He came from Kentucky, and possessed the ideas of 
chivalry and honor prevailing at the South, and was an ex- 
cellent sporting marksman, but too little skilled in wood- 
craft to know that in shooting down hill one should aim 
low, else he will overreach the mark. He was possessed of 
good natural abilities, but was somewhat eccentric in man- 
ner, and did not possess the element of popularity. In 
walking out with him on the evening before the meeting I 
observed his manner was abstracted and his speech confused 
and faltering as he talked of his solemn situation, but his 
courage and resolution were unwavering, and he seemed 
absolutely athirst to spill the blood of one who had made 
him the object of mortifying ridicule. That was our last 
interview, and his last night upon earth ; and the pale 
ghost-like face, as it then appeared in the twilight when we 
walked under the frowning hills and beside the resounding 
river, hangs in memory to this day. I had seen the bound- 
ing deer sink down before the aim of his iron-nerved antag- 
onist, and felt then that he was a dead man walking the 
lonely outskirts of the world. The combatants took their 
places, forty yards apart ; the ground was a little sloping, 
and the highest situation fell to the lot of Tevis. The sun 
was going down upon the peace and happiness of two 
families far away, and upon a brilliant young man's ambi- 
tion and life. As his second walked away he turned 
toward Tevis and laid his finger on his own breast, as an 
indication where to aim, and Lippincott observed the 






NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 323 

gesture and fixed his eyes on the same place. The word 
was given ; both guns cracked at the same instant. Tevis 
sank down, shot directly through the heart, and a lock of 
hair fell from near Lippincott's ear. The fallen man had 
not made the necessary allowance for descending ground, 
and his murderous lead had passed directly over his adver- 
sary's left shoulder, grazing his face. The wound was 
frightful, as though it had been bored through with an 
auger, and the ground was horrible with its sanguine 
libation. The survivor and his friends took their departure, 
and the dead man was temporarily buried in that lonely 
place, which in the gathering twilight seemed like the 
chosen abode of the genius of solitude. On the following 
day the body was taken up, properly enclosed, packed on a 
mule to Downieville, and interred in the bleak hillside 
cemetery. The funeral was very large and demonstrative, 
and seemed to be a death-rite performed by the Know- 
Nothing party ; and although the duel had been fair enough, 
according to the murderous code, the better class of citizens 
regarded Tevis as the victim of that fell and devilish spirit 
which has stained the history of our State with human 
blood. Lippincott fled to Nevada ; and when he afterward 
returned to Downieville, he felt himself like another Ishmael. 
Old friends extended their hands reluctantly, and then the 
man of sensibility felt that he was overshadowed by that 
voiceless, noiseless, horrible thing which made a coward of 
Macbeth. Miss Pellet, regarding herself as the innocent 
cause of the duel, stood courageously by her friend, visited 
him in his exile, exerted all her personal influence to recon- 
cile public opinion to the survivor, and behaved altogether 
like a brave, true-hearted woman, as she was and still is in 
her fancied mission of reform. After completing his term 
in the State Senate, Mr. Lippincott returned to his home in 
Illinois, to find his reverend father dying. I heard that his 
son's connection with the fatal duel broke the good man's 
heart, and he died. At the outbreak of the war Lippincott 
joined the Union armies, distinguished himself in the battle 
by his reckless daring, and became a brigadier-general. 



324 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

He was afterward the Republican State Auditor of Illinois. 
If this brief sketch should come to the attention of his 
personal or political friends, let them know that his career 
in California was distinguished and honorable ; that he was 
respected and beloved by his acquaintances, and that his 
unhappy entanglement in the duel resulted from his posi- 
tion and the prevailing spirit of border life. At that time 
a politician who would have suffered himself to be published 
a liar and a slanderer, without prompt resentment, would 
have been considered as disgraced by most of his fellow- 
citizens. Mr. Lippincott was an intimate friend and strong 
supporter of the late Senator Broderick, and was by him 
regarded as his ablest advocate and partisan. Miss Pellet 
went to Oregon, and there, while a gallant settler went to 
pilot and protect her through the wilderness, the savages 
came upon and murdered his family and burnt his house. 
So did disaster seem to follow the poor girl. Afterward 
she returned across the plains to the East, and I have 
lately heard of her at a Woman Suffrage Convention in 
Syracuse. Her Temperance Division at Downieville has 
melted away ; some of her cold-water converts are dead ; 
others have been separated from their families by the foul 
fiend whom she almost drove from the place, and one 
remains to be the brief historian of her memorable and 
melancholy campaign. And so swiftly turns the whirligig 
of time. 

In June, 1853, Judge Stidger (editor of the Marys- 
ville, Cal., Herald} and Colonel Rust (editor of the 
California Express) met two miles south of Yuba City, 
in Sutter County, with Mississippi yagers, at sixty 
paces, and fired twice at each other without effect. 
Some few years ago an eye-witness of this duel pre- 
pared a very elaborate account of it for a San Fran- 
cisco paper, which entitled the article "A Clash 
between Northern and Southern Pluck." This ac- 
count is presented: 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. $2$ 

In the early days of California the writer resided in the 
then bustling and since beautiful city of Marysville. Of 
course he witnessed many exciting scenes. There was a 
vast mixture of the tragic, comic, and melodramatic, which 
could be woven by a master-hand into a volume of absorbing 
interest. The meeting for mortal combat between Judge 
Stephen J. Field and Judge W. T. Barbour, which, with the 
farcical incidents, is described by Judge Field in his valuable 
little book of reminiscences; the latter judge's long and 
vexatious controversy with Judge Turner; the beating of 
Dr. Winters by Plummer Thurston ; the attempt to kill 
Judge O. P. Stidger by Plummer Thurston, just named, and 
Judge Barbour these are but a few of this class of occur- 
rences which agitated Marysville from 1850 to 1855. It is 
only the writer's intention now to narrate the circumstances 
of a duel between Judge Stidger and Colonel Richard Rust, 
which took place in June, 1853, in Sutter County. Judge 
Stidger was then one of the editors of the Marysville Herald, 
a Whig paper, while Colonel Rust edited the Democratic 
organ in that city, the California Express. The two gentle- 
men had engaged for several days in a violent newspaper 
war, during which each had called the other anything but 
tender names. Judge Stidger's friends claimed that he was 
victor in the war of words, because he could say more mean 
things of his adversary in a minute than the latter could 
think of in a day. The Judge had a peculiar way of 
driving the steel home at every thrust, and his antagonist 
was not able to return like for like. The consequence was 
that the Judge was invited to transfer the quarrel to a field 
of a different kind, that it might be settled in actual physical 
encounter by the arbitrament of the bullet. He owned his 
printing material, but was in debt, and John C. Fall was his 
endorser. Fall was approached and asked to withdraw from 
beneath Stidger his sustaining arms, and let the Herald pass 
into other hands. Fall declining to do this, the fight went 
on. Finally, Colonel Rust's friends prevailed upon him to 
send the Judge a challenge to repair to the bloody and his- 
toric field of honor. It will not be doing him any injustice, 



326 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

perhaps, to say that they reasoned in this way. "Judge 
Stidger was born in Ohio, and was raised to look upon duel- 
ling as a crime. He won't accept a challenge, and if he does 
not he will be disgraced and compelled to leave the coun- 
try." 

The challenge was sent, the bearers being Lee Martin and 
Charles S. Fairfax, both now deceased, the party of the 
second part receiving it on Friday, at the Herald office. It 
was promptly accepted, Judge Stidger's reply being delivered 
by Judge Gordon N. Mott, now a resident of San Francisco. 
Subsequently Judge T. B. Reardon (who presided at the 
second trial of Mrs. Fair, and is now practising law at 
Oroville) came into the affair as a friend to the challenged 
party, and performed an important part. On the day the 
hostile missives passed, with commendable despatch pistols 
for two and coffee for six were provided. Being the chal- 
lenged party, Judge Stidger was, under the code, entitled to 
dictate the kind of weapons to be used, and the distance. 
He was a crack shot with the rifle. He chose Buckeye 
rifles with set triggers, and fixed the distance at sixty paces. 
Judge Mott and Colonel Fairfax sallied forth in search of 
the needful instruments of death. They could not find any 
" Buckeyes" in the city, and the only two weapons of the 
kind to be had were Mississippi yagers. These would 
suffice, of course, if they were of equal merit. The opposing 
seconds took them out and " tried" them. One proved to 
be more reliable than the other. Another could not be had. 
What was to be done? The seconds determined the choice 
by lot, and Fairfax won the best gun for his principal. 
Judge Mott felt bad but said nothing. It was agreed 
that the meeting should take place at sunrise on Sunday 
(it was then late on Friday), at any place in Sutter 
County selected by the seconds over five hundred yards from 
the Yuba County line. On Saturday night the seconds of 
Colonel Rust reported that he was severely ill, and asked a 
postponement of the battle for one week, which was granted. 
It was believed by Judge Stidger and his friends that this 
was a ruse to get time to enable Colonel Rust to practise 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. Z 2 7 

with his weapon. Be that as it was, the parties met one 
week from the time first appointed, the spot selected being 
a pretty grove of native oaks, about two miles south of 
Yuba City, near the public road between that " city" and the 
celebrated " Hock Farm," then occupied by General Sutter. 
In addition to their seconds before named, Judge Stidger 
was accompanied by Dr. McDaniel, and Colonel Rust by his 
brother, Dr. Rust, as surgeons. The weed's postponement 
had had the effect to let out the secret, and several hundred 
citizens of Marysville were anxious spectators of the solemn 
scene. The distance being paced off, the choice of position 
and the giving of the word were, by chance, won by the 
seconds of Colonel Rust. It then looked bad for Judge 
Stidger. Judge Mott said to himself, " My man is going to 
get killed ; Rust has the best gun and the best standpoint." 
Such was the fact, enough to inspire foreboding of evil. 
Rust stood within the shade of a large oak-tree, his back to 
the rising sun, which shone full in the face of Stidger. If 
Colonel Rust had not been practising with his weapon 
during the preceding week, he was yet familiar with its 
species, while Judge Stidger never saw a Mississippi yager 
until he was handed one on that portentous morning. The 
writer recalls the Judge's remark upon taking his gun. He 
was standing at the spot marked out for him, his base of 
operations ; Dr. McDaniel was about twenty feet to his left, 
the writer being near the Doctor. Judge Stidger examined 
his gun carefully, and said to McDaniel : " Doc, what kind 
of a gun do you call this ? I never saw one like it before." 
McDaniel gave the weapon's name. " Well," continued the 
Judge, " the bore can carry a half-pound ball ; if I get hit 
there won't be a grease-spot left of me." Just then Judge 
Mott approached and told his principal to keep cool. The 
reply was : " Oh, I'm as cool as a cucumber. I chose 
Buckeye rifles," continued the principal. " I never saw a 
gun like this before, and I don't know how to handle it." 
Judge Mott said that Buckeyes of equal calibre could not be 
found, and he had done the best possible, and he explained 
the circumstances. Immediately after this the parties were 



328 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

instructed how to hold their guns until the word was given, 
how the word would be given, and at what time to shoot, 
thus: "Gentlemen, are you ready?" On both principals 
responding " Aye," or " Yes," these words would follow ; 
" Fire ! one two three stop !" A momentary pause 
would follow each word, and the principals were to fire at 
any time between the words " fire" and " stop." Fairfax 
gave the instructions, after which the combatants were 
placed in position. The seconds took their proper places, 
and the surgeons were within conversational distance. 

It was a scene that left an indelible impress on the mind of 
the beholder. The harmony of nature and the antagonism 
of men presented a striking contrast. The eight com- 
prising the two groups were fine specimens of manly strength 
and symmetry of form. Their average age was about thirty 
years. The Rust party were all Southern men ; the Stidger 
party comprised two Southerners Reardon and McDaniel 
while Judges Stidger and Mott were from Ohio. They 
stood beneath the tattered banner of a -code which was 
hoary with age and had reached the last decade of its sway 
in American States. Cut bono? Being near to Judge 
Stidger's position and some sixty yards from Colonel Rust, 
I saw more of the former and necessarily write more con- 
cerning his action. I can say of Colonel Rust, however, 
that his bearing was brave and resolute. The word came, 
" Gentlemen, are you ready ?" Judge Stidger responded in 
a loud tone, " Aye." Immediately afterward followed (I 
did not catch Colonel Rust's response) " Fire ! one two 
three stop !" At the word " two," slang-bang went both 
guns. Stidger's shot passed high over the head of Rust; 
the latter's lodged in Stidger's coat-tail pocket, riddling a 
handkerchief. [It was a happy circumstance that the hand- 
kerchief caused the tail of the coat to bulge out, as it 
enabled a punster to exclaim with delight that the pocket 
was "rifled."] "Are you hurt?" inquired Dr. McDaniel, 
approaching his principal, desiring to know if his services 
were needed. " Hurt ? No," was the answer. " Examine 
your pockets," said the Doctor. The Judge did so, and re- 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 329 

marked " That was a pretty clever shot." "Yes," replied 
the Doctor, " and now there must be no more foolishness. 
You must kill him, or he will kill you." To this the Judge 
answered, " I do not want to kill him. I don't want his 
blood on my hands. He has a family to maintain, and I 
don't want to rob them of their support." " That may be all 
very fine in theory," said the Doctor, " but the fact is before 
you that he is trying to kill you, and, to prevent it, you must 
kill him. You can do it, if you will." 

Judges Mott and Reardon now came up, and said that 
Rust demanded another shot. " Very well, I am willing," 
said Judge Stidger. The latter was then told by Judge 
Reardon that he (Reardon) would leave the field unless he 
(Stidger) promised to shoot at Rust. The Judge promised. 
Judge Mott then informed him that his position at the first 
fire was awkward, and he must stand erect ; that if he con- 
tinued to present so many angles to the enemy he was liable 
to get hurt. This admonition had good and immediate 
effect. Stidger thereafter stood straight as an arrow, and at 
the same time bore himself with perfect ease. The seconds 
having retired to load the guns for the second fire, Judge 
Stidger said to Dr. McDaniel, " I promised to shoot at 
Colonel Rust, but I did not promise to kill him, and I 
won't." The Doctor said, " You must kill him, or he will 
kill you. Your gun carries up. Shoot for his legs and you 
will hit him in the body. The gun is good for three hun- 
dred yards, but at short range it carries up." Finally Judge 
Stidger said, " Well, Doc, I'll wing him. I will shoot for 
his arm. I'll cripple him, and then he can't shoot again." 
" Yes," answered the Doctor, " that would do if you had a 
guaranty of your own life. Supposing, while you are shoot- 
ing for his arm, his ball should hit you in a vital place, what 
then ?" " Oh," said the Judge, " if he should kill me, that 
would be the end of it." 

The Judge was now handed his gun and placed in position 
for the second fire, with directions to " keep cool and shoot 
him." The word was given. As before, both guns went off 
simultaneously. My eyes were intently directed to Judge 



330 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Stidger, for I expected to see him fall. After the word 
" stop !" he held his gun to his shoulder, and earnestly eyed 
his adversary as though about to shoot. This action was 
so interpreted by Colonel Rust's seconds, who called out, 
" Stop ! stop !" The fact was that, owing to both guns being 
fired at the same instant, the seconds of Rust did not know 
if Stidger had fired or not. On hearing the words " stop ! 
stop!" Stidger threw his gun upon the ground and said, 
" Doc, this gun ain't worth a damn. I don't believe a man 
could hit a barn-door with it at a distance of six feet. I had 
a splendid shot at his arm, and I got a pretty good sight 
along the barrel. If the gun had been worth a damn I 
would have struck his elbow." The Doctor asked, " Why 
didn't you shoot at his body ? I told you the gun carried 
up." " If I had done that," said the Judge. " I would have 
killed him, and I didn't want to do that." ' Well," said the 
Doctor, " if he demands another shot what will you do ?" 
" I will kill him," was the answer ; " I have now given him 
two fair shots at me. I could have killed him if I had de- 
sired to do so. I spared his life because of his family, and 
because I did not want his blood on my hands. Now, if he 
isn't satisfied I'll kill him. I don't want to do it. but if 1 
must shoot again 1 will end it." To this the Doctor replied, 
" Now you are talking right." The seconds again came up 
and reported that Colonel Rust demanded another shot, and 
wanted the distance reduced before the next fire. Judge 
Stidger replied that his gun was no account at sixty paces ; 
he thought if the distance was doubled he would fire better. 
" Gentlemen," said he to his seconds, " I am in your hands. 
Whatever you say I must do I will do. I only ask you to 
protect my honor." Judge Reardon replied, " That we will 
do." Judges Mott and Reardon then took the gun and left, 
and met the opposing seconds on neutral ground. The four 
men, after guns were again loaded, appeared to be in earnest 
consultation. The while the Judge was pacing back and 
forth, talking with his physician. The Judge had got 
warmed up, and was chafing. McDaniel advised him to 
keep cool. "Oh, don't you fear, Doc," said the Judge. "I 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. . 331 

will be cool enough to kill that fellow, if he forces me to do 
it." Several minutes passed seeming to the writer " a vast 
half-hour" when one of the seconds fired off a gun, which 
was a signal that some arrangement had been made putting 
an end to the affair. Judge Stidger's seconds coming back 
and verifying the " report" of the gun, he asked, " How ? 
On what terms?" Judge Reardon answered, "Honorably 
to you. I drew up the stipulations and saw to it that you 
are not compromised. The terms are honorable to both 
parties, and I am to hold the documents." All the parties 
then left the field for the city. 

Some time after the duel it was stated that Judge Stidger's 
second shot cut Colonel Rust's hair just above his ear, and 
that this it was that caused the Colonel's seconds to make 
peace. Whether true or not the writer could not learn to 
his satisfaction. He has often talked with Colonel Fairfax 
about this duel. He (Fairfax) stated that he had witnessed 
many meetings of the kind in the South, where he was born 
and reared, but had never seen two men stand up more 
manfully to their work than those engaged in this affair. 
He spoke in glowing terms of Judge Stidger on that occa- 
sion, for, he said, he expected to see him wilt, being a North- 
ern man, unacquainted with the code duello. " People 
needn't tell me," he said, " that men born in the North are 
cowards. I know better. It won't do to fool with such 
men. They have pluck and will die game." 

In 1851 A. C. Russell, a San Francisco journalist, 
met Captain J. L. Folsom, and exchanged two shots 
without harm to either, when Captain Marcy, one of 
the seconds, brought about a settlement of the af- 
fair. Later Russell fought a bloodless duel with 
Governor McDougal. In 1851 E. C. Kemble (an 
editor of the Alta California) and Colonel McDougal 
went out to meet each other in mortal combat, but 
were arrested on the field. In 1870, at Los Angeles, 
Captain Charles E. Beane, an ex-Confederate officer, 



332 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

and John Wilson, son of Hon. Benjamin D. Wilson, 
one of the noblest of Californians, met with pistols, 
and Wilson was wounded in the arm at the first fire. 
Charles E. Beane died a few years ago in Los An- 
geles, beloved by all who knew him well. A native 
of Maine, he had drifted down into the sunny South 
at the age of nineteen, and had found his way into 
the Confederate army at the age of twenty like hun- 
dreds of other Northern boys in which he gallantly 
fought until the close of the war. In 1850 W. H. 
Carter and William Walker (both editors) met near 
San Francisco, and the latter was slightly wounded. 

In June, 1842, General James Watson Webb (editor 
of the New York Courier and Enquirer) and Hon. 
Thomas F. Marshall, of Kentucky, met with pistols, 
in Delaware, and the former was wounded. In No- 
vember General Webb was brought to trial in New 
York for leaving the State with the intention of giv- 
ing or receiving a challenge, pleaded guilty, and was 
sentenced to two years' imprisonment at Sing Sing, 
but received a pardon from Governor Seward in a 
day or two after the sentence. In 1849, in Arkansas, 
W. E. Gibson met C. Irving, editor of the Memphis 
Inquirer, and the latter was dangerously wounded at 
the first fire. In 1851 Colonel Smythe, an attache of 
the Augusta (Ga.) Constitutionalist, and Dr. Thomas, a 
leading physician of Augusta, met near the South 
Carolina line with pistols, and the editor was dan- 
gerously wounded at the third shot. In 1832 Mr. 
Bynum, editor of the Greenville (North Carolina) 
Sentinel, and Mr. Perry, of the Greenville Mountaineer 
quarrelled for a long time, and then met with pistols, 
and at the first shot Bynum fell mortally wounded. 
In June, 1869, Sefior Jose Ferrer de Canto, editor of 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 333 

the New York Cronista, and Sefior Francisco Porto, 
editor of La Revolution, became involved in a serious 
quarrel over the affairs growing out of the rebellion 
in Cuba at that time, and met at Lundy's Lane 
(Canada), with pistols, when Sefior Porto received his 
adversary's bullet through both legs at the first fire. 
On the 8th of January, 1876, James Gordon Bennett, 
Jr., of the New York Herald, and Fred May, of New 
York, fought a duel, without serious consequences, in 
Delaware. In 1859 Mr. Cross, of a St. Louis paper, 
and Lieutenant Sylvester L. Mowry, U. S. A., met 
near Tubac (Arizona) with pistols, but there was no 
casualty. In 1866 Joseph T. Goodman (then editor 
of the Virginia City Enterprise and now editor of the 
San Franciscan) and Hon. Thomas Fitch met near 
Virginia City (Nevada) with pistols, and the latter 
was slightly wounded. 



334 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XVII. 
NOTED AMERICAN DUELS CONTINUED. 

The Hostile Meeting of Hamilton and Burr The Most Famous 
Duel known in History Hamilton's Opinion of Burr Corre- 
spondence between the Illustrious Parties Termination of 
Direct Correspondence New Correspondence Burr's Chal- 
lenge to Hamilton The Challenge Accepted Hamilton's 
"Remarks" on Duelling and hfs Will The Fatal Affair 
Details of the Duel as furnished by the Seconds Dr. 
Hosack's Pathetic Story "Remember, my Eliza, you are a 
Christian " Sabine's Impressions Description of the Wea- 
pons used The Old Hamilton Homestead Hamilton's 
Grave in Trinity Churchyard Hamilton's Birth and Child- 
hood His Early Work and Ambition His General Career 
His Marriage His Military and Financial Achievements " He 
Smote the Rock of the National Resources and Abundant 
Streams of Revenue Gushed Forth" The Career of Aaron 
Burr From a Private Soldier of the Revolution to Vice- 
President of the United States His First Marriage His 
Arrest for High Treason " Not Guilty under the Indictment 
by any Evidence submitted" Chief-Justice Marshall's Absence 
of Personal Feeling One of the Marvels of Legal History 
The Remarkable Man (Burr) as Described by Ben Parley 
Poore The Recollections of a Lady who felt the Power and 
Fascination of Burr's Eyes. 

INSEPARABLY connected with the political history of 
the United States above all other kindred events 
is that memorable meeting of Alexander Hamilton 
and Aaron Burr at Weehawken (New Jersey) oppo- 
site the city of New York, on Wednesday morning, 
about seven o'clock, July n, 1804, in which the former 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 335 

received his antagonist's bullet in a vital part, and 
from which he died at two o'clock Thursday afternoon. 
No event of the kind so far as can be discovered by 
the author in America, or elsewhere, ever produced 
such a general and profound sensation. The intelli- 
gence of the fall of the illustrious Hamilton, while it 
was received with marked feeling in Europe, even, 
fell like a crushing dome upon the American people. 
New York City was paralyzed, and the inhabitants of 
the whole country were plunged into the deepest 
mourning. Great multitudes of people thronged to 
New York to witness the melancholy ceremonies, and 
to take part in the funeral procession which was 
very large and very impressive. This took place on 
Saturday, July 14. The funeral address was deliv- 
ered by Gouverneur Morris, from a platform in front 
of Trinity Church, Broadway, in the presence of 
many thousands of grief-stricken people, among 
whom were four of the sons of the deceased, the 
eldest of whom was sixteen and the youngest between 
six and seven. 

As early as 1790 fourteen years previous to the 
tragic encounter Hamilton and Burr were politi- 
cally in each other's way. Both were eminent as 
builders of the republic in which we live, and both 
were renowned for their gallantry and patriotism as 
soldiers and citizens. Both were recognized as 
leaders in the parties they represented Hamilton of 
the organization known as the Federalists, and Burr 
of that great and growing element called Democracy. 
The one political party represented the more elevated 
and intelligent classes of the American people at 
that time, and the other those elements which, in 
later years, until 1860, almost continuously ruled the 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

country. Hamilton had been the bosom-friend of 
Washington, and Burr the unsustained head and 
front of the Jeffersonian plan. One had held the posi- 
tions, among others, of Secretary of the Treasury and 
General of the Army, and the other occupied the 
chair of the Vice-President of the United States. 
Both aspired to the position of Chief Magistrate of 
the Nation. In their ambitions they were alike in 
nothing else were they alike, unless it might have 
been in their personal weaknesses. No Americans 
have lived since who have been just like either of 
them in all things. 

It is not strange, then, that Hamilton wrote of 
Burr as follows, in 1792: " Burr's integrity as an in- 
dividual is not unimpeached. As a public man he is 
one of the worst sort a friend to nothing but as suits 
his interest and ambition. Determined to climb to 
the highest honors of the State, and as much higher as 
circumstances may permit, he cares nothing about the 
means of effecting his purpose. 'Tis evident that he 
aims at putting himself at the head of what he calls 
the popular party as affording the best tools for an am- 
bitious man to work with. Secretly turning liberty 
into ridicule, he knows as well as most men how to 
make use of the name. In a word, if we have an 
embryo Ccesar in the United States, 'tis Burr /" 

From this time up to the year of the fatal meeting 
Hamilton's verbal and written allusions to Burr were 
hostile and frequent. At last, while expressing an 
opinion of Burr in the presence of Dr. Charles D. 
Cooper, Hamilton (so it was alleged by Cooper) de- 
clared that he " looked upon Mr. Burr as a dangerous 
man, and one who ought not to be trusted with the 
reins of government." 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 337 

This declaration, which first met the eye of Burr in 
a published letter, so incensed the latter that, on the 
i8th of June, 1804, he sent Hamilton a note by hand 
of W. P. Van Ness, which was as follows: 

SIR : I send for your perusal a letter signed Charles D. 
Cooper, which, though apparently published some time ago, 
has but very recently come to my knowledge. Mr. Van 
Ness, who does me the favor to deliver this, will point out to 
you that clause of the letter to which I particularly request 
your attention. 

You must perceive, sir, the necessity of a prompt and un- 
qualified acknowledgment or denial of the use of any ex- 
pression which would warrant the assertions of Dr. Cooper. 

To this letter Hamilton replied on the 2oth of the 
same month, as follows: 

SIR : I have maturely reflected on the subject of your 
letter of the i8th inst., and the more I have reflected, the 
more I have become convinced that I could not, without 
manifest impropriety, make the avowal or disavowal which 
you seem to think necessary. The clause pointed out by 
Mr. Van Ness is in these terms : " I could detail to 
you a still more despicable opinion which General Ham- 
ilton has expressed of Mr. Burr." To endeavor to dis- 
cover the meaning of this declaration, I was obliged to 
seek in the antecedent part of this letter for the opinion 
to which it referred, as having been already disclosed. 
I found it in these words : " General Hamilton and Judge 
Kent have declared in substance that they looked upon Mr. 
Burr to be a dangerous man, and one who ought not to be 
trusted with the reins of government" 

The language of Dr. Cooper plainly implies that he consid- 
ered this opinion of you which he attributes to me as a despic- 
able one ; but he affirms that I have expressed some other, 
more despicable, without, however, mentioning to whom, 
when, or where. Tis evident that the phrase, " still more 
despicable," admits of infinite shades, from very light to 



338 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

very dark. How am I to judge of the degree intended ? or 
how shall I annex any precise idea to language so indefi- 
nite ? Between gentlemen, despicable and more despicable 
are not worth the pains of distinction ; when, therefore, you 
do not interrogate me as to the opinion which is specifically 
ascribed to me, I must conclude that you view it as within 
the limits to which the animadversions of political oppo- 
nents upon each other may justifiably extend, and conse- 
quently as not warranting the idea of it which Dr. Cooper 
appears to entertain. If so, what precise inference could 
you draw, as a guide for your conduct, were I to acknowledge 
that I had expressed an opinion of you still more despicable 
than the one which is particularized ? How could you be 
sure that even this opinion had exceeded the bounds which 
you would yourself deem admissible between political 
opponents ? 

But I forbear further comment on the embarrassment to 
which the requisition you have made naturally leads. The 
occasion forbids a more ample illustration, though nothing 
could be more easy than to pursue it. 

Repeating that I cannot reconcile it with propriety to 
make the acknowledgment or denial you desire, I will add 
that I deem it inadmissible on principle to consent to be 
interrogated as to the justness of the inferences which may 
be drawn by others from whatever I may have said of a 
political opponent, in the course of fifteen years' competi- 
tion. If there were no other objection to it, this is suffi- 
cient, that it would tend to expose my sincerity and deli- 
cacy to injurious imputations from every person who may 
at any time have conceived the import of my expressions 
differently from what I may then have intended, or may 
afterwards recollect. I stand ready to avow or disavow, 
Promptly and explicitly, any precise or definite opinion which I 
may be charged with having declared of any gentleman. 
More than this cannot fitly be expected from me, and 
especially it cannot be reasonably expected that I shall enter 
into an explanation upon a basis so vague as that which you 
have adopted. I trust on more reflection you will see the 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 339 

matter in the same light with me. If not, I can only regret 
the circumstance and must abide the consequences. 

The publication of Dr. Cooper was never seen by me till 
after the receipt of your letter. 

Burr again addressed Hamilton, as follows, on the 
2ist: 

SIR: Your letter of the 26th instant has been this day 
received. Having considered it attentively, I regret to find 
in it nothing of that sincerity and delicacy which you pro- 
fess to value. 

. Political opposition can never absolve gentlemen from the 
necessity of a rigid adherence to the laws of honor and the 
rules of decorum. I neither claim such privilege nor indulge 
it in others. 

The common-sense of mankind affixes to the epithet 
adopted by Dr. Cooper the idea of dishonor. It has been 
publicly applied to me under the sanction of your name. 
The question is not, whether he has understood the meaning 
of the word, or has used it according to syntax, and with 
grammatical accuracy: but, whether you have authorized 
this application, either directly or by uttering expressions 
or opinions derogatory to my honor. The time " when" 
is in your own knowledge, but no way material to me, as 
the calumny has now first been disclosed, so as to become 
the subject of my notice, and as the effect is present and 
palpable. 

Your letter has furnished me with new reasons for requir- 
ing a definite reply. 

This letter was answered by Hamilton on June 22, 
the following day, thus: 

SIR : Your first letter, in a style too peremptory, made a 
demand, in my opinion, unprecedented and unwarrantable. 
My answer, pointing out the embarrassment, gave you an 
opportunity to take a less exceptionable course. You have 
not chosen to do it; but by your last letter, received this 



340 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

day, containing expressions indecorous and improper, you 
have increased the difficulties to explanation intrinsically 
incident to the nature of your application. 

If by a "definite reply" you mean the direct avowal or dis- 
avowal required in your first letter, I have no other answer 
to give than that which has already been given. If you 
mean anything different, admitting of greater latitude, it is 
requisite you should explain. 

This terminated the direct correspondence between 
the principals ; which, while brief, discloses charac- 
teristics of the distinguished parties which tend to 
suddenly elevate Hamilton in the esteem and admira- 
tion of most unprejudiced minds. The attitude of 
Hamilton toward Burr, up to the time of Burr's let- 
ter of the 1 8th of June, was less noble than that 
of his illustrious rival. He had publicly denounced 
Burr as unpatriotic, unsafe, and unprincipled, in 
many places and at many times during fifteen years, 
and had never lost an opportunity of privately be- 
smirching Burr's character. Besides, Hamilton had 
vindictively opposed Thomas Jefferson, the leader of 
the Democracy, and had at the same time intrigued 
against John Adams, the candidate for President of 
his own organization. He had violated the confi- 
dence reposed in him by Washington (so it has been 
alleged) by preserving the draft of the Farewell 
Address, which he (Hamilton) had written ; and he 
was undoubtedly the "power behind the throne" 
during Adams's administration. Indeed, when his 
despotic career, his malevolent designs, and his arro- 
gant and ambitious projects are all taken into un- 
impassioned consideration, Hamilton looms up as 
certainly the more dangerous man of the two, not- 
withstanding his long-continued and exasperating at- 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 34 l 

tempts to dispossess Burr of any hold he may have 
had upon the affections of the American people. 
But the conciliatory, even if somewhat evasive, tone 
of his answers to the two direct letters of Burr 
which bristled all over with predetermined hostility 
suddenly arrests the growing sympathy one feels 
for the oft-maligned soldier and patriot ; and, as we 
continue to pursue the matter to its tragic and un- 
fortunate end embracing Hamilton's will and his 
remarks explanatory of his conduct, his determina- 
tion to reserve his fire, and the emotional circumstan- 
ces of his death, to say nothing of the almost fiendish 
nature of his antagonist's course from the moment 
that he seemed to be prompted to adopt extreme 
measures until the meeting and its fatal consequen- 
ces we lose sight altogether of the vices of Hamil- 
ton and the virtues of Burr, and canonize the mem- 
ory of the one while we shudder at the name of the 
other. 

On the 26th of June a new correspondence was 
opened between Messrs. W. P. Van Ness and Nathan- 
iel Pendleton by the former, who, in the course of 
his letter, declared that " Colonel Burr could see no 
disposition on the part of General Hamilton to come 
to a satisfactory accommodation ;" and concluded by 
saying: "lam consequently again instructed to de- 
liver you a message as soon as it may be convenient 
for you to receive it," etc. Mr. Pendleton replied at 
once that he had placed the letter from Mr. Van 
Ness before General Hamilton, who objected to 
Colonel Burr's greatly extended ground of inquiry, 
which seemed to be nothing less than an inquisition 
into his most confidential conversations, as well as 
others, through the whole period of his acquaintance 



34 2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

with Colonel Burr. Mr. Pendleton's letter concluded 
as follows: 

While he was prepared to meet the particular case fairly 
and fully, he thinks it inadmissible that he should be ex- 
pected to answer at large as to everything that he may 
possibly have said, in relation to the character of Colonel 
Burr, at any time or upon any occasion. Though he is not 
conscious that any charges which are in circulation to the 
prejudice of Colonel Burr have originated with him ex- 
cept one which may have been so considered, and which 
has long since been fully explained between Colonel Burr 
and himself yet he cannot consent to be questioned general- 
ly as to any rumors which may be afloat derogatory to the 
character of Colonel Burr, without specification of the sev- 
eral rumors, many of them probably unknown to him. He 
does not, however, mean to authorize any conclusion as to 
the real nature of his conduct in relation to Colonel Burr, 
by his declining so loose and vague a basis of explanation, 
and he disavows an unwillingness to come to a satisfactory, 
provided it be an honorable, accommodation. His objec- 
tion is, the very indefinite ground which Colonel Burr has 
assumed, in which he is sorry to be able to discern nothing 
short of predetermined hostility. Presuming, therefore, 
that it will be adhered to, he has instructed me to receive 
the message which you have it in charge to deliver. For 
this purpose I shall be at home and at your command 
to-morrow morning from eight to ten o'clock. 

On the 2yth Mr. Van Ness addressed Mr. Pendle- 
ton for the last time, and enclosed with the letter a 
formal challenge, as follows: 

SIR : The letter which I had the honor to receive from 
you, under date of yesterday, states, among other things, 
that, in General Hamilton's opinion, Colonel Burr has taken 
a very indefinite ground, in which he evinces nothing short 
of predetermined hostility, and that General Hamilton 
thinks it inadmissible that the inquiry should extend to his 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 343 

confidential as well as other conversations. In this Colonel 
Burr can only reply, that secret whispers traducing his fame, 
and impeaching his honor, are at least equally injurious 
with slanders publicly uttered ; that General Hamilton had 
at no time, and in no place, a right to use any such injurious 
expressions ; and that the partial negative he is disposed to 
give, with the reservations he wishes to make, are proofs 
that he has done the injury specified. 

Colonel Burr's request was, in the first instance, proposed 
in a form the most simple, in order that General Hamilton 
might give to the affair that course to which he might be 
induced by his temper and his knowledge of facts. Colonel 
Burr trusted with confidence that, from the frankness of a 
soldier and the candor of a gentleman, he mrght expect an 
ingenuous declaration. That if, as he had reason to believe, 
General Hamilton had used expressions derogatory to his 
honor, he would have had the magnanimity to retract them ; 
and that if, from his language, injurious inferences had been 
improperly drawn, he would have perceived the propriety of 
correcting errors which might thus have been widely dif- 
fused. With these impressions Colonel Burr was greatly 
surprised at receiving a letter which he considered as evas- 
ive, and which in manner he deemed not altogether deco- 
rous. In one expectation, however, he was not wholly de- 
ceived, for the close of General Hamilton's letter contained 
an intimation that if Colonel Burr should dislike his refusal 
to acknowledge . or deny, he was ready to meet the conse- 
quences. This Colonel Burr deemed a sort of defiance, and 
would have felt justified in making it the basis of an imme- 
diate message. But as the communication contained some- 
thing concerning the indefiniteness of the request, as he 
believed it rather the offspring of false pride than of reflec- 
tion, and as he felt the utmost reluctance to proceed to ex- 
tremities while any other hope remained, his request was 
repeated in terms more explicit. The replies and proposi- 
tions on the part of General Hamilton have, in Colonel 
Burr's opinion, been constantly in substance the same. 

Colonel Burr disavows all motives of predetermined hos- 



344 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

tility, a charge by which he thinks insult added to injury. 
He feels as a gentleman should feel when his honor is im- 
peached or assailed ; and without sensations of hostility or 
wishes of revenge, he is determined to vindicate that honor 
at such hazard as the nature of the case demands. 

The length to which this correspondence has extended 
only tending to prove that the satisfactory redress, earnestly 
desired, cannot be obtained, he deems it useless to offer 
any proposition except the simple message which I shall 
now have the honor to deliver. 

Mr. Pendleton accepted the challenge, as was his 
only course, it would seem. Still, Hamilton un- 
doubtedly hoped that a meeting might be averted, 
and so prepared the following observations on Mr. 
Van Ness's last letter : 

Whether the observations on this letter are designed 
merely to justify the result which is indicated in the close 
of the letter, or may be intended to give an opening for 
rendering anything explicit which may have been deemed 
vague heretofore, can only be judged of by the sequel. At 
any rate, it appears to me necessary not to be misunder- 
stood. Mr. Pendleton is therefore authorized to say, that 
in the course of the present discussion, written or verbal, 
there has been no intention to evade, defy, or insult, but a 
sincere disposition to avoid extremities if it could be done 
with propriety. With this view General Hamilton has been 
ready to enter into a frank and free explanation on any and 
every object of a specific nature ; but not to answer a gen- 
eral and abstract inquiry, embracing a period too long for 
any accurate recollection, and exposing him to unpleasant 
criticisms from, or unpleasant discussions with, any and 
every person who may have understood him in an unfavor- 
able sense. This (admitting that he could answer in a man- 
ner the most satisfactory to Colonel Burr), he should deem 
inadmissible in principle and precedent, and" humiliating in 
practice. To this, therefore, he can never ^ubmit. Fre- 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 345 

quent allusion has been made to slanders, said to be in cir- 
culation. Whether they are openly or in whispers, they 
have a form and shape, and might be specified. If the 
alternative alluded to in the close of the letter is definitely 
tendered, it must be accepted, the time, place, and manner 
to be afterward regulated. 

This paper was proffered to Mr. Van Ness by Mr. 
Pendleton, but the former barbarously and disdain- 
fully declined to receive any further correspondence, 
remarks, or explanations from either General Hamil- 
ton or his friend, on the ground that the acceptance 
of the challenge had precluded the possibility of any 
additional attempts at reconciliation or settlement. 
Preparations for the duel were then made by General 
Hamilton, who wrote a letter on the 5th of July to be 
given his wife, in case of his fall, and executed his 
will on the 9th, leaving his entire property, after the 
payment of all his debts, to his wife. On the even- 
ing before the duel General Hamilton prepared a 
paper containing his opinions of duelling, and ex- 
pressive of the reluctance with which he obeyed a 
custom so repugnant to his feelings, in which he 
said: 

On my expected interview with Colonel Burr, I think 
proper to make some remarks explanatory of my conduct, 
motives, and views. I was certainly desirous of avoiding 
this interview for the most cogent of reasons. 

First My religious and moral principles are strongly op- 
posed to the practice of duelling ; and it would ever give 
me pain to shed the blood of a-fellow creature in a private 
combat forbidden by the laws. 

m Secondly My wife and children are extremely dear to me, 
and my life is of the utmost importance to them in various 
views. 

Thirdly I feel a sense of obligation toward my creditors, 



34-6 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

who, in case of accident to me, by the forced sale of my 
property, may be in some degree sufferers. I did not think 
myself at liberty, as a man of probity, lightly to expose them 
to hazard. 

Fourthly I am conscious of no ill-will to Colonel Burr 
distinct from political opposition, which, as I trust, has pro- 
ceeded from pure and upright motives. 

Lastly I shall hazard much, and can possibly gain 
nothing, by the issue of the interview. 

But it was, as I conceive, impossible for me to avoid it. 
There were intrinsic difficulties in the thing, and artificial 
embarrassments from the manner of proceeding on the part 
of Colonel Burr. Intrinsic, because it is not to be denied 
that my animadversions on the political principles, charac- 
ter, and views of Colonel Burr have been extremely severe ; 
and on different occasions I, in common with many others, 
have made very unfavorable criticisms on particular in- 
stances of the private conduct of this gentleman. In pro- 
portion as these impressions were entertained with sincerity 
and uttered with motives and for purposes which might ap- 
pear to me commendable, would be the difficulty (until they 
could be removed by evidence of their being erroneous) of 
explanation or apology. The disavowal required of me by 
Colonel Burr, in a general and indefinite form, was out of 
my power, if it had really been proper for me to submit to 
be so questioned ; but I was sincerely of opinion that this 
could not be, and in this opinion I was confirmed by that of 
a very moderate and judicious friend whom I consulted. 
Besides that, Colonel Burr appeared to me to assume, in 
the first instance, a tone unnecessarily peremptory and 
menacing, and, in the second, positively offensive. Yet I 
wished, as far as might be practicable, to leave a door open 
to accommodation. This, I think, will be inferred from the 
written communications made by me and by my direction, 
and would be confirmed by the conversations between Mr. 
Van Ness and myself which arose out of the subject. I am 
not sure whether, under all the circumstances, I did not go 
further in the attempt to accommodate than a punctilious 



A T OTED AMERICAN DUELS. 347 

delicacy will justify. If so, I hope the motives I have stated 
will excuse me. It is not my design, by what I have said, 
to affix any odium on the conduct of Colonel Burr in this 
case. He doubtless has heard of animadversions of mine 
which bore very hard upon him ; and it is probable that, as 
usual, they were accompanied with some falsehoods. He 
may have supposed himself under a necessity of acting as he 
has done. I hope the grounds of his proceeding have been 
such as ought to satisfy his own conscience. I trust, at the 
same time, that the world will do me the justice to believe 
that I have not censured him on light grounds, nor from 
unworthy inducements. I certainly have had strong rea- 
sons for what I may have said, though it is possible that in 
some particulars I may have been influenced by miscon- 
struction and misinformation. It is also my ardent wish 
that I may have been more mistaken than I think I have 
been, and that he, by his future conduct, may show himself 
worthy of all confidence and esteem, and prove an ornament 
and blessing to the country. As well because it is possible 
that I may have injured Colonel Burr, however convinced 
myself that my opinions and declarations have been well 
founded, as from my general principles and temper in rela- 
tion to similar affairs, I have resolved, if our interview is 
conducted in the usual manner, and it pleases God to give 
me the opportunity, to reserve and throw away my first 
fire, and I have thoughts even of reserving my second fire, and 
thus giving a double opportunity to Colonel Burr to pause and 
reflect. It is not, however, my intention to enter into any 
explanations on the ground. Apology, from principle, I 
hope, rather than pride, is out of the question. To those 
who, with me, abhorring the practice of duelling, may think 
that I ought on no account to have added to the number of 
bad examples, I answer that my relative situation, as well in 
public as private, enforcing all the considerations which 
constitute what men of the world denominate honor, im- 
posed on me (as I thought) a peculiar necessity not to de- 
cline the call. The ability to be in future useful, whether in 
resisting mischief or effecting good, in those crises of our 



34-8 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

public affairs which seem likely to happen, would probably 
be inseparable from a conformity with public prejudice in 
this particular. 

As has been stated, the duel took place on the nth 
of July, 1804, the particulars of which have gone into 
history on the strength of the statements made by 
the seconds of the parties Mr. William P. Van Ness 
on the part of Burr, and Colonel Nathaniel Pendleton 
on that of Hamilton. The place selected for the 
scene of the duel was a little secluded ledge beneath 
the heights of Weehawken, and not far above the level 
of the Hudson. It was the very spot where Philip 
Hamilton (the eldest son of Alexander Hamilton) 
had fallen about three years before. The parties 
went up the stream by boat from New York, Burr 
and his friends arriving first, by special arrangement. 
The parties being placed, the word was given, when 
Hamilton, raising himself convulsively, fell forward 
on his face, his pistol being discharged as he sank to 
the ground, sending the ball whizzing through the 
foliage of the surrounding trees. Van Ness and Burr 
immediately hurried to their boat. Colonel Pendle- 
ton and Dr. Hosack, who were in attendance, raised 
Hamilton into a sitting posture, when it was dis- 
covered that he had been struck in the right side. 
He was just able to articulate, " This is a mortal 
wound, "when he fell into a swoon. As he. was car- 
ried gently to the river-bank, he opened his eyes for 
a moment and said, " My vision is indistinct." 
Later General Hamilton declared that he had met 
Colonel Burr with a fixed resolution to do him no 
harm, and that he forgave all that had happened. 
He lingered during the remainder of that day, and 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. . 349 

the night following, but died at two o'clock on the 
afternoon of the next day. 

The details of the duel, as furnished by the 
seconds, Messrs. Van Ness and Pendleton, are as 
follows : 

Colonel Burr arrived first on the ground, as had been pre- 
viously agreed. When General Hamilton arrived the 
parties exchanged salutations and the seconds proceeded to 
make their arrangements. They measured the distance, 
ten full paces, and cast lots for the choice of position, as 
also to determine by whom the word should be given, both 
of which fell to the seconds of General Hamilton. They 
then proceeded to load the pistols in each other's presence, 
after which the parties took their stations. The gentleman 
who was to give the word then explained to the parties the 
rules which were to govern them in firing, which were as 
follows : The parties being placed at their stations, the sec- 
ond who gives the word shall ask them whether they are 
ready; being answered in the affirmative, he shall say 
" Present;" after this the parties shall present and fire when 
they please. If one fires before the other, the opposite 
second shall say, " One, two, three, fire," and he shall then 
fire or lose his fire. He then asked if they were prepared ; 
being answered in the affirmative, he gave the word, 
Present, as had been agreed on, and both parties presented 
and fired in succession the intervening time is not ex- 
pressed, as the seconds do not precisely agree on that point. 
The fire of Colonel Burr took effect, and General Hamilton 
almost instantly fell. Colonel Burr then advanced toward 
General Hamilton, with a manner and gesture that appeared 
to General's Hamilton's friend to be expressive of regret, 
but without speaking turned about and withdrew, being 
urged from the field by his friend with a view to prevent his 
being recognized by the surgeon and bargemen, who were 
then approaching. No further communication took place 
between the principals, and the barge that carried Colonel 
Burr immediately returned to the city. We conceive it 



35 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

proper to add that the conduct of the parties in this inter- 
view was perfectly proper as suited the occasion. 

Dr. Hosack then tells how Pendleton and himself 
carried the wounded man to their boat; and, upon 
their arrival at the wharf, how they conveyed him as 
tenderly as possible up to Hamilton's residence. 
"The distresses of his amiable family," says the 
Doctor, " were such that, till the first shock was 
abated, they were scarcely able to summon fortitude 
enough to yield sufficient assistance to their dying 
friend. Upon our reaching the house he became 
more languid, occasioned, probably, by the agitation 
of his removal from the boat. I gave him a little 
weak wine and water. When he recovered his feel- 
ings, he complained of pain in his back. We im- 
mediately undressed him and laid him in bed, and 
darkened the room. I then gave him a large ano- 
dyne, which I frequently repeated. During the first 
day he took upward of an ounce of laudanum; and 
tepid anodyne fomentations were also applied to 
those parts nearest the seat of his pain. Yet were 
his sufferings, during the whole of the day, almost 
intolerable. I had not the shadow of a hope of his 
recovery, and Dr. Post, whom I requested might be 
sent for immediately on our reaching Mr. Bayard's 
house, united with me in this opinion. General Rey, 
the French consul, also had the goodness to invite 
the surgeons of the French frigates in our harbor, as 
they had had much experience in gun-shot wounds, 
to render their assistance. They immediately came; 
but, to prevent his being disturbed, I stated to them 
his situation, described the nature of his wound and 
the direction of the ball, with all the symptoms that 
could enable them to form an opinion as to the event. 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 35 l 

One of the gentlemen then accompanied me to the 
bedside. The result was a confirmation of the 
opinion that had already been expressed by Dr. Post 
and myself. During the night he had some im- 
perfect sleep; but the succeeding morning his symp- 
toms were aggravated, attended, however, with a 
diminution of pain. His mind retained all its usual 
strength and composure. The great source of his 
anxiety seemed to be in his sympathy with his half- 
distracted wife and children. He spoke to me fre- 
quently of them. * My beloved wife and children,' 
were always his expressions. But his fortitude 
triumphed over his situation, dreadful as it was; 
once, indeed, at the sight of his children, brought to 
the bedside together, seven in number, his utterance 
forsook him; he opened his eyes, gave them one 
look, and closed them again till they were taken 
away. As a proof of his extraordinary composure of 
mind, let me add that he alone could calm the 
frantic grief of their mother. ' Remember, my Eliza, 
you are a Christian,' were the expressions with which 
he frequently, with a firm voice, but in a pathetic 
and impressive manner, addressed her. His words, 
and the tone in which they were uttered, will never 
be effaced from my memory. At about two o'clock, 
as the public well know, he expired." 

With the exception of the assassination of Lincoln 
and the deaths of Washington and Garfield, no public 
or private event has ever created the deep and general 
sorrow which was manifested over the melancholy 
termination of this most unfortunate affair. Burr 
was disfranchised by the laws of New York for 
having fought a duel, and was indicted for murder in 
New Jersey. The affair had the effect of arousing 



3 $2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the public mind of the people in the Northern States 
to a positive horror of duelling. The Society of the 
Cincinnati took the question under consideration, 
and General C. C. Pinckney, Vice-President of that 
body, proposed that it should resolutely set its face 
against the practice. Mr. Morse, in his " Life of 
Hamilton," says: " The city was not a safe place for 
Burr. He fled for his life, and his terrified myrmi- 
dons hastened to avail themselves of the protection 
of obscurity. Never again could that blood-stained 
man redeem his reputation before mankind, so in- 
finitely more fatal was that duel to the survivor than 
the victim." 

Undoubtedly the survivor .was made to feel the 
hell that seems to have been reserved for him upon 
earth. The living victim of that fatal meeting upon 
the banks of the noble Hudson was the greater 
victim of the two. He killed his opponent, to be 
sure, but he made him a god, with fifty millions of 
people to-day as worshippers, and ingloriously shot 
himself into a loathsome living grave. Sabine, in his 
description of this duel, says: 

The reader cannot have failed to notice that, in the 
correspondence between Burr and Hamilton which pre- 
ceded the duel, the cause of offence is stated to consist in 
certain expressions uttered by the latter in the presence of 
Dr. Cooper. But we are not to limit General Hamilton's 
animadversions to a single case or occasion, since he himself 
admits, in the paper which contains his Remarks explana- 
tory of his motives and views, that his unfavorable criti- 
cisms had been frequent and severe. . . . But we have a 
right to condemn Hamilton for accepting the call. He was 
not a duellist. True, in his youth, 1778, he acted as second 
in the combat between Colonel Laurens and General Lee ; 
but we have his express declaration that " his religious and 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 353 

moral principles were strongly opposed to the practice of 
duelling." He met his antagonist, who, in his judgment, 
was a corrupt man for what? Because, to use his own 
words, " his relative situation, as well in public as private," 
imposed upon him, as he thought, "a peculiar necessity not 
to decline ;" and because, regarding " what men of the 
world denominate honor," he considered that " his ability to 
be in future useful, whether in resisting mischief or effecting 
good, in those crises of our public affairs which seem likely 
to happen, would probably be inseparable from a conformity 
with public prejudice in this particular." He violated, then, 
his religious and moral principles, rather than not conform 
to "public prejudice." Hamilton in the deepest sorrow be 
it uttered though one of the illustrious of the world, and 
to live forever in our annals, was hardly less than a suicide. 
When dying, he declared that " he had found, for some time 
past, that his life must be exposed " to Burr ; and yet he 
resolved to go out and be shot down, without remonstrance 
or resistance. This is undeniably true. Without remon- 
strance for "explanation on the ground was," he said, "out 
of the question." Without resistance for he affirmed, in 
his last hours, to Dr. Hosack, that " Pendleton knew that he 
did not intend to fire at" Burr ; to Bishop Moore, that "he 
met him with a fixed resolution to do him no harm ;" and 
to Dr. Mason, that " he went to the field determined not to 
take his life." An examination of the course of his oppo- 
nent allows us, after the lapse of half a century, to repeat an 
emphatic remark of the time, that he was a victim to "a 
long meditated and predetermined system of hostility on the 
part of Mr. Burr and his confidential advisers." Burr 
arrived first at the lonely spot designated, and, calmly di- 
vesting himself of his coat, cleared away the bushes, limbs 
of trees, and other obstructions ; and in the combat raised 
his arm slowly, and took deliberate and fatal aim. Nothing 
but Hamilton's death would satisfy him. When abroad, in 
1808, he gave Jeremy Bentham an account of the duel, and 
said " he was sure of bemg able to kill him ;" and so, re- 
plied Bentham, "/ thought it little better than a murder" 



354 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Posterity will not be likely to disturb the judgment of the 
British philosopher. 

The weapons used by Hamilton and Burr are at 
present in the possession of a citizen of Rochester 
(New York). For more than fifty years they were in 
possession of the descendants of Hamilton, who gave 
them to the mother of the present possessor, also a 
descendant of Hamilton. In appearance they are 
very formidable. They are "horse-pistols" of Eng- 
lish manufacture, and are exactly alike, so far as an 
ordinary observer can discover. The one from which 
Burr fired the fatal missile is marked by a cross filed 
under the lower part of the barrel. They do not in 
any respect resemble any modern arm. In handling 
them one is strongly impressed with the idea that 
they were evidently intended for use in duels where 
the participants " shot to kill" and not to obtain 
newspaper notoriety without the disagreeable shed- 
ding of blood. Although they evidently could not 
be manipulated so rapidly as the modern double- 
acting, self-cocking pistol, they are capable of fatal 
execution, as they carry a bullet of 56 calibre. They 
are sixteen inches long, and are, in reality, small guns 
rather than pistols. The barrels appear to be of the 
best steel then manufactured, and the weapons 
throughout are heavily mounted with brass. They 
are very carefully finished in all their parts, and 
were evidently very expensive. A curious feature of 
these pistols, unknown to the present generation, but 
remembered by some of the older readers who have 
handled their grandfathers' muskets, is the flint- 
locks. These, with their flints in position, are intact. 
It seems almost incredible, to-day, in view of the 
advance of everything pertaining to gunnery, that 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 355 

men should risk their lives on the spark from the 
flint and steel. It is evident, however, from an ex- 
amination of these weapons, that the flints were cut 
with the precision of the face of a diamond, and it is 
probable that there was as little likelihood of their 
missing fire as there would be with the most finished 
cartridge-weapon of the present day. The pistols 
are " sighted " with a view to the purpose for which 
they were made, and in the hands of a man with a 
steady nerve and strong arm would prove a very 
dangerous weapon. Placed beside one of these 
heavy duelling weapons, an ordinary revolver ap- 
peared dwarfed into a toy-pistol, and one of its 
cartridges was almost lost when dropped into the 
spacious muzzle. Aside from the great historical 
interest attaching to the weapons, this comparison of 
the almost perfect weapon of to-day with that of 
eighty years ago, doubtless the most perfect of that 
day, is startling. The interval marks the transi- 
tion and growth of weapons of defence, from the 
clumsy mechanism of flint and steel, and powder and 
ball, to the weapon which is capable of being dis- 
charged six times in as many seconds, and reloaded 
in a few additional seconds. The increase in cer- 
tainty of aim and power of execution is not, however, 
so obvious. The pistols are in a remarkable state of 
preservation, and are apparently in as good condition 
as when used for the last time that fatal morning on 
the banks of the Hudson, having been carefully 
preserved and cared for during these eighty years. 
Such, in brief, is a description of these interesting 
relics, the mementoes of a great tragedy, which had 
much to do with moulding the political events of the 
century in the United States. Very few, and those 



3 $6 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

only family friends, have been aware of the existence 
of these reminders of the dark tragedy in the family, 
and it is only with much reluctance that the possessor 
permits any present reference to them a reluctance 
which is easily appreciated. It is the intention of the 
owner to always keep them in the possession of his 
family and never allow them to be publicly exhibited. 
One of the first objects that attracts the atten- 
tion of a stranger on his first visit to Washington 
Heights, New York, is the old Hamilton homestead, 
at Tenth Avenue and One Hundred and Forty-fifth 
Street. The house is a large frame structure, with a 
series of wooden columns running around the front 
and one side, and has been kept in comparatively 
good repair for so old a wooden building. It stands 
at the north end of a large tract of ground. In this 
house Alexander Hamilton lived, and it was from 
here that he went forth and crossed over to Weehaw- 
ken on July n, 1804, to meet Burr in the unfor- 
tunate duel which ended in his death. At the south- 
east corner of the old house thirteen tall trees tower 
upward. They are surrounded by a wooden fence, 
and grow so closely together that in some places 
they seem to be welded into one huge trunk. They 
were planted by Hamilton himself, and were named 
after the thirteen original States. One of them, 
which is the most northern of the thirteen, early 
developed a tendency to crookedness, and this the 
statesman christened South Carolina. It is now a 
full-grown tree, but shorter than its fellows because 
of a long bend in the trunk about ten feet from the 
ground. The top of another has been broken off and 
only about twenty feet of the trunk remain. The 
trees are really the most interesting part of the sur- 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 357 

roundings of the old mansion, and they are visited 
almost daily by strangers and others. 

The remains of Hamilton lie in the family church 
yard, although the monument erected by the corpo- 
ration to his memory is (1883) sufferyig from decay. 
The inscription has become almost undecipherable 
and the pediment is cracked. Some years ago, when 
public attention was called to the matter, Trinity 
Corporation made some slight effort to restore the 
dead patriot's monument, but now it seems to have 
other uses for its money. The corporation has actu- 
ally voted to allow Alexander Hamilton, grandson of 
the statesman, to do the work it ought to attend to, 
and have the inscription restored. The Hamilton 
family have been connected with the parish for a 
century, and they, together with the public, are at a 
loss to account for the neglect. But Trinity does 
things queerly. Nearly thirty years ago, when there 
was a determined movement to cut Pine Street 
through Trinity graveyard, the corporation put up a 
brown-stone monument to the memory of the un- 
known soldiers of the Revolution buried there. It 
was done rather to preserve their own territory than 
to honor the dead patriots. In an open space at the 
top of the monument it was designed to place a 
bronze statue of a soldier in the uniform of the 
"Old Continentals." But this part of the pro- 
gramme has never been carried out. The space re- 
mains empty and the monument looks incomplete. 
However, it answered its commercial purpose, and 
this was enough, though it is not known that any 
soldier was ever buried in the locality covered by the 
brown-stone pile. 

Alexander Hamilton (as well as Judah P. Benja- 



35$ THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

min, the father of George M. Dallas, and others 
quite as distinguished) came from one of the smaller 
islands of the Lesser Antilles. "Hamilton came 
from Nevis," says a New York correspondent of the 
Cincinnati Enquirer, " which is a volcanic island 
made of a single conical mountain which rises to the 
height of 2500 feet, and has fertile land around its 
borders, an area of only twenty-one square miles, 
and a population of perhaps 10,000. It exports 
about $250,000 a year of sugar, rum, and molasses. 
Hamilton was born on the nth of January, 1757. 
His mother was the daughter of a West India doctor 
named Faucette. She was of French Protestant 
origin, and had first been married to a Dane named 
Levine, who is said to have been a Jew. Levine was 
rich, and she hated him and got a divorce from him, 
and married a young Scotchman, who was a trader 
in the island of St. Christopher. This Scotchman 
(Hamilton) made a bad failure in business and never 
got on his feet again, and afterward lived obscure. 
That is not to be wondered at, considering the small 
opportunities in those islands for a career. Alex- 
ander Hamilton left in the island of Nevis might 
have been of no consequence. I saw people there 
who impressed me as strong and brilliant, but they 
had merely colonial opportunities, and in that hot 
climate the energies of men soon decay. Hamil- 
ton's mother died unhappy when he was a child; but 
she had some respectable kin in the island of Santa 
Cruz, who took charge of the orphan boy, who was 
the only child to survive her. Hamilton was, there- 
fore, brought up in St. Croix, and his earliest letters 
are dated from that island. He wrote one to a 
friend named Edward Stevens in 1769, which says; 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 359 

* Ned, my ambition is prevalent, so that I contemn 
the grovelling condition of a clerk or the like, to 
which my fortune condemns me, and would willingly 
risk my life, though not my character, to exalt my 
station. I wish there was a war.' Hamilton was a 
good French as well as English scholar. His first 
friend was a Presbyterian preacher at St. Croix. 
Though he despised a clerkship, in that position he 
developed the abilities which made him a great finan- 
cier. He was a newspaper- writer; and a description 
of a hurricane in the island of St. Christopher, which 
was published in one of* the West India newspapers, 
was talked about so much that his friends concluded 
to send him to New York to be educated. He went 
to school at Elizabeth (N. J.), and then at King's 
College, in New York, and thought he would be a 
physician. He had only been in the country about a 
year or two when he addressed a public meeting and 
wrote articles for the New York newspapers against 
the British Government. His precocity may be as- 
cribed to his French and Scotch nature, and to an 
ambition which never ceased. The French element 
gave him his brilliancy, and the Scotch his exactness 
and judgment." 

In 1776, at the age of nineteen, Hamilton became a 
Captain of artillery, and distinguished himself in 
many battles. In March, 1777, he became an aid-de- 
camp to Washington, with the rank of lieutenant- 
colonel. In 1780 he married Eliza, a daughter of 
General Philip Schuyler, and shortly afterward was 
appointed inspector-general. Subsequently he was 
appointed a major-general, and upon the death of 
Washington became Commander-in-Chief of the 
Army. It was as Secretary of the Treasury, how- 



360 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

ever, that he gained pre-eminence, and Webster once 
said of him: "He smote the rock of the national re- 
sources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed 
forth. He touched the dead corpse of the public 
credit, and it sprung to its feet. The fabled birth 
of Minerva from the brain of Jove was hardly 
more sudden or more perfect than the financial 
system of the United States as it burst forth from 
the conception of Alexander Hamilton." Mrs. Ham- 
ilton survived her husband fifty years, dying in New 
York in 1854, aged ninety-seven. 

Aaron Burr was the son* of an American clergy- 
man, and was born at Newark (N. J.), on the 6th 
of February, 1756. He entered the army as a pri- 
vate soldier, and received a commission of major for 
great gallantry and meritorious service during Ar- 
nold's expedition* against Quebec. He next became 
an aid-de-camp, to Putnam, and afterward received 
a commission as lieutenant-colonel, and was placed 
in command of his regiment. In July, 1783, he mar- 
ried Mrs. Prevost, the widow of a British officer. 
Burr subsequently became a senator, and afterward 
the third Vice-President of the United States his 
term closing March 4, 1805. He was arrested for 
treason on February 19, 1807, and was tried in Rich- 
mond (Va.), the jury returning a verdict that ** Aaron 
Burr is not proved to be guilty under the indictment 
by any evidence submitted to us." He married 
Madame Jumel in his seventy-eighth year, but was 
soon afterward dismissed from her bed and board. 
Burr's only child, Theodosia, married Governor 
Allston, of South Carolina. Burr died, in destitute 
circumstances, on Staten Island, on September 14, 
1836. 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS 361 

It is an interesting fact that on the nth of May, 
1884, the statue of Chief-Justice Marshall was un- 
veiled in Washington with appropriate ceremony 
the Marshall whose duty it became to try for high 
treason the man who had killed his friend Hamil- 
ton, but who conducted that trial with such an 
absence of personal feeling that it was among the 
greatest marvels of our legal history. He could 
neither be influenced by his private grief for Hamil- 
ton, nor by Jefferson's attempts as President to 
injure Burr, nor by Burr himself whom he charged 
the jury to acquit but whom he held under a bond 
on another charge, to the indescribable rage of the 
slayer of the eminent Federalist. 

Ben Perley Poore, in his charming Reminiscences 
(1884), says: 

Aaron Burr enjoyed the reputation of having delivered 
the most impressive speech ever uttered in the capitol when 
he took leave of the Senate as its presiding officer. I have 
heard a senator, who was present, state that nearly every one 
was in tears, and so unmanned that it was nearly half an 
hour before they could recover themselves sufficiently to 
choose a President pro tempore. The characteristics of 
Vice-President Burr's manner appear to have been elevation 
and dignity, a consciousness of superiority, etc., nothing of 
the whining adulation, those canting, hypocritical complaints 
of want of talents, assurance of his endeavors to please them, 
hopes of their favors, etc. On the contrary, he told them ex- 
plicitly that he had determined to pursue a conduct which 
his judgment should approve, and which should secure the 
suffrage of his own conscience, and he had never considered 
who else should be pleased or displeased, although it was 
but justice on this occasion to thank them for their defer- 
ence and respect to his official conduct, the constant and 
uniform support he had received from every member, of 
their prompt acquiescence in his decisions, and he remarked 



3^2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

to their honor, that they had never descended to a single 
motion of passion or embarrassment ; and, so far as he was 
from apologizing for any decisions he had occasion to make, 
there was not one which, on reflection, he was disposed to 
vary or retract. Burr was unquestionably one of the most 
remarkable men that our country has ever produced. The 
things which clouded his name in his own day were the 
suspicion and charge of treason, and his duel with Hamil- 
ton, in which the great financier fell. Burr was a vic- 
tim of the barbarous custom of those days, and he killed 
a popular favorite. Other vices cluster around his name, 
but they cannot present him, even to the eye of moral 
judgment, as less than an "archangel fallen." When a 
boy, residing with my parents at the corner of Madi- 
son Lane and Broadway, I used to see Burr pass every 
morning and afternoon, as he went to and from his law- 
office. Tall, soldier-like, and walking with a soldier-like air, 
he attracted attention as he passed along, and people would 
stop and point him out to others after he had gone by. One 
day I was in the law-office of Allen Day, where my uncle, 
the late Allen Dodge, of Hamilton, was studying his profes- 
sion, and Burr came in to inquire about a case in which he 
was counsel. I regarded him with dread, yet I was fascinat- 
ed by the courtesy of his manner, the pleasant expression 
of his bright, keen eyes, and the gentle winning tones of his 
voice. He was at that time virtually an outcast from the 
circles in which he had once been a leading figure. Very 
poor, he often took cases which other lawyers refused to 
touch, and he often found it difficult to procure the necessi- 
ties of life. Yet he never lost his dignity and self-respect, 
and appeared, amid the trials and vicissitudes of his old age, 
to enjoy the peace and serenity which only a quiet con- 
science can bestow. He was undoubtedly the first political 
"boss" of the State of New York, and it was by following 
his advice that Van Buren passed from office to office until 
he became the President of the United States. 

During the latter portion of 1883 the St. Louis Re- 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 3 6 3 

publican published the following account of the recol- 
lections of a lady who once felt the irresistible power 
and fascination of Burr's piercing eyes: 

In New York City, a few weeks since, died Miss Theodosia 
Burr Davis, in her seventy-seventh year, only sister of Col- 
onel George T. M. Davis, well known to some of the former 
residents of St. Louis as formerly a prominent member of the 
Illinois bar, aid-de-camp to General James Shields in the 
Mexican War, and in 1849-51 editor of a newspaper in this 
city. Miss Davis was a lady of brilliant and highly cultivated 
intellect, fine conversational powers, and remarkable energy. 
Though tried by disappointment and sorrow as few have 
been, she retained her vivacity and wit almost to the last, 
while by a life which was, in most respects, one long self-sac- 
rifice, she won and kept the esteem and affection of a large 
circle of relatives and friends. Her virtues, however, were so 
entirely domestic and private that the only excuse for this 
brief notice is the fact that she was indirectly connected with 
an historical personage in whom the public is always interest- 
ed. The father of Miss Davis died young, and she was left to 
the guardianship of his brother, Matthew L. Davis, the inti- 
mate friend and biographer of Aaron Burr one of that little 
band of devoted adherents who never abandoned their unfor- 
tunate chief, and who were known in those days as " Burr's 
Tenth Legion." Though she bore the name of his idolized 
daughter, and was the niece and ward of a man so closely 
associated with him, Miss Davis never saw Burr but twice. 
Their first meeting made a profound impression upon her, 
as well it might. She was at her uncle's house, spending a 
portion of a school-vacation, when one morning when she 
was upstairs he called to her to come down, as there was a 
visitor who wished to see her. For some reason she never 
could explain she had an undefinable dread of this unknown 
visitor, and did not at once obey the summons. It was re- 
peated with emphasis, which put an end to further hesita- 
tion, and she came down. Mr. Davis took her by the hand 
and they entered the parlor. There she saw sitting on the 



364 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

sofa a little old man, dressed in the fashion of a past genera- 
tion, with hair as white as snow and eyes so lustrous and 
piercing that she could not resist their fascination. With 
the stately courtesy of the ancient regime, her uncle led her 
toward the stranger and said : " Colonel Burr, this is the 
child of whom I spoke. I need not tell you whose name she 
bears." The old man rose and grasping both her hands in 
his held her at arm's length, gazing into her face with those 
marvellous eyes as if he would read her very soul. The or- 
deal lasted but a moment, though it seemed an age to the 
timid girl; then her hands were dropped, and Burr ex- 
claimed, in faltering voice: "Take her away, Matthew, I 
cannot stand it !" Once afterward they met accidentally on 
Broadway. She hurried past without speaking, but Burr 
stopped, and as she looked round she saw his eyes following 
in a long, wistful gaze, as if they would draw back to him 
the bearer of that beloved name. 

The late General James Watson Webb, talking of 
Aaron Burr three or four years ago, said: 

I knew him. He was a brave soldier in the Revolutionary 
War. He succeeded my father as aid on General Putnam's 
staff after the battle of Bunker Hill. Burr was a selfish 
scoundrel. I met him often during his last years. He used 
to urge Matthew L. Davis to write his (Burr's) life, but he 
added, only on one condition you know what that is. Da- 
vis turned to me and explained that Burr wouldn't permit 
his life to be written unless the biographer would agree to 
" tell the truth about Washington," by which Burr meant 
abuse him and deny him any great qualities, either as a man, 
a soldier, or a statesman. Davis would never consent to this. 
"I won't do it," he said to Burr in my presence. "Then 
you sha'n't write my life," responded Burr. The fact is Burr 
never forgave Washington for refusing to appoint him Min- 
ister to France in 1795, when his party in the Senate unani- 
mously recommended him for the distinguished place. 
Washington always disliked the brilliant New Yorker, whose 
various qualities were just the opposite of his own, and the 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 365 

feeling was naturally reciprocal. During the last year of his 
life, when he was eighty-one, Burr withdrew the condition, 
but then he could not talk much, and Davis's materials were 
too meagre. " Send for Webb and Verplanck," said Burr. 
We went to his bedside. " You two write out all the ques- 
tions you can think of about my life," said Burr, "and then 
come here and read them and I will answer them." We did 
so, and the answers formed the basis of Davis's biography 
which was very partial, like Parton's, and not half true. One 
day the doctor told Burr he would not live till morning. 
Burr turned his eyes toward us and said : " He's an infernal 
old fool. Open that bureau drawer." It was opened. " Do 
you see a letter on that box ?" Verplanck took up the dainty 
missive. " It is from a lady," said the dying gallant, "and 
she says she will call on me to-morrow. Anybody who 
thinks I will die with such an appointment as that on hand 
doesn't know Colonel Burr !" He was supported by friends 
for years. He pretended to practise law, but he never prac- 
tised much. He had no sense of honor in money matters. 
He would borrow fifty dollars on one corner and distribute 
it to anybody who wanted it on the next corner. 



366 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

NOTED AMERICAN DUELS-CONTINUED. 

Fall of the Illustrious Decatur at Bladensburg in a Duel with 
James Barren The Second Most Noted Fatal Affair in the 
United States The Distinguished Naval Hero Falls Mortally 
and his Antagonist Dangerously Wounded at the First Fire 
They Exchange Forgiveness of Each Other on the Bloody 
Ground Decatur's Last Words: " I have never been your 
Enemy, Sir" Decatur's Remains in St. Peter's Churchyard in 
Philadelphia The Old Decatur Mansion in Washington 
Decatur's Other Affairs His Great Fame and Reputation His 
Encounter at Tripoli and Revenge of the Treacherous Murder 
of his Brother, Lieutenant James Decatur Other Affairs of 
Honor between United States Army and Navy Officers Duels 
among Confederates The Fatal Meeting of Generals Marma- 
duke and Walker. 

THE fall of the noble and chivalrous Decatur at 
Bladensburg, on March 22, 1820, produced a pro- 
found sensation throughout the country; and this 
unfortunate affair, in which the distinguished naval 
hero lost his life, has been generally viewed as the 
second most noted duel in the United States. 
Stephen Decatur and James Barron were and had 
been for several years post-captains in the American 
navy. Barron had been found guilty of the charge 
of neglecting his duty while in command of the fri- 
gate Chesapeake by a court of inquiry and court- 
martial (upon both of which Decatur had served), 
and had been suspended from the service. He had 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 367 

subsequently applied for restoration of rank, and 
had been opposed by Decatur from an honorable 
standpoint. This was the prime cause of an enmity 
which sprung up and grew between the two officers, 
and which was followed by a long and acrimonious 
correspondence between them and culminated in a 
hostile meeting in which Decatur was mortally and 
his antagonist dangerously wounded at the first fire. 
Captain William Bainbridge, U. -S. N., accompanied 
Decatur to the field, and Captain Jesse D. Elliott, 
U. S. N., acted as second for Barren. They fought 
with pistols, at eight paces, and both fired and fell 
together, and then carried on a short conversation 
while they lay on the ground. What they said is not 
positively known, except that they exchanged for- 
giveness of each other. ' Before the mischief had been 
committed, however, Barren remarked to Decatur 
that he hoped that on meeting him in another world 
they would be better friends than in this; to which 
Decatur replied, " I have never been your enemy, 
sir." The dying officer was taken to his residence in 
Washington, near Lafayette Square, where he ex- 
pired at a quarter to eleven o'clock the same night. 
Barren was also conveyed to Washington, where he 
was confined by his wound until the loth of April 
following, when he departed for his home at Hamp- 
ton (Virginia). Decatur's remains were taken to 
Philadelphia in 1844, and deposited in St. Peter's 
Churchyard, over which was erected a pretentious 
tomb and an Ionic pillar of marble (the latter capped 
by an American eagle), which may be seen by all visi- 
tors to the " Quaker City" who care for a stroll down 
to the southwest corner of Third and Pine streets. 
The house in which Decatur died was afterward 



368 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

occupied by Mr. Livingston while Secretary of State 
under President Jackson, and subsequently by Martin 
Van Buren while Vice-President. It is now the resi- 
dence of General E. F. Beale, who is as hospitable 
and generous as his mansion is noble and historic. 
The pistols used by Decatur and Barren were taken 
possession of by Captain Elliott (Barren's second), 
who retained them until his death (in 1845), when 
they came into the possession of their present owner, 
General W. L. Elliott (Retired List U. S. A., and 
Vice-President of the California Safe Deposit and 
Trust Company), of San Francisco a son of Barren's 
second above named. 

Mr. Wirt (then Attorney-General of the United 
States), who knew in confidence of the difficulty 
between Decatur and Barron, and who used every 
effort to prevent the duel, in a letter to Judge Carr, 
dated eleven days after the fatal combat, states that 
" Decatur was apparently shot dead; he revived, how- 
ever, after a'while, and he and Barron had a parley 
as they lay on the ground." And Wirt continues: 

Doctor Washington, who got up just then, says that it 
reminded him of the closing scene of a tragedy Hamlet and 
Laertes. Barron proposed that they should make friends 
before they met in heaven (for he supposed they would both 
die immediately). Decatur said he had never been his 
enemy, that he freely forgave him his death, though he 
could not forgive those who had stimulated him to seek his 
life. One report says that Barron exclaimed, "Would to 
God you had said this much yesterday !" It is certain that 
the parley was a friendly one, and that they parted in peace. 
Decatur knew he was to die, and his only sorrow was that 
he had not died in the service of his country. 

Mr. Sabin, in his description of this duel, declares, 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 369 

feelingly, and, we think, correctly, that there was no 
cause for it whatever. Says Sabine: 

Decatu-r, as will be seen in the correspondence, " dis- 
claimed all personal animosity toward" Barren. In his own 
words " Between you and myself there never has been a 
personal difference ; but I have entertained, and do still 
entertain, the opinion that your conduct as an officer, since 
the affair of the Chesapeake, has been such as ought to for- 
ever bar your readmission into the service." In this view 
he declares that he is sustained, he believes, by every 
officer of "our grade," with a single exception. True, 
Barren, in his letter of November 30, 1819, regards Decatur's 
course to be inconsistent with these declarations, and re- 
torts with much severity. But Decatur constantly main- 
tained them. He told Mr. Wirt that he did not wish to 
meet Barron, and that " the duel was forced upon him ;" and 
it is said that he assured Commodore Rodgers, on receiving 
the challenge, that nothing could induce him to take the 
life of Barron. On the day of his death, while at breakfast, 
remarks Mr. Hambleton, " he was quite cheerful, and did 
not appear to have any desire to take the life of his antago- 
nist ; indeed, he declared that he should be very sorry to do 
so." To this evidence we may add the reply to Barron on 
the ground : " I have never been your enemy, sir." 

Decatur's first u affair of honor" was in 1799, while 
he was a lieutenant attached to the frigate United 
States. He was at Philadelphia on recruiting ser- 
vice, and was deceived by a party of men he had 
enlisted, who deserted him and went on board an 
India ship. Decatur was greatly incensed, and for- 
mally demanded the deserters of the first officer of 
the merchantman, who, in the course of the inter- 
view, insulted him. He stated the case to his father, 
who considered that a duel was necessary. The 
officer of the India ship was asked to apologize. He 
refused, but accepted a challenge. Both, however, 



370 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

pursued their ordinary duties for several days. As 
soon as circumstances would permit, they met on the 
banks of the Delaware, at or near New Castle. 
Decatur disclaimed to his friends any intention to 
inflict a mortal injury, but wounded his antagonist in 
the hip, as he said, previous to the combat, he would 
do, and escaped himself without harm. The next 
difficulty which he proposed to settle by an appeal to 
arms occurred in 1801, while he served on board the 
frigate Essex, in the Mediterranean. The officers of 
a Spanish ship of war, under pretence of exercising 
police duty at the port of Barcelona, fired over, and 
brought to, the boats of the Essex in passing to and 
from the shore at night. Decatur, on being 
molested in this way, remonstrated with the proper 
officer, who treated him uncourteously. Avowing 
his intention to press the matter on the following 
day, he returned to his own ship. On repairing to 
the Spanish ship, as intimated, the aggressor was not 
to be found. Decatur, leaving a hostile message, 
went immediately on shore, but was unsuccessful in 
his search there. The Spanish Captain-General 
interfering, and requesting the aid of the captain of 
the Essex, a personal conflict was prevented. His 
third affair was also in the Mediterranean, but as the 
friend of Midshipman Joseph Bainbridge, in the year 
1803, a description of which occurs in Chapter XIV. 

"Affairs of honor" between officers of the United 
States army and navy were quite frequent up to 1850, 
after which time they ceased almost altogether. A 
great many valuable lives were sacrificed, however, 
among whom was Captain Ferdinand Louis Ame- 
lung, U. S. A., who was killed in Louisiana in 1820; 
Midshipman John Banister, U. S. N., in Virginia in 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 

1835; Lieutenant Samuel H. Bryant, U. S. A., in North 
Carolina in 1814; Midshipman Samuel B. Cocke, U. 
S. N., near Washington in 1822; Captain Joshua W. 
Collett, U. S. A., in Mexico in 1848; Surgeon Willis H. 
Bassett, U. S. N., in South America in 1830. In 1849^ 
in Virginia, Midshipman J. P. Jones, U. S. N., fought 
with James Hope, and was dangerously wounded at 
the first fire. It has been stated that the pistols use t d 
by these gentlemen were the same as those used by 
Decatur and Barren: which is not so, as General 
Elliott has had the weapons used by the latter in his 
possession since 1845. 1 J 839, at Port Mahon (Island 
of Minorca), Midshipman Charles Crillon Barton was 
wounded by a brother-officer. Midshipman William 
Caney was a participant in the first duel fought in 
California (early in 1849), an< ^ was wounded in the 
leg. Lieutenant Richard Somers, U. S. N., a Revo- 
lutionary officer, fought three duels in one day, and 
was wounded in the first two. Somers perished in 
the Intrepid fire-ketch, before Tripoli in 1804. In 
1847, in the city of Mexico, Captain Andrew Porter, 
of the U. S. Rifles, and Captain Archer, of the Vol- 
tigeurs, met with pistols, and the latter was woundexi 
in the leg. About the same time, or afterward, Lieu- 
tenant David Bell (2d Dragoons U. S. A.) and Lieu- 
tenant Robert Williams (who married the widow of 
Stephen A. Douglas) met near Washington with pis- 
tols, and the former received a slight wound. 

In 1863, after the defeat of the Confederates at 
Helena (Arkansas), a bitter feeling grew up between 
Generals Walker and Marmaduke, of Price's army, 
which was intensified into a quarrel after the appear- 
ance of their respective reports upon the retreat from 
Helena to Little Rock, and culminated in a duel in 



372 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

which Walker was mortally wounded and died in 
twenty-four hours. Walker, who was the superior 
officer, sent the challenge; which Marmaduke ac- 
cepted, and named revolvers as weapons; distance, 
fifteen paces. Walker's first bullet took off a twig 
from a branch directly over Marmaduke's head, and 
the second missile from the latter went through 
Walker's body and lungs, from which he reeled and 
fell, and from the effect of which he died at Little 
Rock upon the following day; Marmaduke was put 
under arrest, but, his services being valuable, he was 
shortly afterward released. 

During the fall of 1864, Major Rapley and Captain 
Belden, who were members of the Confederate Gen- 
eral J. F. Fagin's staff, whose command was opera- 
ting in Missouri at the time, became involved in a 
quarrel which resulted in a duel with revolvers, at 
fifteen paces; terms, to fire at the word and then 
advance and fire at will. The duel took place near 
Independence, early in the morning. Rapley fired 
in quick succession, but made no advance. Belden, 
however, took seemingly deadlier aims at his antag- 
onist, and advanced at every shot. The latter was 
hit, though, early in the combat, and reeled like a 
drunken man and fired unsteadily, of course; and at 
last fell at the feet of Rapley, after throwing his 
weapon away and crying, " My God! I ought to be 
killed for not hitting a man as close as this." Belden 
was shot through and through, but recovered. 

A singular affair was that between Lieutenant La- 
nier, of Bishop and General Folk's staff, and a wagon- 
master of the same (Confederate) corps. Lanier was 
a very dressy but a gallant fellow, and while executing 
some order, or attempting to, he incurred the dis- 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 373 

pleasure of an irascible wagon-master, one morning, 
who said menacingly to Lanier, "If you didn't have 
on so much gold braid, I'd challenge you to fight." 
" You would, eh ?" replied Lanier, who at once tore 
off his jacket and added, "Come on, then; we're 
equal !" In ten minutes the parties had taken their 
positions, with revolvers, at twelve paces, and at the 
first shot Lanier fell severely wounded. 



374 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

NOTED AMERICAN DUELS CONTINUED. 

The Cilley-Graves Affair near Washington The Third Most 
Noted Fatal Duel in the United States A Combat under 
the Duello upon a Point of Honor A Grand Old Gentleman 
Sacrifices his Noble Life to the Moloch of Punctilio A Duel 
between Congressmen who had Nothing against Each Other 
A Cruel Performance An Investigation of the Event by a Con- 
gressional Committee The Committee Present a Resolution of 
Expulsion of Mr. Graves and One of Censure of Messrs. Jones 
and Wise The Real Instigator of One of the Most Cruel and 
Inexcusable Duels on Record left to the Chastisement of the 
Law and of Public Opinion. 

THE third most noted fatal duel which has taken 
place in the United States was that unfortunate and 
cruel affair between Hon. Jonathan Cilley (M.C. 
from Maine) and Hon. William J. Graves (M.C. from 
Kentucky), which took place near the National Capi- 
tal, in Maryland (on the road to Marlborough), on the 
24th of February, 1838. 

Mr. Cilley was attended by Hon. George W. Jones 
(M.C. from Tennessee), and Mr. Graves by Hon. 
Henry A. Wise (M.C. from Virginia). There were 
also present Congressmen Crittenden and Menefee 
of Kentucky, Congressman Duncan of Ohio, and 
Congressman Bynum of North Carolina. 

Mr. Cilley, the noble old gentleman, sacrificed 
his valuable life to the hideous Demon of ceremo- 
nial "honor." "No one can peruse the report of 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 375 

the committee which investigated the affair without 
condemning, in particular, the action of one of the 
gentlemen connected with this devilish performance," 
declared a writer of the Baltimore press at that time. 
The affair originated in certain words spoken by Mr. 
Cilley in the House of Representatives and which 
reflected upon General James Watson Webb, editor of 
the New York Courier and Enquirer. Mr. Graves was 
at first the bearer of a note from General Webb to Mr. 
Cilley, which Mr. Cilley declined to receive, where- 
upon a correspondence took place between Messrs. 
Graves and Cilley, resulting in a challenge from Mr. 
Graves. The duel was fought with rifles, at eighty 
yards. The gentlemen were placed at about a quar- 
ter past three in the afternoon, when they exchanged 
shots. Mr. Cilley fired first, and Mr. Graves one or 
two seconds afterward, and both missed. After the 
first fire some argument occurred between the seconds 
of the parties and their respective principals, with a 
view to closing the meeting at this point if possible. 
No satisfactory arrangement could be reached, how- 
ever, and the second exchange of shots took place, 
with the same result. Mr. Graves persisting and de- 
manding another shot, the rifles were again loaded, 
the parties resumed their stations, and the third fire 
took place, which was the last, as Mr. Cilley was shot 
through the body. He dropped his rifle, beckoned to 
one near him, and exclaimed, " I am shot !" then, put- 
ting both his hands to his wound, fell, and expired in 
three minutes. 

"Major Ben Perley Poore, in his Reminiscences, says 
of this duel: 

Mr. Cilley, in a speech delivered in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, criticised a charge of corruption brought against 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

some unmarried Congressmen in a letter published in the 
New York Courier and Enquirer over the signature of " A Spy 
in Washington," and endorsed in the editorial columns of 
that paper. Mr. James Watson Webb, the editor of the 
Courier and Enquirer, immediately visited Washington, and 
sent a challenge to Mr. Cilley by Mr. Graves, with whom he 
had but a slight acquaintance. Mr. Cilley declined to re- 
ceive the hostile communication from Mr. Graves, without 
making any reflections on the personal character of Mr. 
Webb. Mr. Graves then felt himself bound, by the unwrit- 
ten code of honor, to espouse the cause of Mr. Webb, and 
challenged Mr. Cilley himself. The challenge was accepted, 
and the preliminaries were arranged between Mr. Henry A. 
Wise, as the second of Mr. Graves, and Mr. George W. Jones, 
as the second of Mr. Cilley. Rifles were selected as the 
weapons, and Mr. Graves found difficulty in obtaining one, 
but was finally supplied by his friend Mr. Rives of the Globe. 
The parties met, the ground was measured, and the combat- 
ants were placed. On the third fire Mr. Cilley fell, shot 
through the body, and died almost instantly. Mr. Graves, 
on seeing his antagonist fall, expressed a desire to render 
him some assistance, but was told by Mr. Jones, ' My friend 
is dead, sir!" Mr. Cilley, who left a wife and three young 
children, was a popular favorite, and his tragic end caused a 
great excitement all over the country. Mr. Webb was gener- 
ally blamed for having instigated the fatal encounter : cer- 
tainly, he did not endeavor to prevent it. Mr. Graves was 
never afterward re-elected indeed no man who has killed 
another in a duel has ever been elected to office in Kentucky. 

This was a combat, says Mr. Sabin, under the 
duello upon a mere point of honor. There was no 
difficulty and there had been no difficulty between 
Messrs. Graves and Cilley at any time. Even upon 
the ground, after an exchange of shots, the latter 
declared that he entertained for Mr. Graves " the 
highest respect and most kind feelings. 1 ' Mr. Sabin, in 
his description of the duel, says further : 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 377 

Mr. Cilley fell mortally wounded, with these sentiments 
upon his lips. It has been suggested that, as there was no 
personal animosity between these gentlemen, a single fire 
should have satisfied Mr. Graves, and that by twice renewing 
the challenge the duel was pushed to an unusual, perhaps 
to an unjustifiable, extremity. Possibly the intimation is 
not destitute of force. But since no condemnation of the 
course pursued has been pronounced by persons versed in 
the duello, and since the affair was actually conducted 
throughout by persons of this description, we are required 
to believe that Mr. Cilley was slain in accordance with the 
code. In this view of the case, how very deplorable the law 
which demanded, or seemed to demand, two members of the 
national councils, of unquestioned character, to meet in a 
combat which, under the circumstances, was almost sure to 
terminate only with the fall of one or both of them ! The 
challenge was given because Mr. Cilley declined to accept a 
note from Colonel Webb, borne by Mr. Graves, " on grounds 
which would exonerate Mr. Graves from all responsibility 
growing out of the affair." This Mr. Cilley could not do 
without an admission that, in his remarks in the House 
relative to Colonel Webb, he had slandered that gentleman ; 
and thus, as said Mr. Williams of Maine, in announcing his 
death in the Senate, " he accepted the call, because the act 
was indispensable to avoid disgrace to himself, to his family, 
and to his constituents." The decease of Mr. Cilley was 
announced in both Houses of Congress on the 26th of Feb- 
ruary, and his remains were interred from the Hall of Rep- 
resentatives on the next day. On the ist of March a com- 
mittee of seven members of the House was appointed "to 
investigate the causes which led to his death, and the cir- 
cumstances connected therewith." 

The report of this committee was made on the 25th 
of April, and was very elaborate and comprehensive, 
concluding as follows: 

This concurrent testimony of all, without exception, taken 
in connection with the written correspondence, the various 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

propositions and answers on the field, and the further fact 
that Mr. Cilley had not been informed that Mr. Graves had 
undertaken to repeat to others any verbal communication 
between them, or that any misapprehension or misunder- 
standing existed between them on that subject, utterly 
repels the suggestion that any question of veracity had 
arisen, or had been made, or was the cause of the challenge 
or the death of Mr. Cilley. Indeed any misapprehension 
on that subject would have given no more just ground of 
animosity, and least of all of the highly vindictive feelings 
necessarily aroused by a question of veracity, than the very 
evident misapprehension which Mr. Graves labored under 
in regard to some parts of the note of James Watson Webb 
of which he was the bearer. 

The committee will not, in justice to Mr. Graves, harbor 
the belief that there were rankling secretly in his bosom 
any vindictive or hostile feelings toward Mr. Cilley grow- 
ing out of any question of personal veracity, and prompting 
him to carry on a deadly warfare under another pretext, not 
only without a direct and explicit disclosure of the real 
cause of difficulty, such as would have left no misapprehen- 
sion on the mind of any one, but under circumstances 
which misled the other party and his friends, and left him, 
under that false impression, to the forfeit of his life. 

The committee have therefore come to the conclusion 
that the words spoken by Mr. Cilley in debate in the House 
of Representatives, the refusal of Mr. CiTley to receive a 
demand for explanation of those words, and his refusal to 
assign any other reason for it than that he chose to be 
drawn into no difficulty upon the subject, were the causes 
which led to the death of Mr. Cilley, under the circum- 
stances which have been substantially detailed. 

It remains to inquire whether there has been a breach of 
the privileges of the House. 

It is a breach of the highest constitutional privileges of 
the House, and of the most sacred rights of the people in 
the person of their representative, to demand in a hostile 
manner an explanation of words spoken in debate; to be 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 379 

the bearer of such a demand; to demand a reason for re- 
fusing to receive it, beyond the mere voluntary election of 
the member interrogated ; or to demand, under any circum- 
stances, any reason at all. No member can be questioned 
in a hostile way, and put to his plea, and yield to it, without 
subjecting himself to great disadvantage in the estimation 
of many, and impairing his influence and his usefulness as 
a member. It is a still more aggravated breach of the 
privileges of the House, and of the rights of the people in 
the person of their representative, to challenge a member, 
and to slay him in combat, for refusing to comply with any 
such demand. It is the highest offence which can be com- 
mitted against either House of Congress, against the free- 
dom of speech and of debate therein, against the spirit and 
the substance of that constitutional provision that for any 
speech or debate in either House the members shall not 
be questioned in any other place, and violates essentially the 
right of perfect immunity elsewhere for words spoken in 
debate here which is essential to the independence of 
Congress and to the existence of constitutional liberty. 
And when this offence is committed by a member, it calls 
for the exercise of the highest powers of the House to 
purge itself of the evil, to maintain effectually its rights 
and privileges, and to preserve inviolable this immunity 
which is guaranteed by the Constitution, not for the sake 
of the individual, but for his constituents and for the 
country. 

The present case is without any circumstance of extenua- 
tion. A member of the House, in a manner most strictly 
parliamentary, on an occasion most appropriate, in language 
most decorous and moderate, in defence of the honor of the 
House against an anonymous and unfounded charge of 
corruption, had alluded to the published records of former 
proceedings with perfect truth and accuracy ; had, in obe- 
dience to his duty, declined a hostile demand for explana- 
tion in a manner in which the committee can discover no 
cause of offence; had, respectfully, with expressions of 
regret, declined to admit the right to interrogate him 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

further; had disclaimed all disrespect, directly or indirectly, 
toward his antagonist, and avowed for him the highest re- 
spect and the kindest feelings ; and after all this, avowed 
without hostility, and against the strongest protestations of 
others, he was required fatally to expose himself to the third 
discharge of a rifle. On the other hand, Mr. Graves, a mem- 
ber of the House, voluntarily and unnecessarily became the 
bearer of a demand upon another member in attendance for 
explanation of words spoken in debate ; he presented it in 
the House, while the House was in session ; he demanded a 
reason for the refusal, beyond the voluntary election of that 
member to be drawn into no difficulty upon the subject ; 
which being withheld, he then challenged him in this city, 
and slew him in this vicinity, while Congress was in session. 

Every step of Mr. Graves in this progress involved him 
deeper and deeper in a breach of the privileges of the 
House, until their destruction was consummated in the 
person of Mr. Cilley. The eye of reason can discover in the 
whole course of Mr. Cilley no offence toward those who 
pursued him except that given by alluding to the records of 
Congress, in the faithful and upright discharge of his duty 
as a member, which justly could have given no offence at 
all. Nor can his death be vindicated or excused by any 
circumstance whatsoever, not even by that custom, the relic 
of unenlightened and barbarous ages, which was formerly 
supposed to be a proof of some degree of physical courage, 
but is in fact a signal monument of the want of the higher 
attribute of moral courage; which has, in these modern 
times, degenerated into a game of chance and a scramble 
for undue advantages; which can furnish no criterion for 
truth, justice, or honor, and deals out its inflictions of 
misery most severely upon the unoffending and the helpless; 
which is deeply deplored by all men, even those who sub- 
mit to it, and is forbidden, in every stage of it, by all law, 
human and divine. 

It is not necessary, on the present occasion, to go into any 
consideration of the general power of the House to punish 
for breach of privilege, or to inquire into the origin and 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 381 

foundation of that power over contempts which has been 
asserted by the Parliament of Great Britain from time im- 
memorial, by every legislative body, by every judicial tribu- 
nal from the highest to the lowest, and repeatedly by one 
or the other House of Congress, and has been recognized as 
existing in the House of Representatives by the Supreme 
Court of the United States. Whether it be a power neces- 
sary to the continued existence of the legislative body or a 
power necessary to the free exercise of its legislative func- 
tions, it is in either case a necessary power, strictly granted 
by the Constitution, and as fully granted as if it were liter- 
ally expressed. But in the case of members the Constitu- 
tion has expressly granted the power to punish for dis- 
orderly conduct, and has also expressly granted the power, 
with the concurrence of two thirds, to expel a member for 
any cause which two thirds of the House may deem suffi- 
cient. 

The committee, therefore, viewing the breach of the 
rights and privileges of the House on the part of Mr. 
Graves to have been an offence of this high character, 
against the vital principle of a deliberative assembly and of 
representative government, is constrained by a sense of 
duty to present to the House a resolution that he be ex- 
pelled therefrom. 

It has been decided by the House of Representatives, on a 
former occasion, that it was a breach of privilege to send a 
challenge to a member in attendance, or to be the bearer of 
such challenge. And it is equally so to act as second to the 
challenger. In the present instance it appears that Mr. 
Wise had no knowledge of the demand of explanation which 
was borne by Mr. Graves, and had never seen the paper 
until after the fatal catastrophe. But having been early 
consulted by Mr. Graves upon the first letter of Mr. Cilley, 
and concurring with him in his views of it, he bore the 
challenge to Mr. Cilley, and he acted throughout as the 
second of the challenger, advising and insisting that the 
fight should go on until Mr. Cilley fell. The committee, 
therefore, deeming him deeply involved, under the circum- 



382 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

stances which this case presents, in a breach of the privi- 
leges of the House, report a resolution that he deserves the 
decided censure of the House, and that he be censured ac- 
cordingly. 

Mr. Jones had no knowledge of the affair until the de- 
termination of Mr. Cilley had been formed as to the accept- 
ance of the challenge, and the time, mode, weapon, and 
other preliminaries of the meeting. But he was the bearer 
of the acceptance, and acted throughout as the second of the 
challenged party; and it is the opinion of the committee 
that he was thereby involved in a breach of privilege, and 
that he be censured therefor. 

In regard to the persons not principals nor seconds who 
were present on the field and expressed their opinions at 
the request of the parties, without having advised, instigated, 
or procured the meeting, however they might be implicated 
in the courts of law, the committee entertain doubts how far 
they would be involved in a breach of privilege ; and, under 
a strong conviction that the power of the House should be 
exercised, never in a doubtful case, always with moderation, 
they content themselves with presenting the facts and cir- 
cumstances, so far as those persons are concerned, without 
proposing any action thereon. 

The committee entertain no doubt that James Watson 
Webb has been guilty of a breach of the privileges of the 
House; but they also concur unanimously in the opinion 
that if there be any real ground to believe that a conspiracy 
to assassinate actually existed, as set forth in that atrocious 
paper drawn up by him, signed by Daniel Jackson and 
William H. Morell, sworn to by the latter, and published in 
the New York Courier and Enquirer, he be left to the 
chastisement of the course of law and of public opinion, 
and that the House will consult its own dignity and the 
public interest by bestowing upon him no further notice. 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 383 



CHAPTER XX. 

NOTED AMERICAN DUELS CONTINUED. 

A Fatal Duel in North Carolina in 1802 Henry S. Foote's 
many Duels Judge Child and General Joor Davis and 
Leigh Smith and Brank Benjamin Gratz Brown and Thomas 
C. Reynolds Rhett and Cooley Chambers and Lake The 
Fate of an Irish Gentleman who " would not Disgrace him- 
self by Marrying the Lady he had Betrayed" "Affairs of 
Honor" all over the Southern States An "Amphibial" 
Affair, etc. 

A FATAL duel which is still spoken of and written 
of in North Carolina with mournful interest was 
that in which ex-Governor Richard Dobbs Spaight 
lost his life at the hands of Mr. Stanley. The 
latter had taken offence at a handbill issued by 
Spaight repelling certain aspersions made by Stanley 
(the two gentlemen were running for Congress 
Stanley on the Republican ticket and Spaight on the 
Federal), and challenged Spaight, who accepted and 
was killed. The duel took place on the 5th of Sep- 
tember, 1802, behind the Masonic Hall, at Newbern. 
The parties fought with pistols, at eight paces. At 
the first fire both missed. At the second, Spaight's 
bullet passed through the collar of Stanley's coat. 
They then fired again and missed; but at the fourth 
discharge the ex-Governor received a mortal wound, 
from the effects of which he died the next day. 

Hon. Henry S. Foote, an eminent American states 



3 $4 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

man (deceased), born under the shadow of the Blue 
Ridge, in Fauquier County (Virginia), and who 
lived to honor many important positions, among 
which were Governor of Mississippi and Senator in 
Congress, fought four duels, the first with Edmund 
Winston, at Tuscaloosa (Alabama), in 1827, with 
pistols, both combatants being wounded at the first 
fire, Governor Foote in the shoulder and Mr. Win- 
ston in the hip. This affair grew out of a personal 
encounter between Mr. Foote and Stark and Pratt 
Washington on one side, and Edmund Winston and 
others of that celebrated family on the other, during 
which all the participants were more or less injured, 
the two Washingtons severely. Some few years 
later Governor Foote and the celebrated S. S. 
Prentiss had an encounter in the. court-house at 
Vicksburg (Miss.), arising out of a dispute over a 
law-case, when Foote threw an inkstand at Prentiss. 
A challenge to fight a duel followed, of course, and 
the parties met in Louisiana, on the opposite side of 
the Mississippi River, and Foote was wounded in the 
shoulder at the first fire. Shortly afterward indiscreet 
friends of Mr. Prentiss said things which angered 
Governor Foote, and the latter challenged Prentiss 
to another encounter. The challenge was accepted, 
and the parties met, as before, with pistols, at ten 
paces, and Foote fell with a severe wound in the 
right leg, just above the knee, from which he nar- 
rowly escaped death. From this time on, until the 
death of Mr. Prentiss, these former foes became inti- 
mate and affectionate friends, neither ceasing to 
regret that, as young and impulsive men, they had 
twice met in deadly conflict over a trivial quarrel, 
in obedience to the then pretty general public senti- 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 385 

ment of that country (now happily obsolete) that 
an insulted man must vindicate his honor by 
endeavoring to take the life of the offender. The 
Governor's fourth affair, a few years later, was with 
Osman Claiborne (a retired naval officer), near Co- 
lumbus (Miss.). The parties fired at each other five 
times with pistols, Governor Foote wounding his 
antagonist slightly three times. This affair, like all 
the other of his combats of this character, occurred 
when Governor Foote was a man much below mid- 
dle age. It is a curious fact, too, that he knew 
almost nothing of the use of duelling-weapons and 
was really a miserable shot, and would have regretted 
in bitter agony to the day of his death had it ever 
been his misfortune to have slain a fellow-man. He 
was often heard by his intimates to say that the 
bravest and most lovable as well as the most solidly 
and brilliantly intellectual man he had ever known 
was the gallant and eloquent Prentiss, who went .to 
Mississippi from the State of Maine. Two sons and 
a daughter (Mrs. Senator William M. Stewart) of the 
late Governor Foote reside at present in California. 
Mr. Foote in his " Bench and Bar of the South and 

Southwest " makes note of a number of hostile meet- 



ings which have taken place among those men of 
whom he writes but does not present dates thus: 
In Mississippi, between Judge Child and General 
Joor, without regular seconds. Child was accompa- 
nied to the rendezvous by a " mulatto body-servant, 
who drove a vehicle of some kind to the field of com- 
bat loaded down with muskets and pistols, which he 
was to hand out to his master as the exigencies of the 
battle might render necessary." Joor was a native of 
South Carolina, and was an ardent admirer of Cal- 



386 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

houn. Child was a brilliant New-Englander. Both 
were severely wounded. Subsequently, near Wood- 
ville (Miss.), Mr. Leigh (son of Benjamin Watkins 
Leigh, of Virginia) and Colonel Fielding Davis met 
in a duel, and Leigh was killed on the spot. About 
the same time Calvin M. Smith and Robert M. 
Brank fought in Kentucky, and the latter was slain; 
while Smith, who was the challenged party, was 
indicted for murder and stricken from the roll of 
attorneys. 

Early in the century a meeting took place near 
Augusta (Georgia) between Captain Robert Flour- 
noy, an ex-officer of the Revolutionary army, and 
Thaddeus Holt, a prominent Georgian. Both gentle- 
men were distinguished shots; so the news of the 
impending combat spread far and near, and the duel 
was fought in the presence of many spectators. The 
combatants met with holster-pistols, at ten paces, and 
at the first fire both fell, Holt mortally and Flournoy 
severely wounded: Holt's tongue was cut off by 
Flournoy's bullet, while the missile from Holt's 
weapon ploughed a furrow in Flournoy's forehead and 
took off part of his left ear. A short time after this 
Lieutenant- Colonel Thomas ^Flournoy (a brother of 
Robert), of Jackson's army, fought at Bladensburg 
and wounded his antagonist. Colonel Flournoy, of 
San Francisco, who distinguished himself in the Con- 
federate service, is a grandson of Captain Flournoy 
above named. 

In 1861, on Bloody Island, opposite St. Louis, Hon. 
Benjamin Gratz Brown and Hon. Thomas C. Rey- 
nolds met with pistols, and Brown was wounded in 
the leg at the first fire. In New Orleans, in 1877, R. 
Barnwell Rhett and Judge William Cooley met with 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 387 

shotguns, loaded with bullets to fit the guns, at thirty 
paces, and the latter was killed at the first fire. In 
1860, on the banks of the river opposite Vicksburg 
Henry Chambers and William A. Lake both very 
popular citizens of Vicksburg, and the latter a leading 
member and vestryman of the Episcopal Church and 
a man of large family met with rifles at forty paces, 
and Mr. Lake was shot dead at the first fire. 

In 1824, or thereabouts, Emil Johns, an Austrian 
musician, married into a good family of New Or- 
leans. In the same family lived an Irish gentleman 
named McAdam. McAdam had betrayed a young 
lady of the family, and Johns called the Irish gentle- 
man to account, and said to him, " Mr. McAdam, you 
must make the only reparation that lies in your 
power to make you must marry your victim." 
" Impossible ! I should be disgraced." " Then you 
must fight, sir !" " With whom ?" " With the gentle- 
man standing before you, sir." " I shall be only too 
happy to accommodate you." The parties met near 
Lake Pontchartrain upon the following morning, with 
pistols, and the bullet from the musician's weapon 
sped directly through the heart of the Irish gentleman 
who would not disgrace himself by marrying the 
lady he had betrayed. In 1842 A. Ledoux and M. 
Chevremont fought near New Orleans with small- 
swords, and Chevremont was killed. 

In 1838, near New Orleans, after a long correspond- 
ence, Mandeville Marigny and A. Graihle met with 
pistols, at thirty paces, the terms of which were as 
follows: Each man to have a loaded pistol in each 
hand, and each to advance ten paces and fire be- 
tween the words " Fire ! one, two, three, four, five, 
six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nine- 
teen, twenty" neither party to cry enough until 
twenty had been counted. Marigny fired first and 
his antagonist fell, severely wounded. Then Marig- 
ny advanced another five paces, pointing his remain- 
ing weapon at the fallen man, as much as to say, 
" Don't you dare to make a movement until ' twenty ' 
is reached." Marigny became a high officer in the 
Confederate army during the War of the Rebellion. 

In Alabama, in 1854, political difficulties sent Dr. 
Fant and F. W. Irby into the field with pistols, and 
the latter was killed at the first fire. In Charleston 
(S. C.), in 1852, Mr. Hall and Mr. Leckie, with 
revolvers Mr. Leckie killed. In South Carolina, in 
1849, Mr. Levy and Dr. McCain the former wounded. 
In Kentucky, in 1852, F. S. McKee and Joseph 
Murphy, with pistols both severely wounded at the 
fourth shot. In Georgia, in 1829, Henry G. Nixon 
was killed at the first fire by an attorney of Savannah, 
who fled the country. In Indiana, in 1849, J onn T. 
Gray and Henry C. Pope (of Louisville, Ky.), with 
shotguns loaded with single balls, at twenty paces 
the latter mortally wounded. In Pennsylvania, in 
1854, A. L. Snowden and W. G. Ready, with rifles the 
latter severely wounded. In New Orleans, in 1851, 
William Cummings and Henry Bouligny, with pistols 
the latter killed. At Shreveport, in 1849, Dr. Green 
and Hon. D. Hester, with rifles both killed. In 
Florida, in 1833, Attorney-General Campbell became 
involved in a political difficulty and was killed in a 
duel. In North Carolina, in 1852, W. J. Keith and 
O. M. Dantzler met with pistols, and the former was 
badly wounded. At Bladensburg, in 1821, a clerk 
in the Treasury Department named Randall met 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 

another Washingtonian named Fox with pistols, at 
eight paces, and the latter was killed at the first fire. 
In Mississippi, in 1851, General Smith and General 
Freeman, candidates for Congress, fired five times 
at each other, when Freeman's bullet took effect and 
the duel was terminated. In Kentucky, in 1851, W. 
S. Stinet and Robert Mars, with pistols both 
wounded. In South Carolina, in 1853, John Duno- 
vant and J. Davidson Legare, with pistols the latter 
killed at the first shot. In Georgia, in 1832, J. J. 
Camp and Lowell Woolfolk, with rifles the latter 
instantly killed and the former mortally wounded at 
the first fire. In Florida, in 1853, Mr. Collins and Mr. 
Winters the latter killed. In Georgia, in 1854, 
Joseph B. Coker and Claudius C. Stewart, with 
double-barrelled shotguns, at sixty paces Stewart 
severely wounded at the first discharge. In Ken- 
tucky, in 1852, B. Johnson and T. White, with double- 
barrelled shotguns, at forty paces the latter killed at 
the first fire. In North Carolina, in 1827, Members of 
Congress Carson and Vance, with rifles the latter 
killed. In New Jersey, in 1852, Mr. Stowe and 
Mr. Townly, with pistols both wounded at the first 
fire. In Kentucky, in 1849, Mr. Smith and Mr. 
Singer, with pistols both wounded. In Alabama, in 
1854, W. H. Bowlingly and Charles Roman, with pis- 
tols Bowlingly wounded. In New Orleans, in 1852, 
a desperate duel was fought with knives between 
Pedro Tastra and another dealer in fish named Pages. 
The combat lasted nearly an hour, at the expiration 
of which time Tastra fell dead, having been literally 
cut to pieces. Pages was afterward tried for murder 
and convicted of manslaughter, but was quickly 
pardoned. In 1853, in the same city, a young man 



39 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

named Lessess was killed in a duel with pistols by 
a former friend aged nineteen. In 1855 two New- 
Yorkers named J. B. Breckinridge and F. Leavenworth 
quarrelled at the Shakespeare Club, and in a few days 
afterward met at or near Niagara Falls with pistols, 
at eight paces, and wounded each other at the first 
fire. In the winter of 1859, at Denver (Colorado), be- 
tween Lewis Bliss, of New York, and Dr. Stone, of Ohio, 
with shotguns, at thirty paces (ounce balls), the latter 
mortally wounded at the first fire. In the summer of 
1859, at Denver, between Richard Whitsett and Park 
McClure, with navy revolvers, the latter slightly 
wounded in the thigh. Whitsett had never fired a 
pistol in his life, and declined to practise even after 
the duel had been arranged ; while McClure had the 
reputation of being an expert with a pistol, and made 
some good shots at a mark the evening preceding the 
hostile meeting. 

The following, from a Chattanooga (Tenn.) paper 
of February 26, 1884, maybe properly termed an "am- 
phibial" duel: "The latest tragedy of consequence in 
this section of country took place yesterday on a river 
steamboat between J. W. Watts and Henry Wilson. 
It seems that the belligerents, while on deck, engaged 
in a quarrel and grasped each other. Then both drew 
knives and slashed away until each had received from 
four to six terrible stabs. They finally clinched and 
in the scuffle got near the guards, when Wilson made 
a desperate effort to throw his antagonist overboard. 
Watts hung on to him with a deathly grip, however, 
and both went into the waves embraced in a deadly 
struggle. They sank and rose to the surface apart ; 
but, each trying to stay above the water by holding 



.VOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 39 1 

the other down, both were at the mercy of the billows 
which followed the boat, and soon sank to rise no 
more before the steamer could be checkeo^ and a life- 
boat sent to their rescue. We doubt if there is an- 
other duel like it on record." 

The last fatal duel fought in the United States was 
that between Colonel William M. Shannon and Colonel 
E. B. C. Cash, at Du Bose's Bridge, in Darlington 
County (South Carolina), on the 6th of July, 1880, in 
which Shannon was shot through the heart at the first 
fire. 

[Since the above was written there have been a 
number of meetings, as follows: At Dallas (Texas), 
on the 1 3th of July, 1884, M. U. Beale and Mr. Bowie, 
with revolvers; both instantly killed, each receiving 
bullets in the head and heart. The same day Lieu- 
tenant Cunningham and a railroad man named Daly 
fought at Lozier (Texas) with revolvers at thirty 
paces, and Cunningham was wounded in the leg at the 
third fire. On the i6th of July, 1884, at New Orleans, 
Captain J. E. Brou and Evariste Poche met with 
colichemardes (triangular-shaped swords), and the 
latter was wounded in the thigh in a scuffle during the 
progress of the second passage. At Emery Gap 
(Tennessee), on the i4th of August, 1884, between 
M. Staples and W. H. Rogerson, with revolvers at ten 
paces; both killed. In Avoyelles Parish (Louisiana), 
between J. Ducote and E. Lemoine, with revolvers; 
Ducote dangerously wounded. At Terrell (Texas), 
on the loth of August, 1884, William Dougherty and 
Zachariah Gray, with revolvers; both badly wounded.] 



TH-E FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

NOTED AMERICAN DUELS CONTINUED. 

The Fourth Most Noted Fatal Duel in the United States David 
C. Broderick and David S. Terry Meet in Deadly Encounter 
near San Francisco, and the Former Receives a Mortal Wound 
Graphic and Detailed Description of the Tragic Affair Colonel 
E. D. Baker's Great Funeral Oration The Magnetic Power of 
Broderick His Remains Followed to their Last Resting-Place 
by nearly the whole Adult Population of San Francisco 
"Good Friend! True Heart! Hail and Farewell !" The 
Correspondence in Full Terms of the Duel. 

THE fourth most noted fatal duel fought in the 
United States was that which took place near San 
Francisco on the i3th of September, 1859, and in 
which Hon. David C. Broderick (United States 
Senator from California) was mortally wounded by 
ex-Chief-Justice (of the Supreme Court of Califor- 
nia) David S. Terry. This was indeed a meeting of 
giants physical and intellectual giants. It was 
the meeting of two noble men, yet each standing be- 
fore the other in deadly demeanor, with no hope or 
intent but to kill. 

Some two years ago (in 1882) a San Francisco 
correspondent of the New York Sun wrote to that 
paper what seems to the author to be as impartial 
and accurate an account of this exciting event as 
it is possible to obtain for, however much we may 
sympathize with the living victim of that dreadful 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 393 

encounter, or to whatever extent we may be willing 
to extend a Christian pardon, we cannot forget that 
he killed David C. Broderick the " noblest Roman 
of them all " and that he cannot be fully forgiven 
even after he is dead, at least by those Californians 
who idolized their noble leader while living, and who 
continue to mourn his untimely taking off. As we 
write (it is " memorial-day" in San Francisco), a sky of 
spotless blue overhangs Lone Mountain, and away in 
the distance we can see the handsome shaft which 
perpetuates the memory of the chivalric being whose 
remains repose beneath ; while grouped around the 
sacred enclosure are the annual pilgrims with their 
floral offerings, the perfume of which intermingles 
with the aroma of odorous shrubs and plants and an 
atmosphere seemingly freighted with the incompar- 
able spices of far-off Cathay. 

The following is the account from the Sun : 
Among the many duels in the early days of California 
none excited so much interest, and none had such an influ- 
ence on politics and society, as the fatal meeting between 
David C. Broderick and David S. Terry. They were repre- 
sentative men. One was a United States Senator, and the 
other Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court of California. 
They were filling important niches in the history of the 
young State. No such political antagonism had existed 
since the days of Burr and Hamilton. The Republican 
Party was a healthy infant, and growing rapidly. The State 
was controlled by a two-winged Democracy. Gwin, Terry, 
Ashe, Brooks, Ben ham, and others worked the Lecompton 
wing, and Broderick, the friend of Stephen A. Douglas 
and an ardent opponent of the extension of slavery, was the 
soul of the anti-Lecompton wing. He and his followers 
occupied middle ground between nascent Republicanism 
and the Southern slave-Democracy. The friends of the 
Administration cherished a deep hatred for Broderick. 



394 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

With him out of the way, they might reunite the party on 
the old basis and control it. Broderick and his friends had 
thwarted the ambition of the " chivalry." After a desperate 
struggle he had secured a seat in the United States Senate, 
and had brought the haughty Gwin to terms. To retain his 
own seat in that body, Gwin had given the stonecutter a 
document pledging himself not to meddle with the official 
patronage of the Pacific coast. This document was known 
as the "scarlet letter." Broderick had said in a speech that 
its writer ought to be as clearly marked for political ostra- 
cism as Hester Prynne was socially marked by the initial 
on her breast. It was a fatal letter. Politicians said that 
the man who had it in his possession was doomed. 

The immediate cause of the quarrel grew out of a speech 
made by Judge Terry before the Lecompton Democratic 
State Convention in Sacramento in 1859. He called Brod- 
erick an arch-traitor. He said : 

" They [the anti-Lecomptonites] are the followers of one 
man, the personal chattels of a single individual whom they 
are ashamed of. They belong, heart, soul, body, and 
breeches, to David C. Broderick. They are yet ashamed to 
acknowledge their master, and are calling themselves, aye, 
forsooth, Douglas Democrats, when it is known, well 
known to them as to us, that the gallant Senator from 
Illinois, whose voice has always been heard in the advocacy 
of Democratic principles, who now is not disunited from 
the Democratic Party, has no affiliation with them, no feel- 
ing in common with them. Mr. President and gentlemen, I 
am mistaken in denying their right to claim Douglas as a 
leader. Perhaps they do sail under the flag of Douglas ; 
but it is the banner of the Black Douglass, whose name is 
Frederick, not Stephen." 

Broderick read this speech while at breakfast in the In- 
ternational Hotel, and grimly smiled. " I see," he remarked 
to D. W. Perley, a lawyer (born in Woodstock, N. B., and 
a friend of the Gwin faction) "that Terry has been abusing 
me. I now take back the remark that I once made that he 
is the only honest judge on the Supreme bench. I was his 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 395 

friend when he was in need of friends, for which I am 
sorry. Had the Vigilance Committee disposed of him as 
they did of others, they would have done a righteous act." 

He alluded to Terry's arrest by the Vigilantes in August, 
1856, charged with cutting a man named Sterling A. Hop- 
kins, in the attempt to free from arrest Reuben Maloney. 
Had Hopkins died, Terry would probably have hanged. As 
it was, it took the strongest influence, Masonic, press, and 
other, to save him from banishment. 

Perley resented Broderick's remark. He professed to be 
a warm friend of Judge Terry, and even went so far as to 
challenge the Senator on his own account. His challenge 
was curtly declined with the contemptuous remark, " Sir, I 
fight only with gentlemen of my own position." Perley 
hurried off to Terry and repeated Broderick's slighting 
remarks. The spark did not need fanning. It was already 
alight. The Judge wrote a letter of inquiry, to which Brod- 
erick returned the following reply : 

"FRIDAY EVENINQ, September 9, 1859. 
" Hon. D. S. TERRY : Yours of this date has been received. 
The remarks made by me were occasioned by certain offen- 
sive allusions of yours concerning me, made in the Conven- 
tion at Sacramento, and reported in the Union of the 2th 
of June. Upon the topic alluded to in your note of this 
date, my language, so far as my recollection serves me, was 
as follows : ' During Judge Terry's incarceration by the 
Vigilance Committee I paid two hundred dollars a week to 
support a newspaper in his [your] defence. I have also 
stated heretofore that I considered him (Judge Terry] the 
only honest man on the Supreme bench. But I take it all 
back.' You are the proper judge as to whether this lan- 
guage affords good ground for offence. 

" I remain, etc., D. C. BRODERICK." 

Judge Terry considered the Senator's remarks " fighting 
talk," and there was a resort to the code. Calhoun 
Benham (now practising law in San Francisco), S. H. 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Brooks (State Comptroller at the time), and Thomas Hayes 
attended to his interests, and Joseph C. McKibben, David 
D. Colton, and Leonidas Haskell acted for Senator Brod- 
erick. As to the niceties of affairs of honor, the gentlemen 
who assisted Terry were much superior to Broderick's 
friends. McKibben was a Congressman, and probably had 
never before participated in a formal duel. D. D. Colton 
(now dead) had been sheriff of Siskiyou and the hero of 
many rough-and-tumble fights incident to his office in those 
lawless days. Haskell was an every-day man, who dabbled 
in politics without neglecting his business. Benham, 
Brooks, and Hayes, on the contrary, had figured repeatedly 
on the field, the latter as principal on one or two occasions. 
Mr. Broderick was somewhat surprised at the action of Mr. 
Hayes. They had been warm political friends in New 
York, and measurably so in California. Both were of Irish 
extraction. 

A meeting had been arranged for the I2th of September, 
at sunrise, near the boundary-lines of San Mateo and San 
Francisco counties. The principals and their friends were 
all on the ground, when the chief of police, Martin J. 
Burke, placed them under arrest. They were brought 
before Police Justice H. P. Coon, and discharged on the 
ground that there had been no actual misdemeanor. 

John A. McGlynn, a brother of a well-known Roman 
Catholic clergyman in New York ; Andrew J. Butler, a 
brother of General B. F. Butler ; and other friends of 
Broderick, had tried to dissuade him from fighting. He 
had listened to all their arguments, and had replied that 
his mind was made up the duel could not be avoided with 
honor. He was quiet and composed, but inflexible. 

It was thought that the arrest would stop further pro- 
ceedings, but the principals were determined to have it out. 
The fact that a second meeting was to take place on the 
following morning was whispered to a few reporters under 
a promise of secrecy, and at midnight several vehicles left 
the city and drove toward the Laguna de la Merced, about 
ten or twelve miles from the city. Here the fight was to 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 

take place. It was cold, and the drivers frequently lost 
their way in the darkness. The breeze from the ocean cut 
like a knife. As day broke a buggy was descried a short 
distance ahead, occupied, as we learned on overtaking it, by 
Henry Fritz, a confidential friend of Broderick. Notwith- 
standing his excessive corpulence, Fritz was blue with cold, 
and his teeth rattled like castanets. Another buggy, con- 
taining Dr. Hammond, Judge Terry's surgeon, was driven 
out of a small canon. "All right," was the general ex- 
clamation ; " we are on the track now." The doctor and 
Fritz laughed in concert. "We thought to throw you 
newspaper people off the scent," said the doctor, " but we 
find it is no use." Other carriages were seen coming from 
different directions and skirting the lake. They all drew 
up at a rail fence which marked the boundaries of a milk- 
ranch owned by one Davis, who rubbed his eyes in sleepy 
astonishment at such an irruption of visitors. There was 
not much conversation. One or two remarks were made, 
and a partisan of Terry's audibly whispered that Broderick 
might be carried dead from the field. Everybody seemed 
to feel that to one man, at least, that beautiful day was to 
be a day of death. Vaulting over the fence, the party 
went up a valley the centre of which had been selected as 
the scene of the encounter. Mr. Broderick had slept at the 
Lake House, near by, and with his friends waS early on the 
ground. Judge Terry and his friends were also prompt. 
About eighty spectators were present. 

The seconds held a conference, and the pistols were 
examined and loaded. Judge Terry won the choice of 
weapons by the toss of a half-dollar. Mr. Hayes marked 
off the prescribed distance, ten paces, and warned spectators 
to get out of the line of fire. Meantime the respective 
seconds were busied about their principals. The Terry 
party were cool and collected, as became old hands at the 
business. Mr. Broderick's friends were apparently nervous 
and hesitating. One incident was not calculated to put the 
Senator in good heart. Mr. Haskell partly untied the 
Senator's cravat, and then walked off a few paces, wringing 



398 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

his hands as though overcome by his feelings. He then 
returned and removed the neckerchief, 

Broderick was dressed in a long black surtout, and wore a 
soft wool hat drawn down over his brow. Terry was similarly 
attired. When the principals were placed, the punctilios o 
the code were observed. Calhoun Benham, Terry's chief 
second, approached Mr. Broderick, and passed his hands 
closely over his sides and chest, searching for concealed 
mail. Mr. McKibben made a similar examination of Terry, 
but he only touched his fingers to his waistcoat, bowed and 
withdrew. It has been thought that Mr. Benham 's action 
irritated the Senator and impaired his poise. Before this 
Mr. Broderick had taken some coins from his vest-pocket 
and passed them to Mr. McKibben. Terry gave his loose 
change to Benham, who scattered it contemptuously on the 
sward. All things being in readiness, the pistols were 
cocked and the hair-triggers set by the seconds. They 
were then delivered to the combatants. It was observed at 
this time that Mr. Broderick appeared nervous and ill at 
ease. He repeatedly twitched the skirts of his surtout, as 
though they were in his way. He was also somewhat out 
of position, and Mr. McKibben corrected him. Broderick 
closely measured with his eye the ground between himself 
and Terry. Benham read the conditions of the meeting, 
and Mr. Colttm followed with instructions as to the firing. 
He had won the word. Broderick was still nervous, but 
Terry stood firm and erect, a silhouette against the early 
morning light. The men held their weapons muzzle down- 
ward. A moment of painful silence ensued. 

" Gentlemen," said Mr. Colton, in a clear voice, " are you 
ready?" Both replied, but Broderick delayed a few seconds. 
He then said, " I am ready." 

" Fire ! One " There was a report from the Senator's 
pistol. It was answered in a second by Terry's weapon. 
Broderick's pistol was discharged before he brought it to a 
level. This was probably caused by the fineness of the hair- 
trigger and his want of familiarity with that particular 
weapon. The bullet buried itself in the ground, two thirds 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 399 

of the distance between himself and his antagonist. It was 
a splendid line-shot, fallen short of its mark. Broderick 
had the reputation of being an expert with the pistol, and 
this result surprised those who knew his skill. With the 
crack of Terry's weapon Broderick winced, turned half 
round, and then made an effort to recover himself. " Hard 
hit," his friends murmured. These words were proved by 
his unavailing efforts to maintain an upright position. He 
drooped until finally he fell prone on the ground, with his 
pale face toward the sky. He was hard hit. 

Juggling in the choice of weapons was openly charged in 
the newspapers. Bernard Lagoards, the armorer, a French- 
man, loaded Mr. Broderick's pistol, and Mr. Brooks charged 
the one intended for Judge Terry. The Judge had won the 
choice, and had chosen a weapon owned by R. Beard, a friend 
of Dr. Aylette, physician of the Insane Asylum at Stockton. 
They had been in the Doctor's possession two years. The 
armorer said that there was a difference in the pistols ; that 
used by Senator Broderick carried the lightest bullet. He 
suggested that the usual mode in choosing weapons was to 
select those with which both parties were unfamiliar. He 
asked McKibben why he did not force his principal to use 
his (the armorer's) pistols. McKibben replied that Terry 
had won the choice, and the pistols were brought by his 
seconds. The armorer had never seen the pistols before, 
but maintained, in the presence of the seconds, that they 
were too light. He said that they could be discharged by a 
jar or jerk, and even went so far as to say that their hair- 
triggers might be so finely set that the breath of a strong- 
lunged man would discharge them. 

The wounded Senator lay on the sward, with his head sup- 
ported by his seconds, Colton and Haskell. His surgeon, 
Dr. Von Loehr, was nervous, and seemed uncertain how to 
act, and incapable of taking prompt measures. Mr. Brod- 
erick's life was ebbing away, and his face was pallid. Mr. 
Brooks, one of Terry's seconds, advanced, and, on behalf of 
his principal, tendered the services of his surgeon, Dr. Ham- 
mond. 



400 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

" Yes, for God's sake," exclaimed McKibben, who was 
greatly excited, "send some one here, or Mr. Broderick will 
die where he lies !" 

Dr. Hammond then came to Dr. Loehr's assistance, and 
cut away the wounded man's clothing, exposing his chest 
and the wound. It was a sorry sight. With every breath 
arterial blood spurted from the wound in bright jets and 
stained the fair skin. The group surrounding the fallen 
man shuddered. Strength of constitution, fortified by ab- 
stemious habits, might enable him to hold death off for a 
short time, but the brightness of the blood told that he was 
doomed. The ball entered the right breast between the 
second and third ribs, passing under the sternum, fracturing 
the edge, and then took a course over the heart, through 
the upper lobe of the left lung, striking the fifth rib on the 
left side, and proceeding upward, passed through the left 
armpit. Its tortuous course was remarkable, and the rend- 
ing of the vitals must have been terrible. No wonder the 
Senator was unable to maintain an erect position for a 
second shot, and no wonder that he sank nerveless to the 
earth. 

" Baker," said he, on his dying bed, to his fast friend, the 
orator, soldier, and statesman, and they were the last words 
he spoke to him, " Baker, I tried to stand firm when I was 
struck ; but I could not. The blow blinded me." 

As soon as Broderick fell, Davis, the owner of the ranch, 
who had been silently regarding the proceedings, started to 
his feet and shouted, " That is murder, by God !" He 
moved toward Terry, as though intending to assault him. 
He was intercepted by bystanders, who said that it was folly 
to provoke additional bloodshed. Davis brushed them aside, 
exclaiming, " I am Broderick's friend ; I am not going to 
see him killed in that way. If you are men, you will join me 
in avenging his death." 

" We know you are Mr. Broderick's friend, but we know 
as well that if you attack Terry there will be a general fight, 
and but few will get off this ground alive. Think a moment 
before you do this thing." 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 40 1 

Luckily, this scene was not witnessed, nor the remarks 
overheard, by any of the Terry partisans, else there would 
have been a bloody conflict, whether their leader had been 
attacked or not. The milkman was quieted and sat himself 
down, breathing threatenings of slaughter. 

Terry remained in his place. His arms were folded, and 
the muzzle of a pistol projected behind him. He stood 
erect, with face raised and an inquiring look, as though 
awaiting a demand for a second shot. His coolness and 
nerve were shown in the remark just after he delivered the 
fire : " The shot is not mortal ; I have struck two inches to 
the right." Others say his words were, " Ah ! I struck him 
a little too high." 

Being assured of the helpless condition of his antagonist, 
he moved toward the carriages with his friends and then 
drove hastily to the city. He went to Stockton, where he 
owned a ranch, and quietly awaited events. Here he was 
arrested on the 23d of September by two San Francisco 
police officers, brought to the city, and put under ten 
thousand dollars bonds. 

Mr. Broderick was removed from the ground three quar- 
ters of an hour after he was shot, placed on a mattress in a 
spring wagon, and taken to the residence of his friend 
Leonidas Haskell, at Black Point. He lingered in great 
pain until Friday, September 16, and expired at 9.20 in the 
morning. He did not speak much during his suffering. 
From his rent and torn breast no breath came without exer- 
tion. Words were agony. He felt, to use his own expres- 
sion, as though a thousand-pound weight was pressing on 
his chest. But he did utter a sentiment which had great 
significance a few years after his death. " They have killed 
me," he said, " because I was opposed to slavery and a cor- 
rupt administration." 

The death-bed scene was deeply affecting. The viaticum 
had been given by the priest, Father Maraschi. Around the 
couch, which had been drawn into the centre of the room, 
weeping friends were grouped those who had honored and 
loved him in life, and were now assembled to witness, 



402 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

through their tears, the exit of that great soul that had won 
men and controlled councils. There were present Mr. and 
Mrs. Haskell, the Misses McDougall, Miss Cook, Colonel 
Edward D. Baker, ex-Governor McDougall, Hon. J. C. Mc- 
Kibben, General Colton, Hon. John Conness, Colonel A. J. 
Butler, John A. McGlynn, Elliott J. Moore, Herman Wohler, 
Moses Flannagan, and many others, prominent in social and 
political life, ^whom he had "grappled to his heart with 
hooks of steel." Governor McDougall stepped forward and 
closed the eyes that had looked their last. 

Editors wrangled over the dead in a way that led to the 
belief that a feeling of self-interest had mingled with their 
sorrow. The Times, edited by C. A. Washburne, brother of 
E. B. Washburne, seemed to say, " See how much greater is 
my grief for the dead Senator than yours." Many expres- 
sions never uttered were credited to Broderick. Wash- 
burne was working in the interests of the Republican Party. 
The Alia and Call mourned without stint, while the Bulletin 
lost sight of individuals in considering the superior question 
of the morale of duelling. The Herald (Lecompton) had no 
tears for the fallen. It criticised only the mode of the kill- 
ing, and patted Terry on the back. One of its articles 
brought out this reply : 

" In the Herald this morning we are reported as saying, 
' And if there was any advantage on either side it was surely 
with Mr. Broderick.' We have not made this statement, 
nor, at the same time, have we imputed any unfairness to 
Judge Terry or his seconds. Further, we have passed no 
judgment on the press and its peculiar views as to the un- 
fortunate affair, our duty being simply to correct statements 
emanating either from the friends of Mr. Broderick or Mr. 
Terry not warranted by the facts. This we have done in all 
cases. The Herald of this morning contains the most seri- 
ous misstatement we have yet seen. Mr. Broderick had not 
the choice of weapons, nor were his friends aware, until the 
publication of the Herald, that one weapon was easier on 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 403 

the trigger than the other. Had we believed there was any 

unfairness there could have been no meeting. 

"Jos. C. McKiBBEN, 
" DAVID D. COLTON. 
"SAN FRANCISCO, September 16, 1859." 

From the time that Broderick was wounded the whole 
city was in mourning. Every consideration was subordinate 
to anxiety as to his condition. His death was a public 
calamity. The remains were brought to the Union Hotel, 
corner of Kearny and Merchant streets, where they lay in 
state amid pyramids of flowers until Sunday, the i8th. 
Crowds of citizens awaited the body. Among others an old 
man walked up to the coffin, with hands crossed over his 
chest, whispering a prayer. He touched the forehead of the 
dead, and murmured, "God bless you! Your soul's in 
heaven ! God bless you ! California has this day lost her 
noblest son." 

Then, reverently crossing himself, he walked slowly away. 
The incident is cited as an example of Broderick's peculiar 
power in creating a following aside from those who looked 
to him for patronage. This magnetic power was the bed- 
rock of his political strength. He inspired affection other 
than that of mere gratitude. 

The funeral took place at half-past one o'clock on Sunday 
afternoon. Before the procession moved, Colonel Edward 
D. Baker took a conspicuous place on the plaza, known as 
Portsmouth Square, opposite the hotel, and in the presence 
of a concourse that embraced nearly the entire adult popu- 
ulation of the city pronounced a funeral oration. The 
beauty and magnificence of this tribute to a dead friend are 
historical. The orator's voice was heard far and wide, and 
those who crowded the streets leading to the plaza, for 
blocks away, caught his words distinctly. The peroration 
was as follows : 

" But the last words must be spoken, and the imperious 
mandate of death must be fulfilled. O brave heart, we 



4O4 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

bear thee to thy rest ; thus surrounded by tens of thousands 
we leave thee to the equal grave. As in life no other voice 
among us so rang its trumpet-blast upon the ear of free- 
dom, so in death its echoes will reverberate amid our moun- 
tains and our valleys until truth and valor cease to appeal to 
the human heart. 

" The earth may ring from shore to shore 

With echoes of a glorious name, 
But he whose loss our tears deplore 

Has left behind him more than fame. 
For when the death-frost came to lie 

Upon his warm and mighty heart, 
And quenched his bold and friendly eye, 

His spirit did not all depart. 
His love of truth, too warm, too strong 

For hope or fear to chain or chill; 
His hate of tyranny and wrong, 

Burn in the hearts he kindled, still. 

" Good friend ! True heart ! Hail and farewell ! " 

The San Francisco Evening Bulletin contained the 
following in its issue of September 17, 1859: 

The following statement is from Mr. Perley, detailing the 
difficulty that occurred between Senator Broderick and him- 
self, at the International Hotel, which directly was the cause 
of the fatal duel : 

" I was sitting at the breakfast-table of the International 
Hotel, directly by the side of Mrs. Colonel James. Her 
husband sat on the other side of her. Directly opposite sat 
Selover and Broderick. I spoke to both politely and took 
my seat, and then commenced a conversation with Mrs. 
James. Broderick then addressed himself to me as follows 
' Your friend Terry has been abusing me at Sacramento.' 

" I said, 'What is it, Mr. Broderick?' 

" He replied : ' The miserable wretch, after being kicked 
out of the convention, went down there and made a speech 
abusing me. I have defended him at all times when all 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 405 

others deserted him. I paid and supported three news- 
papers to defend him during the Vigilance Committee days, 
and this is all the gratitude I get from the d d miserable 
wretch for the favors I have conferred on him. I have 
hitherto spoken of him as an honest man as the only 
honest man of a miserable, corrupt Supreme Court but 
now I find I was mistaken. I take it all back.' 

" I then spoke as follows : ' Who is it you speak of as a 
wretch ? ' 

" He said, ' Terry.' 

" I said, ' I will inform the Judge of the language you 
have used concerning him.' 

" He said, ' Do so ; I wish you to do so. I am responsi- 
ble for it.' 

" I then said, 'You would not dare to use this language 
to him.' 

" He sneered at this, and echoed me ' Would not dare ! ' 

" I replied, ' No, sir, you would not dare to do it, and you 
shall not use it to me concerning him. I shall hold you 
personally responsible for the language you have used.' " 

Mr. Perley mentions Mr. Selover as having been present 
on the occasion, and we submitted the above statement to 
him, with the request that he would correct anything in it 
according to his memory of the occurrence. Mr, Selover 
stated that the whole language used by Mr. Broderick was 
in an undertone of voice, he Broderick with his body 
across a narrow table in the direction of Perley. " Mrs. Selo- 
ver, who sat on my right, did not hear what Mr. Broderick 
said on the occasion. Mr. Broderick had but a few 
moments before read in the Sacramento Union Judge 
Terry's offensive remarks in the convention. When Mr. 
Perley retired from the table I expressed my regret at what 
had occurred, to which Mr. Broderick replied that he was 
provoked into it by the remarks of Judge Terry upon him." 
Selover says : " I have been induced to make this statement 
only by the fact that Judge Terry's friends have gone 
beyond the record, which is shown by the correspondence 
previous to the duel to have contained all the language 



406 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Judge Terry had to take offence at. Statements having 
been subsequently made that Mr. Broderick had used vio- 
lent language in the presence of ladies, and I being a more 
intimate personal friend of his than Colonel James, who sat 
directly opposite to me at the table, the latter gentleman 
was requested to make a statement of what occurred, which 
was done." Major Selover also said in his statement that he 
had no recollection of the word "damned " being used on 
that occasion, as he sat directly opposite, and, had it been 
used, he must have heard it. 

In the Democratic Standard (Sacramento, September 
16, 1859) appeared the following correspondence, 
which preceded the duel between Mr. Broderick and 
'Judge Terry: 

To the Public. 

As the recent hostile meeting between Messrs. Broderick 
and Terry has attracted much public attention, and has been 
the subject already of many misstatements in the news- 
papers, it is deemed necessary to publish the correspondence 
between those gentlemen. The papers are in their chrono- 
logical order. CALHOUN BENHAM, 

THOMAS HAYES. 

Terry to Broderick. 

OAKLAND, Sept. 8, 1859. 
Hon. David C. Broderick. 

SIR : Some two months ago, at the public table of the In- 
ternational Hotel, in San Francisco, you saw fit to indulge 
in certain remarks concerning me which were offensive in 
their nature. Before I heard of the circumstances, your 
note of the 29th of June, addressed to D. W. Perley, in 
which you declared that you would not respond to any call 
of a personal character during the political canvass just 
concluded, had been published. I have, therefore, not been 
permitted to take any notice of those remarks until the ex- 
piration of the limit fixed by yourself. I now take the earli- 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 407 

est opportunity to require of you a retraction of those re- 
marks. The note will be handed to you by my friend 
Calhoun Benham, Esq., who is acquainted with its contents, 
and will receive your reply. 

[Signed] D. S. TERRY. 

Benham to Broderick. 

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 8, 1859. 
Hon. David C. Broderick. 

SIR : Should you have occasion to communicate sooner 
than the time agreed upon between us, I will be found at 
the Metropolitan Hotel. I omitted to leave my address this 
morning. 

Very respectfully your obedient servant, 
[Signed] CALHOUN BENHAM. 

Broderick to Terry. 

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 9, 1859, 
Hon. D. S. Terry. 

SIR : Your note of September 8 reached me through the 
hands of Calhoun Benham, Esq. The remarks made by me 
in the conversation referred to may be the subject of future 
misrepresentation, and, for obvious reasons, I have to desire 
you to state what the remarks were that you designate in 
your note as offensive and of which you require from me a 
retraction. I remain, etc., 

[Signed] D. C. BRODERICK. 

Terry to Broderick. 

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 9, 1859. 
Hon. D. C. Broderick. 

SIR : In reply to your note of this date I have to say that 
the offensive remarks which I alluded to in my communica- 
tion of yesterday are as follows : " I have heretofore con- 
sidered and spoken of him [myself] as the only honest man 
on the Supreme Court bench, but I now take it all back" 
thus, by implication, reflecting on my personal and official 
integrity. This is the substance of your remarks, as re- 



408 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

ported to me. The precise terms, however, in which such 
an implication was conveyed are not important to the ques- 
tion. You yourself can best remember the terms in which 
you spoke of me on the occasion referred to. What I 
require is the retraction of any words which were used 
calculated to reflect on my character as an officer or a 
gentleman. 

I remain your obedient servant, 
[Signed] D. S. TERRY. 

Broderick to Terry. 

FRIDAY EVENING, Sept. 9, 1859. 
Hon. D. S. Terry. 

SIR : Yours of this date has been received. The remarks 
made by me were occasioned by certain offensive allusions 
of yours concerning me made in the convention at Sacra- 
mento and reported in the Union of June 25. Upon the 
topic alluded to in your note of this date, my language, so 
far as my recollection serves me, was as follows : 

"During Judge Terry's incarceration by the Vigilance 
Committee I paid two hundred dollars a week to support 
a newspaper in his [your] defence. I have also stated, here- 
tofore, that I considered him [Judge Terry] the only honest 
man on the Supreme bench; but I take it all back." 

You are the proper judge as to whether this language 
affords good ground for offence. I remain, etc., 

[Signed] D. C. BRODERICK. 

Terry to Broderick. 

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10, 1859. 
Hon. D. C. Broderick. 

SIR: Some months ago you used language concerning 
me offensive in its nature. I waited the lapse of a period 
of time fixed by yourself before I asked reparation therefor 
at your hands. You replied, asking a specification of the 
language used which I regarded as offensive. In another 
letter I gave you the specification, and reiterated my de- 
mands for retraction. To this last letter you reply, 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 409 

acknowledging the use of the offensive language imputed 
to you, and not making the retraction required. 

This course on your part leaves me no alternative but to 
demand the satisfaction usual among gentlemen, which I 
accordingly do. 

Mr. Benham will make the necessary arrangements. 

Your obedient servant, 
[Signed] D. S. TERRY. 

Broderick to Terry. 

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10, 1859. 
Hon. D. S. Terry. 

SIR : Your note of the above date has been received at 
one o'clock A.M., September 10. In response to the same, 
I will refer you to my friend Hon. J. C. McKibben, who 
will make the satisfactory arrangements demanded in your 
letter. I remain, etc., 

[Signed] D. C. BRODERICK. 

Terms' of the Duel. 
(Time Saturday morning, about one o'clock.) 

1. Principals to be attended by two seconds and a sur- 
geon each ; also by a person to load the weapons. This 
article not to exclude the drivers of the vehicles. If other 
parties obtrude, the time and place may be changed at the 
instance of either party. 

2. Place of meeting On the farm adjoining the Lake 
House ranch (Laguna Merced) occupied by William 
Higgins. 

3. Weapons Duelling-pistols. 

4. Distance Ten paces ; parties facing each other ; pis- 
tols to be held with the muzzle vertically downward. 

5. Word to be given as follows, to wit : " Gentlemen, are 
you ready ?" Upon each party replying " Ready," the word 
"fire" shall be given, to be followed by the words "One 
two;" neither party to raise his pistol before the word 
"fire," nor to discharge it after the word "two." 
Intervals between the words " fire," " one," " two," to be 



4IO THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

exemplified by the party winning the word, as near as may 
be. 

6. Weapons to be loaded on the ground in the presence 
of a second of each party. 

7. Choice of position and the giving of the word to be 
determined by chance throwing a coin, as usual. 

8. Choice of the two weapons to be determined by chance, 
as in article 7. 

9. Choice of the respective weapons of parties to be 
determined on the ground, by throwing up a coin, as usual 
that is to say, each party bringing their pistols, and the 
pair to be used to be determined by chance as in article 7. 

On the part of Judge Terry it was protested against the 
word being stopped short of the word " three," as unusual 
and unwarrantable. Mr. Broderick's seconds answered the 
protest in regard to the parties being restrained by the word 
"two," that it is neither unusual nor unwarrantable, and has 
the feature of humanity. 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 411 



CHAPTER XXII. 
NOTED AMERICAN DUELS CONCLUDED. 

The Fatal Meeting between Johnston and Furgeson The Kewen- 
Woodleif Affair The Fate of the Survivor Hubert and Hunt 
The Latter Mortally Wounded at the Second Fire Nugent 
and Jones Thomas and Dixon Shaffer and Wethered Re- 
volvers, Rifles, and Double-Barrelled Shotguns the Favorite 
Weapons with the Californians Truett and Smith Woodcock 
and Blackburn Tobey and Crane Lundy and Dibble Haw- 
kins and Dowdigan Dubert and Ellesler Wright and Evans 
Hopkins and Taylor Leggett and Morrison Hacker and 
Londen May and Rowe Peachy and Blair Brazer and Park 
Pinckney and Smith Kelley and Spear Wright and Baird; 
and Others. 

DUELS were frequent in California from 1850 until 
1859, and very frequent from 1851 until 1854. The 
most notable fatal event next to the Broderick- 
Terry affair was the meeting between George Pen- 
dleton Johnston and William I. Furgeson, which took 
place with pistols, on Angel Island (San Francisco 
Bay), August 21, 1858, and in which Mr. Furgeson re- 
ceived a mortal wound. Mr. Johnston having died 
lately, a number of accounts of the unfortunate affair 
have been published, the following being from the 
San Francisco Morning Call : 

On Friday last, the body of George Pendleton Johnston was 
laid away by his sorrowing friends for its final rest. With 
him disappeared one link connecting the old school of 



412 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

journalism with the new. Allusion has been made during 
the past week, in all the newspapers of this city, to his duel 
with State Senator William I. Furgeson. This was the 
great controlling event of his career, and is therefore de- 
serving of more than the passing mention it has received. 
Its influence on his life and character never ceased or abated 
until his eyes were closed in death. He was a changed man 
ever after, and the shadow of that tragic event was to his 
soul like that typified by Poe's mystic " Raven ;" the " mid- 
night dark and dreary" of its coming was to him the fatal 
anniversary of the duel, when the shadow invariably deep- 
ened on his brooding heart. He was a Kentuckian, born 
and reared among a people whose traditions and sentiments 
not only accepted the duello, but exalted it as the tribunal 
of honor; and, while he would probably always have -justified 
to his fellow-men the slaying of any one under its rules, his 
humane, generous heart could never let him rest in entire 
peace with himself under the knowledge that a human being 
had died through act of his. All his surroundings, as well 
as his antecedents, led him to the duel. He was not only 
born and reared in a State where " the code" was maintained 
and justified, but he emigrated to one where it was even 
more resorted to for the settlement of differences. The 
duello was never more popular anywhere, probably, in the 
decade from 184910 1859 than in California. ... So many 
people had fallen or been injured that about 1856 the prac- 
tice of duelling fell into disfavor and disuse. The Johnston- 
Furgeson affair gave it a new impetus, which culminated in 
the killing in 1859 of David C. Broderick by David S. Terry, 
who resigned the Chief -Justiceship of the State Supreme 
Court to engage in this famous duel. The parties to the 
first of these two affairs were both prominent men, and the 
part each -had taken in the exciting political events of the 
three preceding years had made them widely known. John- 
ston had been a member of the Assembly, where he had 
taken a prominent part, among other things of introducing 
and pushing to passage an anti-duelling act, to give force 
and effect to the constitutional provision on that subject. 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 4*3 

He was an ardent supporter of Dr. Gwin for the United 
States Senatorship, and opposed to the pretensions of Brod- 
erick, engaging in that contest with all his ardor and ora- 
torical ability, which was considerable. In addition, he had 
rendered his decision as United States Court Commissioner 
in the celebrated case of the negro Archie, which created 
much feeling for its bearing on the question of slavery the 
more by reason of its being a ruling by a Southern man in 
favor of the negro under one application of the fugitive- 
slave law ; and finally he was Clerk of the United States Cir- 
cuit Court in San Francisco. Furgeson was a remarkable 
man, then in the prime of life and the full flush of his splen- 
did talents. The son of a carpenter, born in Pennsylvania, 
he removed to Springfield, Illinois, where he studied law 
under Colonel E. D. Baker, and rose to a level at the bar 
with such associates as Abraham Lincoln, David S. Logan, 
Baker, and others of that calibre; thence removing to Texas, 
and finally to Sacramento, in this State, where he took and 
maintained his position among the brightest men at the bar, 
excelling especially in the department of criminal law. Pos- 
sessed of great ambition, a brilliant genius, one of the most 
eloquent and fascinating orators California has ever held in 
citizenship, he entered politics, and soon became one of the 
most conspicuous characters in public life here. Elected to 
the State Senate on the Know-Nothing ticket, he was in a 
sense a candidate for the United States Senate in the ex- 
citing session of 1855-6, but finally supported General Henry 
S. Foote, father of our present Railroad Commissioner of 
that name, upon the General's receiving the caucus nomina- 
tion of the party. When the defection of Wilson Flint, one 
of the hold-over Senators from San Francisco, who disre- 
garded his party obligations and refused to vote for General 
Foote, prevented the latter 's election and enabled Broderick 
to carry off at the next session the prize for which he strug- 
gled so long, only to find it a disappointing bauble when 
gained, Furgeson distinguished himself by the force of the 
withering invective with which he denounced the " rec- 
reant." Then Furgeson became more prominent by 



414 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

renouncing the Know -Nothing Party, his constituents 
demanding his resignation, and his successful canvass for 
a re-election at the next polling, and lastly, by a remarka- 
bly able speech on squatter sovereignty shortly before his 
death, when he followed the Douglas wing of the Demo- 
cratic Party in the disastrous spirit of that time. Furgeson 
had one unfortunate frailty to which genius is often linked. 
Like many brilliant men of that as of all other times, he 
was addicted to strong drink. In his convivial hours or 
days he was hilarious to a point quite inconsistent with the 
dignity of the senatorial character, even drunken senatorial 
dignity, as understood here a quarter of a century ago, and 
some of his roystering performances had gained for him the 
nickname of " Yip-see-Doodle." During the senatorial con- 
test above mentioned, General Foote was thrown into such 
a transport of rage by a taunting mention of " Yip-see-Doo- 
dle," on the part of Colonel A. J. Butler, that he seized his 
tormentor, a man twice as large as he, by the collar in a 
ludicrous effort to shake him. One evening about the mid- 
dle of August, 1858, Johnston and Furgeson met in the old 
Bank Exchange saloon on Montgomery Street. A joke by 
Furgeson, in which the names of ladies, friends of Johnston, 
were ludicrously introduced, was resented by the latter. 
High words ensued and weapons were drawn. Friends 
present interfered and they were parted. Johnston, who be- 
lieved himself insulted, sent his friend W. P. Dameron to 
Furgeson the next day to demand an apology or satisfaction 
in the regular way of the duello. Furgeson refused the 
apology, was challenged, and accepted. It was first arranged 
that they should meet near Saucelito, but this was modified, 
and at five o'clock on Saturday afternoon, August 21, they 
stood facing each other in hostile attitude in a secluded 
glen on the east side of Angel Island, near where the quarry 
now is. Every traveller on the ferry between this city and 
San Quentin Point has seen the spot. Washington and 
Damerom were the seconds of Johnston; Eugene L. Sul- 
livan and J. M. Estill of Furgeson. Drs. Hitchcock, Angel, 
and White were in professional attendance, and besides 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 415 

these there were quite a number of spectators. The prin- 
cipals stood ten paces apart, resolutely waiting the word, 
which was in the usual form : "Are you ready? Fire ! One 
two three. Stop!" After the interrogatory, both men 
answered firmly and exchanged shots at the word. Neither 
was harmed, and by mutual consent the distance was less- 
ened. Again they fired without injury to either. The dis- 
tance was again shortened, and a third time they fired 
ineffectually. At the beginning it was agreed that this 
should be the limit of the encounter, but Johnston insisted 
on an apology or a continuation of the fight. Furgeson 
was firm in refusing any sort of apology, and again the men 
faced each other, this time but twenty feet apart. The word 
was given ; they fired simultaneously. Johnston's wrist was 
grazed, and Furgeson sank into the arms of his seconds, his 
right thigh shattered by the bullet of his adversary. While 
he was lying on the ground, undergoing surgical exami- 
nation, Johnston expressed a wish to give him his hand 
before quitting the ground. Furgeson faintly replied that 
he was in the hands of his seconds. Upon their assenting, 
Johnston advanced and, grasping the hand of his prostrate 
opponent, said warmly, " Uncle Furg, I'm sorry for you." 
" That's all right," whispered Furgeson ; whereupon John- 
son remarked, " That's enough said between gentlemen," 
and left the ground with his friends. Furgeson was removed 
to this city, where he was attended by half a dozen or more 
of the best surgeons here, including Drs. Sawyer, Grey, Coit, 
Angel, and Bowie. They advised him from the first that his 
wound was a serious one; that with prompt amputation of 
the limb there were fair chances of his recovery, but without 
it a very slim chance. He replied that he would not part 
with his leg for the whole of California, and that he would 
take the solitary slim chance they intimated. He sank 
slowly ; the wound began to mortify ; and when finally, on 
September 14, the amputation of the leg was attempted, he 
died under the operation. His death created a profound 
feeling on this coast, for he was recognized as a man of 
remarkable talents and promise. The body was taken to 



41 6 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Sacramento for burial. A large delegation of prominent 
people from that city met it at Benicia and conducted it to 
the capital. It was laid in state in the Senate chamber, 
where, carrying out the dying request of his unfortunate 
young friend and pupil, Colonel E. D. Baker pronounced, 
in the presence of a great assemblage, the funeral oration, 
followed by an impressive sermon by Rev. J. A. Benton, of 
the Congregational Church. A great concourse followed 
the remains to the grave, and the people of Sacramento 
erected a handsome monument which yet marks the resting- 
place of their gifted but unfortunate Senator. Of course the 
sentiment was now largely in sympathy with Furgeson and 
against his slayer, and it was asserted that the duel was 
unfair because Furgeson knew nothing of the use of the 
pistol. Without expressing an opinion in regard to this, 
Colonel Baker mentioned it in his funeral oration, stating 
that Furgeson had never fired a pistol till the day before the 
duel. The reply to all this is simply that he, as the chal- 
lenged party, named the weapons. Before the latter's death 
Johnston left the city on the U. S. revenue cutter W. L. 
Marcy, and it was said that he had run away to avoid 
responsibility for the duel ; but upon being indicted by the 
San Francisco Grand Jury, under the anti-duelling act, of 
which he was the author, he came back to stand his trial. 
The Grand Jury of Marin County having also presented 
him for the same offence, he chose to meet his trial there, 
and surrendered to the authorities of that county. The 
trial took place before the Court of Sessions at San Rafael. 
The district-attorney prosecuted, and A. P. Crittenden, W. 
H. Patterson, E. L. Gould, and T. W. Hanson all since 
deceased defended. The defence was that the wound was 
not necessarily fatal, and that if Furgeson had consented to 
an operation when advised to he would have recovered. 
The medical testimony supported this theory, and the de- 
fence succeeded in securing an acquittal. The proceeding 
on the indictment in this county was dropped on the show- 
ing that the duel occurred in Marin County. So far as the 
law was concerned, Mr. Johnston was free from responsibility 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 

for the affair. He acted on the principles of a mistaken if 
chivalrous "code," which was inbred and inculcated in him, 
and justified him to his fellow-men who believe in or bow 
to that code. Men of coarser or less noble mould would 
have rested easy and content with such justification, but his 
gentle, humane heart never threw off the shadow of the 
tragedy. 

In 1854 occurred the fatal duel between Kewen 
and Woodleif, which has been described by a corre- 
spondent of the San Francisco Evening Post, as fol- 
lows : 

Achilles Kewen, brother of E. J. C. Kewen, of Los An- 
geles, and Colonel Woodleif, who had been County Judge 
of San Joaquin County, had a political dispute in the old 
Blue Wing saloon near Sather's Bank, in November, 1854. 
Both were Southern men, Kewen being of Irish parentage. 
Kewen struck Woodleif, but other parties quickly separated 
them. Kewen acknowledged that he had been too hasty, 
and he apologized. Woodleif refused to accept the 
apology. He had fought eight duels and had killed some 
of his men. He was educated and polished and well-to-do. 
Kewen then offered to place in Woodleif's hand an apology 
in writing. Woodleif refused to accept this. He chal- 
lenged Kewen, and they met ten miles back of Oakland, 
November 8, 1854. At the first fire, which was with "Mis- 
sissippi yagers," at forty paces, Woodleif was shot in the 
head and instantly killed. He was buried at San Francisco, 
in the clothes which he wore when shot, at his own re- 
quest. He left a widow. Kewen went to Nicaragua with 
Walker, was taken prisoner in battle and put to death, in 
defiance of the laws of civilized warfare. E. J. C. Kewen 
was also with Walker, but escaped his brother's fate. 

Another unfortunate affair was the duel between 
George T. Hunt, an Englishman, and Numa Hubert, 
a native of New Orleans, of French parentage. 



41 8 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Both were lawyers, without family, and arrived in 
San Francisco at an early day. They met, and in 
due time or, rather, undue time they quarrelled at 
the Metropolitan Theatre and clinched, but were 
quickly separated before the audience was disturbed. 
Next day Hunt received a challenge from Hubert, 
which he accepted, and the parties met at the old 
Pioneer Race Course, at seven o'clock on the morn- 
ing of May 2i, 1854. The weapons were duelling- 
pistols, distance ten paces. Two shots were ex- 
changed, when Hubert fell, mortally wounded in the 
abdomen, and died at four o'clock the next morning. 
In June, 1852, near San Francisco, William H. 
Jones and John S. Nugent met with pistols, and the 
former was wounded. In March, 1854, three miles 
from Sacramento, Philip F. Thomas, district-attorney 
of Placer County, and Dr. James P. Dixon, of the 
San Francisco Marine Hospital, met with duelling- 
pistols, at thirteen paces ; and the latter was mor- 
tally wounded. In 1857, near San Francisco, Cap- 
tain Frank Shaffer and James P. Withered, with 
double - barrelled shotguns, eighteen buckshot in 
each barrel, wheel and fire ; no casualty ; Governor 
Stoneman (then a lieutenant in the U. S. A.) was one 
of the seconds. In October, 1855, Austin E. Smith 
and H. B. Truett met near San Francisco, with 
Colt's revolvers, at ten paces, and Smith was hit in 
the leg ; he was afterward killed in the Confederate 
army at Richmond. In 1852, at Marysville, William 
H. Woodcock and Charles J. Blackburn met with 
double-barrelled shotguns, at fifty paces, each barrel 
carrying eighteen buckshot, terms to fire between 
one and six ; Blackburn was severely wounded at the 
first fire in the left arm, which was shattered and 



NOTED AMERICAN DUELS. 419 

broken near the shoulder, and also in the groin. In 
1853, near San Francisco, Alfred Crane and Edward 
Tobey, with navy pistols, at ten paces ; Crane, who 
was the challenged party, was shot through the body 
and died upon the following morning. In 1851, 
near San Francisco, E. B. Lundy (a Canadian) and 
George M. Dibble (formerly a midshipman in the 
U. S. A.), with pistols ; the latter killed. In 1854, 
near Sacramento, Mr. Hawkins and Mr. Dowdigan^ 
with rifles, at forty paces ; the latter wounded in the 
arm. During the same year Dubert and Ellesler 
fought their extraordinary duel with broadswords, 
which lasted nearly an hour, at the end of which 
Ellesler was severely and Dubert mortally wounded 
the latter dying in great agony the next morning. 

In 1851, near the Sans Souci, F. R. Wright and 
H. D. Evans met and exchanged harmless shots, 
when the seconds effected a settlement. During the 
same year Messrs. Hopkins and Taylor (custom- 
house officers) met near Benicia with pistols, but 
were arrested and put under bonds to keep the 
peace. In 1852 William Leggett and John Morri- 
son met near San Francisco with pistols, and Leg- 
gett was killed at the third fire. In 1854, David E. 
Hacker and J. S. Londen, the latter killed. In 1853, 
Edward Rowe and Colonel May, the former wounded 
in the neck. In 1852, A. C. Peachy and James 
Blain, with pistols; the latter wounded. In 1854, 
M. C. Brazer and J. W. Park ; neither hit. In 1853, 
near San Francisco, William H. Scott and Peter 
Smith (a son of Judge Pinckney Smith of Missis- 
sippi), with pistols, at eighty paces ; the latter killed 
at the second fire. In 1852 John Kelley and W. S. 
Spear fired at each other three times without effect. 



42O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

In 1853, near San Francisco, C. J. Wright and Oliver 
T. Baird, with pistols ; the latter wounded in the 
neck at the second fire. In 1854, near Los Angeles, 
H. P. . Dorsey and R. Beveno, with pistols ; both 
severely wounded. 

One of the last duels (if not, indeed, the very last) 
fought in California was that between James R. 
Smedberg and F. W. Gardener, in August, 1869. It 
was fought in the morning, at Sansalito a pretty 
place on the bay opposite San Francisco with duel- 
ling-pistols ; and Smedberg was wounded in the 
right hand at the second fire. Mr. Smedberg is a 
member of a very old and respectable family of 
New York, and Gardner is a son of a former Gov- 
ernor of Massachusetts. Both displayed great cool- 
ness on the field. Smedberg was attended by Stuart 
M. Taylor, and Gardner by Howard Crittenden. 



BLOODLESS DUELS. 421 



CHAPTER XXIII. 
BLOODLESS DUELS. 

John Randolph and Henry Clay General James Hamilton's 
Graphic Account of this Duel Randolph's Death in Phila- 
delphia The Bloodless Duel between Congressmen Edward 
Stanly and Henry A. Wise How Reverdy Johnson Lost his 
Eyesight The Last Meeting at Bladensburg The Stanly-Inge 
Duel The Last Occasion on which Powder was Burnt on 
Account of Debates in Congress Ch. Lee Jones's Account of 
the Affair The Gwin-McCorkle Duel Dumont and "Jim" Lane 
Clingman and Yancey Morgan and Henderson Daniels 
and Ganahl Davidson and Lindsay ; and Others. 

THE most distinguished meeting that has ever 
taken place in the United States in which there was 
no bloody mischief committed was that famous 
"affair of honor" between the illustrious Clay of 
Kentucky and Randolph of Virginia, which took 
place near Washington, on the Virginia shore of 
the Potomac, just above the Little Falls bridge, at 
four o'clock Saturday afternoon, April 8, 1826. Ran- 
dolph was one of the best shots in Virginia ; but, 
from being unaccustomed to fire with a hair-trigger, 
his pistol exploded before the word was given, the 
muzzle being down. On the word being given for 
the second time, Mr. Clay fired without effect, Mr. 
Randolph discharging his pistol in the air. As soon 
as Mr. Clay saw that Randolph had thrown away his 
fire, he approached the latter and said, with emotion: 



422 THE PI ELD OF HONOR. 

" I trust in God, my dear sir, you are untouched. 
After" what has occurred, I would not have harmed 
you for a thousand worlds." 

The following is an account of the duel frolfo the 
pen of General James Hamilton, of South Carolina, 
who was an eye-witness : 

The night before Mr. Randolph sent for me, I found him 
calm, but in a singularly kind and confiding mood. He told 
me that he had something on his mind to tell me. He then 
remarked : " Hamilton, I have determined to receive, with- 
out returning, Clay's fire ; nothing shall induce me to harm 
a hair of his head ; I will not make his wife a widow, nor 
his children orphans. Their tears would be shed over his 
grave ; but when the sod of Virginia rests on my bosom 
there is not one in this wide world, not one individual, to 
pay this tribute upon mine." His eyes filled ; and, resting 
his head upon his hand, we remained some minutes silent. 
I replied: "My dear friend [for ours was a sort of posthu- 
mous friendship, bequeathed by our mothers], I deeply regret 
that you have mentioned the subject to me ; for you call 
upon me to go to the field and see you shot down, or to 
assume the responsibility, in regard to your own life, in sus- 
taining your determination to throw it away. But on this 
subject a man's own conscience and his own bosom are his 
best monitors. I will not advise ; but, under the enormous 
and unprovoked personal insult you have offered Mr. Clay, 
I cannot dissuade. I feel bound, however, to communicate 
to Colonel Tatnall your decision." 

He begged me not to do so, and said he was very much 
afraid that Tatnall would take the studs and refuse to go 
out with him. I, however, sought Colonel Tatnall, and we 
repaired about midnight to Mr. Randolph's lodgings, whom 
we found reading Milton's great poem. For some moments 
he did not permit us to say one word in relation to the ap- 
proaching duel ; and he at once commenced one of those 
delightful criticisms on a passage of this poet, in which he 



BLOODLESS DUELS. 423 

was wont so enthusiastically to indulge. After a pause, 
Colonel Tatnall remarked : " Mr. Randolph, I am told you 
have determined not to return Mr. Clay's fire ; I must say 
to you, my dear sir, if I am only to go out to see you shot 
down, you must find some other friend." Mr. Randolph 
remarked that such was his determination. After much 
conversation on the subject, I induced Colonel Tatnall to 
allow Mr. Randolph to take his own course, as his with- 
drawal as one of his friends might lead to very injurious 
misconstructions. At length, Mr. Randolph, smiling, said : 
" Well, Tatnall, I promise you one thing : if I see the devil 
in Clay's eye, and that, with malice prepense, he means to 
take my life, I may change my mind" a remark I knew 
he made merely to propitiate the anxieties of his friend. 

Mr. Clay and himself met at four o'clock the succeeding 
evening, on the banks of the Potomac. But he saw no 
" devil in Clay's eye," but a man fearless and expressing the 
mingled sensibility and firmness which belonged to the oc- 
casion. 

I shall never forget this scene as long as I live. It has 
been my misfortune to witness several duels, but I never saw 
one, at least in its sequel, so deeply affecting. The sun was 
just setting behind the blue hills of Randolph's own Virginia. 
Here were two of the most extraordinary men our country in 
its prodigality had produced, about to meet in mortal com- 
bat. Whilst Tatnall was loading Randolph's pistol, I ap- 
proached my friend, I believed, for the last time. I took his 
hand ; there was not in its touch the quivering of one pulsa- 
tion. He turned to me and said : " Clay is calm, but not 
vindictive ; I hold my purpose, Hamilton, in any event ; re- 
member this." 

On handing him his pistol, Colonel Tatnall sprung the 
hair-trigger. Mr. Randolph said, "Tatnall, although I am 
one of the best shots in Virginia with either pistol or gun, 
yet I never fire with a hair-trigger ; besides, I have a thick 
buckskin glove on, which will destroy the delicacy of my 
touch, and the trigger may fly before I know where I am." 
But, from his great solicitude for his friend, Tatnall insisted 



424 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

upon hairing the trigger. On taking their positions, the fact 
turned out as Mr. Randolph anticipated : his pistol went off 
before the word, with the muzzle down. 

The moment this event took place, General Jesup, Mr. 
Clay's friend, called out that he would instantly leave the 
ground with his friend if that occurred again. Mr. Clay at 
once exclaimed that it was an accident, and begged that the 
gentleman might be allowed to go on. On the word being 
given, Mr. Clay fired without effect, Mr. Randolph discharg- 
ing his pistol in the air. 

The moment Mr. Clay saw that Mr. Randolph had thrown 
away his fire, with a gush of sensibility he instantly ap- 
proached Mr. Randolph, and said, with an emotion I never 
can forget : "I trust in God, my dear sir, you are untouched. 
After what has occurred, I would not have harmed you for a 
thousand worlds." 

In 1879 a member of the old regime contributed to 
the Washington Sunday Herald the following interest- 
ing account of the excitement at the National Capi- 
tal on the day of the duel : 

John Randolph seems to have had an innate dislike of the 
Kentuckians, Henry Clay included. He always regarded 
Kentucky as a sort of dependency on Virginia, and the peo- 
ple of the former State as an inferior race to those of the Old 
Dominion. Randolph was bred in the ways of the old 
school, when the overseer and the country storekeeper ap- 
proached the great landholder hat in hand. The freedom 
and equality that prevailed in Kentucky were extremely dis- 
tasteful to him. Although nominally a member of the same 
party with Mr. Clay when the latter entered Congress, he 
generally voted with the Federalists. His most intimate 
friends in Congress, James Lloyd, Timothy Pickering, and 
Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts, Gouverneur Morris and 
Rufus King of New York, were of the same party, as were 
his two most intimate friends in Virginia, John Wickham 
and Dr. Brockenbrough. His speeches against the War of 






BLOODLESS DUELS. 

1812 were of Demosthenean eloquence and power, and were 
circulated by the Northern Federalists by thousands in their 
respective districts. Mr. Clay, as the champion of the war- 
party in the House, came in, of course, for his share of con- 
demnation in these philippics. 

In the year 1826 Mr. Clay was Secretary of State and Mr. 
Randolph a member of the Senate. In a speech in that body 
Randolph alluded to Clay's alliance with Adams as a union 
of the "black-leg and the Puritan" " Blifil and Black 
George." Mr. Clay challenged him. What would be thought 
now if Mr. Evarts should challenge Mr. Bayard " for words 
spoken in debate" ? Tatnall, of Georgia, and Hamilton, of 
South Carolina, were Mr. Randolph's seconds. When they 
called upon him the evening before the encounter to make 
the last arrangements they found him reading Milton ; and 
he entered upon an essay on his genius, from which he could 
not be diverted until the hour was so late that very few 
words were said about the duel or anything else. Mr. Clay 
was accompanied to the field by General Jesup, U. S. A., a 
Kentuckian like himself, and by Dr. Huntt, the celebrated 
physician and surgeon. The duel was a bloodless one ; but 
so long a time elapsed before the parties returned that Mr. 
Clay's friends were apprehensive that he had fallen. General 
Harrison (of Ohio) was a Senator at that time, and lived at 
Mrs. Clark's, on F Street, where Cammack's building now 
stands. Mr. Clay lived directly opposite, in the large house 
removed for the erection of the Corcoran building. Mr. 
Nicholas Callan, then eighteen years old, lived next door to 
Mr. Clay, and was accustomed, with his friend Hoban, to 
visit General Harrison every afternoon to direct speeches 
and documents. Mr. Callan states that the General was 
very agreeable in his intercourse with these young gentle- 
men, and that they became attached to him from his eviden- 
kindness of heart. [He had no idea then of -being a cant 
didate for the Presidency.] One day, however, when they 
were engaged as usual, the General appeared dejected. He 
sat with head depressed and said nothing. At last he saw 
Mr. Clement Dorsey (M.C. from Maryland) passing by, when 



426 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

he opened the window and called out, in his stentorian voice, 
" Dorsey ! Dorsey !" Dorsey came up to the General's apart- 
ments, and was warmly welcomed. " Mr. Clay is dead !" said 
the General. " I hope not," said Dorsey, in his peculiar 
falsetto voice. "But," said the General, "he was to have 
returned by four o'clock, and it is now past five." Just then 
young Callan espied Mr. Clay on horseback, coming around 
the corner of Fifteenth Street, and announced his return to 
General Harrison. The General, who was in his dressing- 
gown, rushed downstairs bareheaded, and ran over to Mr. 
Clay, with skirts streaming in the wind, and affectionately 
embraced him as he dismounted from his horse. General 
Jesup passed soon afterward on his way to his house on F 
near Thirteenth Street, now the residence of his son-in-law, 
Colonel Sitgreaves. The duel was fought above George- 
town, and Randolph came on the field in a flannel dressing- 
gown, which was perforated by Clay's ball. Randolph fired 
in the air. 

Not long before Randolph's death, in 1833, he passed 
through Washington on his way from Roanoke to New Castle 
to catch the Philadelphia packet for Liverpool. He drove 
an English chariot with four blooded horses of different 
colors ; and, as he remarked to his friend, Governor Lloyd, 
in Baltimore, the next day : " Nothing but the blood of my 
nags brought me through." Juba was on the box, and Ran- 
dolph reclined at full length inside. He was driven to the 
Senate Chamber, where he reposed on a sofa. Hearing Mr. 
Clay speak, he said : " Raise me up ; I want to hear that 
voice once more." Then he mounted his chariot and went 
his way northward, but when he reached New Castle the 
Algonquin had passed down on her way to Liverpool, her 
royals still visible in the southeastern horizon as she bore 
gallantly down to the Capes. So Randolph went on to 
Philadelphia, where he died not long afterward at the 
Columbian Hotel, on Chestnut Street, and where most elo- 
quent eulogies were pronounced over his bier by Horace 
Binney and John Sargent, the latter describing him "as 
Cicero eloquent, as Cato incorruptible." 



BLOODLESS DUELS. 427 

After Mr. Randolph's death Mr. Clay told his friend Mr. 
Ogle Tayloe that "he had been warned many years ago to 
beware of Mr. Randolph ; that he was bent on a duel, say- 
ing 'he preferred to be killed by Mr. Clay to any other 
death.' " For years, says Mr. Tayloe, Mr. Randolph sought 
a duel which Mr. Clay had averted until at last he thought 
it unavoidable. 

In 1842 an " affair" in which there was no blood- 
shed took place (or nearly took place) between Hon. 
Edward Stanly, Congressman from North Carolina, 
and Hon. Henry A. Wise, Congressman from Vir- 
ginia. These gentlemen had long belonged to the 
same political party, and had been warm personal 
and political friends. When President Tyler, by 
vetoing the United States Bank bill, left the Whigs 
and went over to the Democrats, he carried with him 
a very small party about half a dozen from the 
Whig ranks who acquired the cognomen of the 
" Corporal's Guard." Mr. Wise was one of the most 
prominent of this "Guard," and the former personal 
and political friendship that had existed between him 
and Mr. Stanly was changed into the most bitter per- 
sonal and political enmity. Many were the personal 
altercations that took place on the floor of the House 
of Representatives, which ought (says Ch. Lee Jones 
in a letter to the New York Sun) under the code to 
have called for explanation from one or the other of 
those gentlemen; "but neither took the initiative, 
each alleging that the message ought to come from 
the other a very erroneous conception on both sides 
of the requirements of the code of honor, which pre- 
scribes it as the duty of gentlemen, when language 
has mutually passed requiring notice, that there 
should be no haggling about who should send the 



428 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

first message. These differences finally culminated 
on the race-course, near Washington. Both gentle- 
men were present on horseback. Mr. Stanly riding 
a hard-mouthed horse, in galloping by, accidentally 
brushed against Mr. Wise, which Mr. Wise mistook 
for an intentional affront, and riding up to Mr. Stanly 
struck him with his horsewhip. This, of course, 
brought matters to a final issue, and a challenge was 
sent by Mr. Stanly by the hands of Hon. Reverdy 
Johnson, and was accepted by Mr. Wise. But, while 
Mr. Johnson was preparing his principal for the field 
at a country-seat some three miles from Baltimore, in 
trying the pistols, he fired one at a tree, and the ball 
struck a dead and seasoned spot, rebounded, and 
struck him directly in the eye, knocking him down. 
The ball was afterward found, upon a surgical exam- 
ination, under the eyelid, perfectly flattened ; and 
while the eyeball was apparently uninjured, the sight 
was forever destroyed, although a casual observer 
would not have noticed the defect." Thirty years 
afterward, in the old age of Mr. Johnson, the sight of 
the other eye, through sympathy, became impaired, 
and that excellent and distinguished gentleman met 
his much regretted death from a misstep in conse- 
quence of his defective vision. This sad accident 
necessitated Mr. Stanly to procure another second ; 
and in making this selection, he procured the services 
of John M. McCarty, familiarly known as Colonel 
Jack McCarty, who had the reputation of being a 
regular "fire-eater," from the desperate duel, fought 
in 1819 with muskets at a few feet distance, in which 
he killed his kinsman, Armistead T. Mason. But 
Colonel McCarty, notwithstanding his reputation as a 
" fire-eater," was one of the most genial and best- 



BLOODLESS DUELS. 429 

hearted of men ; and he, to his credit (says Mr. 
Jones), "succeeded in bringing about an honorable 
and amicable adjustment, notwithstanding the blow 
that had passed. A vulgar error had prevailed that 
a blow was a mortal insult, requiring blood. It is 
true that, under the old French code, such was the 
rule; but this notion had long since been exploded 
in England and in this country, and not the least cen- 
sure ought to have rested on Mr. Stanly on account of 
the settlement of that affair, although many gentle- 
men at the time considered that Mr. Stanly had com- 
promised his honor by not having insisted upon at 
least a meeting and an apology on the field or a shot." 
A bloodless duel, and the last fought at Bladens- 
burg, was that one in June, 1836, between the Hon. 
Jesse A. Bynum (of North Carolina) and Hon. Daniel 
Jenifer (of Maryland), in consequence of a misunder- 
standing in the House of Representatives, when, after 
six shots were exchanged without damage to either 
party, the affair was amicably adjusted. The Hon. 
Baillie Peyton (of Tennessee) and Hon. Francis W. 
Pickens (of South Carolina) were seconds of Mr. 
Jenifer, and the Hon. Edward A. Hannegan (of Indi- 
anna) and the Hon. H. A. Savier (of Arkansas) were 
the seconds of Mr. Bynum. It is extraordinary and 
incomprehensible (says Mr. Ch. Lee Jones of North 
Carolina) that gentlemen of the character of each of 
these seconds should have permitted so many shots 
to have been exchanged in a case growing out of 
language used in debate. A " British Code," pub- 
lished in 1824, lays down the rule that ''three fires" 
should be the ultimatum in any case, as any further 
firing would reduce the duel to a conflict for blood, 
or subject the parties to ridicule for incapacity in 



430 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

arms. And great was the ridicule attempted to be 
heaped on Messrs. Bynum and Jenifer by the journal- 
ists of the day on account of their bad shooting. 

The last duel fought by Congressmen was the 
(bloodless) meeting between Hon. Samuel W. Inge (of 
Alabama) and Hon. Edward Stanly (of North Caro- 
lina), which took place near Washington on the 24th 
of February, 1851. This was the last occasion on 
which powder was burnt in the United States on ac- 
count of debates in Congress. Hon. Jefferson Davis, 
of Mississippi (later President of the Southern Con- 
federacy), was the second of Mr. Inge, and Colonel 
Ch. Lee Jones, a distinguished North Carolinian, at- 
tended Mr. Stanly. In a debate upon the River and 
Harbor bill, Mr. Bayly (of Virginia) had expressed 
the opinion that, in the appropriations proposed, the 
bill was "sectional," which statement Mr. Stanly had 
controverted. Mr. Inge submitted an. amendment 
providing for the improvement of certain rivers in 
Alabama and Mississippi, and in some remarks which 
followed referred to the course of Mr. Stanly, and 
said: "If the South were to wait for that gentleman's 
warning she would sleep in eternal unconsciousness; 
she would sleep until every assault was perpetrated, 
and until her spoliation was complete. ... It is not 
from him that I should expect admonition of danger 
to the South." This produced a personal discussion, 
which, as officially reported, was in these terms: 

Mr. Stanly I have a single word to say. I do not believe 
the gentleman from Alabama wants the appropriation which 
he asks ; but has offered the amendment, under the rule, that 
he might make an unkind and unprovoked fling at me. I 
do not know what I have done to incur the gentleman's dis- 
pleasure. 



BLOODLESS DUELS. 431 

Mr. Inge I merely stated facts and drew inferences. 

Mr. Stanly The gentleman said that the spoliation of the 
South could take place before she would hear a warning 
from me. The gentleman shows that he has little sense and 
less charity when he charges me with being unfriendly to the 
South. I repeat, I am unconscious of what unkindness I 
have done to provoke the gentleman. 

Mr. Inge I did not hear the gentleman. Will he be good 
enough to repeat what he said ? 

Mr. Stanly I say you have little sense and less charity in 
charging me with unfriendliness to the South. 

Mr. Inge I say that that remark is ungentlemanly and 
unparliamentary, and comes from a blackguard. 

Mr. Stanly Mr. Chairman, he charges me with being a 
blackguard. He has just shown to the House and to the 
country that he is one. 

The Chairman Personalities are not in order. 

Mr. Stanly No ; personalities are not in order. I am 
willing to let our conduct be judged of by the public; and let 
them estimate his character and mine. As to my friendship 
for the South, let the record and my conduct speak whether 
I have not more friendship for the South than those noisy 
traitors who impeach others and seek the applause of the 
grog-shops at cross-roads at home by their own professions 
of devotion, and by crying eternally, " There is danger, 
danger to the South !" Even those who voted with a 
majority of Southern members upon certain measures are 
uncharitably assailed. I regret I have been called on to say 
anything. I was unconscious of giving any provocation. 
The gentleman cast the first stone, and he will make the 
most of what I have said. I shall hereafter treat remarks 
from that quarter with the contempt they deserve. 

Hon. William M. Gwin, United States Senator from 
California, and Hon. J. W. McCorkle, M.C. from the 
same State, met in California on the ist of June, 1853, 
with rifles, at thirty paces, the combatants to wheel at 



43 2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the word and fire, which the two gentlemen did 
three times without harming each other, when the 
affair was brought to a termination, the friends of the 
two gentlemen making the following statement: 

After an exchange of three ineffectual shots between the 
Hon. William M. Gwin and Hon. J. W. McCorkle, the friends 
of the respective parties, having discovered that their prin- 
cipals were fighting under a misapprehension of facts, 
mutually explained to their respective principals in what the 
misapprehension consisted, whereupon Dr. Gwin promptly 
denied the cause of provocation referred to in Mr. McCorkle's 
letter of the 29Lh of May, and Mr. McCorkle withdrew his 
offensive language uttered on the race-course, and expressed 
regret at having used it. 

[Signed] S. W. INGE, 

F. STUART, 
E. C. MARSHALL, 
E. C. FITZHUGH, 
GEO. P. JOHNSON, 
June i, 1853. A. P. CRITTENDEN. 

In 1851, in Indiana, Lieutenant-Governor J. H. Lane 
and Colonel Ebenezer Dumont met with pistols, but 
the former withdrew his challenge on the field. 
Senator Clingman (of North Carolina) and Congress- 
man Yancey (of Alabama) once met near Washington 
and fired one shot at each other with pistols, when the 
seconds Ch. Lee Jones for Clingman, and Congress- 
man Huger (of South Carolina) for Yancey adjusted 
the matter satisfactorily. In 1851, in Georgia, H. Mor- 
gan and W. Henderson fired at each other twice, when 
their seconds terminated the affair. In the same 
State, in 1852, a similar meeting and like result took 
place between Thomas Daniels and Charles Ganahl. 
In 1854, in Arkansas, Hon. A. H. Davidson and Colonel 



BLOODLESS DUELS. 433 

W. M. Lindsay met with pistols, exchanged shots, and 
retired from the field friends. In 1868, in Maryland, 
General Lawrence (United States Minister to Costa 
Rica) and Baron Kusserow (of the Prussian Embassy) 
fiied at each other with pistols, without effect. 



434 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 
THE RAREST KIND OF BRAVERY. 

Conspicuous Examples of Men who have been and are Too 
Brave to Accept Challenges to Fight Duels A Courageous 
Frenchman Alexander Skinner Why Sam Houston Declined* 
to Meet Judge Burnett An Anecdote of Raleigh Sumner and 
Harney A Noble Interpretation of the Laws of Honor Sir 
John Dalrymple and Lord Barrington Lee's Challenge to Judge 
Drayton Reply of the Eminent South Carolinian Gunn's 
Challenges to Greene Stanley and Johnston of the Navy The 
Effect of Eloquence A Modern Virginian of First- Family Blood 
who will not Fight in Duels, and Why An Irish Veteran who 
Never Fought a Duel An Instructive and Interesting Story 
General Francis Marion's Courage Morton McMichael's Treat- 
ment of a Challenge from James Cooper A Challenge Poeti- 
cally Declined. 

WE can readily understand the position of the 
challenged person during the days of what was termed 
the established " code of honor ;" and can compre- 
hend, in all its truthfulness and force, the declaration 
of Senator Henry Clay that incomparable ornament 
to American statesmanship when he admitted (while 
favoring a Senate bill against duelling in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia) that " the man with a high sense of 
honor and nice sensibility, when the question is 
whether he shall fight or have the finger of scorn 
pointed at him, is irtiable to resist ; and few, very few, 
are found willing to adopt such an alternative." But 



THE RAREST KIND OF BRAVERY. 435 

there have lived many brave, chivalrous, and honor- 
able men among Americans, Englishmen, Irishmen, 
and Frenchmen in particular who have presented 
exhibitions of that greatest of all kinds of courage 
the courage to decline a challenge. 

Some 550 years before Christ, the King of Assyria 
declined to settle a difficulty by single combat with 
the King of Persia. Caesar once declined a challenge 
from Marc Antony. In 1195 Philip, King of France, 
took no notice of a cartel of defiance from John, King 
of England. In 1342 Edward the Third, of England, 
sent a challenge to Philip de Valois, King of France, 
which the latter declined. Sir Thomas Prendergast, 
an officer in the army of Queen Anne, was once chal- 
lenged by a brother-officer named Pennant, and de- 
clined the invitation. 

In 1589 the chivalric Earl of Essex challenged the 
Governor of Lisbon to meet him in a personal en- 
counter, on horse or on foot. But that official treated 
Essex's cartel of defiance with silent contempt. In 
1591 Essex challenged the Governor of Rouen to meet 
him, and decide by single combat which was the bet- 
ter man or which served the fairest mistress ; but 
that functionary declined. In 1850 Sir Thomas Hast- 
ings, a British admiral, challenged Hon. Richard 
Cobden, M.P. ; Mr. Cobden declined, however, and 
published the letter of challenge. In 1778 General 
Lafayette challenged the Earl of Carlisle, an Eng- 
lish Commissioner to the United States ; the Earl de- 
clined to give personal satisfaction for acts performed 
in the discharge of public duties. In 1853 the Earl of 
Mornington challenged the Earl of Shaftesbury for re- 
marks made in the House of Lords. The latter, how- 
ever, declared that, notwithstanding the impertinence 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

of the challenger, he spurned his letter of defiance, 
and would make no retraction ; whereupon the belli- 
cose Mornington subsided. In 1410 Henry the 
Fourth, of England, declined to meet the Scotch Duke 
of Rothsay in a personal encounter. In 1402 Henry 
declined a challenge from Louis, the Duke of Orleans, 
on the ground, so his majesty declared, that he knew 
" of no precedent which offered the example of a 
crowned king entering the lists to fight a duel with a 
subject, however high the rank of that subject might 
be." In 1196 Richard the First, of England, refused 
a like cartel of defiance from Philip the Second, of 
France. General Lemery, of New York, was chal- 
lenged by Monsieur Angero, in 1852, and declined ; 
partly on the ground that his official acts were not 
amenable on individual appeals for satisfaction, and 
partly because it would be a violation of his military 
rank, and also a violation of the law of the State of 
New York. On May 3, 1852, ex-Congressman John 
Barney, of Maryland, challenged Monsieur Sartiges, 
Minister of France to the United States, which the 
latter declined. 

During 1867, in a debate in the French Legislature 
upon books for a public library, M. St. Beuve took 
occasion to vindicate the character of the creations of 
George Sand, Ernest Renan, and Pelletan, when he 
was violently interrupted by M. Lacaze, but pursued 
the even tenor of his course just as though no rude- 
ness had been displayed. For this " offence" the cele- 
brated French scholar and critic was challenged to 
mortal combat not that he had actually insulted 
Monsieur Lacaze, but because he had, according to 
the latter's mercurial interpretation, " betrayed an in- 
tention to insult ; and such design should be unmis- 



THE RAREST KIND OF BRAVERY. 437 

takably considered as equivalent to the act" which 
reminds one of the anecdote of the Teuton who had 
thrashed his child Hans, not because the youngster 
had been profane, but that he had thought " Gott 
tarn." St. Beuve, however, declined to accept the 
challenge, but addressed to M. Lacaze an unimpas- 
sioned letter, setting forth his reasons for such action, 
in which he said that he preferred " not to accept 
that summary jurisprudence which consists in strang- 
ling a question and suppressing an individual at one 
and the same time. Our differences, sir, it seems to 
me, should be settled by free discussion ; for my own 
part, I propose to at least reflect before proceeding 
further ; for, if I mistake not, I shall break some laws 
which I have sworn to uphold and protect if I accede 
to your proposition. Besides, there is no gentleman 
among all my friends who understands properly the 
etiquette of duelling, which does not mean, sir, that 
they are the less men of honor, but that they have 
taken no degree of Doctor in Arms." Instead of act- 
ing the gentleman, upon receiving St. Beuve's excel- 
lent note, Lacaze raved and played the bully, and 
sent a second challenge, couched in furious terms, to 
which St. Beuve responded in less gentle but in no 
less dignified language. To use an Americanism, he 
"sat down" so ponderously upon " Sir Lucius O'Trig- 
ger" Lacaze, in expressing his absolute refusal to 
meet him in mortal combat, that the bellicose Gaul 
went off and " granulated." 

On the 25th of March, 1854, after an unusually warm 
debate in Congress between Hon. John C. Breckin- 
ridge, of Kentucky, and Hon. Francis B. Cutting, of 
New York, a "correspondence" passed between the 
two gentlemen, but a hostile meeting was prevented 



43 8 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

by the interposition of four courageous men Colonel 
Hawkins and Hon. William Preston, of Kentucky, on 
the part of Breckinridge, and Senator Shields, of 
Illinois, and Colonel Monroe, of New York, for Mr. 
Cutting. On October 25, 1803, after an exciting de- 
bate in the United States Senate (the day before), 
Senator Dayton, -of New Jersey, challenged Senator 
De Witt Clinton, of New York, who made a satisfac- 
tory explanation. In 1853 Hon. Richard H. Weight- 
man, Delegate to Congress from New Mexico, re- 
ceived a challenge from Francis J. Thomas, and 
treated it with contempt. In 1681 Mr. Williams, 
Speaker of the House of Commons, declined to re- 
ceive a challenge from Sir Robert Peyton. 

Alexander Skinner, a surgeon in the Revolutionary 
army, from Maryland, who had killed one man in a 
duel, declined all challenges thereafter, on the ground, 
he said, that "killing a fellow-man does not become 
me, set apart as I am to take care of the sick and the 
wounded, and to do all in my power to prolong and 
not to destroy human life." 

General Houston, after his meeting with General 
White, declined at least two, if not three or four, 
duels. He treated with indifference a challenge from 
Commodore E. W. Moore, of the Texan navy, in 1845; 
and in his remarks explaining why he declined a 
meeting with Judge Burnett he said : " I objected to 
it, first, on the ground that we were to have but one 
second, and that was the man who brought the chal- 
lenge. Another objection was that we were to meet 
on Sunday morning, and I did not think that any- 
thing was to be made by fighting on that day. The 
third objection was that he was a good Christian, 
and had had his child baptized the Sunday before. 



THE RAREST KIND OF BRA VER Y. 439 

The fourth was that I never fought down hill, and I 
never would. I must, at least, make character, if I 
did not lose my life ; and, therefore, I notified him in 
that way. He seemed to be satisfied with this good- 
humored answer, and it is the only challenge I have 
ever received in Texas. And I will avail myself of 
this occasion now to declare that I never made a 
quarrel with a mortal man on earth ; nor will I ever 
do anything to originate a quarrel with any man, 
woman, or child living. If they quarrel with me, it is 
their privilege ; but I shall try to take care that they do 
me no harm" 

The great Raleigh, after having killed a number of 
men in duels, at last made a solemn vow never again to 
send or accept a challenge ; and he kept his word. 
One day, however, a young man, while disput- 
ing with him, challenged Raleigh, and then spat in 
his face ; at which Sir Walter took out his handker- 
chief, and, wiping his face, said : " Young man, if I 
could as easily wipe from my conscience the stain of 
killing you as I can this spittle from my face, you 
should not live another minute." 

General Sumner, who fell in battle during the War 
of the Rebellion, once sent a challenge to General 
Harney, who not only declined to accept it, but saw 
to it that his distinguished antagonist was court-mar- 
tialled, the proceedings of which took place at Carlisle 
Barracks (Pa.). Harney was also once challenged by 
Lieutenant Ihrie, U. S. A. 

Two French noblemen (the Marquis de Valaze 
and the Count de Merci), who had been educated and 
brought up together, and who had never stained 
their attachment by word or act, one evening quar- 
relled in a gaming-house, during which the Count, in 



440 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

a fit of rage superinduced by ill-success at play and 
frequent indulgence in burgundy, threw a dice-box in 
the face of his friend, who had exulted a good deal 
over his own good luck. In an instant the entire com- 
pany were in amazement, and awaited breathlessly 
the moment in which the Marquis would plunge his 
sword into the bosom of the offender, or invite the 
Count to meet him in mortal combat. But the Mar- 
quis did neither. How, then, did he interpret the 
prevailing laws of honor? Nobly? Yes. "Gentle- 
men," he exclaimed, coolly and grandly, "I am a 
Frenchman, a soldier, and a friend. I have received 
a blow from a Frenchman, a soldier, and a friend. I 
know and I acknowledge the laws of honor, and will 
obey them. Every man who sees me wonders why I 
am tardy in putting to death the author of my dis- 
grace. But, gentlemen, the heart of that man is en- 
twined with my own. Our days, our education, our 
temperaments, and our friendships are coeval. But, 
Frenchmen, I will obey the laws of honor and of 
France, and stab my assailant to the heart.'* So say- 
ing, the Marquis threw his arms around his unhappy 
friend, and said : " My dear De Merci, I forgive you ? 
if you deign to forgive me for the irritations I have 
given to a sensitive mind by the levity of my own." 
This noble conduct was applauded by all present; the 
pardon of the Count was sealed by the embraces of 
the Marquis, and the king so far approved of the 
conduct of the two friends that he gave them the 
cordon bleu. 

In the year 1778 Sir John Dalrymple one of the 
Barons of the Court of Exchequer in Scotland wrote 
three letters to Lord Barrington, then Secretary at 
War, arraigning his lordship's official conduct with 



THE RAREST KIND OF BRA' VERY. 44! 

respect to a younger brother of the former, who had 
unquestionably been badly used by the Secretary. 
In reply, Harrington sent Sir John a message de- 
manding the satisfaction due from one gentleman to 
another under such circumstances. This was de- 
clined by Sir John, who, among other things, said : 
"In the first place, your lordship knows perfectly well 
that, by my oath of office, I cannot accept a challenge 
or fight a duel. If, therefore, you send me a challenge 
in Scotland, and I am apprised of its contents, I will 
return it to you unopened," etc. 

Shortly after his duel with Colonel Laurens, Gen- 
eral Charles Lee became embroiled in a quarrel with 
William Henry Drayton, Chief-Justice of South Caro- 
lina, and challenged him to mortal combat. The hon- 
orable Judge declined the meeting, however, and re- 
plied by saying that he was not bound " to sacrifice his 
public reputation and outrage public character merely 
to gratify General Lee in the line of his profession." 

In 1785 Captain Gunn, of Georgia, challenged Gen- 
eral Nathaniel Greene, who declined. Upon the re- 
ceipt of Greene's letter of refusal, Gunn sent a second 
hostile invitation, which was treated as before. Gunn 
then threatened a personal assault, to which Greene 
replied that he always carried pistols. Under some 
apprehension, however, that his conduct might be 
misinterpreted, General Greene acquainted General 
Washington with a detailed description of the whole 
affair, and besought his written opinion, to which 
Washington replied : " I give it as my opinion that 
your honor and reputation will stand not only per- 
fectly acquitted with the non-acceptance of Gunn's 
challenge, but that your prudence and judgment 
would have been condemned by accepting it be- 



44 2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

cause, if an officer is amenable to the private difficul- 
ties which the discharge of his duty may occasion, he 
can never move to the right or left, as there are few 
military decisions which are not offensive to one party 
or another." 

In 1850 a misunderstanding arose between Fabius 
Stanley and Zechariah F. Johnston, officers of the 
United States Navy, after which the former sent the 
latter a challenge, which was declined. Subsequently 
Stanley " posted " Johnston at the National Hotel, 
Washington (D. C.), as a coward, and was afterward 
tried by court-martial and dismissed from the navy. 

Among other eminent Americans who have de- 
clined to fight duels may be mentioned George Wash- 
ington ; General Adair ; John Randolph, who re- 
ceived many challenges, and who fought with Clay ; 
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, who once acted as 
second (for General Howe) ; Senator Robert Barn- 
well Rhett, although the provocations and insinua- 
tions by Senator Clemens were very exasperating ; 
and a number of others. 

Michael Le Fancheur, a French Protestant minis- 
ter of the seventeenth century, once preached against 
duelling so eloquently and energetically that the 
Marquis de la Force, who was present (as were also 
many other military men), declared, in the presence 
of all assembled, that he would never thereafter chal- 
lenge a man to mortal combat or accept a challenge. 
And the brave soldier kept his word thanks to the 
charms of Fancheur's animated delivery, reasoning, 
and pathos. 

Early in 1884 John S. Wise (member of Congress 
from the Richmond district of Virginia) published in 
the Richmond (Va.) Whig a card repeating his reso- 



THE RAREST KIND OF BRAVERY. 443 

lution never again to recognize the practice of duel- 
ling. He makes this declaration public, he says, be- 
cause there are those who expect him to resent 
several assaults of late appearing in newspapers, 
especially in the paper called the Campaign. In refer- 
ence to W. Page McCarty, Mr. Wise says : " He may 
play Sir Lucius OTrigger to his heart's content, 
boasting of his ancestry (every one of whom has 
killed his man), his family portraits and honor, but he 
must find somebody else than me to kill him. With 
a sweet home, filled with merry children, with enough 
to live comfortably, with a paying profession, I am 
happy and want to live. In God's name, what would 
a man like Page McCarty put in stake against this 
when we stood at ten paces with pistols ? His abuse 
of me has no more effect than a dog barking at the 
moon. His invitation comes too late. Time has 
been when I might have been fool enough to indulge 
in such folly, but with age, and a broader view of life 
and its responsibilities and duties, I have bidden fare- 
well forever to the McCarty type of manhood." 

A general officer of the British army, who had 
been forty odd years in the service and an Irishman 
at that and who used to boast that he had never 
sent or accepted of a single challenge, used to relate 
the manner in which he was wont to meet and satisfy 
demands of this sort : " I once provoked the resent- 
ment of a brother-officer, who was much respected 
and beloved by all the corps. His behavior upon 
some occasions I esteemed in a slight degree repre- 
hensible, in the expression of which I used a term of 
more opprobrious import than I apprehended. Fired 
at the supposed affront, he retorted first the injuri- 
ous words, then quitted the company, and sent me a 



444 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

challenge. I returned him word that I hoped upon 
explanation he would not compel me to fight, yet 
would meet him immediately, according to appoint- 
ment. I went, attended by all the witnesses of my 
unguarded expression ; and before these I readily 
took the shame to myself, and apologized for utter- 
ances that ought not to have been made. But as I 
began to assume an air of expostulation, in my turn, 
he reddened, hesitated a moment, then drew his 
sword, advanced, and obliged me to defend myself, 
which I did, against a desperate thrust, with mine in 
the scabbard. He no sooner perceived that circum- 
stance than he surprised us all by throwing his sword 
away, bursting into a flood of tears, and throwing 
himself on his knees, in speechless agitation of mind. 
I at once raised him and embraced him, which affec- 
tionate act he returned cordially, and forever after- 
ward we were perfect friends." 

The Danziger Zeitung (says the Hebrew Leader] re- 
ports an instructive story of a challenge to a duel 
the scene of which was laid in the little town of Ro- 
senberg, in the province of West Prussia. A civil offi- 
cial, who is said to be a modern Draco in his small 
sphere, gave great offence to a lieutenant who had 
appeared as a witness in some local quarrel. They 
had some correspondence over the matter, in which 
the civilian had evidently the best of it, for he re- 
ceived a letter from the young lieutenant which con- 
tained the following words : " With the pen you are 
more than a match for me ; but I have various swords 
at home with which I can justify my views of you 
better than with a pen. I offer you the choice of one 
of them, that we may continue our argument on more 
equal terms." The official replied that he had not 



THE RAREST KIND OF BRAVERY. 44$ 

used a sword for many years, and that he supposed 
the invitation to a duel was a boyish joke. Here- 
upon the lieutenant declared that he was never more 
in earnest, that his honor must be vindicated, and 
that he was quite willing to try conclusions with pis- 
tols. The civilian answered that if fighting were 
absolutely necessary he could not refuse the chal- 
lenge, but that he was bound to- make one prelimi- 
nary condition. " I have, as you well know," he 
wrote, "a wife and five children, for whom I am 
bound to care in the event of my death at your 
hands. My present yearly income is forty-five hun- 
dred marks. I require you to pay over to a bank a 
capital sum the interest of which will correspond to 
my present income, so that it may yield a livelihood 
to my widow and fatherless children. For this pur- 
pose ninety thousand marks will exactly suffice." 
The young fire-eater replied that he had no property 
beyond his pay, and that he could not possibly raise 
so immense a sum. " In that case," wrote his antag- 
onist, " I fear that our duel can never take place. A 
man who has nothing to lose except his own life will 
scarcely expect me to allow him to shoot me and to 
beggar my widow and children without any sort of 
equivalent." The correspondence closed with some 
fatherly and common-sense advice to the thoughtless 
young sabre-rattler, who was eventually brought to 
acknowledge the absurdity of the situation. 

General Francis Marion while in service at the 
South, during the Revolutionary War, expelled two 
officers from his brigade for numerous offences 
against humanity, and posted upon trees and houses, 

in public places, proclamations that Major and 

Captain were robbers and thieves, and as out- 



44 6 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

laws might be killed wherever found. One of them 
challenged him to single combat ; but he treated the 
call with contempt. Subsequently Marion received a 
cartel from Major Mcllraith, of the royal army, to 
meet in combat in the open field. Marion, in reply, 
expressed his readiness for a fight between twenty 
picked soldiers on each side, according to the custom 
of the days of chivalry. Mcllraith assented, and 
agreed upon a spot near an oak-tree (which was 
standing in 1821) ; but after the parties had been 
selected, and formed for combat, he reconsidered the 
matter, and withdrew his own men without firing a 
gun. 

In 1854 Hon. Morton McMichael (editor of the 
Philadelphia North American and United States Ga- 
zette] was challenged by Hon. James Cooper, U. S. 
Senator from Pennsylvania, and declined. 

In 1826, at Andover (England), Messrs. Fleet and 
Mann (attorneys) fell out at a meeting under a com- 
mission of bankruptcy, and on the 24th of July the 
former (a bachelor) sent the latter (a married man) 
a challenge, which was poetically declined as follows : 

I am honored this day, sir, with challenges two, 
The first from friend Langdon, the second from you ; 
As the one is \.Q fight, and the other to dine, 
I accept his " engagement," and yours must decline. 
Now, in giving this preference, I trust you'll admit 
I have acted with prudence, and done what was fit, 
Since encountering him, and my weapon a knife, 
There is some little chance of preserving my life ; 
Whilst a bullet from you, sir, might take it away, 
And the maxim, you know, is to live while you may. 
If, however, you still should suppose I ill-treat you 
By sternly rejecting this challenge to meet you. 



THE RAREST KIND OF BRAVERY. 447 

Bear with me a moment, and I will adduce 
Three powerful reasons by way of excuse : 
In the first place, unless I am grossly deceived, 
I myself am in conscience the party aggrieved ; 
And therefore, good sir, if a challenge must be, 
Pray wait till that challenge be tendered by me. 
Again, sir, I think it by far the more sinful 
To stand and be shot than to sit for a skinful ; 
From whence you'll conclude (as I'd have you indeed) 
That fighting composes not part of my creed 
And my courage (which, though it was never disputed, 
Is not, I imagine, too, too deeply rooted) 
Would prefer that its fruit, sir, whate'er it may yield, 
Should appear at "the table," and not in " the field" 
And lastly, my life, be it never forgot, 
Possesses a value which yours, sir, does not; 
So I mean to preserve it as long as I can, 
Being justly entitled " a family Mann" 
With three or four children (I scarce know how many), 
Whilst you, sir, have not, or ought not to have, any. 
Besides, that the contest would be too unequal, 
I doubt not will plainly appear by the sequel : 
For e'en_y0# must acknowledge it would not be meet 
That one small " Mann of war" should engage " a whole 
Fleet? 



44 8 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 

Conspicuous American, French, English, and Irish Duellists 
John Smith and Colonel McClung Duellists who were little 
less than Murderers Royal Cut-Throats Spectacular Combats 
Duelling for the Very Love of it A Group of Dashing but 
Dangerous Fellows De Cassagnac and De Montebello An 
Anecdote of Ludovico de Piles D'Andrieux's Seventy-third 
Victim How Gideon Croquard was Killed The Diogenes of 
the Palais Royal A Renowned Type of the Belligerent Jour- 
nalist A Genteel and Insinuating Type of Scoundrel 
Parisian Swordswomen Jean Louis, the Master of the Foil 
and Most Remarkable Swordsman of Any Time His First Duel 
His Career in the Army of Napoleon I. His Wonderful Per- 
formance at Madrid in the Presence of the French Army and 
almost the Entire Population of the Spanish Capital He 
Fights and Kills or Severely Wounds Thirteen Italian Masters 
of the Sword He Leaves the French Service at the Age of 
Sixty-five and Dies at the Age of Eighty, almost totally Blind 
The Method of Jean Louis still Adhered to by Vigeant and the 
Other Parisian Fencing- Professors of the Present Day Noted 
English Duellists Lord Herbert of Cherbury Sir Henry 
Urton's Challenge Notable Incidents of English Chivalry 
Irish Duellists One Sand-Mark Only Left The "Happy 
Hunting-Ground of Satisfaction" Famous Duellists of All 
Countries. 

THERE are duellists and duellists. Webster defines 
duellist as " One who fights in single combat;" and 
Worcester, as "One who fights duels." According to 
these high authorities or, at least, according to Wor- 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 449 

cester all men who have fought duels have been or are 
duellists. This is neither an agreeable nor an accept- 
able conclusion. We assume that the great majority 
of men who have fought duels particularly during 
the past one hundred years are not duellists; just as 
there are gentlemen who sometimes engage in street- 
fights or get the worst of it with John Barleycorn who 
are neither fighters nor drunkards. Hume defines 
duellist as follows: " One who always values himself 
upon his courage, his sense of honor, his fidelity and 
friendship." Even this is not entirely satisfactory. 
We should define duellist thus: "A professional 
fighter of duels; an admirer and advocate of the 
code duello." Neither Hamilton, Burr, Cilley, Graves, 
Houston, Barron, Broderick, nor Terry was a profes- 
sional duellist. A number of these gentlemen were 
"dead shots," and some of them or others who might 
be mentioned practised at marks immediately pre- 
ceding their hostile encounters; yet none of these 
were duellists, in the proper acceptation of the term. 
Stephen Decatur, who was principal in two duels, and 
who was also second in two or three, and who be- 
lieved in the adjustment of private quarrels according 
to the code duello, was really averse to duelling, and 
maintained that he was no duellist. John Smith, the 
Father of Virginia, was a professional duellist, and 
killed a score of men while in the service of Ferdinand, 
Archduke of Austria. The following anecdote is re- 
lated of Smith: 

Early in the seventeenth or near the close of the sixteenth 
century, while Smith was in the service of Ferdinand, Arch- 
duke of Austria, the Turks gave a challenge to any single 
officer of the Austrians, saying that the Lord Turbisha would 
fight a Christian " for the diversion of the ladies." The 



45 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

choice in the Austrian camp was by lot, and fell upon 
Smith, who fought and slew the Turk " within sight of the 
ladies" assembled on the ramparts, and carried his head to 
camp. Thereupon a friend of Turbisha sent a particular 
defiance to Smith, who, to divert the Turkish ladies still 
further, accepted it, met his antagonist, and killed him also. 
The victor then sent a message to the fair spectators that, if 
bent on still another combat for their amusement, they were 
welcome to his head provided they would find a champion 
to take it. Bonamlegro accordingly appeared. In this con- 
test Smith was dismounted and nearly overcome, but, regain- 
ing his saddle, he inflicted a mortal wound, and was thus a 
third time victorious. 

One of the most noted and most dangerous of 
American duellists was Colonel McClung, a fellow- 
officer with Jeff. Davis in the First Mississippi Rifles, 
and who served with distinction in the Mexican War. 
McClung came of a good Virginia family, being a 
nephew of Chief-Justice Marshall; but when under 
the influence of liquor was morose and dictatorial. 
He moved to Mississippi in 1834, and had been in the 
State only a few months when he became involved in 
a quarrel with Colonel Allen, one of the most beloved 
and honored men in Mississippi. It was "a trivial 
quarrel, but McClung refused to allow of any settle- 
ment, and brought the affair to a duel. The terms 
were such as would have seemed extraordinary to the 
Creole admirers of the code, says some writer, and it 
is doubtful whether they would have recognized it as 
a legitimate duel. The two antagonists were to stand 
forty paces apart, armed with bowie-knife and pistol, 
and were to advance on each other, firing at discretion. 
Allen kept his pistol covering McClung as he slowly 
advanced upon him. What was the surprise of the 
audience to see McClung suddenly raise his pistol, 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 451 

aim and fire at a distance of over one hundred feet! 
Allen fell to the ground, shot through the mouth and 
mortally wounded. McClung's shot on this occasion is 
the best on record in a Southern duel, one hundred 
feet being a much longer range than the duelling- 
pistol is suited to. This was only one of McClung's 
many affairs, in all of which his opponents were killed, 
one of them being his own cousin. His last fight was 
with a young man by the name of Menefee, who was 
killed. 

Andrew Jackson, Charles Lee, Henry S. Foote, and 
a great many other eminent Americans, had the repu- 
tation of being duellists and so they were, according 
to Webster; so, also, according to the same authority, 
were Cain and Abel, David and Goliath, Jonathan 
and Pudens and ^Eneas and Diomede. The reader 
may satisfy himself on this point, if he can. . 

There have lived many French duellists who were 
little less than murderers De Vitaux himself having 
killed a score of men, at least a number of whom 
were of the gilded youth of the French capital. 
Goumelieu took great pleasure in killing young men, 
two of his victims (one of whom was Vitaux's brother) 
having been under sixteen years of age. Goumelieu 
was afterward killed by the elder Vitaux. The latter, 
however, who had been known as the paragon swords- 
man of France, was at last despatched by Baron de 
Mittaud. Du Vighan, one of the most charming 
men of his day, was a noted duellist, but was sent to 
his last account by Baron d'Ugeon, who wounded Du 
Vighan in three places, from which wounds the latter 
died. Bourcicaut, Crillon, Saint Phal, and De Cler- 
mont were among the royal cut-throats of the reign 
of Henry III., and were notable experts with the 



45 2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

sword. Bussy d'Amboise never lost an opportunity 
of provoking a meeting, but he was at last over- 
matched. 

Inequality of arms was not always regarded among 
French duellists as murderous or unchivalrous after 
the decline of judicial duelling. The challenged per- 
son, having a right to choose his weapons, often en- 
deavored to devise such as would give him a de- 
cidedly unfair advantage. Brantome records with 
applause the ingenuity of a little man who, being 
challenged by a tall Gascon, made choice of a gorget 
so constructed that his gigantic adversary could not 
stoop his neck so as to aim his blows right. Another 
had two swords forged of a temper so extremely brit- 
tle that, unless used with particular caution and in a 
manner to which he daily exercised himself, the blade 
must necessarily fly in pieces. Both these ingenious 
persons killed their man with very little risk or 
trouble, and with no less applause, it would seem, 
than if they had fought without any guile; such was 
the degenerate spirit of the times. 

It was during the reign of Henry III. that the cele- 
brated duel between Quelus and D'Entragues was 
fought, near the Porte St. Antoine, in which the 
former was mortally and the latter dangerously 
wounded. In a moment after the two principals had 
crossed swords, Riberac (one of the seconds of Quelus) 
and Maugerin (one of D'Entragues' seconds) drew 
their weapons and went at each other furiously and 
continued fighting until both fell dead. Schomberg 
(another second of Quelus), a German, after surveying 
the bloody field, proposed a " finish" to Livaret (the 
remaining second), and nearly cut off the whole side 
of the face of the Frenchman at the first slash; but, 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 453 

in return, was run through the body by Livaret, who 
fell afterward in a duel with the Marquis de Pienne, 
the latter being assassinated by a valet of Livaret 
while leaving the field. It will be seen that four out 
of the six combatants in this duel were stretched out 
cold, while the other two were wounded, one mor- 
tally and the other severely. 

Although Louis XIII. frowned upon the custom, 
duelling was carried on through his reign with no 
evidences of abatement. The nobility, in particular, 
even more than army officers, caught the infectious 
complaint. It was during this king's reign that duel- 
ling became more and more spectacular, from the fact 
that there were seldom encounters in which there 
were not two or more seconds who participated. 
When Montmorency le Comte de Botteville fought De 
Beuvron in the Palais Royal, in 1627, there were two 
seconds on each side, one of whom (De Bussy) was 
killed outright and the other (La Bertha) mortally 
wounded. The principals fought more than an hour 
with swords and daggers, and at last fell from wounds 
and exhaustion; but both recovered. De Botteville 
killed a number of noted duellists during his time, 
among whom were the Comte de Pontgibaud, Le 
Comte de Thorigny, Marquis de Portes, La Frete, and 
others. He was at last tried for murder, and shortly 
afterward closed his career on the guillotine, at the 
instigation of Cardinal Richelieu. 

In 1652, during the reign of Louis XIV., Due de 
Nemours and Due de Beaufort fought a duel with 
swords and pistols, near Versailles, with four seconds 
each; and besides Nemours, who was shot dead, one 
of his seconds (D'Henricourt) was killed by Marquis 
de Villars, and also one of Beaufort's seconds (De Riz) 



454 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

by the Due d'Uzerches. Later a duel took place be- 
tween Le Comte de Coligny and De Guise, in the 
Place Royale, and Coligny and his second (De 
Bridieu) were both mortally wounded. In 1660 
Rochefort, Des Planches, D'Harcourt, De Rieux, La 
Frete, and De Chalaix were all expert swordsmen. In 
1663 the two latter quarrelled at a soiree, and after- 
ward met with three seconds each, all of whom fought 
with swords or daggers and wounded each other; 
and the two very men whom the king sent to prevent 
the duel took sides and participated in the contest. 
So incensed was the king at such gross misdemeanor 
that the parties all skipped by the light of the moon 
to avoid merited punishment. 

Later, in France, came the Marquis de Donza, who 
was executed for killing his brother-in-law; Brisseuil, 
Richebourg, Du Chamilly, D'Aydie, Bonton, the 
Comte de Gace, De Richelieu (that fascinating and 
wondrous character, over whom even women fought, 
and who became a Marshal of France, who, it is esti- 
mated, killed seventeen expert swordsmen during his 
career and was himself wounded but once by Mar- 
quis d'Aumount), De Soissons, De Guerchy, D'Eon, 
and the Marquis de Tenteniac most of these in 
Louis the Fifteenth's reign. In 1785 the Comte de 
Gersdoff and M. le Favre fought with pistols, but 
neither was hurt. In 1826 the Marquis de Livron 
and M. du Trone fought on horseback with sabres, 
and both were wounded. Since then there have come 
conspicuously to the front many noted French duel- 
lists whose names are familiar to readers of to-day 
Emile de Girardin, Fayan, Garnarey, Barthelemy, 
Dumas, Trobriant, De Clemenceau, Henri Rochefort, 
and Paul de Cassagnac being among the best known. 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 455 

M. Paul de Cassagnac is to-day the most distin- 
guished and most dangerous duellist living, and is an 
expert with sword and pistol. His meeting with M. 
de Montebello, in 1883, was described briefly as follows 
in a Paris despatch to the London Daily Telegraph: 

The duel fought yesterday between M. Paul de Cassagnac 
and M. Adrien de Montebello is, after the ministerial crisis, 
the event of the day. There has been for some time a bitter 
grudge between the two, which was aggravated by M. de 
Montebello's attempt during the elections to wrest the con- 
stituency of Mariadne, originally represented by M. Granier 
de Cassagnac, from his son. The contest was keen, but the 
Bonapartist triumphed, nevertheless. For some weeks 
there seems to have been a sort of truce, but M. Paul de 
Cassagnac took offence at M. de Montebello congratulating 
M. Clemen ceau on his attack on the government, and on 
the following day the Pays appeared with a furious article 
against M. Leon Say's chief secretary, from its impetuous edi- 
tor's own pen. The insult was too gross to be passed over, 
and M. Adrien de Montebello accordingly at once de- 
spatched two of his friends the Vicomte de Saint Pierre, 
Senator, and M. Casimir Perier, Deputy to M. Paul de 
Cassagnac for the purpose of arranging the preliminaries of 
a hostile encounter. These gentlemen were promptly joined 
by Georges Brame, Deputy, and Commander Blanc, acting 
for M. de Cassagnac, and it was settled that the duel should 
take place on Saturday afternoon at 1.30 at M. Buloz's 
estate at Epinay-sur-Seine. Punctual to the minute, prin- 
cipals and seconds appeared at the trysting-place yesterday, 
but it was soon perceived that the ground selected would 
not suit, and an hour was spent in search of a better arena. 
Finally a spot was found that answered every requirement, 
and the adversaries were soon face to face with each other. 
It was a battle of giants. M. de Cassagnac is a big, heavy 
man, rather over than under six feet in height, but he is 
small in comparison to M. de Montebello, who actually 
towers above him, though of a very spare build. Both are 



456 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

very strong and admirable fencers, but the Bonapartist 
proved himself the better man of the two. After a pass or 
two, a blue vest worn by M. de Montebello was pierced by 
his adversary's sword, and he exclaimed that he thought he 
was touched in the breast. The doctor examined the place, 
but found no wound, and the combat was continued. It 
was at the fifth pass that M. de Montebello was wounded in 
the right arm, M. de Cassagnac's weapon penetrating to the 
very bone. He dropped his sword, and M. de Cassagnac, 
turning to his seconds, remarked that he thought it was all 
over, as he felt that he had struck home. His prediction 
proved correct, the doctor refusing to allow the combat to 
be continued. It is affirmed that M. de Cassagnac has 
declared that, although he had already fought sixteen duels, 
he had never had such trouble with an adversary before. 

It is said of the renowned French swordsmen, 
Ludovico de Piles and his brother, that, one day, while 
journeying toward Paris, they stopped over at an 
inn at Valence, and, seeing a spit turning, ordered 
supper. " I can only give you* crackers and cheese," 
said the landlord. " Only crackers and cheese !" 
cried Ludovico, in anger and surprise; "pray, sir, 
whose meat is that on the spit ?" " It belongs to four 
French officers." " Tell them that two French gen- 
tlemen will join them." The landlord carried out 
his instructions, but soon returned with a reply that 
"the officers decline." "They, do? Ah! bring us 
some crackers and cheese, and have an apartment 
prepared for us for the night." The brothers arose 
early the next morning and were soon on their way 
toward Paris. All of a sudden Ludovico stopped and 
said to his brother: " I have left my purse at Valence. 
I will return for it, while you go your way slowly, 
and I'll overtake you before evening." He then hur- 
ried to Valence, challenged the four officers, and 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 457 

killed them all, one after the other. He rejoined his 
brother just before dinner-time, but did not mention 
the episode we have described. Indeed, it was a year 
before the latter heard of it, and then it was from 
Cardinal Mazarin. These brothers De Piles fought 
many duels, but were never hurt. 

The Chevalier d'Andrieux, who flourished during 
the reign of Louis the Thirteenth, at the age of thirty 
had killed seventy-two men. Upon meeting his 
seventy-third adversary, the latter said, " Chevalier, 
you will be my tenth man." " And you will be my 
seventy-third," answered D'Andrieux; which proved 
to be true, for his antagonist was laid on the grass 
dead in a minute. A notorious fellow named Gautier, 
after disarming his men and then offering them their 
lives if they would renounce their hopes of salvation, 
often cut their throats, for the purpose, as he claimed, 
of killing them, body and soul. Baron d'Aspremont 
once fought and killed three men in one day. Once, 
in a duel of three against three, Baron de Bipon 
killed his man, and then went to the assistance of the 
others on his side. 

Captain Gideon Croquard, who had killed two 
masters, and who was rated as one of the most ac- 
complished swordsmen of his day in France, lost his 
life by coming in contact with the wall of a room in 
which he was fighting with St. Foix. These two 
famous duellists met at a cafe, where St. Foix had or- 
dered a repast, and which, after some fine fencing, 
he agreed to share with Croquard, " except the des- 
sert," said St. Foix; " only one of us two must partake 
of that you understand ?" Again their blades came 
in collision, and in a short time, while being pressed 
vigorously, Croquard's arm came in contact with the 



458 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

wall and, quick as a flash, St. Foix's gleaming steel 
passed through his body. St. Foix declared that the 
death - thrust was accidental, and had Croquard 
buried at his (the survivor's) expense. St. Foix was 
born at Rennes, and died at an advanced age. The 
Chevalier Chanderclos-Laclos, who was an unprin- 
cipled plotter against Louis XVI., was a blood-thirsty 
duellist, and died at Tarenta in 1803. 

During the early part of the reign of Louis 
Philippe there lived in France a singular character 
named Duclos, who had fought successfully eight- 
teen duels before reaching his thirtieth birthday. He 
was a poor devil, but an expert with the sword. He 
was often seen in public places, hatless and shirtless, 
and in later years was known as the "Diogenes of the 
Palais Royal." He lived to an advanced age, but 
was found one morning dead (with his sword drawn), 
having perished during the preceding night from the 
effects of cold and starvation. 

In his day the most renowned type of the bellige- 
rent journalist was Cyrano de Bergerac, who never 
appeared upon the boulevards or in other public 
places without a pen in his felt hat and with his 
hand upon his rapier. M. de Treville, an accom- 
plished swordsman, fought twenty duels with actors 
and authors in half as many years. Martainsville, 
Dessessarts, and Dazincourt (all actors) were excel- 
lent fellows with the sword, and had each received 
cuts in other than fictitious duels. 

Monsieur Fayot flourished in Paris from 1820 to 
1850 as an accomplished duellist, being a good swords- 
man and a dead shot with the pistol. He once 
wounded the well-known General Fournier, one of 
the best swordsmen of France and noted for having 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 459 

killed eleven men in duels. Fayot fought seventy- 
nine duels in the space of ten years, and received 
during that time only one serious wound. This 
notorious duellist had a very polite way of hitting an 
adversary in the knee (if fighting with pistols) and of 
then bowing himself off the field and into his tilbury. 
He generally preferred the morning say between the 
hours of ten and twelve as the time for fighting, 
while his favorite ground was at the well in the Bois 
de Boulogne, near Auteuil. During the revolution of 
1830 Eugene Buffault, Godefroi, Cavignac, Armand 
Cassel, Roux-Laborie, Marrart, Gardenier, Louis 
Veuillot, and many other noted Parisian duellists 
made patriotic use of their swords. 

There have lived many famous svvordswomen in 
France, conspicuous among whom, at different times, 
were Madame de Chateau-Gay, who was perfect mis- 
tress of the rapier; there was also La Donze, who killed 
two professionals at Auvergne. La Baupre and La des 
Nilis were both experts with the sword; while La 
Maupin, disguised in male attire, at a bal masque 
killed three clever Parisian swordsmen in one night. 
What training may accomplish with women is, per- 
haps, best shown in Vigeant's account of Jean Louis' 
daughter who is, by far, the most excellent and ex- 
traordinary swordswoman that ever lived. 

Jean Louis, although he never wrote anything 
about the art of fencing, which he so elevated by his 
talent, was the greatest master in this art of the 
present century. The school founded by Jean Louis 
will live forever, and the fundamental principles he 
has set forth will be transmitted from generation to 
generation. The father of Vigeant, the greatest 
French fencing-master now living, was one of the most 



460 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

devoted pupils of Jean Louis, and from the narratives 
of the elder Vigeant his son has recently published a 
book and biography of the great master under the 
title Un Maitre d'Armes sous la Restauration. 

Jean Louis is heard of, first, in 1796 the fifth year 
of the first French Republic as a small, feeble-look- 
ing child (a mulatto), born on the island of San 
Domingo, of unknown parents Jean Louis being 
only the Christian name. He arrived in France and 
was instructed at Montauban in the Protestant reli- 
gion, to which he adhered with a fanatic zeal, reading 
secretly the Bible in a cellar when the revolutionists 
persecuted all religionists. He was admitted in 1796 
as a pupil of a regiment, " though at first objected to 
on account of his brown complexion and fragile phy- 
sical appearance." But Jean Louis soon developed 
wonderful talents during the lessons he received in 
fencing, and Monsieur d'Erape, the noted fencing- 
master of the regiment (a Belgian nobleman), was 
thereby attracted to the precocious child, and soon 
himself undertook the instruction of the boy, for 
whom he predicted a brilliant career. 

And he was not mistaken. Jean Louis developed into 
a wonderful disciple of the art cTescrime. He was of 
rapid, simple execution in all his movements, and, using 
only parades simples, could always with advantage 
combat fantastical and dangerous tricks of the mod- 
ern inventors. "Jean Louis," said one of his ad- 
mirers, "omitted everything that was superfluous; 
the affected salutations, the contre-coups, the capricious 
pauses, all .shocked him, and appeared to him unwor- 
thy of such a serious art. One admires both his 
simple, natural, and well-becoming defence, and the 
development and rapidity of his attack, his sure 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 

judgment, his impassibility in the defensive, as also 
the regularity, even in the most unforeseen circum- 
stances, of all his movements, which followed each 
other like the rings of a chain." "The general 
suppleness of the body and the facility of the hand," 
Jean Louis said, himself, " and an accurate and ready 
conception, constituted the principal qualities of the 
master who has made me what I am. I think I have 
succeeded in obtaining these qualities by the force of 
my will, by work, and also by reflection." 

In 1804, at the moment when the French Empire 
had been proclaimed, Jean Louis had reached his 
eighteenth year. Already he was an expert in fenc- 
ing whom few could rival. Although Napoleon I. did 
not like the duel, the habit of continual war had in- 
troduced it in the army to such an extent that its 
suppression was impossible. And a young man 
like Jean Louis, fortified by a strong physical educa- 
tion, and every day electrified by the new victories of 
the armies of Napoleon, could not remain indifferent 
to this taste for the combat in duel. He therefore 
had frequently such meetings, but none to give him 
remorse, as his wonderful adroitness served him as 
well for his adversary's protection as for his own. 

In the city where his regiment was stationed he con- 
tinually obtained great triumphs in the fencing-hall. 
An habitual attendant at their public displays of 
regimental skill, who imagined himself a better 
artist in the use of the sword than Jean Louis, one day, 
from jealousy, insulted Jean Louis by loud derogatory 
remarks to his friends. At last Jean Louis thought 
it worth while to ask him if he intended those re- 
marks for him, and whether he was seeking a chal- 
lenge. The boasting individual replied that he did, 



42 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

and added contemptuously: " The sword is not made 
for your mulatto hand, Monsieur of the foil." Jean 
Louis preserved his calmness and consented to a 
duel, under one condition; namely, that while his 
adversary should use the sword, he himself would 
choose the foil with a button on its point. Enraged 
at this proposition, which he considered an insult, 
the other accepted; and in vain the friends of Jean 
Louis tried to dissuade him from such an uneven 
fight, and called him crazy. " I am so little crazy," 
replied Jean Louis, "that I shall, under the stipulated 
conditions, to-morrow administer Monsieur the pun- 
ishment to which he is entitled." 

On the following day the two adversaries met with 
sword and foil. Jean Louis did nothing but parry 
for a while the furious blows which the other tried 
to deal him; then suddenly, improving the opportu- 
nity of a violent attack from his adversary, he dealt 
him by a counter-movement such a blow in the face 
that the unfortunate man fell on his back terribly cut 
and with the blood running down from the wound. 
The wounded man never again placed himself in the 
way of the mulatto. 

While the foregoing duel was fought during the 
youth of Jean Louis, he had later another or, rather, 
others, as they occurred on the same day which re- 
minds one of the combat of Roland of which Victor 
Hugo tells in his Legende des Siedes. In 1814 Jean 
Louis was still in the army, which he had not left 
since 1796. He had been in more than thirty battles 
in Egypt, Italy, Prussia, and Russia. We now find 
him in Spain (in Madrid) as the first fencing-master 
of the Thirty-second Regiment, then invading Spain. 
This regiment formed part of the Third Division of 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 463 

the French army which had just entered Madrid. 
Several regiments of other nationalities the sub- 
jected allies of Napoleon were part of this division, 
and frequent quarrels occurred between these and 
the French troops. Thus, the First Regiment belong- 
ing to the same division consisted of Italians; and 
when some soldiers of the Thirty-second and the First, 
during a carousal at a tavern in one of the suburbs 
of Madrid, fell into a dispute, both sides were soon 
reinforced by their comrades. All ran into the 
street, and a fierce battle commenced between the 
two nationalities. Blood was shed, the wounded 
covered the pavement, and it required the arrival of 
two companies with their bayonets to end the fight, 
which had threatened to become a general slaughter. 
The leaders of this affair were arrested, and a coun- 
cil of war was summoned. Discipline demanded an 
exemplary reparation. 

The council unanimously decided that the fencing- 
masters and the provosts (their assistants) of both the 
regiments compromised should assume the responsi- 
bility of the quarrel and fight a duel as long as it was 
possible to continue such a combat. Fifteen fencing- 
masters on each side were designated Jean Louis to 
be the first for the Thirty-second Regiment, and 
Giacomo Ferrari, a celebrated Florentine master and 
terrible adversary, to be the leader of the combatants 
of the First Regiment the two celebrities to meet 
first. Since the picturesque fight of the Thirty of 
Roland's, military history has had no encounter that 
has been so sanguinary and spectacular as the one of 
which we write. All the participants were soldiers 
and accustomed to face death without fear; all re- 
solved to maintain the honor of their regiments. 



464 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

The physical surroundings and scenery of this com- 
bat were not inferior to the lands of the Bretagne, 
which listened to the sublime battle-cry of Roland, 
" Drink thy blood, Beaumanoir, and thy thirst will 
pass!" Let the reader imagine an entire army drawn 
up in line of battle on one of the plains which sur- 
round Madrid. In the centre of this gorgeous array 
of troops, whose arms glisten under the dark blue sky 
of Castilia, a large open space has been reserved on 
an elevation forming a natural platform. Soon the 
chosen combatants appear on the scene, sword in 
hand and breasts bare; and all the spectators of this 
tragical scene (the soldiers in line and the inhabitants 
of Madrid interested as at the beginning of a bull- 
fight) turn not their eyes from a single detail of what 
is going on before them. In the presence of ten 
thousand witnesses the honor of an army is to be 
sanctified in the blood of those thirty brave soldiers. 

The drum is sounded, sonorous and short words of 
command are heard, and by a simultaneous move- 
ment the crosses of the guns rest on the hard soil and 
make it tremble like a clap of thunder. Two men, 
with a rapid and sure step, appear on the little hillock 
one of them tall and strong, full of confidence and 
defiance Giacomo Ferrari; the other, tall also, with 
a dark complexion and with muscles which seem to 
be like steel, holds himself immovable and waiting. 
This is Jean Louis. 

The word is given, and both masters cross their 
swords. From the very first moment Ferrari tries to 
strike Jean Louis, but every time he meets the steel 
of his adversary. He displays all his art, but Jean 
Louis, calm and attentive, follows all the flourishes of 
the other. Suddenly the Italian utters one of those 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 46$ 

hoarse cries peculiar to the fencing-masters of his 
race and jumps a little aside, following it with a 
violent attack from below. This is a Florentine ruse 
which often proves successful with the Italian. But 
almost at the same moment a cry of anger, more than 
of pain, is heard from the Italian; for, with an un- 
heard-of precision, Jean Louis has parried his thrust, 
and his sword, by a rapid riposte, has entered the 
shoulder of Ferrari. " This amounts to nothing!" 
cries Giacomo. They recommence; and, almost im- 
mediately after, Ferrari is struck in his breast. This 
time the sword of Jean Louis has penetrated pretty 
deep. A ghastly pallor spreads over the face of 
Giacomo, his sword drops from his hands, and he 
falls heavily to the ground. The witnesses hasten to 
his aid; he is dead. 

Jean Louis has already resumed his first position. 
He wipes his sword, and, turning its point towards 
the ground, he waits. The first fencing-master of the 
First Regiment is carried off dead, but the fight is 
not finished it. has only commenced! There are 
fourteen more adversaries masters and assistants 
at the foot of the hillock, impatient to measure their 
skill with the conqueror and eager to avenge the 
chief whom they had thought invincible. Jean Louis 
has taken a rest of hardly two minutes. He is ready. 
Another adversary rushes toward him. The swords 
are crossed; a sinister sound, a cry, a sigh Jean Louis 
has leaned forward, but again stands erect, with his 
sword lowered: a second corpse is lying at his feet. The 
third adversary, an Italian of tall stature, begins his 
attacks; he multiplies his jumps, feigned attacks, and 
surprises; and finally coming down like a tiger ready 
to spring, he aims a terrible blow at the mulatto from 



466 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

below. But the steel of Jean Louis, after a rapid 
strike, disappears in the breast of the Italian, who is 
carried off insensible. Ten more adversaries follow 
the first three all experienced masters of fencing 
and all ten fall before Jean Louis. 

With such a number of victories, without a prece- 
dent in the history of the duel, one might have thought 
the French master to be tired out. In this unheard- 
of fight, which had lasted hardly forty minutes, Jean 
Louis had dealt twenty-seven strokes, several of 
which were fatal. Two provosts remained of the fif- 
teen. Pale, but resolved, they stood at the foot of the 
hillock, ready to be struck down also. In vain the 
old colonel of the Thirty-second Regiment tried to 
prevail upon Jean Louis to desist from further fight 
and leave it to his assistants to finish the combat with 
the two remaining adversaries. " No, no," cried Jean 
Louis; "I shall not leave the post which has been 
assigned me by the confidence of the Thirty-second 
Regiment. Here I shall remain, and here I shall 
fight as long as I can hold a sword." In finishing 
these words Jean Louis made an energetic gesture 
with his sword, and accidentally wounded in the leg 
one of his colleagues. Scarcely had he perceived the 
accident, when suddenly his feverish ardor vanished, 
and with tears rolling down his cheeks he turned to 
his friend and exclaimed: "Oh, but one man of the 
Thirty-second has been wounded this day, and by 
me!" The colonel profited by this incident and 
declared that the honor of the Thirty-second Regi- 
ment was fully vindicated. Nothing remained but to 
offer the hand to the First. An enthusiastic clamor 
was heard. The colonel pointed out to Jean Louis the 
two silent provosts of the First and said: " They can- 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 467 

not come to you!" Jean Louis at last was overcome. 
He threw away his sword; and, advancing towards the 
two provosts, gave them both his hands. " Vive Jean 
Louis! Vive le Trente-deuxieme!" cried a thousand 
voices. "Vive le Premier!" cried Jean Louis. "We 
are but one family; vive 1'armee !" This was the signal 
of the final reconciliation. It was sincere and com- 
plete. In another second, adversaries and friends sur- 
rounded Jean Louis, all of whom complimented him 
and wanted to take his hand; but the master freed him- 
self and reminded them of their care for the wounded. 
This sign of sympathy did the rest to win for him all 
hearts, and the same evening the wine of Xerez was 
copiously drunk to the treaty of peace. Thus ended 
this duel, or rather this chain of duels, which in the 
nineteenth century renewed the legendary adventures 
of the ancient days of chivalry. 

Jean Louis was twenty-eight years old when the 
famous combat just described took place. His fame 
was established and commenced to spread all over 
France. The rank of officer was repeatedly offered 
him, but he declined, in order to remain faithful to 
his art. He was decorated with the cross of the 
Legion of Honor, and in 1816 was transferred to the 
Third Regiment of Engineers, then in garrison at 
Montpellier, where he again distinguished himself in 
his art and gained triumph after triumph. Then the 
regiment was sent to Metz. Here his fame reached 
its zenith. From everywhere people came to Metz to 
take lessons from him. He opened a private fencing- 
hall, white still remaining in the army, and his author- 
ity as an arbiter was likewise highly respected. After 
a number of years, in 1830, he returned to Montpellier, 
where he had always felt completely at home, and 



468 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

opened a regular fencing-hall, where the most brilliant 
representatives of his art have been educated. In 1849 
Jean Louis, then at the age of sixty-five years, left 
the service, as his regiment was sent to another gar- 
rison. He preferred to remain in Montpellier. When, 
soon after, between two regiments at Montpellier jeal- 
ousies and rivalries had arisen, and duel after duel 
had followed each other, the Minister of War sent, 
at the advice of the commanding general, the latter 
to Montpellier to ask Jean Louis to establish peace 
by means of his great popularity. Jean Louis ar- 
ranged a brilliant fencing-match and brought about a 
reconciliation on this occasion, denouncing the practice 
of duelling, which advice was followed. 

He instructed his daughter in the art of fencing, 
and she became one of his most distinguished dis- 
ciples, and conquered many a male adversary. Mile. 
Jean Louis married, however, early in life, and laid 
aside her foil. She died a year after her marriage. In 
1865 Jean Louis, eighty years old, lost his eyesight, but 
still continued to give instructions in his beloved art. 
Although he did not see the pupil's sword, he felt by 
the touch of his own whether the pupil was right or 
wrong. He died November ipth of the same year; 
and the funeral of the old soldier of the grande armee 
and the founder and master of the contemporary 
French school of fencing was attended by almost the 
whole town. 

England had many noted duellists during the six- 
teenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries; among 
whom were Beau Fielding; Captain Cusack, who 
killed Fulford in Lincoln's Inn Fields; Captain 
Stoney, who married Lady Strathmore, after fighting 
two duels on her account one with the Rev. Mr. 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 469 

Bate, and the other with Mr. Butt, editor of the 
Morning Post; the Earl of Essex, who was wounded 
by Sir Walter Blount; Sir Philip Sidney, who was a 
superior swordsman; Major Oneby, who killed Mr. 
Gower and was convicted of murder (for being cov- 
ered with a cloak) and sentenced to death, but who 
escaped execution by committing suicide; Sir Thomas 
Armstrong, a notorious bully and duellist; Lord 
Mohun, who was at last killed by the Duke of Hamil- 
ton; Captain Nourse, a gambler, who got into a great 
rage and cut his throat because Lord Windsor de- 
clined to meet him in mortal combat; John Law, who 
killed Edward Wilson in 1694; and others, more par- 
ticularly officers of the army and navy. 

The most distinguished English duellist that ever 
lived was Lord Herbert of Cherbury ; who was, how- 
ever unlike many of the French experts with duelling- 
implements a gentleman of true chivalry and honor. 
Long a resident of France, his lordship entered into 
all the customs of the French capital with zest and 
enjoyment, and none could be found to excel him in 
the use of the pistol or sword. As Herbert once stood 
in the trenches before a besieged place along with 
Balagny, a celebrated duellist of the period, between 
whom and his lordship some altercation had formerly 
occurred, the Frenchman, in a spirit of bravado, 
jumped over the intrenchment and, daring Herbert 
to follow him, ran toward the besieged place, in the 
face of a fire of grape and musketry. Finding that 
Herbert outran him, and seemed to have no intention 
of turning back, Balagny was forced to set the exam- 
ple of retreating. Lord Herbert then invited him to 
an encounter upon the old chivalrous point, which 
had the fairer and more virtuous mistress ; but this 



47 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

proposition Balagny declined, accompanying his re- 
fusal with a jest so coarse as made Lord Herbert re- 
tort that he spoke like a mean debauchee, not like a 
cavalier and man of honor. 

Sir Henry Urton was also a noted English duellist ; 
and during the year 1592, while employed as ambas- 
sador to the Court of France, considering the honor 
of his royal mistress, the Queen of England, insulted 
by the Duke of Guise, sent that notorious duellist the 
following spirited challenge : 

Forasmuch as lately, in the lodgings of the Lord Dumogre, 
and in public elsewhere, impudently, indiscreetly, and over- 
boldly, you spoke badly of my sovereign, whose sacred per- 
son here in this country I represent, to maintain, both by 
word and weapon, her honor (which was never called in 
question among persons of honesty and virtue), I say you 
have wickedly lied in speaking so basely of my sovereign, 
and you shall do nothing else but lie whenever you dare to 
tax her honor. Moreover, that her sacred person (being one 
of the most complete and virtuous princesses that lives in 
this world) ought not to be evil spoken of by the tongue of 
such a perfidious traitor to her land and country as you are, 
and, therefore, I do defy you, and challenge your person to 
mine, with such manner of arms as you shall like or choose, 
be it either on horseback or on foot ; nor would I have you 
to think any inequality of person between us, I being issued 
of as great a race and noble a house as yourself, in assigning 
me an indifferent place. I will there maintain my words, 
and the lie which I gave you. If you consent not to meet 
me hereupon, I will hold you and cause you to be generally 
held for the arrantest coward and most slanderous slave in 
all France. I expect your answer. 

The result of this bold challenge we have not met 
with on record. 

There is, perhaps, nothing so dangerous as the 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 

reputation of being what duellists call a good shot 
that is, being experienced in the use of pistols unless 
it is united with the most amiable disposition. The 
confidence of superior skill converts the man without 
principle into a bravo ; and he who, under such cir- 
cumstances, wantonly challenges another is little bet- 
ter than an assassin ; for if the individual called out 
is an honorable man he feels the utmost reluctance 
to make the slightest concession, knowing that he 
would be suspected of doing so from fear of his an- 
tagonist's known expertness. The blood-stained page 
of the history of duelling presents many instances of 
this. The duel between Captain Stackpole and 
Lieutenant Cecil was one of the many that might be 
adduced. The first word of dispute between them 
fixed the duel. There are, however, instances of 
gentlemen who, regardless of the trammels that the 
supposed laws of honor have fixed upon society, have 
been jealous of their honor, and courageous enough to 
defend it, yet never ambitious for a duel ; men who, 
with a giant's power, have not used it as a giant. 
One of those was Captain Foy, a gentleman who had 
been engaged in four or five duels, without ever hav- 
ing been the challenger, and who was so expert in 
the use of pistols that he would hit a bottle at the 
distance of twenty paces, or extinguish a candle with 
a bullet at half the distance. This gentleman, while 
in quarters with his regiment in the north of England, 
had one day at the mess-table given offence to a 
young officer, who, conceiving his honor injured, 
instantly challenged the captain. Foy asked the offi- 
cer if he had ever fought a duel, or if he was a good 
shot, and, being answered in the negative, he said : 
" Suppose we practise a little before our meeting to- 



THE FIELD Of HONOR. 

morrow morning." Then, calling for his pistols, the 
whole party adjourned into the yard of the inn where 
they were quartered. A wine-bottle was placed at 
the distance of twenty paces. Captain Foy took his 
pistol and shattered it to pieces ; then, turning to 
the young officer, he said : " Now, sir, I am ready to 
give you satisfaction. To have accepted your chal- 
lenge after the knowledge of my own skill and your in- 
experience would not have been consistent with that 
honor of which I trust I entertain as delicate a sense 
as yourself." The young officer thanked Foy for his 
frankness ; and, observing that he could not believe 
that a gentleman who could act thus nobly could be 
guilty of an intentional affront, declared himself per- 
fectly satisfied, while the conduct of Captain Foy en- 
deared him to the whole circle of officers who wit- 
nessed it. 

Another notable incident of chivalrous conduct was 
that of Captain Kirby, of the British army, in his 
duel with a brother-officer at the Cape of Good Hope. 
It seems that, after the combatants had been placed, 
Captain Kirby, who was an accomplished shot, de- 
clined to fire, as his antagonist had been assigned to 
a position of great but unintended disadvantage. 
Kirby's objection to having an antagonist so placed 
that he could hardly be missed was sustained by the 
seconds. New positions were therefore selected, and 
at the first fire both gentlemen fell severely wounded. 

During the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth 
centuries the French custom of seconds participa- 
ting in duels pervaded England, and among the nobil- 
ity was sustained con amore. In the highly spec- 
tacular combat between Buckingham and Shrewsbury, 
in which the latter was killed, the seconds on either 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 473 

side participated in the engagement one of whom 
(Jenkins) fell dead on Buckingham's side, while Sir 
John Talbot (on the side of the Earl) was severely 
and dangerously wounded. 

Probably there has never lived a race of men who 
actually loved duelling so well as the Irish ; not that 
the Irish really loved to shed human blood or de- 
lighted in laying out their adversaries cold, like the 
French and Italian monsters of two, three, and four 
hundred years ago. No; the Irish fought for the 
sport and reputation of the thing, although they 
fought desperately sometimes, especially when they 
met with swords. The most noted Irish duellists have 
been Curran, the Barringtons, Grattan, Dick Daly, 
Harry Grady, Patterson, Fitzgerald, Amby Bodkin, 
Jemmy Keogh, Bourke, McNamara, and others who 
have been mentioned. Lord Norbury made good use 
of his pistols, or " barkers" as they were called, in 
Ireland. He was repeatedly " out," one of his duels 
being with "Fighting Fitzgerald," whose concealed 
armor Martin of Galway had tried by walking coolly 
up and firing two balls at him, saying, " If either of 
those enter you, I am a murderer," and who was after- 
ward hanged for a murder not according to the code. 
Another case of the use of armor like Gerald's was 
mentioned by an immigrant in Castle Garden to an 
attach6 of the New York Sun during the summer of 
1883. Once upon a time, said the immigrant, Fire- 
ball McNamara the name by which Major McNamara, 
for many years M.P. for county Clare, and second to 
O'Connell in the famous duel in which he shot 
D'Esterre, was popularly known called out a French- 
man, one Viscount de Chatenet, who had the imperti- 
nence to claim something for the French at Fontenoy. 



474 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

They fought with swords, near the battle-ground, and 
though the Major pinked his adversary several times 
the sword never penetrated. The Fireball was in a 
great quandary, when suddenly came to him the 
voice of a woman speaking in the rich native tongue 
from a hedge alongside, where some Irish emigrants 
like ourselves had hidden themselves to see the sport, 
"Major, aileen, do you think of how they killed the 
cattle in the old country ?" and, taking the hint, the 
Major made the next lunge at his throat, which was 
unprotected, and stretched the Frenchman on the 
sod. 

According to a late writer there is at the present 
time (1884) but one Irish duellist left. The only 
landmark, now is the O'Gormon Mahon ; and he, like 
physicians of great fame, does not, save on special 
occasions, go out, but is called in consultation. He 
still, however, guards with jealous tenderness his 
honored reputation. At a recent dinner of the Irish 
party, when the number of duels in which he had 
been interested was spoken of, and a distinguished 
Irish priest who was present attempted to excuse 
their number by apologetically suggesting that the 
O'Gorman had been in most of them the challenged 
party, the old duellist said, with wounded pride : " No, 
sir; in all of the twenty-two I was the challenger. In 
two I pricked my man, and in the other twenty, save 
one, I received an ample apology. In my duel with 
Smith O'Brien in 1829, out of compliment of his be- 
ing a junior branch of my family, I raised my beaver 
after two shots." 

The cold rigidity of Saxon and strict execution 
of English law has transformed " The Happy Hunt- 
ing-ground of Satisfaction" a name frequently be- 



DUELLISTS OF MANY TYPES. 475 

stowed upon Ireland during the days when duelling 
was a part of its curriculum of education into pre- 
cincts where no more may be seen the fantastic 
knights of honor with their law-books in one hand 
and a case of duelling-pistols in the other. 

Among other noted duellists may be mentioned 
Count Don Rodrigo Bivar, celebrated in Spanish his- 
tory as the " Cid," who, in the eleventh century, fought 
and killed the father of his affianced ; the Carmi- 
chaels and Bruntfields, of Scotland, in the sixteenth 
century ; the Marquis of Cavoie, a French noble- 
man of the seventeenth century, who was 'noted for 
his many affairs of honor ; Sir John Mitchell, of Scot- 
land ; James Crichton (the " Admirable Crichton") ; 
the Count de Lobenstadt, an officer in the Prussian 
army, who, after killing a brother-officer in 1828, was 
dismissed from the service and sent to prison for life ; 
Constant Conver, who killed his adversary in Nova 
Scotia in 1785 ; General Galeazzo, a nobleman of 
Italy, who was successful in a full score of combats, 
killing all his adversaries but four ; Adam and Wal- 
ter Littleton, Scotchmen, who killed their men, and 
who were both killed in turn ; Theodore Neuhoff, of 
Westphalia, who killed a number of men ; George 
Penruddock, a Scotchman and an officer in the army 
of the Queen in 1556, renowned for his successful 
combats ; Baron Frederick Trenck, an officer in the 
Prussian army, who came out of six duels successfully, 
killing two and wounding four of his adversaries all 
between 1741 and 1749 ; William Vesey, of Scotland, 
who killed a man each in England, Ireland, and Scot- 
land in 1589-93 ; General Hans Joachim Zietkin, of 
the Prussian army ; the Baron de Heckeren, of the 
Russian army; and, of course, a great many others. 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 
REMORSE OF DUELLISTS. 

The Shadow which Hung over George Pen. Johnston's Life How 
the Witty and Brilliant S. S. Prentiss Walked in the Valley and 
Shadow of Death What Mr. Graves Said after Killing Cilley 
O'Connell's Guilty Hand Benton's Distress of Mind McCar- 
ty's Great Remorse Grief of Gillespie Remorse of Neuhoff 
Insomnia, Insanity, Delirium Tremens, and Suicide Deaths 
from Excessive Grief How Miller, Tom Porter, and Henry 
Phillips each Killed a Particular Friend, and then Died of a 
Broken Heart Major Egerton's Sorrow Captain Stewart's 
Oath Numa Hubert's Hallucination "The Phantom Never 
Leaves Me !" McClung, the Most Determined and Successful 
Duellist of the Southern States, Kills himself with a Pistol 
with which he had Sent Others to their Last Account. 

EARLY in March, 1884, George "Pen. Johnston, a 
resident of San Francisco, passed quietly over the 
river; and the Daily Call, of that city, in its article 
descriptive of the great grief which shadowed the life 
of the otherwise pleasant and congenial Johnston for 
nearly twenty-six years, declared that "he was a 
changed man ever after, and the shadow of that tragic 
event was to his soul like that typified by Poe's mys- 
tic * Raven;' the 'midnight dark and dreary' of its 
coming was to him the fatal anniversary of the duel, 
when the shadow invariably deepened on his brood- 
ing heart." While few Americans or Englishmen 



REMORSE OF DUELLISTS. 4/7 

(this cannot be said so truthfully of others, unless, 
perhaps, of Irishmen) who have survived fatal duels 
during the past century and a half are strangers to 
either grief or remorse, there have lived and died 
many like the gentle, humane, chivalrous, and 'affec- 
tionate Johnston, whose perfect peace of mind has 
been forever afterward shattered or destroyed. The 
San Francisco Bulletin also referred feelingly to the 
" shadow" thus: " One of the older class of journalists 
in the State has just passed away. George Pen. John- 
ston just missed the distinction of a pioneer by com- 
ing to the State in the year 1850. He held in early 
days the office of deputy marshal, was a subordinate 
officer in the custom-house, afterward clerk of the 
United States Circuit Court, and held a seat in the 
Legislature for one session. He was during these 
years a frequent contributor to the Democratic press. 
In the summer of 1858 he was involved in a duel by 
which his opponent lost his life. That was ever after- 
ward the shadow of Johnston's life. He came short 
of the success which his talents had promised. He 
had a conscience. It is probable that he never was 
quite free from the self-reproach of having compassed 
the life of a man. The duel which he fought was 
according to the duelling code, and he was drawn 
into it by considerations which in those days and 
from his point of view justified such encounters. A 
man with a less sensitive conscience would have 
passed over the circumstances lightly. But it was 
not in Johnston's nature to do it. He was in many 
respects a changed man. His career was abridged, 
and he was turned from the path which his ambition 
had marked out." The San Francisco Evening Post, 
in its obituary notice, said: "Old Californians, what- 



4/8 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

ever their political creed, will cherish his memory 
with feelings of deep respect. He took an active part 
in public life in the early history of the State, and he 
continued prominent in politics and journalism until 
his demise. The Post regards it a duty to pay a just 
tribute to his whole life and career, although the 
principles he aimed to promulgate are so widely 
divergent from those enunciated in these columns. 
He was ever a consistent Democrat. As a journalist 
he advocated the cause of his party with ability. As 
a man he was as undaunted and brave as a lion, yet 
withal possessing the gentleness of a lamb. Honor- 
able to a fault, he was the type of a Southern gentle- 
man. His word was his bond, and the chivalrous 
conduct of the old Examiner was in great part the 
reflex of his life and character. In early times, he was 
one of the gayest and most cheerful of men in Cali- 
fornia. With a fund of wit and happiness of repartee, 
he was the soul of good humor and good temper. 
The blight in his life was taking part in a so-called 
engagement of honor with a former friend, which cul- 
minated in the death of his antagonist. The memo- 
ries of that hostile meeting hung like a dark cloud 
over his previous happy life. The lessons from it 
show the absurdity and misery arising from the 
falsely-named code of honor." 

The brilliant S. S. Prentiss, of Mississippi (a New 
Englander by birth and education), who fought a 
number of duels in deference to public opinion, ad- 
mitted great remorse. His moral and religious train- 
ing and scruples were antagonistic to the custom, yet 
he once went upon the field after he had become 
possessed of wife and children. Probably no gentle- 
man of as much natural wit and sunshine walked so 



REMORSE OF DUELLISTS. 479 

much in the "valley and shadow of death." He once 
wrote to a friend, concerning one of his hostile meet- 
ings, that he did nothing but " read the Bible and 
weep and pray." " The possibility of leaving my own 
family unprotected," said Prentiss, "or of killing a 
fellow-being, haunted me so that I could not sleep, 
and I tottered round in the daytime like a worn-out 
old man." Undoubtedly Mr. Graves, who killed Mr. 
Cilley, suffered much from remorse. Just before he 
died he said it required a higher order of courage to 
decline than to accept a challenge ; and he declared 
that if ever he became involved in another difficulty, 
his moral obligations, and not fear of public opinion, 
should guide him in all his actions in the premises. 

As vigorously and as humanely as O'Connell depre- 
cated duelling, and as reluctantly as he met D'Esterre, 
whom he killed, he never got rid of his remorse of 
conscience from the day of that fatal meeting in the 
county of Kildare. That dying groan of D'Esterre 
made a wound in O'Connell's heart which no physi- 
cian could heal. He once declared in the House of 
Commons that, having blood upon his hands, he had 
registered a vow in heaven. And it has also been 
written of O'Connell that he never attended church 
after the killing of D'Esterre without first wrapping 
up in a handkerchief "the guilty hand;" declaring 
that he t^ould not approach his Redeemer with the 
hand exposed which had taken the life of a fellow- 
man. 

Senator Thomas Hart Benton, of Missouri (although 
it has often been stated that the duel was forced upon 
him), deeply regretted his meeting with Lucas (in 
which the latter was killed), and some time previous 
to his death Colonel Benton destroyed all the papers 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

he had in his possession or that he could obtain con- 
cerning the affair. Colonel John M. McCarty, who 
killed General Armistead T. Mason, suffered great, 
remorse up to the time of his death over the remem- 
brance of the unnatural encounter. McCarty and 
Mason were Virginians (and cousins), and quarrelled 
over politics, which ran high at the time 1819. 

Captain Gillespie, who, as second of Lieutenant 
McKenzie in the duel of the latter with William Bar- 
rington, in Ireland in 1777, assassinated Harrington 
during an altercation, and who became afterward an 
eminent general officer in the British army, suffered 
a good deal from what the jury seemed to think was 
"justifiable homicide." It has been said of Gillespie 
that he always seemed to court death during his 
many engagements with England's enemies, and that 
he at last received a fatal bullet while leading his 
command into the thickest of the fight. Theodore 
Neuhoff, of Westphalia, the remarkable young Jesuit 
who, in 1736, gained the throne of Corsica, never 
overcame the grief he experienced after killing a 
fellow-student in a duel in 1729, and died in England, 
in 1756, of remorse and disappointment. 

James Paull, who killed Sir Francis Burdette in 
1807, became frantic with insomnia afterward, and 
committed suicide in 1808. Captain Best, who killed 
Lord Camelford in 1804, although he did everything 
in his power, almost, to effect a reconciliation, never 
recovered from the shock he felt at seeing his antago- 
nist fall mortally wounded and left for dead on the 
field. " No moment of my life has been an entirely 
happy one," he once said, "since I killed that man. 
I often see poor Camelford standing up before me." 
Best died from delirium tremens at the age of forty- 






REMORSE OF DUELLISTS. 481 

eight. Mr. Thornhill, who killed Sir Cholmeley 
Bering in 1711, suffered great distress of mind in con- 
sequence. One of the most painful events in the 
annals of duelling was the meeting (in Ireland in 
1808) of Messrs. Alcock and Colclough. They had 
been the warmest of friends ; and soon after Alcock's 
trial for murder, and his acquittal, he became dement- 
ed and died in an asylum for the insane. His sister, 
who was engaged to be married to Colclough, also 
became hopelessly insane. 

M. Mira, who killed the young French poet Dovalle, 
experienced great remorse ; he lost all his fortune in 
various ways ; disease killed his horses, his chateau 
was destroyed by lightning, his dogs became mad, 
and he at last died from the effects of excessive grief. 
There is a story told of an Italian who had killed his 
brother-in-law in a duel, who repaired to the scene of 
tragic action a day or two afterward and killed him- 
self with the same sword he had used in the fatal en- 
counter with his relative. Captain Maillard, who 
killed St. Signol (the two having quarrelled at the 
Porte St. Martin during the successful presentation 
of one of Signol's plays), once told a friend that he 
never went to bed without thinking of the poor fellow 
he had killed. " This excessive grief will soon kill 
me," he declared a short time before his death. 

Lieutenant Miller, who killed Lieutenant Rattray 
(both of the same regiment, the Fourth Native Infan- 
try, British army) in India, died in six weeks after- 
ward from remorse. The two officers had quarrelled 
and agreed to fight ; and Miller, who was a dead shot, 
intended only to slightly wound and not kill his antago- 
nist, as Rattray was engaged to be married to Miller's 
sister. Tom Porter, who foolishly fought with and 



482 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

killed his friend Sir Henry Bellasses, in London in 
1677, felt great sorrow during the rest of his life. He 
never forgave himself, he many times declared, for 
hurrying after and stopping his friend's carriage and 
dragging Bellasses out to fight. His self-exile in 
France continued for many years, and at last he re- 
turned to England a broken-hearted man. Henry 
Phillips, who slew his former friend, Benjamin Wood- 
bridge, one night in 1728, on Boston Common, and 
escaped, died from great grief in France in less than 
a year afterward. 

Major Egerton, an officer of the British army dur- 
ing the reign of George the Third, although he was 
averse to a continuance of the duel with Colonel Gray 
after the firing of the first shot, never got rid of the 
sorrow he felt over the instantaneous death of his 
antagonist. A gentleman who knew Egerton well 
once wrote of him : " Never, through all the after- 
years, did the Major cease to grieve over the unfortu- 
nate meeting, or to think mildly and compassionately 
of the hapless Colonel whom he had been forced to 
meet in the fatal encounter. It was an additional 
cause of sorrow to learn afterward that Gray left a 
wife and child to deplore his loss. The jury before 
whom he was tried acquitted Major Egerton, but the 
remembrance of the deed lasted to his dying day." 

Captain Stewart, of the British army, who once 
killed a brother-officer in a duel, and soon afterward 
registered an oath before a justice so great was his 
grief and remorse never again to engage in mortal 
combat, was challenged, subsequently, while in King- 
ston, by a Creole one D'Egville. Stewart, true to 
his oath, declined a meeting, and experienced a great 
deal of brutal treatment at the hands of the Creole, 



REMORSE OF DUELLISTS. 483 

who at last struck the Captain with a whip on a public 
street. Stewart then had a grave dug, of the usual 
dimensions, behind the Iguana rocks, and named as 
terms that the two men should get into the grave, 
each taking hold of the end of a pocket-handkerchief 
with the left hand, and each holding a loaded pistol 
(cocked) in his right, which should be discharged at 
the word " Fire !" D'Egville made a desperate at- 
tempt to wriggle out of the duel after listening to 
the terms, but was finally brought to the scratch 
by his second. Just as he stepped into the pit, how- 
ever, he weakened and fell ; whereupon Stewart gave 
him a mighty good thrashing, amidst cries of "Serves 
him right." 

Numa Hubert, who shot and mortally wounded 
George T. Hunt near the old Pioneer Race-course, 
San Francisco, on the 2ist of May, 1854, although 
forgiven by the dying man on the ground who cried 
out to the survivor, " Hubert ! Hubert !" (and, as the 
latter advanced by the side of his second, Charles 
Fairfax,) " I forgive you, Hubert, and God forgives 
you" never fully forgave himself. He often saw poor 
Hunt, he said, by day and by night. " The phantom 
never leaves me," he once declared ten years after the 
unfortunate affair. How could it have been other- 
wise ? How could he ever have been joyous or whol- 
ly rational after having listened to those words of 
forgiveness from a victim in the agonies of death ? 
Ah ! those gentle tones shattered Hubert's heart, and 
the phantom only disappeared that night in Chicago, 
in 1872, when the sorrowing Frenchman retired well 
and was soon afterward found dead. 

It is said of McClung, the noted Mississippi duellist, 
that his performances, on seeing Menefee fall, were 



4^4 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

those of a maniac, if natural. Rising to his full 
height, he peered through the smoke to see if his an- 
tagonist was surely dead. He then dropped upon his 
knees, and, pressing his rifle tenderly to his bosom, 
kissed it affectionately, as a lover would his mistress 
or a mother her child. It is said that he even uttered 
a prayer of thankfulness to God " for having directed 
the bullet so well." This was the last duel in which 
McClung engaged, as few were willing to risk their 
lives in an encounter with him. After serving with 
distinction in the Mexican war he returned to Missis- 
sippi; but he had become more morose than ever and 
deeply melancholy. It has even been claimed by 
many that he was haunted by the spirits of those 
whom he had slain in duels a story which was com- 
monly believed, and particularly when, in 1855, with- 
out any explanation whatever, he blew out his brains 
with a pistol with which he had frequently killed 
others. Thus, by his own hands, died one of the 
most determined and representative Southern duellists 
of the time. 



NOTABLE ESCAPES. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 
NOTABLE ESCAPES. 

How Watches, Buttons, etc., have Saved Lives Broderick's 
Life once Saved by a Watch Broderick and Judge Smith 
Lord George Germaine's Pistol Shattered by Governor George 
Johnstone's Bullet How Handel's Life was Saved by a Coat- 
Button Buckles and Gingerbread Save the Lives of Two 
Fighting Irishmen Louis Napoleon's Luck A Brooch renders 
Good Service to Richard Daly in his Duel with Sir Jonah 
Barrington De Cassagnac's Bullet, which was Intended for 
Rochefort's Heart, Stopped by a Silver Medal Charles Blanc's 
Life Saved by a Five- Franc Piece General Bouvet's Life also 
Saved by a French Coin. 

DURING the year 1811 a young Englishman was 
drawn into a difficulty with an ex-officer of the 
French army (but at the time a professional gam- 
bler), and/ agreed upon a hostile meeting in the 
woods near Paris with the bully; and a supposed 
friend (who placed the youth with his face to the 
sun, and also in a position where the shadow of a 
tree formed a line of shot in favor of the would-be 
murderer) provided his principal with an indifferent 
weapon, which, however, had the unexpectedly good 
nature to go off and kill the man opposite it. A few 
months afterward one of the parties to the crime con- 
fessed to the Englishman how the "job had been put 
up on him" by professional criminals to get him to 
gamble; and, failing in this, to drug him (which they 



486 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

did), and accuse him of contracting gambling-debts 
while under the influence of wine; and then, upon 
his refusal " to settle," to challenge him to fight a 
duel in the Bois de Boulogne and kill him on account 
of their ill-success in securing a portion of the large 
amount of spending-money it was known that he had 
in bank or otherwise at command. 

On June 8, 1792, in England, Lord Lonsdale and 
Captain Cuthbert (of the Guards) fired twice at each 
other, the second shot from Lord Lonsdale's weapon 
striking and shattering a metal button on Cuthbert's 
coat. The seconds then effected a reconciliation, as it 
was admitted that the metal button had saved the 
officer's life. 

In 1852 David C. Broderick (killed by David S. 
Terry in 1859) fought a duel on the eastern shore of 
the Bay of San Francisco with Judge Smith, a son of 
Governor ("Extra Billy") Smith, of Virginia. The 
parties fought with navy-revolvers, at ten paces, and 
emptied the contents of their weapons (six barrels) at 
each other, during which Broderick was hit in the 
stomach. Upon examination it was found that a 
bullet from his antagonist had gone through the 
centre of a heavy-cased watch worn by Broderick, 
inflicting a slight wound; after which the seconds 
consulted with each other and with their principals, 
and then terminated the combat. This affair has 
been graphically described by Charles F. Duane, a 
well-known Californian, who was present, and who 
says: 

There are very few people who are aware of the fact that 
David C. Broderick ever fought a duel previous to the one 
in 1859, when he lost his life. In 1852 Broderick received a 
challenge to fight a duel from Judge Smith, the son of ex- 



NOTABLE ESCAPES. 487 

Governor Smith of Virginia, who was better known as 
" Extra Billy" Smith. Judge Smith was also a brother of 
Austin Smith, who was killed in the late war while fighting 
in the Confederate service. At that time a man who refused 
to accept a challenge was not permitted to move in what 
was considered good society. He was treated with contempt 
and looked upon as a coward. Of course Broderick ac- 
cepted the challenge, and the ground was selected for the 
duel across the bay, about where the centre of the city of 
Oakland now is. There were but a few shanties there then, 
and they were located on the shore, where the foot of 
Broadway Street is. As soon as the news was spread that 
the place for the fighting had been fixed upon, every Whitehall 
boat in the harbor was" engaged in taking people over the 
bay. They went back and forth all the night preceding the 
day of the duel. Ira Cole, two other gentlemen, and myself 
started from the San Francisco side in a Whitehall boat at 
one o'clock in the morning of the day of the duel. The fog on 
the bay was very heavy, and after we had gone some distance 
past Goat Island the tide was very low and we found 
ourselves on the mud-flats. We were obliged to remain 
there nearly an hour, and were surrounded by a great many 
boats in the same predicament. It was so foggy that we 
could not distinguish the forms of the occupants of the other 
boats, but we recognized our friends by their voices as they 
saluted our boat with " Brig ahoy !" and " Ship ahoy !" and 
the firing of pistols. A shot fired by some person hit one of 
the sailors in our boat in the arm and disabled him. 
Although we could not see each other, all sorts of bets were 
made on the result of the duel. After remaining on the 
flats for an hour, we drew lots in our boat to see who should 
undress and tow the boat to the shore. I believe Ira Cole 
cheated me, because they all laughed at me when I pulled 
the short straw by the light of a cigar. As soon as it was 
decided that I should do the work, I immediately took off 
my clothes and stepped into the cold mud. I took the 
direction, as I thought, toward shore, and kept hauling 
until the break of day, when I felt as though I had towed 



488 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the boat twenty miles. About the time that day dawned I 
reached the shore, and found that I had towed the boat one 
mile south in a zigzag fashion from where the foot of 
Broadway Street now is. After I had dug a hole for the 
water to come in, with the oars of the boat, and had taken a 
bath, we hauled our boat on shore. We then went over the 
fields until we sighted two pretty large crowds of people, 
apparently about a quarter of a mile apart, when we steered 
our course in that direction, and were soon amidst them. 
One crowd were the friends of Broderick, and the others 
were the friends of Judge Smith, who was on the ground, 
accompanied by his father, Governor Smith. The duel was 
to be fought with navy- revolvers, at a distance of ten 
paces, the signal for the shooting being " )ne, two, three, 
fire !" At the word " fire " the parties were to shoot, 
and, if they desired, were to advance toward each other, 
the firing to continue until all the six shots had been 
used. John A. McGlynn presented me with a navy- 
revolver in 1850. It was a very fine one, and while I was 
shooting with it at a target, on several occasions, the ex- 
ploded cap caught and prevented the cylinder from revolv- 
ing. I took it to Brown & Natchez's gunshop, opposite the 
Plaza, and had the cylinder filed so that the cap could not 
catch. Vi. Turner, one of Broderick's seconds, borrowed 
this pistol from me on the day before the duel, for Brod- 
erick's use. On the field, when the duellists tossed up for 
the choice of pistols, Judge Smith's second won the choice, 
and he took the pistol which I had loaned to Vi. Turner for 
Broderick. Smith's pistol was the same make, but had not 
been filed as mine had. Previous to the placing of the pis- 
tols in the hands of the principals, Broderick pulled out his 
heavy double-cased gold watch, which Howard Engine Com- 
pany in New York, of which he had been foreman, had pre- 
sented to him on his departure from New York for Cali- 
fornia. He handed the watch to Vi. Turner, and within my 
hearing Turner said, " Put your watch in your pocket ; if 
you are shot, die like a gentleman." At this Broderick 
smiled and replaced the time-piece in his pocket. The pis- 



NOTABLE ESCAPES. 

tols were then handed to Broderick and Smith, and the 
question asked, " Are you ready ?" On both answering in 
the affirmative, the word "fire" was given, and they both 
commenced firing. I could not tell which of them fired first. 
After the first shot Broderick's exploded cap caught in the 
cylinder of his pistol, and he did not have strength enough 
in one hand to cock it in the usual way. He then grabbed 
it in both hands and, putting the pistol between his knees, 
proceeded to cock it. While in this position, facing his 
opponent, he was struck by a bullet from Smith's pistol. 
The ball hit him in the stomach and staggered him, and his 
hat fell to the ground. Having succeeded in cocking his 
pistol, he returned the fire, and they both kept shooting 
until they had fired their six shots. The seconds then 
rushed up to their respective principals, and Turner un- 
buttoned Broderick's coat. I stood close to him, and on ex- 
amination we found that the bullet had hit the centre of his 
heavy-cased watch, and that fragments of the bullet went 
through both cases and cut his stomach. Judge Smith was 
not hit at all. After a few moments, Turner asked Brod- 
erick if he felt able to renew the duel. His reply was, " Cer- 
tainly I am." The people on both sides were ordered back, 
and the seconds of both parties held a consultation with 
each other, and afterward with their principals. At the con- 
sultation of the seconds, Mr. Smith's representative, on be- 
half of Judge Smith, said that he acknowledged that Brod- 
erick was an honorable gentleman. When Broderick's 
seconds informed him of this fact, he said, " Well, that is 
sufficient," whereupon the seconds brought their principals 
half way and Broderick and Smith shook hands. The result 
was pleasing to all parties concerned. After the duel, it was 
impossible for all the people to get back to San Francisco 
on the same day, and many walked up to an old house 
known as the Estudillo Rancho, a private mansion occupied 
by Spanish people, which was situated where San Leandro 
now is. There they obtained horses and rode to San Fran- 
cisco by way of San Jose. 



49 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

In the duel between M. Aguesseau and M. Bertho- 
low, in Paris in 1849, the pistol of the latter was 
shattered by the bullet from the weapon of the 
former. In the meeting between Mr. Beresford and 
Mr. Fitzwilliam, in England in 1795, the principals 
had just taken their places, when the law-officers 
appeared and terminated the affair. In 1770, in Eng- 
land, Lord George Germaine and Governor George 
Johnstone, members of the House of Commons, met 
in Hyde Park, and at the first fire Germaine's pistol 
was broken by Johnstone's bullet, and the difficulty 
was then adjusted by the seconds Sir James Lowther 
and Hon. Thomas Townshend. In 1704, at Hamburg, 
M. Matheuson and George Frederick Handel, the 
eminent composer, met with swords, and the weapon 
of the former was broken against a button on Han- 
del's coat, which undoubtedly saved the life of the 
latter. 

McNally, when he fought with Sir Jonah Barring- 
ton, received his antagonist's bullet in the buckle of 
his left suspender, and it turned and sped away in- 
stead of entering the body. In the duel between 
Peter Burrowes and Somerset Butler, in Ireland, the 
bullet of the latter lodged in a pocket of gingerbread- 
nuts in the waistcoat of Burrowes, who had purchased 
a pennyworth of an old woman as he was on his way 
to the scene of action with his second, Dick Waddy. 

On the 4th of March, 1840, just as the Comte Leon 
(accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Ratcliffe) and 
Louis Napoleon (attended by Count d'Orsay) took 
their places on Wimbledon Common, with swords 
and pistols, the police rushed in and arrested the 
principals and their seconds, and all were placed 
under bonds to keep the peace. 



NOTABLE ESCAPES. 49! 

Alexander J. Dallas and R. A. Hoole, who had 
quarrelled at their hotel at Washington (D. C.) in 
1851, met the following day on the field at Bladens- 
burg, but were promptly arrested before taking their 
places. In 1802 David B. Mitchell and William Hun- 
ter fought near Savannah (Ga.), and at the first fire 
Hunter's bullet lodged in the clothing of Mitchell. 
At the second fire another bullet was lodged in the 
same manner, but Hunter was shot dead. In 1783 
two English officers and their seconds met in a field 
near Kensington Gravel-pits, but were happily pre- 
vented from carrying out their hostile plans by the 
interposition of a clergyman who lived in that neigh- 
borhood, and who happened to be passing along as 
the parties alighted from their carriages; and who, 
suspecting their intentions, interfered, and by his 
polite and affectionate address effected an honorable 
reconciliation. In his duel with Sir Jonah Barring- 
ton, Richard Daly's life was saved by his antagonist's 
bullet hitting his brooch, a portion of which pene- 
trated the breast-bone, however. 

In his duel with Rochefort, De Cassagnac's bullet 
went direct for his antagonist's heart, but stopped at 
a silver medal worn by the former during the en- 
counter and then glanced off harmlessly. " I should 
have killed him, certainly," said De Cassagnac, after- 
ward, "had it not been for that blessed medal." In 
the duel between Armestee Archard and Charles 
Blanc, a ball from the former's pistol struck a five- 
franc piece in the vest-pocket of the latter, and was 
diverted from fatal action. " That's what I call 
money well invested," exclaimed Monsieur Mery, the 
second of M. Archard. A five-franc piece also saved 
the life of General Bouvet in his duel with General 



49 2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Ornano. In their duel in the woods near Paris, a 
century ago, Pierrot and Arlequin fired together and 
each killed his adversary's second. " What an 
escape!" cried a spectator albeit the seconds had 
both dropped dead. In the fatal duel between Con- 
way and Crittenden, the bullet from the weapon of 
the former took off a breast-button from his antago- 
nist's coat. 



PATHOS AND SENTIMENT. 493 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 
PATHOS AND SENTIMENT. 

The Youth and his Mother Not Equally Matched A Happy 
Accident "I leave Traitors to the Public Executioner" He 
would not Shoot at an Officer whose Life belonged to his 
Country The Marquis de Donnisan Mrs. Bruce and the 
Lady Clementina Harvey Aston's Noble Words Randolph's 
Emotional Declaration Oliver H. Perry's Sense of Honor 
A Number of Anecdotes " Have you a Mother ?" inquired the 
Rascal A Sad Affair "Thank Heaven!" "I have never 
been your Enemy, Sir" " My God ! My Poor Wife!" " I 
commit my Soul to Almight) r God " Honor and Religion Two 
Different Things. 

IN 1810 violets were looked upon as emblems of 
imperialism in France Napoleon himself having 
been called " Pere la Violette." It was during this 
time that a youth from the country, on his return 
home to his mother from Paris, one day, while cross- 
ing the Pont des Arts, was rudely accosted by an 
officer of the Guard and slapped in the face. " I am 
not aware, sir," exclaimed the youth, " why you insult 
me; but, at all events, I insist upon immediate repara- 
tion." " By all means, sir, and at once ;" replied his 
insolent assailant. They soon afterward crossed 
swords at St. Mande, and in a minute the young gen- 
tleman fell mortally wounded, exclaiming, with his 
dying breath: "Ah me! this evening was my mother's 



494 THE FIELD OF HONOR 

birthday, and I was carrying these violets to her ; I 
I shall see her no more." 

Two friends quarrelled ; and one of them, being a 
man of hasty disposition, challenged the other to 
fight him the following day. The challenge was ac- 
cepted, on condition that they should breakfast to- 
gether previous to their going to the field at the 
house of the person challenged. When the challen- 
ger arrived next morning, according to appointment, 
he found every preparation made for breakfast ; and 
his friend, his wife and children, all ready to receive 
him. Their repast being over, and the family with- 
drawn, without the slightest hint of their purpose 
having transpired, the challenger asked the other if 
he was ready to attend. " No, sir," replied he; "not 
until we are on a par. That amiable woman and 
those six innocent children who just now breakfasted 
with us depend solely upon my life for their subsist- 
ence ; and until you can stake something equal, in 
my estimation, to the welfare of those seven persons, 
who are dearer to me than my right hand or my' 
right eye, I cannot think we are equally matched." 
"We are not, indeed," replied the other, giving him 
his hand ; and they became, ever afterward, firmer 
friends than before. 

A pretty exhibition of courage and concession was 
shown at the meeting of Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. 
Scawen, near Tournay (the Netherlands), on Septem- 
ber i, 1773. Mr. S. asked Mr. F. if he would fire 
first. The latter accepted the offer, and discharged 
his pistol at Mr. Scawen without effect. Mr. S. then 
levelled his weapon at his antagonist, who, while 
bringing his second pistol to a level, accidentally dis- 
charged it before Mr. Scawen had fired his first. On 



PATHOS AND SENTIMENT. 495 

this, Mr. S. said, " Mr. Fitzgerald, you have fired 
your second pistol." To which Mr. F. replied, "It 
is true, sir ; but I assure you that it was entirely ac- 
cidental, and I ask your pardon for it." Then, ad- 
vancing a pace or two toward Mr. Scawen, Mr. Fitz- 
gerald added, " You have both your pistols, sir ; I 
desire you will fire them, and then we will both load 
again." Mr. Scawen then advanced toward his ad- 
versary, and nobly replied, " Sir, I am glad it hap- 
pened, for I am prepared to say that my disrespect- 
ful language was used when I was disordered with 
liquor, and I am extremely sorry for it." The gentle- 
men then shook hands, and afterward spent the even- 
ing together. 

In his duel with Benedict Arnold, Lord Balcarras 
received his antagonist's fire without injury ; and 
when Arnold exclaimed, "My lord, are you not 
going to fire ?" Balcarras threw his weapon away and 
replied, " No, sir ; I leave traitors to the public exe- 
cutioner !" 

When Louis the Thirteenth made an example, at 
last, by beheading Francis de Botteville, Richelieu, 
who was very severe on the grandees, while he per- 
mitted " smaller fry" to run each other through, said 
to the king : " We must cut off the heads of some of 
these distinguished duellists or the time will soon 
arrive when they will pay no attention whatever to 
the edicts of your Majesty." And so De Botteville 
notwithstanding the repeated entreaties of the Count- 
ess (his wife), the Princess of Conde, and many 
nobles and their wives was executed, along with a 
relative (Des Chappelles). 

In October, 1883, a lieutenant of dragoons and a 
banker met near Paris with pistols, and the bullet 



49 6 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

from the former struck the latter in the stomach just 
where the upper part of the trousers came together, 
and failed to perform further its hostile mission ; 
whereupon the banker discharged his weapon in the 
air. The two gentlemen then advanced toward each 
other, shook hands, and went off to breakfast together. 
When asked why he did not fire at his antagonist, the 
banker replied that he all of a sudden concluded that 
it " was a mistaken sense of honor for a man to stand 
up and deliberately shoot at a French officer whose 
life belonged to his country." 

The Marquis de Donnisan, who was an earnest op- 
ponent of duelling, once overheard two of his officers 
quarrelling and saw them in the act of drawing their 
swords, a challenge to mortal combat having been 
given and accepted. At this juncture the Marquis 
hurried to the spot and cried out : " Hold ! Which 
of you two, think you, will have the pleasure of rob- 
bing himself of a friend and a brother, and, at the 
same time, robbing me of one of my best and per- 
haps two of my best and bravest soldiers ?" Imme- 
diate good effect resulted from such reproof, and the 
two officers at once sheathed their swords, joined 
hands, and vowed friendship for each other. 

It is stated that when Lord Edward Bruce took 
leave of his mother and the Lady Clementina on his 
departure from England to the Continent for the pur- 
pose of meeting Sir Edward Sackville in mortal com- 
bat, he besought them to be prepared for the worst, 
as it was altogether probable that he would never 
return ; and it has also been stated that, upon hear- 
ing of his lordship's death, the two ladies put on 
mourning, which they never took off during their 
lives. Subsequently the heart of Bruce was pre- 



PATHOS AND SENTIMENT. 497 

served and sent from Holland, and interred in the 
burying-ground adjoining the old abbey church of 
Culross at Perthshire. 

Captain Harvey Aston, who had been severely 
wounded by Lieutenant Fitzgerald in 1790, was on 
terms of intimacy with the royal family ; and upon 
his departure for India, some years afterward, the 
king enjoined him most affectionately never again to 
fight a duel. It was not long, however, before his 
fatal meeting with Colonel Allen (also of the British 
army), in which he was shot through the body and 
back-bone ; and an account of this duel states that 
Aston, after receiving his death-wound, continued 
standing, his arm extended and pistol presented for 
more than a minute ; but, sensible that he had but a 
short time to live, he exclaimed, " It shall never be 
said of me that the last act of my life was an act of 
revenge ;" and gradually lowering his arm to his side, 
he sank forever. 

M. de Walsh, a young officer of the French army, 
had but just married a most accomplished lady, who 
was a relative of the Due de la Rochefoucauld, and 
was in the act of embracing his young wife, when he 
received a letter that made him instantly change 
color and show such confusion that the lady became 
alarmed and asked him the nature of its contents. 
To relieve her anxiety he burned the letter, after as- 
suring his bride that it contained nothing of impor- 
tance. Subsequently he stated that he had left some 
papers at Fontainebleau; and that, the weather being 
fine, he would go in his cabriolet, with only his foot- 
boy, and fetch them, and return in time for dinner. 
He set out immediately ; and, leaving his carriage 
and servant at Villejuif, where he wrote letters to 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

his wife and several relatives, he entered the forest 
alone, and in an hour or two afterward was found 
dead where he had been killed in a duel. 

When Colonel Benton who had visited Mrs. Clay 
the night before the duel between Mr. Clay and Mr. 
Randolph related to the Virginian the story of his 
visit, and of Mrs. Clay's unconscious tranquillity, and 
of the sleeping child, Randolph said, " I shall do 
nothing to disturb the sleep of the child or the repose 
of the mother." After the duel Mr. Randolph said, 
" I would not have seen him fall mortally or even 
doubtfully wounded for all the land that is watered 
by the King of Floods and all his tributary streams." 

In his duel with John Heath, a captain of marines, 
near Hoboken (N. J.), in 1818, which was the result 
of a disturbance in the Mediterranean some three or 
four years before, during which he raised his hand to 
strike or did strike Heath, Oliver H. Perry, then a 
post-captain in the United States Navy, said: "I can- 
not consent to return his fire, as the meeting on my 
part is entirely as an atonement for the violated rules 
of the service; for I had no right to raise my hand 
against a person honored with a commission, although 
the provocation was very strong." The duel was 
fought with pistols. Heath fired and missed, and 
Perry discharged his weapon in the air. The affair 
was then brought to an end almost wholly through 
the instrumentality of Stephen Decatur, Perry's 
second. 

On February 21, 1816, at Galway (Ireland), near 
Merlin Park, Mr. P. Dillon and Mr. B. Kane, attor- 
neys, fought with pistols, and Dillon was killed at 
the first fire. The parties had always been close 
friends; and Dillon, who had fought many duels, had 



PATHOS AND SENTIMENT. 499 

been seconded by Kane in each. It is a singular, as 
well as a mournful, circumstance that Dillon's father 
had been killed in a duel with Malachy Fallon on the 
same spot, and was of the same age as his son when 
the latter fell and the Dillons both used the same 
weapon. Just before Major I. Hillas was killed by T. 
Fenton, at Kilmacowen (Ireland), in 1816, he said: "I 
am sorry the mistaken laws of honor oblige me to 
come here to defend myself, and I declare to God 
that I have no animosity to any man or woman on 
the face of the earth." Fenton fired first and shot 
Hillas dead. In his duel with Lieutenant Conroy, at 
Plympton-Mary Bridge, near Plymouth, on March 8, 
1817, Lieutenant Hindas, after receiving his antago- 
nist's bullet in a vital part, walked to his hotel, where 
he fell dead, after speaking piteously of his wife and 
two children, who, he said, would be left without a 
loving protector. 

In 1819 a demon gamester of Paris, who had en- 
ticed a young Englishman into his lair and robbed 
him of nearly ten thousand francs, challenged his 
victim for alleged slander, and killed the youth under 
the most distressing circumstances. The terms were 
that they should fight with pistols and fire at will. 
Unfortunately, however, the Englishman, who had 
never before stood upon the " field of honor," let go 
his fire, and the gamester walked up to the youth 
and, taking deliberate aim, said, " You report that I 
have cheated you ?" "Yes." " Have you a mother ?" 
"Yes." "Well, I am sorry for her," and the boy 
fell dead in the beautiful Bois de Boulogne; and 
even the cascades and fountains seemed to murmur 
at the atrocious act. But the murder of the boy 
was avenged ; for in a short time afterward an 



500 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

English duellist had sought out the murderer, flung a 
glass of chablis in his face, had been challenged, had 
fought with swords, and had killed the French rascal. 

In 1772, in England, a Mr. McLean was challenged 
and killed by a Mr. Cameron; and the mother of Mr. 
McLean, when she was informed of the sad occurrence, 
instantly lost her reason; whilst a Miss McLeod, who 
was to have been married to the deceased, was seized 
with spasms, and died in three days. 

In 1803, in London, Lieutenant W., of the navy, 
challenged Captain I., of the army, on account of the 
betrayal of Miss W. by Captain L; and the parties 
met in Hyde Park, at six paces. At the first shot the 
Lieutenant missed, but had two fingers torn off from 
his right hand. He then deliberately wrapped the 
wound with his handkerchief, and, looking solemnly 
upward, exclaimed, " I have a left hand, thank 
Heaven, which never failed me." The combatants 
again took their ground and fired, and both fell the 
Captain dying instantly. The Lieutenant, who was 
shot through the breast, raised himself and inquired 
if his antagonist had been hurt; and, upon being in- 
formed that he had killed Captain I., he said, " Thank 
Heaven!" And then, taking his mourning-ring from 
a finger, he handed it to his second, and added, " Give 
this to my poor, dear sister, and tell her this is the 
happiest moment of my life;" and in a few seconds 
he expired. 

The wife of the Marquis de Sevigne who was 
killed in a duel in 1651, wore mourning during the 
rest of her life. 

Decatur and Barren the former mortally and the 
latter dangerously wounded exchanged foregiveness 
on the field. Before the firing which terminated the 



PATHOS AND SENTIMENT. $01 

career of one of the most gallant and courteous 
Americans that ever lived, Barron said to Decatur, 
" I hope, on meeting in another world, that we shall 
be better friends than we have been in this." To 
which Decatur replied, " I have never been your 
enemy, sir." 

In the duel between Captain Ross and Lieutenant 
Martin (of the Queen's Regiment), in India, it was 
arranged that it should take place very early in the 
morning of the day set, so as not to alarm Mrs. Ross, 
who was a bride. Mrs. R., however, suspected all 
was not right; and as soon as her husband had gone, 
she got up and dressed herself hurriedly, had her 
pony saddled, and rode out to the race-course ar- 
riving just in time to see her husband fall, danger- 
ously (it was thought mortally) wounded, and to hear 
him exclaim, " My God ! I am killed. My poor wife ! 
my poor wife !" Mrs. Ross quickly dismounted, and, 
rushing toward the fallen officer, fell fainting over 
his body, and died in a short time afterward, a maniac. 
The officer recovered, however. 

Colonel Thomas, who was killed by Cosmo Gar- 
diner, in England in 1783, executed his will upon the 
evening previous, commencing it as follows: "In the 
first place I commit my soul to Almighty God, in 
hopes of his mercy and pardon for the irreligious 
step I now in compliance with the unwarranted cus- 
toms of this wicked world put myself under the 
necessity of taking." In 1785, in Massachusetts, Cap- 
tain Harris, of the Revolutionary army, made his will 
just before he departed for the field of honor, where 
he was mortally wounded, dying in less than four 
hours after the unfortunate meeting. W. G. Graham, 
who was killed by Horace Barton at Hoboken (NJ.) 



5O2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

in 1827, left behind him the following curiosity of 
duelling literature: " I frankly admit that I am greatly 
in the wrong; and that by giving Mr. Barton a blow 
I have forced him into the condition of a challenger; 
and that by not doing what he has he would have 
blasted his character as a gentleman forever. In 
common justice, I am bound thus to absolve him 
from all suspicion of unbecoming conduct respecting 
the challenge. The provocation, though slight, was 
still a provocation which I could not overlook. It is 
out of the question for me to explain, retract, or apol- 
ogize, as Mr. Barton dwells very complacently on his 
own skill as a marksman, on his experience as a 
duellist, and on his accuracy as a person of ton. I 
pretend to none of these, and therefore must oppose 
the most inflexible obstinacy. After he is perfectly 
satisfied, I may, perhaps, apologize that is, in 
case I am fatally wounded. It is needless for me to 
say I heartily protest and despise this absurd mode 
of settling disputes. But what can a poor devil do, 
except bow to the supremacy of custom?"* 

In the most flourishing period of the reign of Louis 
XIV. two negro youths, the sons of a prince, being 
brought to the Court of France, the king appointed 
a Jesuit to instruct them in letters and in the Chris- 
tian religion, and gave to each of them a commission 
in his Guards. The elder, who was remarkable for his 
candor and ingenuousness, made great improvement, 
more particularly in the doctrines of religion. A 
brutal officer, upon some dispute, insulted him with a 
blow. The gallant youth never so much as offered to 
resent it. A person who was his friend took an op- 
portunity to talk with him that evening, alone, upon 
his behavior, which he told him was too tame, es- 



PATHOS AND SENl'IMENT. ' 503 

peciallyin a soldier. "Is there, then," said the young 
African, "one revelation for soldiers and another for 
merchants and gownsmen ? The good father to whom 
I owe all my knowledge has earnestly inculcated for- 
giveness of injuries done me, assuring me that a 
Christian was by no means to retaliate abuses of any 
kind." " The good father," replied his friend, " may fit 
you for a monastery by his lessons, but never for the 
rules of a court. In a word," continued he, " if you do 
not call the Colonel to an account, you will be branded 
with the infamy of cowardice and have your com- 
mission taken from you." "I would fain," answered 
the young man, "act consistently in everything; but 
since you press me with that regard to my honor which 
you have always shown, I will wipe off so foul a stain, 
though I must own I gloried in it before." Imme- 
diately upon this, he desired his friend to go from 
him and appoint the aggressor to meet him early in 
the morning. Accordingly they met and fought, 
and the brave youth disarmed his adversary and 
forced him to ask his pardon publicly. This done, 
the next day he threw up his commission and desired 
the king's leave to return to his father; where, he 
said, it was no dishonor to act up to the principles of 
one's religion. 



504 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 
THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. 

Helena von Doenniges and her Rival Lovers A Nevada Court- 
ship and the Consequence Origin of Salmi Morse's Drama of 
" On the Yellowstone" A Tale of True Love Why a German 
Count became a Common Laborer upon the Illinois Central 
Railroad The Last of a Hermit A Fatal Duel on the Rhine 
The Survivor Flees to New York and Commits Suicide A 
Point of Honor The European Custom called "The American 
Duel " The Russian Brothers The Lawyer and the Physician. 

AND now we come to the recital of one of the 
most romantic duels ever fought at any time in 
any country the meeting in the year 1864 between 
Ferdinand Lassalle, the great social reformer and 
father of modern socialism in Germany, and the 
young Wallachian Prince Rackowitza. The cause 
was a woman Helena von Doenniges, the daughter 
of the Bavarian Ambassador in Switzerland, and 
belonging to one of the oldest aristocratic families 
of Germany. All three were exceptionally eccen- 
tric people. Lassalle was a man of genius and high 
intellectual achievements, and an Israelite by birth; 
and, despite his democratic tendencies, an aristo- 
crat in appearance and mode of living, who had been 
many years dreaming of and preparing for a " republic 
of Germany," with himself as its President, the elect 
of the people. But his fate was Helena von Doenniges, 
whom he first met in 1862, in the artistic and intel- 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. $O$ 

lectual circles of Berlin society. Fraulein von Doen- 
niges was then but eighteen years of age, a beautiful 
woman of an exquisite type, with gold-red hair; of un- 
usual accomplishments, superior knowledge, poetical, 
enthusiastic, a favorite 'of society. It was*a love at first 
sight ihecoup de foudre (the lightning-stroke of love), 
as the French say between these two handsome peo- 
ple. Like Helena, Lassalle (though twenty years older 
than the young girl) was of most striking appearance 
tall, slender, graceful, handsome, with " the head of 
a Roman Caesar and sparkling eyes," as described by 
Helena, the sole survivor of the unhappy trio, in a book 
entitled " My Relations to Lassalle." The very same 
evening upon which their alliance for life had been 
vowed to each other, the self-willed eccentric tribune 
of the people carried " his child " or " gold fox " (on 
account of her hair), as he called his love, in his arms 
down the stairs of the house where they had met for the 
first time. The Berlin relatives with whom Fraulein 
von Doenniges went home that evening were not even 
astonished at this sudden familiarity such favorites 
of society were both the hero and the heroine. But 
the latter had already a devoted, passionate admirer 
the youthful, handsome Wallachian Prince Yanko 
Rackowitza, a descendant of an old royal Tartarian 
family, who, then but nineteen years old, was called by 
Helena, on account of his very dark complexion and 
black eyes, her " Moorish page" or " young Othello." 
When she informed the Prince next day that she had 
found the only man she could marry, his eyes were 
filled with tears and he sadly answered, " If it be your 
happiness, I have nothing to say." Lassalle and Helena 
met several times again, and their complete congenial- 
ity cemented still more firmly their hearts. Then 



506 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

there was a temporary separation. The fair Helena 
returned to her father's home, in the aristocratic 
atmosphere of which nobody would have dared to men- 
tion the name of the republican and socialist Lassalle. 
Herr von Do'enniges favored a 'marriage between his 
daughter and Prince Rackowitza. Moreover, Lassalle 
had entertained a sort of platonic liaison with the old 
Countess Hatzfeld, another eccentric character, and 
the rumors of these relations had injured his moral 
reputation. But the lovers thought to overcome all 
these obstacles. Again the lovers met in Switzerland, 
and now formed plans to overcome the objections of 
Helena's parents to their marriage. Lassalle followed 
Helena to Geneva, where her parents were then living, 
but her too hasty confession to her haughty mother 
brought about a sudden catastrophe. Her parents 
cursed her for loving this " socialistic Jew," and she fled 
to Lassalle's hotel, imploring him to flee with her to 
France and marry her there without the consent of 
her parents. But his political ambition got the better 
of his love, probably; for he objected to her proposition, 
and himself led Helena back to her parents, who in turn 
treated Lassalle with indignation and contempt. He 
vowed he would soon return and take the young woman 
to his own home; but he was answered by her parents 
that he should never see her again. Her father then im- 
prisoned her in the house, and treated her most cruelly. 
Lassalle had gone to Munich and brought the influence 
of powerful friends to bear upon the father. Seeing 
this, the latter acted more perfidiously than before; he 
intercepted Lassalle's letters to his daughter, and at 
last broke her resistance and compelled her to re- 
nounce her love, for when Lassalle returned with 
influential friends to Geneva he coerced his daugh- 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. 50? 

ter who, not having received any word from Lassalle, 
thought she had been forsaken to declare solemnly 
that she voluntarily broke her engagement. Then 
Lassalle challenged her father, and the latter induced 
Prince Rackowitza to accept for him the duel. The 
Prince informed Fraulein von Doenniges; and Helena, 
who knew Lassalle to be an excellent shot, took new 
courage, thinking he would severely wound or kill 
the boyish Yanko, and that then she might seek 
Lassalle and explain everything. She prepared fully 
for the flight. But perhaps Lassalle was in despair 
and wanted to die. At any rate, Prince Rackowitza re- 
turned unharmed; but Lassalle had received a deadly 
wound from the effects of which he died on the third 
morning after the duel. Helena fell into a torpor and 
was for months unconscious of everything around her. 
Prince Rackowitza was inconsolable and in despaif 
over what he had done from a false feeling of honor. 
He remained awhile with the family, but was soon 
taken dangerously ill. Helena now forgot her hatred 
of him and his deed, and took pity on him. When he 
was in the last stages of consumption she married him, 
six months after Lassalle's death, to nurse him faith- 
fully till his own death, which occurred five months 
later. In her exalted way of thinking she did not con- 
sider this as a wrong to Lassalle's memory. From her 
family she was now estranged entirely, and Lassalle's 
friends all hated her as the cause of Lassalle's death. 
What should the poor girl do ? Helena von Racko- 
witza had always been passionately fond of the stage, 
and now sought a new sphere of life by turning her 
attention to dramatic art. Her relations to Lassalle 
had already made her famous; and her great beauty, 
grace, and elegance aided not a little the success of 



508 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

her dffiut, and soon she was a popular and admired ac- 
tress. Her second marriage, to a celebrated actor, was 
unfortunate, and the two were soon after separated. 
Eight years ago she came to America, where she starred 
on the German and English stage very successfully, 
and ultimately became the wife of a Russian nobleman 
and nihilist a man of great literary talent who is, 
strange to say, the leader of the American branch of 
the party founded by Lassalle. The heroine of this 
strange romance at present resides in New York and is 
devoted to literary work. She is still a beautiful and 
charming woman, and very much admired in society. 
The Kansas City Star in May, 1884, published the 
following highly romantic sketch of a Nevada court- 
ship and the duel in consequence; it throws a beam 
upon the origin of poor Salmi Morse's drama of "On 
the Yellowstone :" 

Six or seven years ago Judge Blackburn was one of the 
leading jurists of Nevada. His daughter Mary, then not quite 
seventeen years old, was a lovely girl tall, lithe, and with a 
glorious head of deep blonde hair, of that peculiar shade 
which hesitates on the border-line of the lightest brown. 
They were at that time at Silver City, Nev., and she was be- 
sieged with admirers, whom the Judge endeavored, with a 
popular sort of parental monopoly, to keep at arm's length. 
Probably the most obnoxious of all these to him was Harry 
J. Norton, a bright young newspaper-man, who was publishing 
a typical mining-camp journal there. Norton was a roman- 
tic-looking fellow, dark-haired and handsome, and had a 
history full Cjf adventure. He had been a soldier, had fought 
his way into Mexico ; he had been a scout and in Govern- 
ment employ; had threaded the labyrinths of the Yellow- 
stone into the most marvellous fairyland that the foot of 
man ever trod ; he was the sole survivor of a wild raid of the 
Apaches on the Gila River, and escaped by sheer and desper- 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. 5<X) 

ate courage alone ; he had been a gold-miner, a hunter all 
alone in leagues of prairie-land, and, above all, he was a keen 
observer, an easy and graceful talker, and these " moving in- 
cidents by flood and field " wove themselves into his conver- 
sation and lent it an ineffable charm. He was a man of 
undoubted nerve; will-power was a dominant trait of his 
character ; and it is not at all strange that he soon captivated 
the belle of the camp. 

Judge Blackburn, however, regarded him with dislike and 
suspicion. He said freely that he considered him a danger- 
ous and dissolute man, and declined to entrust the future 
happiness of* his child in his hands. Norton loved her ten- 
derly and purely, and was not the man to be balked. Next to 
himself the most prominent suitor was a rich Mexican who 
had drifted North, and whose name has escaped the pen. 
He was, however, rich, rather dashing, and a really dangerous 
rival anywhere. Norton fancied that he was standing in the 
way and prejudicing the Judge against him, and he lost no 
time in finding a pretext for a quarrel and challenging him 
to a duel. The challenge was instantly accepted, the Mexi- 
can, as the challenged party, choosing Colt's revolvers, at 
twenty paces, and an early hour next morning as the 
time. 

Prompt to the minute they met. During the night Nor- 
ton had worked as usual at his office, coolly grinding out 
" copy " for the printers and correcting proof as nonchalantly 
as though he was anticipating nothing more serious than a 
good sleep at the end of it. The last sheet of " copy" he wrote 
was a brief obituary of himself, and, hanging it on his hook, 
told the foreman, without mentioning its nature, to run it in 
the next issue in case he did not return. 

The place selected for the duel was a level spot in the 
rear of some shattered adobe houses. They stood back to 
back, and at " One, two, three" were to wheel and fire. At 
" three" Norton turned deliberately and sent a bullet straight 
through his opponent's heart. The Mexican's ball had passed 
over his head. 

It was yet in the early gray of dawn, and the journalist 



510 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

hastened to Blackburn's house and told Mary plainly just 
what had happened, also that he must instantly fly. 

" I will go with you," she said. 

She never re-entered the house. Norton procured her 
wraps in the camp, and they left together before the sun was 
up. Of course she was soon missed, and, linking her absence 
with the news of the duel, which reached him shortly, and of 
Norton's departure, Judge Blackburn did not have much dif- 
ficulty in arriving at an understanding of the case. He was 
a stern old man, and started in pursuit, fully determined, so 
he often afterward said, to kill them both. His instant con- 
struction was that the journalist had enticed the girl away, 
and, in the relentless old code (A morality, he prefered death 
to dishonor. 

Norton, however, had no such notion. They struck the 
stage and took passage, as any lady and gentleman might, 
for Virginia City. En route the angered father pressed them 
so hard that they were compelled to abandon the stage, and, 
securing horses, finished the trip in the saddle. They arrived 
in Virginia City half an hour ahead, and when Judge Black- 
burn arrived he was confronted by a marriage-certificate. 
Although he concluded not to do any killing, he never en- 
tirely forgave Norton, and returned to his home feeling that 
he had been deeply wronged. Nobody was particularly 
affected by the death of the Mexican, and the prosecution 
quietly died out for lack of interest. 

For two years the young couple led a roving life, drifting 
wherever the shifting fortune of nomadic Western journalism 
drew the husband. For a time they were in the Black Hills, 
but some " gold-brick" confidence-men whom Norton ex- 
posed combined their influence to freeze him out. His next 
objective point was Leadville, and, reluctant to take his girl- 
wife to so turbulent a camp, Norton sent her home to her 
parents in Nevada, and went to fight the battle alone. He 
was soon a popular character there, and became editor of the 
Chronicle, which had recently been started. 

While at Leadville Norton published a book, half romance 
and half history, entitled, " On the Yellowstone." It was the 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. 511 

idealized story of his adventures, and, while it never reaped 
the author a fortune, its sale was wide. In 1879 hard work 
and a reckless life broke Norton down, and he was seized 
with pneumonia. His wife was telegraphed for, and came in 
on the big lumbering stage on the evening that he died. 
They took her to the bare log-cabin in which he lay, and the 
scene at the bedside was pitiful beyond all words. In the 
delirium of grief she clung to the corpse, and had to be finally 
taken away by sheer force. Norton was buried under the 
pifion trees in the Carbonate hills, and the widow of less than 
twenty went back to Nevada, carrying with her the dead 
Bohemian's few effects, including the manuscript of a revision 
of his book " On the Yellowstone," making more of a story 
and less of a history of it. A purse was raised for her among 
her husband's old associates, and she drifted out of sight. 
It was afterward learned that she went with her father to the 
Pacific Coast, and a few years ago became suddenly enriched 
by a legacy left her by a relative. It was with this money 
that she made her theatrical venture in New York, again 
opposing the wishes of her parent, and again without warn- 
ing leaving his house. Salmi Morse's play " On the Yellow- 
stone" was in reality a dramatization of Henry Norton's book. 

The following tale of true love is from a Chicago 
despatch (February 10, 1884) to the Associated Press, 
and tells the romantic story of how a German count 
became a common laborer upon the Illinois Central 
Railroad: 

The papers have built a very handsome romance out of a 
variety of actual facts. One year ago, Alfred, Count Salm- 
Salm, lived in the city of Bonn and was a student of the 
famous university. He was a handsome young man, nine- 
teen years of age, with unlimited resources. His father, 
Prince Frederick Salm-Salm, is one of the highest and 
wealthiest nobles of the German Empire and titular chief of 
the aristocracy of Rhenish Prussia. Prince Salm-Salm, who 
was colonel on the staff of General McClellan during the late 



512 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

war, and at its close entered the service of Maximilian in 
Mexico as adjutant-general, and subsequently fell in the 
service of Emperor William at the battle of Gravelotte, in 
France, during the German war, was a relative of Count 
Alfred. Alfred fell in love with a beautiful lady of the city 
of Bonn. She was also loved by another student, and the 
rivalry between them became so warm and personal that a 
duel was the consequence. The Prince forbade all further 
intercourse between his son and the lady, and publicly an- 
nounced that he would no longer be responsible for the 
Count's debts growing out of this state of affairs. The Count 
quit school and came to America. 

After the departure of his son the father became penitent, 
and a long time having elapsed without any tidings of his 
son, the Prince, through detectives and the press, offered a 
large sum of money for news concerning him, but none came, 
and so he was given up for dead. Last week Carl Schneider, 
who had been a private in the King's Hussars garrisoned at 
Bonn, met Count Alfred, both being common laborers on the 
Illinois Central Railroad. He advised the Prince by letter, 
and a trusted messenger, Mr. Maltzahn, was despatched from 
Germany. He arrived here a few days ago. The young 
Count was found, the father's forgiveness tendered, his anxi- 
ety expressed, and the consent of the Count obtained to return 
home immediately. With his old clothes of a railroad-laborer 
he threw off the name of Frederick Reinhart by which he 
was known, and with a new suit he again assumed his heredi- 
tary title Alfred, Count Salm-Salm. He left for New York 
yesterday, and will sail for home at once. To make the story 
perfect, he has remained true to the maiden and is to marry 
her, though he relinquishes a portion of his fortune in so 
doing. 

The following is from the St. Paul (Minnesota) 
Pioneer Press of November 24, 1871: 

Hermits are commonly held to be creatures of romance 
rather than reality, yet there are such beings even in this 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. 513 

prosaic age. A recluse died in Saline County, Kansas, a 
week or two ago who for twenty long years had lived abso- 
lutely alone. He dwelt in a large cave, some ten miles from 
the town of Petra, and nothing was known of his early career 
until after his death. That career then proved to have been 
very touching and mournful. 

The hermit's name was Franklin Elliott. During the years 
of his solitary existence in the cave he was an object of con- 
stant speculation and curiosity. Once or twice only in the 
year he came into the town. He would then barter game or 
pelts for powder, shot, and salt, seldom anything else, 
speaking as few words as might be, and then hastening 
away. Sometimes he would be seen in the woods carrying 
a long rifle and quantities of game. If he saw people ap- 
proaching he would try to avoid them by turning aside into 
the forest. If that happened to be impracticable, he would 
stalk moodily straight on. When spoken to he would reply 
briefly and coldly, and at once depart. He had "a com- 
manding air, a proud, set face, and in spite of his squalid 
attire, long elfin locks, and singular mode of life, inspired as 
much respect as curiosity." The cave in which he lived was 
commodious, having been enlarged, evidently by himself, 
from a small hole to an apartment twenty-five feet square and 
ten or twelve feet high. When examined after his death it 
was quite void of furniture. Pieces of stone and niches in 
the rocky walls apparently served as chairs, tables, and 
shelves. A rifle and fowling-piece were found, a long, broad 
bowie-knife, fishing-tackle, cooking-utensils, and a number 
of books. Among the latter were copies of Shakespeare, 
Sterne, Addison, Schiller, Southey, and Spenser. In one 
corner was a heap of blankets and skins, and on these lay 
the solitary occupant of the retreat dead. 

Two gentlemen had been hunting near by and were over- 
taken by a storm. Seeking refuge at the cave, they knocked 
at its heavy iron door. No response being made to their 
repeated summons, they pressed cautiously to the inside, and 
saw what we have described. They also found a small tin 
box, such as is used by lawyers, and in this were papers that 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

made clear the unhappy man's history. He had been well 
born, educated, and affluent. It would appear that he must 
have been early in life elected to the Legislature of his native 
State, Kentucky. Before this he had become passionately 
attached to a young girl. A likeness of her, showing that 
she must have possessed remarkable beauty, qualified by a 
rather sensuous and cruel expression, was also found in the 
box. Sets of letters, in different hands, made the whole 
drama clear. " Olive," for such was her name as written on 
the portrait and in the letters, had led Elliott at first to think 
his love for her returned. In other words, she amused her- 
self with him after the fashion of many of her sex without 
having any real feeling. While the game was going on some 
one crossed her path for whom she conceived a veritable 
passion. She corresponded with this fresh admirer, but 
lacked moral courage to tell the other one the truth, Either 
for this reason or out of contemptible vanity she kept up her 
affairs with both. Elliott discovered all, as letters in the tin 
box, written by " Olive" to both himself and his rival, proved ; 
such letters, bearing the same date, were found side by side, 
and stained with blood, in the same package. 

In the same package was a yellow printed slip cut from an 
old newspaper. It gave an account of a frightful duel fought 
between the two men with rifles at twenty-five paces. Elliott 
shot his antagonist through the head. The cause of the 
duel, as described by the slip, was a dispute, at cards. It de- 
scribed the slain man, Bailey, as " handsome, brave, and lax 
of principle." What happened afterward as regards " Olive" 
is unknown. Neither law nor public opinion was severe on 
duelling in Kentucky a quarter of a century ago, so that 
there was no particular reason for Elliott to fly. He went 
abroad, however, and seems to have remained in Europe two 
or three years. Whether moved to return and to seek a soli- 
tary life by the stings of conscience or by the misery of a 
broken heart can only be conjectured. It is only known that 
he did return, and that he abandoned friends and society 
forever, and lived like the melancholy Jaques in an "aban- 
doned cave," until death mercifully closed his eyes. The 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. $1$ 

9 

compassionate will be glad to be told that tender hands rev- 
erently disposed of the poor outcast's remains, gave them 
decent burial, and marked the spot with a memorial stone. 
Upon it is inscribed, " Franklin Elliott. A Stranger. No- 
vember 7, 1871." 

The following account of the suicide of Baron von 
Sternberger's son, and partly what led to it, is taken 
from the New York Herald of a recent date: 

In the early dawn of an August morning in 1882 two young 
men crossed swords in mortal combat in a secluded spot not 
far from Heiderhoff Castle, on the Rhine. They had been 
rival suitors for the hand of Fraulein Maria Marx, the daugh- 
ter of a wealthy gentleman who lived in the castle. The 
meeting was the outcome of a quarrel that had occurred be- 
tween the young men when it became known that the young 
lady had accepted one and rejected the other. The duel 
progressed hotly until, after a feint, one of the young men 
fell to the ground a corpse, the sword of his antagonist hav- 
ing passed almost through his body. 

Richard von Sternberger, the son of the late Baron von 
Sternberger of Bonn, and the betrothed of Fraulein Marx, 
was the survivor of the fatal encounter. For some weeks 
after the duel his name was kept from the authorities, but it 
eventually became known. Von Sternberger's friends had 
counselled him to leave the country, and while search was 
being made for him the successful duellist evaded his pur- 
suers and took passage for this city in disguise. Upon his 
arrival here the fugitive accepted a menial position in a 
Brooklyn restaurant. As time wore on the search was aban- 
doned, but young Von Sternberger, although advised of 
every move that had been made, for safety's sake still con- 
cealed his identity. He had become weary of his occupation, 
and some months ago accepted what to him was more con- 
genial employment in a drug-store at No. 1396 Second Ave- 
nue, kept by Adolph Hesse. . . . Mr. Hesse soon found that 
his apprentice was an exemplary young man and had the 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

utmost confidence in his integrity. Being of good education, 
Von Sternberger quickly became proficient in business. . . . 
Young Von Sternberger spoke hopefully of returning to Ger- 
many in six or seven years, when the duel had been forgotten 
and his debts were all settled, and making Fraulein Marx his 
wife. He constantly corresponded with his betrothed, and in 
a letter which he received from her in September last she 
stated that her family persisted in attempts to induce her to 
marry a wealthy landowner who lived near the castle. She 
also said that she was still faithful to her vow, and implored 
him to return to Germany and fulfil his pledge. In his an- 
swer to the letter Von Sternberger said that circumstances 
were such that it was impossible to go back home for at least 
six years, and he begged her to patiently await his return. 

A little over a month ago Von Sternberger received a letter 
from his betrothed which, translated, reads as follows : 

" MY EVER AND ONLY BELOVED : This is the last time I 
dare to call you such. I never thought it possible. The mere 
idea of it is enough to drive me mad. That now has become 
a certainty. We are bound to part. How I have thought it 
all over the last week and tried to get a last anchor of hope ! 
But I am hopeless. I have stood alone weeping and praying, 
and on the other side everybody against me. I asked them 
to desist from threatening me, but the threats of other peo- 
ple force me to write this letter. I received your letter, and 
with that my last hope was gone. Six years ! An endless 
long time, which will change many things. I fully believe 
that you love me, but that long time may cool your love. 
When you come back you will be just in the prime of your 
years, but I, on the other side, will have lost the bloom of 
youth. I am a woman. You, however, are bound by your 
word, and would not hesitate a moment to keep it, even if 
you would be made unhappy ; and rather than put you to 
that sorrow I will not hold you to your pledge any longer. 
I love you too much to draw you into unhappiness, and it is 
quite enough if one is unhappy. My parents and sisters 
refuse their consent and never will give it to me. I am 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. 517 

entirely in their power. If you could come back in one or 
two years, as you said at the time you promised me, I would 
have withstood all their threats, but the last hope is gone. 
I lose my hold. I see the end only too plainly. . . . Now 
this dream comes to an end. It was so joyful ; but, like all 
dreams, it must vanish, whether they have a joyful or sorrow- 
ful waking, and as God pleases. As to me, everything is 
immaterial. Whatever may come, life has lost its charms for 
me. If only I were dead ! 

" Farewell, farewell, my Richard. May you be happy ! 
Beloved of my heart, farewell. MARIA." 

For several days after the receipt of this letter Von Stern- 
berger appeared down-hearted. 

The account proceeds to detail the unhappy ending 
of the young man's love and life. He committed sui- 
cide by the use of morphine. 

The following sketch, entitled "A Point of Honor," 
is from the New Orleans Times-Democrat : 

Public opinion within the last few years has opposed itself 
to duelling at the South. Either duels are met with ridicule 
when the combatants leave the field unharmed, or, if the 
issue is tragic, there is a universal outcry against a barba- 
rous practice. The duello has had a very long day at 
the South, and it is quite time its course should be run. 
But still it is not indigenous to this latitude, though it 
must be acknowledged it has thrived wonderfully under 
certain conditions of social life which no longer exist. 
The custom is not of Southern origin at all. It was 
borrowed from Northern nations the Germans, Danes, 
and Franks. Their judicial combats and private duels 
make up a large part of their history, and it was only 
when he was sixty years old that a man was exempt from an 
obligation to conform to their sanguinary laws. The duel 
was introduced into France by its Prankish conquerors, and 
throve there so well that in the time of Henry IV. six thou- 
sand persons fell in duels during a period of ten years. 



518 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

The early settlers of Louisiana were descendants of these 
duelling Frenchmen, and they transmitted the fantastic ob- 
servances of the code of honor to their descendants. From 
the highest to the lowest, all fought those who were fear- 
less, because they considered it a sacred duty to peril life for 
a point of honor ; those who were timid, because they 
shrank from the social ostracism which followed a refusal to 
give or demand satisfaction for an affront. What constituted 
an affront had a very wide margin ; so wide, that the merest 
trifles were sufficient to bring about a hostile meeting. A 
gentleman, and a stranger, in a cafe in New Orleans, was 
challenged and shot because he happened to call for the 
same dishes as a duellist who sat at the next table. Another 
met with the same fate because, in his ignorance of the 
French language, he used the familiar tu instead of the more 
formal vous. 

I have heard many sad stories connected with this duelling 
epoch, but one related to me by a relative of one of the vic- 
tims struck me as peculiarly significant of the fantastic exi- 
gencies of the code of honor. I do not give the real names 
of the parties, but there are probably some persons still living 
in New Orleans who have heard the particulars of the trage- 
dy and will identify the actors in it. 

Gaston de Villeneuve and Rene Beauchamp were cousins, 
and more than cousins in their brotherly love for each other. 
They were wealthy, handsome, ambitious, and possessed ex- 
ceptional talents. What was very rare among the Creoles of 
that day, instead of giving themselves up to the dolce far 
niente, as was the custom of wealthy young men in Louisiana, 
they threw themselves with ardor into the study of a profes- 
sion. They were admitted to the bar the same day, and be- 
gan their profession as partners. This pleasant companion- 
ship remained unchanged until Beauchamp fell desperately 

in love with Lucille D , the belle of the season, who some 

time before had shown a marked preference for his cousin, a 
preference which Gaston in his cool, quiet way seemed to 
ignore. Jealousy was the first discord in these harmonious 
lives. But when Mile. D accepted Rene, the jealousy he 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. 5IQ 

had felt for his cousin passed away, and the old affection 
revived. But a new order of things sprung up under these 
new conditions. A barrier grew up between them which 
Rene could not understand, but no longer were mutual con- 
fidences exchanged, and the lives which from infancy had 
been united seemed to drift far apart. Gaston chafed against 
this state of affairs, and once or twice made an effort to re- 
store the old relations, but his usual reticence seemed to 
check any confidence which might be hovering on his lips. 
One day, however, he burst out impetuously, 

" How changed you are, Rene !" 

" Am I ?" with a bright smile; " well, yes, I suppose I am, 
for I never knew before what happiness really was. Oh, I 
dare say I'm very lazy, and you hold me in contempt because 
I'm not as much interested in making a name for myself as I 
used to be. I'll leave that to you, mon cher. You have am- 
bition enough for both of us." 

" But that is not the question," Gaston said gravely. 

" Pardon me, but it is the question. Can't I see what you 
think of my indifference to business ? But, after all, what did 
we propose should be the aim of our efforts ? Happiness, 
wasn't it? Well, now, if I have found a royal road to it and 
hold it within my grasp, surely I ought to be satisfied, and 
you too." 

" A fool's paradise !" sneered Gaston. " It is said to love a 
good woman is an education in itself. But love her bah ! A 
woman who doesn't scruple to say she loves your plantation 
better than yourself. Rene, I have been silent too long. 
Listen to me and you will hear what will open your eyes to 
the truth. Your blindness is pitiable, and it makes me angry 
to see you the dupe you are." 

Rene drew himself up, his face white as death and his 
eyes blazing with rage. 

" Monsieur de Villeneuve may spare his wrath and his solici- 
tude," he answered in the measured tones of suppressed fury. 
" I understand the motives of his malicious insinuations. I 
will strive not to forget that the same blood flows in our 
veins ; but to do that, from to-day we must be strangers." 



$2O THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

" It shall be as you say," Gaston said sadly ; " but it seems 
to me we have already been strangers for a long time." 

The cousins parted that day, Gaston sore at heart for 
the breach between them, and regretting that what he had 
considered honorable scruples had sealed his lips until it was 
too late to convince Rene of the unworthiness of the woman 
whom he was about to make his wife. Rene was so hot with 
wrath that he took a dozen turns around the square before 
he regained coolness. What did Gaston mean ? Lucille had 
probably rejected him, for he knew she was a flirt, and that 
speech of Gaston's was nothing but a little ebullition of jeal- 
ous spite. They would soon make it up again. He turned 
his steps to the residence of his betrothed. She looked cross 
and troubled as she met him. 

" I'm in an awful humor, Rene," she cried ; " I've been 
crying my eyes out. I can't, get a natural flower to match 
my dress at the ball this evening, and I won't wear artificials. 
I will not go if I can't get flowers to suit me." 

In Lucille's presence the young man forgot his anger, for- 
got everything but the lovely vexed face which looked up at 
him with real tears in the beautiful eyes. 

" What kind of flower must it be, m'amie?" he asked ten- 
derly. 

" It must be scarlet of this peculiar shade," showing a piece 
of ribbon. " All kinds of red flowers can be found but just 
this tint. Oh, you can't help me ! Nobody can help me." 

" But that is just exactly what I can and will do," he said, 
drawing her to him. " In our conservatory this morning 
bloomed a wonderful Mexican plant scarlet bells, just that 
shade, I am sure. No one has ever seen anything like it, and 
no one could get it if they offered a fabulous price for it. 
That's what you women like, isn't it, m'amie to wear some- 
thing that no other woman could get, not if she gave her eyes 
for it ? Well, in an hour that flower shall be in your hand." 

Lucille clapped her little hands together and laughed with 
delight. She lavished caresses upon her lover, and they were 
not less precious to him because he had bought them with a 
rare flower. In fact he never reasoned upon any act of hers, 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. $21 

quite content to adore her blindly. To her the slightest 
accessory of the toilet which might enhance her beauty was 
the most important thing on the face of the earth. We all 
know some of these human butterflies, whose gauzy wings 
never lift them to a higher flight than a becoming coiffure 
or the insolent flattery of some men's eyes. 

" But that disagreeable cousin of yours," Lucille cried 
pettishly, as she was parting with her lover. " I do hope he 
will not be at the ball this evening. He looks at me as if he 
could kill me, and I hate him, too." 

" But you did not always hate him," Rene said, a sudden 
suspicion entering his mind. 

" Did he tell you that ?" She had become very pale. 
" What did he say about me ? He would tell any lie to part 
us, he would forge anything, for he loved me, though I 
never told you so. Beware of him, for he will part us 
yet." 

" It is not likely," Rene said gravely ; " we do not even 
speak." 

" Ah, you have quarrelled !" clapping her hands in her 
childish way and laughing. " I am so glad, for now I will 
not be obliged to speak to him." 

Lucille was radiant that night with the brilliant tropi- 
cal flowers in her hair and on her bosom. About mid- 
night she found herself near Gaston, and, glancing furtively 
at him, noticed to her dismay that he wore at his button- 
hole a spray of the rare exotic. She looked down at her 
corsage. The flower was not there. 

" Look, Rene," she cried excitedly to her lover, on whose 
arm she leaned. " Do you see ? Gaston has my flower. It 
certainly dropped from my corsage, and he knows it, and it 
is under the circumstances an insult to both of us that he is 
wearing it so conspicuously." 

" Perhaps he does not know it is yours." 

" But he does, I tell you. I saw him staring at the flow- 
ers in my hair. It is insolence, and he means it. If you do 
not force him to give up that flower, never speak to me 
again." 



522 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Rene was only too willing to obey this imperious man- 
date. With two strides he was beside his cousin. 

"Monsieur," he said haughtily in a low voice, "the lady 
whose flower you have appropriated without permission re- 
quests you to return it to her through me." 

Gaston laughed insultingly. 

"Suppose, Monsieur Beauchamp, I decline robbing myself 
of a flower which has never been in the lady's possession 
simply to gratify her caprice ? I have not the honor to be 
one of her slaves as you are, and that flower is mine." 

With a sudden movement Rene tore the glove from his 
left hand, and with it struck his cousin on the cheek. 

"Liar!" he hissed. 

Pale as death, Gaston made a sudden movement forward, 
but in a second recovered himself. 

"You will hear from me to-morrow," he said, and left the 
room. 

This encounter between the cousins had occurred in 
a little anteroom which was nearly empty, so few of the 
guests witnessed it. There was but one answer possible in 
those times to such an insult. A challenge was sent by Gas- 
ton, and accepted by his cousin ; the place of meeting, a 
little outside the city ; and the hour, sunset. 

The day was spent by Gaston in painful reflection. He 
was the son of a pious Huguenot mother, who died in his 
childhood, but the memory of her teachings had always, to 
a certain extent, influenced his mind. Could he take the 
life of a man he loved as a brother ? He knew well under 
whose influence Rene had acted. A few words could have 
exonerated him from the charge of appropriating the flower, 
but, with his cheek still tingling from the blow, those words 
were never spoken. The merciless code of honor demanded 
that satisfaction should be given and taken before explana- 
tion was possible. 

" But I will not fire at him," he thought, as he made up a 
small package of letters and addressed it to Rene. " If he 
kills me well, when he opens this he will understand his 
own injustice." 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. 523 

The two young men stood opposite each other at the 
appointed time. The love between them, so rudely rent 
asunder, had left many strong roots in the hearts of each. 

" If I am not killed," thought Rene, " I will ask Gaston to 
forgive that mad blow. There must be some mistake." 

Even then he longed to throw his arms around the neck 
of his more than brother and ask him to forgive and forget. 
But the code is merciless. Both fired simultaneously 
Gaston in the air, and Rene, as he thought, far to the right : 
but a muscular contraction in his arm defeated his purpose, 
and to his horror he saw his cousin stagger and fall. He 
was beside him in a second. 

" Have I killed him, doctor ?" he cried to the surgeon 
who was examining the wound. * 

" Better get out of the way, Beauchamp," Dr. S. an- 
swered. " It's a bad business for you. He won't live an 
hour," he whispered. 

" I won't stir," he cried vehemently, throwing himself on 
his knees beside his cousin. " Oh, Gaston, my brother, my 
only friend, I did not mean this ! Forgive me, for I have 
been mad ; but I loved you all through the madness." 

The dying man looked at him with a sad smile. 

" Then, why, why ?" he asked faintly. 

" It was that fatal flower," Rene groaned, answering the 
half-question. " Lucille told me it was hers." 

" Your mother gave it to me yesterday." Gaston's words 
came in short, quick gasps. " Lucille had a motive in part- 
ing us. You will find it in my desk. I forgive you, Rene ; 
but oh ! you will never forgive yourself. God pardon us 
both." 

And with that prayer on his lips, the trembling soul took 
its flight. The remorseful agony of Rene could not be 
painted in words. His friends hurried him out of the city, 
but he took with him the little package of letters directed 
to him by his cousin, with a little note from Gaston himself 
full of forgiveness and affection. He read in those letters, 
written by Lucille herself, the unwomanly advances she had 
made to his cousin, and how continually they had been re- 



THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

pulsed by him. In fact his disgust had been made so plain 
that her last note was vindictive and threatening. Rene 
looked at the date. It was the very day that, covered with 
blushes, she had hid her face on his shoulder as his plighted 
bride. 

Rene Beauchamp seemed to outlive his anguish, as many 
other men have done, and will do to the end of time. He 
lived that life where people walk, and talk, and are appar- 
ently in nowise different from others, but where the affec- 
tions and interests of life are dead. In time he became a 
stern, silent old man, without sympathy for his kind, and re- 
jecting it for himself. But on the yearly recurrence of " All 
Souls' Day" the grave of Gaston de Villeneuve bore on its 
marble slab these words, in violets and immortelles : " Does 
not repentance atone ?" 

Many years ago Rene went where his question was an- 
swered. Whether a repentance which isolates a man from 
his fellows and leads him to dwell with the bitterness of 
his own heart is a healthy repentance can be answered by 
every one according to his own creed. But when life has 
been a via dolorosa, where the feet are wounded at every 
step, it strikes me that the infinite mercy of God will accept 
the slow martyrdom as atonement. 

In New Orleans many years ago the habituh of Rue 
Royale were accustomed to see a berouged and powdered 
old woman taking her morning walk. It was the wealthy 

Mme. de P , once the beautiful Lucille D . She 

probably felt no remorse for the tragedy she had caused in 
fact she had doubtless forgotten it. But she never forgot 
the lost beauty which all her money could not restore, and 
she shrank and shivered at the near approach of the inevi- 
table hour of death, which her wealth could not postpone. 

From an European journal we take the following : 

Two brothers, sons of a prominent Russian family, were 
students at the best college in St. Petersburg, and on grad- 
uation became officers in the same crack regiment. The 



THR ROMANCE OF DUELLING. $2$ 

young men differed greatly in their mode of life from their 
comrades, and only seldom joined in the customary revel- 
ries of the jeunesse dorte. Three years after leaving the 
regiment the elder brother married a beautiful young girl of 
excellent family. Gradually, however, the newly-wedded 
pair became estranged in affection : so much so that after 
three years of married life they occupied separate rooms. 
In the mean time the younger brother fell in love with 
his sister-in-law. At first the young wife, surrounded by 
a host of admirers, was not aware of the passion she had 
kindled in her brother-in-law's heart, but soon she in turn 
experienced toward her adorer a love so passionate that she 
was unable to struggle against it. The young husband's 
jealousy was rightfully aroused. Terrible scenes ensued, 
followed by mutual recriminations, a challenge, and finally a 
duel between the two brothers. The elder, the outraged 
husband, was wounded in the side ; the younger, who had 
wounded his brother, remained untouched by the latter's 
bullets. The last act of this life-drama, begun so tragically, 
was that of a farce. After the duel the wounded man was 
first brought into the city and then taken abroad, where the 
combined care of his wife and brother snatched him from 
the jaws of death. Out of gratitude for this he allowed his 
wife to secure a divorce from him, taking all the blame on 
his shoulders. This she did, and then married her lover. 

The Belgian papers received in New York in July 
(1884) present a romantic story touching a late duel 
with rapiers in their country between M. Chevanier 
and M. Salontine the former an advocate and the 
latter a physician. The advocate was attended by his 
mistress as his second, -dressed in male clothing, 
and when M. Chevanier was pierced to the heart by 
his adversary's blade, the advocate's mistress caught 
up his sword and thrust it into the victorious duel- 
list's heart. The woman was at once arrested and 
placed in prison on a charge of murder; but she has 



526 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

no lack of defenders, who, in their denunciation of the 
code duello, contend that she is no more guilty of mur- 
der than was her victim, and that, while she had the 
palliating motive of revenge and sudden passion, his 
crime was deliberate and cold-blooded. 

But the romances of love and hate that have to do 
with duelling are literally without end; and as our 
record of them must stop somewhere, it may as well 
be here. 

Under this head, however, we will mention a peculiar 
thing. The most romantic as well as the most ab- 
surd (and, always, deadly) manner of duel is a cus- 
tom which prevails in a number of European countries, 
and is, curiously enough, called the "American duel," 
and, although absolutely unknown outside of Continental 
Europe, has become more and more popular during 
the past twenty years on account of its recognition as 
an " American institution." The fundamental idea 
of the "American duel" is simply that neither adroit- 
ness nor skill, but chance, determines the result. It 
is at one and the same time romantic and reckless, 
diabolical and sinister ; and as decidedly un-American 
as anything possibly can be. The modus operandi of 
conducting such " affairs of honor" is as follows : 
Two persons fall out with each other and agree to 
settle their difference by recourse to the " American 
duel." They select their attendants, who supply two 
pistols, one of which is loaded to kill. The weapons 
are then covered with a handkerchief, after which 
the challenging party first draws, and then the other. 
The one drawing the loaded pistol must die by his 
own hand, either at once or later. He may have a 
respite for a few months, or perhaps a year. But he 
cannot escape his fate ; for the code is inexorable, and 



THE ROMANCE OF DUELLING. $2? 

the victim must fulfil its pitiless obligation. Many an 
inexplicable case of (supposed) suicide in Germany 
has turned out afterward as an "American duel." 
Only a short time ago Valentine Zavado, a talented 
young student at the Agricultural Academy of Vienna, 
whose death was at first attributed to suicide, left 
letters declaring that he had met his death by an 
"American duel." Lately, in Moravia, a landlady 
rushed to an apartment from whence the sound of a 
discharged weapon came, and found a young gentle- 
man of affluent circumstances dying. She at once 
summoned a physician, to whom the victim of the 
strange " code of honor" confessed that he could not 
accept relief, as his wound was the result of an 
"American duel." Even women indulge in this 
absurd custom onry a few days since, indeed, a very 
talented and beautiful young actress of Pesth (Hun- 
gary) fell a victim to the deadly obligations of the 
absurd and romantic code duello unfairly and ridicu- 
lously called the "American duel." 



528 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 

Randolph and Clay Foote and Prentiss Sam Houston's Anec- 
dote of his Duel with White Why Blount Challenged Thatch- 
er The Chivalric Adams of Milledgeville Curran's Never- 
Ending Humor A Faithful Watch D'Israeli and O'Connell 
" I'll Take Anything but your Medicine" How Palmer and 
Coles Made up The Audacious Judge Dooly Meeting on an 
" Equal Footing" St. Foix and St. Evremont Serious Fun 
with a Dwarf " Fa-sol-la D'Urfey" and "Sol-la-mi Bell" 
Bad for the Comet A Happy Frenchman Park and Creed 
Jay and Littlepage Israel Putnam The Two Merchants of 
Boston The Duel h la Carotte Zachary Taylor The Face- 
tious Weston The Two Gascons. 

THERE is, undoubtedly, what may be termed the 
humorous side of the duelling-ground, notwithstand- 
ing the natural seriousness of its general surround- 
ings ; and the writer has therefore, by way of con- 
clusion, grouped together some of the more mirthful 
incidents and episodes which have come under his 
observation while in the pursuit of information of the 
graver and more dramatic sort. 

After the duel between Henry Clay and John Ran- 
dolph, in 1826, and while the two distinguished 
Southerners were shaking hands, Randolph said 
jocosely, " You owe me a coat, Mr. Clay," the second 
bullet of the latter having passed through the skirt 
of the Virginian's coat, or flannel dressing-gown, 
very near the hip ; to which the Kentuckian promptly 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 529 

and pleasantly replied, " I am glad the debt is no 
greater." And it has been stated by some one that 
Clay once remarked, while conversing with a gentle- 
man about the duel, years afterward, that he might 
as well have tried to shoot at a pair of tongs as at 
Randolph. 

Senator Foote, of Mississippi, who during his life 
became engaged in three affairs of honor one with 
Mr. Winston, of Tuscumbia, Ala., in which he was 
wounded in the left shoulder ; another with J. T. H. 
Claiborne, of Mississippi, in which neither was hurt ; 
and another with the brilliant S. S. Prentiss, also of 
Mississippi, in which Foote was severely wounded 
was one of the most courageous Americans of his 
day ; but it was proverbial of Foote that, while he 
would stand up to be fired at without the slightest 
hesitation, he was said to be so poor a shot that " he 
could not hit a barn-door at ten paces;" and it has 
also been said that, " after Prentiss had been placed 
to his stand," he heard the breaking of a twig in a 
tree near him, and looking up saw a youth belonging 
to one of his neighbors, and exclaimed, " Get down 
from there, my little man, for the Governor is a 
mighty poor shot and may hit you." 

During the week preceding the duel between Gen- 
eral Sam Houston and General White, Houston re- 
mained at the home of Sanford Duncan, practising 
meanwhile with pistols. At this temporary home, 
says a writer in the Bowling Green (Kentucky) Intel- 
ligencer r , were two belligerent young dogs, named 
"Andrew Jackson" and "Thomas Benton" on ac- 
count of their pugnacious dispositions. These dogs 
were continually fighting Houston's political sen- 
timents leading him to espouse the cause of the Jack- 



530 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

son pup, which, very much to his delight, was a con- 
stant winner in the frays. The hour for rising and 
preparing for the duel, on the arrival of the day, 
was 3.40 A.M. Just before that hour " General Jack- 
son" barked beneath the window of his admirer's 
room, awakening him. Houston arose without dis- 
turbing his attending friends, and began the task of 
moulding bullets with which to fight White. As the 
first bullet fell from the mould, a game-cock which 
Houston admired scarcely less than he did the dog 
crowed a loud, clear note. Houston, with that ele- 
ment of superstition which finds a place in nearly 
every mind, accepted the early greeting of his friends 
as happy omens, and, marking the bullet on one side 
for the dog and on the other side for the chicken, 
made up his mind that his pistol should be loaded 
with it, and that he would fire first that particular 
ball at General White. Houston afterward said that 
'he was not superstitious, but that these two circum- 
stances made him feel assured of success thus dis- 
proving his own words. The bullet was used, and 
White fell at the first fire. After the duel Houston 
selected a chicken-cock and a dog as a coat-of-arms, 
and many were the comments made by those un- 
familiar with the facts, in after-years, when, as Presi- 
dent of Texas and Senator in Congress, he sported 
so strange a crest. These facts are authentic, having 
been related by General Houston to Sanford Duncan, 
Jr., while the two were once en route to Washington 
during Houston's term as U. S. Senator from the 
" Lone Star State." 

Speaker Carlisle is said by the Hamilton (Ohio) 
News to have once challenged an exasperating liti- 
gant to fight a duel. The latter accepted promptly, 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 531 

and, as was his right, selected the place and weapons, 
which he chose to be, respectively, Boston Common 
and clapboards. After which Mr. Carlisle quietly let 
the matter drop. When the Hon. George Thatcher 
was in Congress from Massachusetts in 1797, he was 
challenged by the Hon. Thomas Blount, of North 
Carolina, to fight a duel. Now as it happened, 
Thatcher was a conspicuously brave man, but un- 
alterably opposed to duelling ; so he informed the 
North Carolinian, mirthfully, that as his wife and 
children were greatly interested in all matters of 
such importance, he must consult them, and should 
certainly not fight a duel unless with their permis- 
sion. In a day or two afterward the two gentlemen 
met, and Blount said to Thatcher, " I knew you were 
a coward and would not fight." "Of course you 
did," replied the other, " and that is the reason you 
challenged me." Fisher Ames, in alluding to the 
affair afterward during a conversation with Dwight 
Foster, said, "There is the advantage of having a 
wife, you see." 

A merchant of Milledgeville (Ga.), named Ed- 
munds, was challenged in 1881 by a person named 
Adams, in order that, as the challenger declared, " I 
may wipe out your insult with blood, sir." The in- 
sult offered by Edmunds, by the way, consisted in 
privately marking a number of the coins in his money- 
drawer, so that the chivalric Adams was neatly ex- 
posed when he stole them. 

Mons. F. Bouvet, who fought a duel with Mons. 
Roger du Ford, in France, in 1850, was at the time 
of the hostile meeting the President of the " Peace 
Society," and only a short time before had delivered 
a speech in the Chamber of Deputies against duelling. 



53 2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

These gentlemen fought with pistols, but neither was 
hurt. 

It is said of John Philpot Curran, the brilliant 
Irish wit, that he went upon four fields brimming 
over, as usual, with fun. In his duel with St. Leger, 
who had challenged Curran for alleged unprofes- 
sional language, he stood off at ten paces and re- 
ceived his antagonist's fire, and then discharged his 
own weapon in the air. St. Leger died in three 
weeks afterward, and Curran said of him that he 
" had gone off at the report of his own pistol." In 
his duel with John Egan, who was of prodigious size, 
the latter declared that it was like putting up a turf- 
sack before a razor ; to which Curran responded, " I 
tell you what it is, Mr. Egan : as I wish to take no 
advantage of you, let my size be chalked out upon 
your side, and I am quite content that every shot 
which hits outside that mark shall go for nothing." 
They then fired aimlessly, left the field friends, and 
in his next duel Egan acted as Curran's second. In 
Curran's duel with Attorney-General John Fitzgib- 
bon, the terms were that the parties might discharge 
at will their weapons, and Curran, who was always 
quick and active, got in the first fire, while Fitzgib- 
bon drew a most deliberate aim, but missed, at which 
Curran exclaimed, " It was not your fault, Mr. At- 
torney" (who was surprised to see his antagonist still 
unhurt), "for you were deliberate enough." Some 
time ago the New York Sun, in an article on Irish 
duels, referred to Curran's affair with Major Hobart, 
which took place in 1790, and which terminated after 
an exchange of harmless shots : " The climax of duel- 
ling absurdity was reached when Curran challenged 
Major Hobart, Chief Secretary for Ireland, in 1790. 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 533 

Curran, being affronted by a man named Gifford, de- 
clared he would submit to the greatest deprivation 
which could befall any man and do without fighting 
the rest of his life sooner than fight such a fellow; but 
as the man was a revenue officer, Curran maintained 
that Major Hobart should dismiss him for imperti- 
nence, or fight in his stead. The Secretary de- 
murred ; but as Curran insisted, he referred the 
question to Lord Durhampton, the Commander-in- 
Chief, who decided thus : * A Secretary of State fight- 
ing for an exciseman would be rather a bad precedent, 
but a major in the king's service is pugnacious by 
profession, and must fight anybody that asks him.' " 

Some years ago Mr. Lewis, M.C. from Virginia, 
and General Thomas H. Gushing fought a duel with 
pistols, and the ball from Mr. Lewis's weapon hit Mr. 
Cushing's watch. The differences between the two 
gentlemen were then amicably adjusted, and Lewis, 
stepping up to Cushing, said, "I congratulate you, 
General, on having a watch which will keep time 
from eternity." 

The great D'Israeli once made himself the laugh- 
ing-stock of England by challenging Morgan O'Con- 
nell, son of Daniel O'Connell, for words uttered by 
the latter in the House of Commons, as follows : " I 
cannot divest my mind of the belief that, if this fel- 
low's genealogy were traced, it would be found that 
he is the lineal descendant and the heir-at-law of the 
impenitent thief who atoned for his crimes upon the 
cross." Still, the name of Benjamin D'Israeli is to- 
day one of the most brilliant and prominent in Brit- 
ish history. 

In England, in 1790, two physicians, named Mead 
and Woodward, met in combat with swords, and after 



534 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

a while Woodward, while attempting to make a 
deadly lunge, slipped and fell. Mead at once had his 
antagonist in his power, and exclaimed, " Take your 
life ; I do not want it." To which the prostrate 
Woodward replied, "I'll take anything but your 
medicine ; I can't take that." 

After John Byrne was wounded, in Ireland, by 
Lord Mountgarret, some friends asked him how he 
felt when the bullet struck him ; and he replied, " I 
felt just as if I had been punched by the mainmast 
of a man-of-war." Byrne was attorney for the Crown 
in Ireland at the time of his duel with Mountgarret. 
When Francis Hely Hutchinson, Collector of Cus- 
toms at Dublin (Ireland), fought and badly wounded 
Lord Mountmorris, he stepped up to where his pros- 
trate foe was lying and congratulated him upon being 
no more seriously hurt than he seemed, and the two 
shook hands and then conversed with each other for 
some time. 

In 1851, during an election on Prince Edward's 
Island, the Hon. William Palmer called the Hon. 
George Coles a coward for declining to receive a chal- 
lenge from a servant. " I'll show you I'm no coward, 
sir, even if I did decline to accept a cartel by the 
hand of a menial in his shirt-sleeves, and I now make 
good that declaration by challenging you, sir." 
" And I accept," replied Palmer. The next day the 
duel took place, and Palmer fired without effect, 
while Coles threw his pistol high into the air, ex- 
claiming, " I am just coward enough and Christian 
enough, Palmer, to decline to shoot a man even after 
he has tried his best to dispatch me. I am satisfied, 
if you are." " I am perfectly satisfied, sir, that you 
are a man of courage and honor," responded Palmer ; 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 535 

and the two gentlemen left the field arm-in-arm, and 
shortly afterward dined together, and then retired to 
their respective homes filled with affection for each 
other, or with Mumm probably goodly portions of 
both. 

In 1776 Captain Talbut and Lieutenant Dunworth, 
of the Revolutionary Army, quarrelled, and fixed a 
time and place for a duel, which circumstance was 
communicated to General Washington by General 
Greene, who wrote curiously : " I did not wish to know 
anything about the affair, but many of my officers know 
that / know all about it, which perplexes me a little, 
knowing duelling to be against all civil and military 
law." 

A good many stories are told at the expense of 
Judge Dooly, of Georgia. He laughed out of duels 
with an audacious wit, says an Atlanta paper, that 
compelled even the admiration of his enemies. On 
one occasion, when a number of them threatened that 
if he didn't fight his name would fill the columns of 
a newspaper, he declared, laughingly, that he would 
rather fill ten newspapers than one coffin. Once he 
went on the field with a man who had St. Vitus' dance. 
His opponent was standing at his post, his whole 
frame jerking nervously from his malady. Dooly, in 
the soberest manner, left his post, and, cutting a forked 
stick, stuck it in the ground in front of his oppo- 
nent. "What does this mean ?" asked his opponent. 
" Why," says Dooly, " I want you to rest your pistol 
in that fork, so that you can steady your aim. If 
you shoot at me with that hand shaking so, you'll 
pepper me full of holes at the first fire." Then there 
was a laugh all around, and the duel was put off 
without a day. 



THE FIELD OP HONOR. 

During the years 1815-16 John Randolph, of Vir- 
ginia, attended St. John's Church, in Georgetown, 
near Washington (D. C.), and was believed to have 
come under the influence of religious impressions, 
occupying, generally, a pew with Francis Barton 
Key, the author of the " Star-Spangled Banner." It 
was during this time that Mr. Randolph, losing con- 
trol of himself one day, and seeing a good oppor- 
tunity of striking at Henry Clay (then Speaker of the 
House of Representatives), let loose a flight of in- 
vectives at Mr. Boiling Robinson (a member from 
Louisiana), but remained silent thereafter when 
Clay dwelt upon the gravity of the occasion and 
" hoped that, if the honorable gentleman from Virgi- 
nia intended no insult, he would recall the offensive 
and misapplied words." His silence brought out a 
challenge from Mr. Robinson, which Randolph de- 
clined to accept on the ground of religious scruples, 
such action being urged by Parson Addison (of St. 
John's Church), Mr. Key, and Charles Fenton Mer- 
cer, M.C. from the Loudon (Virginia) district. 
This course led to so much imputation on Mr. Ran- 
dolph's chivalry that he became deeply wounded, 
and soon after gave up his devotional exercises 
altogether, and declared that he would " never again 
take refuge under the communion-table." When 
Randolph entered Congress, in 1799, he arrived in 
Washington with a case of duelling-pistols, which, it 
was said, he had carried with him to keep Robert 
Goodloe Harper a Congressman from South Caro- 
lina (although a native of Virginia), and leader of 
the Federal Party in the House in order. The 
trouble, however, in those days, was to keep Ran- 
dolph in order, who was noted for his exasperating 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 537 

wit and eccentricity, as well as for his eloquence, 
independence, and incorruptibility. He was at 
peace, really, with but few men, and was the recipi- 
ent, during his eventful life, of many challenges ; all 
of which he treated with contempt, except that from 
Robinson, just alluded to, and the one which he 
accepted from Clay. 

In December, 1773, in England, Mr. Temple and 
Mr. Whately fought a duel in which Mr. Whately 
was severely wounded. It was brought about by 
the transmission from England to Boston, through 
the agency of Benjamin Franklin, the celebrated 
correspondence known at that time as the " Hutch- 
inson and Oliver Letters." The humorous side 
of this affair consists of a letter written by Lord 
Walpole to a friend, upon the eve of the disturbance, 
in which he said : " We are now picking a duel 
between a Mr. Temple and a Mr. Whately, the latter 
of whom has been drilled with as many holes as 
Julius Caesar or a colander." Walpole also writes of 
the duel between Captain Winnington and Augustus 
Townsend, which took place in Hyde Park, London 
(England), in 1741, and of which he says that, after 
meeting in the Park, " they scratched one another's 
fingers, tumbled into two ditches, that is, Augustus 
did, kissed, and then walked home together." 

In 1816 Admiral de la Susse was challenged by a 
German for " waltzing against him" at a residence 
in the Faubourg St. Honore, Paris ; and the parties 
met in the Bois de Boulogne, where the German fired 
first without effect, after which La Susse hit the 
German at the place about where the heart ought to 
have been located, and the latter dropped as if dead ; 
but upon examination it was found that the fellow 



5 3^ THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

was not only alive, but unhurt thanks to the well- 
padded cuirass which he wore. But the vigorous 
kicking subsequently administered to the obese 
Teuton by the indignant Admiral compelled him to 
give up waltzing for many a day ; and a certain 
salon in the Faubourg St. Honore was never graced 
by his Teutonic presence thereafter. An officer under 
Ney one day informed that great Marshal that he 
had challenged a brother-officer. " What for ?" inter- 
rogated Ney. " For slapping me in the face." "Go 
to him and say you have washed your face, as it was 
easier to get rid of the effects of blackguardism by 
water than by fighting ; and say also that I have com- 
manded you to withdraw your challenge." Upon an 
another occasion a gentleman informed Talleyrand 
that he had sent a challenge to an officer of the 
army who had thrown him out of a two-story win- 
dow. "Thrown you out of a two-story window! 
What for ?" exclaimed Talleyrand, with much amaze- 
ment. " Because, sir, he says he caught me cheating 
at cards." " Let me advise you," said the other, 
pleasantly. "Don't fight on account of so small an 
affair; and don't play cards again with that particu- 
lar person, excepting on the ground-floor." A 
Frenchman named Madailan once sent a challenge 
to Marquis de Rivard, who had lost a leg in the 
service of his country. The old soldier replied, " I 
accept your challenge on one condition that you cut 
off one of your legs, so that we may meet on an equal 
footing." As might have been expected, it was all 
laugh and no fight after that. St. Foix, one of the 
most noted duellists of France, once laughed at St. 
Evremont, his rival, while the latter was eating a 
bavoraise at the Cafe Procope, in Paris, and re- 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 539 

marked that it was a mighty small dinner for a gen- 
tleman. A duel was the consequence, and St. Foix 
received quite a wound, while bandaging which he 
said, " Even if you had killed me I should have stuck 
to it that a bavoraise is a mighty small dinner for a 
gentleman." 

Two gentlemen (one a Spaniard and the other a 
German) who had been recommended, by their 
birth and services, to the Emperor Maximilian II., 
both fell in love with, and paid court to, the fair 
Helene, the Emperor's daughter, Scharfequinn, 
whom each sought in marriage. After a long delay 
Maximilian one day informed the two lovers that, 
esteeming them equally and not being able to 
bestow a preference, he should leave it to the force 
and address of the claimants to decide the question. 
He did not mean, however, to risk the loss of the one 
or the other, or perhaps of both, and ^could not, 
therefore, permit them to encounter with offensive 
weapons; but had ordered a large bag to be pro- 
duced, and had decreed that whichever succeeded in 
putting his rival into this bag should obtain the hand 
of his daughter. The two gentlemen expressed their 
willingness to engage in even so ridiculous a contest 
for so superior a prize, and fought in the presence of 
the whole court, the contest lasting more than an 
hour, the Spaniard finally yielding, having been put 
fairly into the bag by the German, Baron Eberhard, 
who took it and its Castilian contents upon his back, 
and very gallantly laid them at the feet of the young 
lady, to whom he was married the following day. 
This is the only duel or tournament of the kind on 
record. 

There was once a dwarf named Jeffery Hudson, who 



540 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

was retained in the service of the Duke of Bucking- 
ham in 1628, and who was once sewed up (when he 
was eighteen inches high) in a cold pie, upon a visit 
of Charles I. and his Queen to Buckingham, at 
Burleigh-on-the-hill. He was greatly tormented at 
court, of course, and the King's porter, a man of 
gigantic stature, once drew Jeffery from his pocket 
at a masquerade. This dwarf was afterward com- 
missioned a captain in the royal army, and at- 
tended the Queen to France in 1664, where he 
received a provocation from a Mr. Crofts, which he 
took so deeply to heart that he issued a challenge to 
the offender, who appeared on the ground armed 
with a syringe, to the great merriment of the specta- 
tors. Jeffery, however, felt the additional sting, and 
demanded immediate satisfaction, which Crofts felt 
compelled to give; and the two were speedily pro- 
vided with pistols, and then mounted on horseback, 
and given the signal to gallop toward each other and 
fire which they both did, Crofts falling from his 
saddle dead, with a bullet-hole in his heart. In 1682 
Jeffery was arrested as an accessory in the Popish 
Plot, and committed to the gate-house in West- 
minster, where he died, in the sixty-fourth year of 
his age. 

During the reign of Charles II. there was a bril- 
liant poet and playwright named Tom D'Urfey, who 
often entertained Queen Anne by singing his own 
songs, and who was an accepted wit at court, and 
was greatly admired by Addison. His character was 
much like that of Sheridan. It is said of him that 
"he was bred to the bar; but, with too much wit and 
too little diligence for the law, and too meagre means 
to live upon as a gentleman, he experienced the 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 541 

varied fortunes of men with sparkling talents who 
trust to their pens for their support." " He has 
made the world merry," says Addison, " and I hope 
they will make him easy as long as he stays among 
us." D'Urfey once had a quarrel with a musician 
named Bell, and the two met at Epsom with swords, 
but exhibited great caution, their meeting having 
been humorously compared to the rencontre of Clin- 
ias and Dametas of Sir Philip Sidney's "Arcadia," 
as follows: 

"I sing of a duel in Epsom befell, 
'Twixt Fa-sol-la D'Urfey and Sol-la-mi Bell ; 
But why do I mention the scribbling brother ? 
For, naming the one, you may guess at the other. 
Betwixt them there happened a terrible clutter ; 
Bell set up the loud pipes, and D'Urfey did sputter 
' Draw, Bell, wert thou dragon, I'll spoil thy sweet note ;' 
' For thy squalling,' said t'other, ' I'll cut thy throat.' 
With a scratch on the finger the duel's despatched : 
Thy Clinias, O Sidney, was never so matched." 

In 1819 two young gentlemen of Lisbon (sons of 
shop-keepers of that city) quarrelled over a girl, and 
soon afterward met on the quay, each armed with a 
musket, which they fired at a signal of a boy beat- 
ing a drum, at thirty yards' distance. One of them 
was shot in the head and fell as if dead, and the 
other absconded. The former returned to his 
father's house, bound up his wounds, recovered, and 
married the fair object of the eccentric strife. 

In 1793 the Prussian officers of the garrison of 
Colberg established an economical mess, of which 
certain poor emigrants were glad to partake ; and 
one day they observed present an old major of 
hussars, who was covered with the scars of wounds 



54 2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

received in the Seven Years' War. A conversation 
quickly commenced, and soon turned on duels. 
"And you, Major, how many duels have you fought ?" 
asked a young, stout-built cornet of the war-worn 
hero, viciously. " None, thank Heaven !" replied the 
veteran, in a subdued voice. " I have fourteen 
wounds, and, Heaven be praised, none are in my back. 
So I may be permitted to say that I feel myself happy 
in never having fought a duel." " But you shall 
fight one with me !" exclaimed the cornet, reaching 
across the table at which the party were sitting, to 
give the scar-honored guest a blow. The latter, 
greatly agitated, grasped the table to assist him in 
rising, when an unanimous cry was raised of " Stehen 
Sie ruhig, Herr Major !" (Don't stir, Major !) And 
as quick as it was possible for such an act to be ex- 
ecuted, all of the officers present sprung to their feet 
and, seizing the insulting scamp by the collar of his 
coat and by the seat of his trousers, they threw the 
offender out of the window, and then sat down at 
the table as if nothing unusual had occurred. 

On the i3th of August, 1778, General Howe, who 
had saved Georgia from the invasion of Provost's 
troops, but who was subsequently driven out of the 
State by Colonel Campbell, of the British army, was 
severely criticised by Christopher Gadsden, of South 
Carolina ; and a duel was the consequence, in which 
Howe's bullet grazed Gadsden's ear. The seconds 
(Charles Cotesworth Pinckney for Howe, and Ber- 
nard Elliott for Gadsden) then interfered, further 
hostilities were prevented, and the combatants be- 
came warm friends. Major Andre, who was then in 
Georgia, penned a humorous poetical description of 
the affair, the following being the concluding verses : 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 543 

"Such honor did they both display, 
They highly were commended ; 
And thus, in short, this gallant fray 
Without mischance was ended. 

" No fresh dispute, we may suppose, 

Will e'er by them be started ; 
And now the chiefs, no longer foes, 
Shook hands, and so they parted." 

When Edward Thurlow, Lord Chancellor of Great 
Britain, was on his way to the field to fight Andrew 
Stewart, in 1769, he stopped at a tavern near Hyde 
Park and ate an enormous breakfast. The parties 
exchanged shots without effect; and Stewart, while 
talking over the affair some time afterward, said that 
" Thurlow stood up before me like an elephant." 

Walpole, in his description of the meeting between 
his uncle, Horace Walpole, and William Chetwynd, 
in a letter to Horace Mann, in 1743, wrote that the 
former had fought a duel, and " had scratched a 
scratch three inches long on the side of his enemy." 
The cause of the duel was on account of a heated 
debate in the House of Commons, at the conclusion 
of which Walpole stepped up to Chetwynd and 
tweaked his nose. The meeting took place in Hyde 
Park. 

A French officer at Cambrai, just after Waterloo, 
while smarting over the result, insulted an English 
officer ; who, in turn, challenged the Frenchman, and 
was killed. Upon the following evening the survivor 
entered a cafe, were there was a mixed crowd, and 
exclaimed: "I am in luck, gentlemen; a long time 
ago I had killed one Portuguese, one Spaniard, one 
Austrian, and one Prussian; and now, at last, I have 



544 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

killed one damned Englishman. I am happy. Vive 
1'Empereur !" 

After Major Park and Captain Creed had been 
placed hors de combat by the two Tipperary duellists 
(Mathew and Macnamara), Park, while covered with 
wounds, remarked, smilingly, to his companion : " I 
say, Creed, we are, in a certain sense, the conquerors 
after all, for we have kept the field of battle eh ?" 

" You smell like a goat," said St. Foix to an officer 
of the Guard one day. " Sir !" exclaimed the latter, 
drawing his sword. " Put up your sword, you fool- 
ish fellow," cried the famous duellist, who was ever- 
lastingly getting into scrapes; "put up your sword; 
for if you kill me you will not smell any better, and 
if I kill you you will smell a great sight worse." 

One day, while two Frenchmen were throwing off 
their jackets leisurely, preparatory to a fight, one of 
them saw a boat crossing the Seine, and cried out to 
his antagonist, " Quick ! quick ! my friend, for the 
authorities are coming, and they will separate us." 
In an instant their swords were at work, and before 
the law-officers could reach the scene the combatants 
were dead. Upon another occasion a Parisian got 
into a row with two men, and agreed to meet them 
both. " What, one against two ?" cried the others, 
chuckling. "Yes; have you never seen one against 
two ? Come on, then, both of you. I'll at least get 
my name in the Chronicler (Brantome's.) And he 
did, too in the obituary column, though. 

After his duel with Samuel Martin, which took 
place in Hyde Park on the i9th of November, 1763 
(and in which he was severely wounded), John Wilkes 
was asked by the Prince de Croy this was his fourth 
duel on account of his political writings in the North 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 545 

Briton to what extent the liberty of the press could 
be carried in England, and replied that he could not 
tell, but was trying mighty hard to find out. Not- 
withstanding the many disturbances Wilkes en- 
countered during his career as publisher of the 
North Briton y he was said to be "one of the most 
fascinating persons over the bottle that ever lived." 
Wilkes was once challenged by a Scotchman named 
Forbes, who had never met the object of his dislike, 
but who expressed his desire to fight the author of 
such an offensive publication as the North Briton. 
In his duel with Martin the combatants met with 
pistols at fourteen paces, and Wilkes was hit in the 
body at the second fire. 

On the 23d of December, 1883, A. C. Lowery, 
editor of the Georgetown (New Mexico) Courier, 
received a challenge from Joseph N. Laffer, " a school 
commissioner" of Silver City (N. M.), in the follow- 
ing words : " You can select a friend of youres who 
can correspond with H. H. Whitehill, whome I Shall 
Select to Settle our difficulty. You must do this at 
once, as I must have satisfaction, and that without 
delay." To which the facetious scribe replied: "We 
are not fighters from Bitter Creek, nor bad men from 
Bodie. We have not lost any fights, are not hunting 
any; but if we are obliged to fight, we don't pro- 
pose to lose any, either. Our seconds will confer 
with Mr. Whitehill and choose the public streets of 
Georgetown, distance three feet, weapons stockings 
loaded with mud." 

When Amby Bodkin and John Bourke fought, a 
child of the latter was held upon a neighbor's shoul- 
der to see the combat. They fought with pistols, in 
Ireland, and both were slightly wounded at the first 



546 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

fire. At the second fire Bodkin was dangerously 
injured. Their seconds also fought with pistols at 
ten paces, and were both desperately wounded. The 
child grew up to be Sir John Bourke, and used to tell 
the story of his father's duel with exceeding gusto. 

In 1785 Mathew Carey, who had commenced an 
editorial career in Philadelphia by writing an essay 
against duelling, shortly afterward challenged Col- 
onel Oswald, and at the meeting was severely 
wounded. An Irish Judge (Fletcher) once addressed 
a jury, in a case in which a surviving duellist (Fenton) 
was defendant, as follows: "Gentlemen of the jury: 
It is my business to lay down the law to you, and I 
will. The law says that killing a man in a duel is 
murder. Therefore, in the discharge of my duty, I 
tell you so. But I tell you, at the same time, that I 
have never heard of a fairer duel than this in the 
whole course of my life." In 1785 Lewis Littlepage 
challenged John Jay in New York on account of a 
suit instituted against Littlepage by Jay for the pay- 
ment of moneys loaned the former by Jay at a time 
when Littlepage was sadly in need of bed and board. 
Mr. Jay declined to fight with a man who had so 
grossly abused his kindness, and referred to the 
challenging party as one "with my money in his 
pocket and my meat still sticking in his teeth." 

There is a good story told of De Reuilly who lived 
during the reign of Henry IV., and who devoted 
much of his valuable time to resisting the encroach- 
ments of duelling customs upon French society, and 
who was socially cut on that account by many of his 
friends, a number of whom branded the young 
officer with cowardice. Two duellists once met De 
Reuilly in the woods near Paris, and drew their swords 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 547 

and hilariously called upon the anti-duellist to defend 
himself; which he did by handsomely disarming and 
wounding both of his assailants; after which he had 
the sufferers conveyed to his own home, where they 
were nursed and otherwise cared for until their com- 
plete recovery. 

Ney, who was remarkably fond of duelling, never 
lost an opportunity, while young, of meeting in 
combat with friend or foe. One day he met and 
crippled for life a celebrated fencing-master of a 
chasseur regiment; but in after-life, when he had 
become a marshal, he sought out his former antago- 
nist, and had him comfortably provided for. 

" Old Put," of our Revolutionary army, was the 
hero of two "affairs of honor." The first grew out of 
a difficulty between Putnam and a brother-officer, in 
which the latter assumed a hostile attitude and de- 
manded immediate satisfaction. Putnam at first 
declined, on the ground that their services belonged 
to their country, and that it would be little less than 
unpatriotic for them to jeopardize their lives un- 
necessarily in time of war; but ultimately concluded 
to meet his bellicose brother-officer "according to 
usage." So they agreed to meet at daylight the 
following morning, without seconds. Israel arrived 
first, armed with an old gun loaded with slugs. In a 
short time afterward his antagonist put in an ap- 
pearance, armed with a sword and two pistols. 
When the latter had arrived at within about thirty 
yards of Putnam he was saluted by a shot from the 
General's musket, and instantly halted and cried out, 
" What are you doing, sir ? Is this the proper con- 
duct of an American officer and a gentleman of 
honor ?" " What am I doing ?" replied the old war- 



548 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

rior, coolly. " Why, I am defending my life against 
a man who wants to murder me. And if you don't 
beat a retreat in less time than it takes old Heath to 
hang a Tory, you are a gone dog." " But, sir, I " 
Bang ! and away went Putnam's musket again; 
and away went his antagonist at an O'Leary rate 
of speed, laughing in spite of all his anger and 
astonishment. Putnam's other " affair" was with an 
English officer who was a prisoner on parole, and 
who, taking offence at the General, sent the latter a 
challenge, which was accepted. At the time ap- 
pointed the Britisher appeared, and found Putnam 
sitting on what seemed to be a keg of powder. The 
latter at once saluted his antagonist, and told him to 
sit down with him on the keg; and Putnam then set 
fire to a slow match, which apparently communicated 
with the contents of the barrel, and coolly said to 
his companion that the chances for them to be blown 
into atoms were equal. The British officer first 
glanced at Putnam, then at the keg, and then at the 
slow match, the fire of which was approaching the 
powder, and then jumped up and made preparations 
for a hasty exit; during which Putnam shouted, 
" You're just precisely as brave as I took you to be. 
But you needn't hurry, for there's nothing in this 
barrel but onions. I thought I'd try you with onions 
first you don't like the smell; ha ! ha ! ha ! you don't 
like the smell !" But the punctilious advocate of 
the code duello had genteelly retired. 

In 1820 a merchant of Boston, named Zebedee 
Cook, was challenged by another merchant, named 
George Barrell, and replied by saying simply that he 
had made up his mind that it was the best way for 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 549 

merchants to adjust their business difficulties with- 
out resort to pistols. Barrell then wrote: " Let us 
settle our business difficulties, then, and fight after- 
ward." To which Cook replied: " With all my heart. 
But what, in the name of goodness, shall we fight 
about, after we have settled our difficulties ?" There 
was no duel. 

During the reign of Louis XVI. of France there 
lived a fellow named Lamoliere, who was an ac- 
complished wielder of both sword and pen. On a 
certain occasion, determined to emphatically demon- 
strate his contempt for a brother-author, he attended 
the first night's production of Ernestine (a comedy in 
three acts), and feigned profound sleep. Unluckily, 
however, Lamoliere actually fell into the arms of 
Morpheus; during which some person dropped a 
carrot into his mouth. The next day he challenged 
and fought the offender, but was placed hors de com- 
bat. The event was ever afterward known as the 
duel a la carotte. 

A Washington correspondent of the Providence 
(R. I.) Press presents that paper with the following 
account of the manner in which Zachary Taylor once 
brought about a termination of a misunderstanding 
between two eminent American soldiers: 

When General Zachary Taylor was President, his son-in- 
law, Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, afterward a President 
himself, was in the Senate. At one particular time under 
this administration Colonel Bissell, afterward Governor of 
Illinois, who had headed an Illinois regiment in the Mexican 
War, was in the House of Representatives. One of Bissell's 
enemies took occasion to remark, in debate in the House 
one day, that in a certain battle on Mexican soil Bissell's 



5 SO THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

cowardice nearly lost the day to the American arms. " Noth- 
ing," he declared, "but the skill and bravery of Colonel 
Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, and his brave regiment pre- 
vented a disgraceful rout." Bissell jumped up promptly, 
and angrily denounced this statement as false. In fact, he 
said the case was just the other way Colonel Davis's cow- 
ardice nearly lost the day ; Colonel Davis's regiment lost its 
heart. Colonel Bissell's bravery and ability saved the day ; 
his regiment was only less brave and skilful than himself. 
It does not appear that the representative to whom Colonel 
Bissell gave the lie cared to take it up. But Senator Jeffer- 
son Davis immediately sent Colonel Bissell a polite note 
inviting him to retract or fight. The Colonel replied that 
he preferred to fight, and, after the blood-thirsty manner 
of those days, named muskets, slugs, and five paces as the 
terms. He expressly requested that the place and the hour 
be so arranged that the police could not possibly interfere. 
Senator Davis agreed with his antagonist as to the condi- 
tions, and the seconds were instructed accordingly. Colonel 
Bissell was on the ground at the early morning hour named ; 
so were his second and his surgeon. But Senator Davis did 
not appear. After waiting several hours Colonel Bissell 
returned to the city and went to his rooms. There he found 
the President's private secretary with an invitation to come 
at once to the White House. Of course he went, and, as he 
had expected, found his challenger in the library with Presi- 
dent Taylor. The latter said to Colonel Bissell that, think- 
ing it a pity that two such men should make war upon one 
another, he had himself arrested Senator Davis, and had 
sent his private secretary to arrest Colonel Bissell. Now 
that he had them, he proposed to keep them, at least until 
after lunch, and, as they were his guests, they must also be 
friends. So they shook hands with more or less cordiality, 
and declared the duel off. 

Weston, of facetious memory, having borrowed on 
note the sum of five pounds, and failing in payment, 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 551 

the gentleman who had lent the money took oc- 
casion to talk of it in a public coffee-house, which 
caused Weston to send him a challenge. Being in the 
field, the gentleman, a little tender in point of courage, 
offered him the note to make it up, to which our hero 
readily consented, and had the note delivered. " But 
now," said the gentleman, " if we should return with- 
out fighting, our companions will laugh at us; there- 
fore let us give one another a slight scratch and say 
we wounded each other." "With all my heart," says 
Weston; "come, I'll wound you first." So drawing 
his sword, he whipped it through the fleshy part of his 
antagonist's arm, till he brought the very tears into his 
eyes. This done, and the wound tied up with a hand- 
kerchief, "Come," said the gentleman, "where shall 
I wound you ?" Weston, putting himself in a pos- 
ture of defence, replied, " Where you can, sir; where 
you can." 

Two Gascons having quarrelled, a challenge passed 
between them. When they were come to the ground, 
one of them said to the other, who was in a posture 
to commence the combat, "Ah, my friend, how you 
charm me ! I shall regret exceedingly to kill so fine a 
fellow as you. Ask your life, and I will grant it to 
you." The other said that he was not come to that 
pass yet, but was prepared to defend himself. The 
first speaker repeated his kind offer : "Ah, my good 
fellow, do ask your life; I will willingly give it you." 
But the other, who saw through his fanfaronade, called 
upon him instantly to stand to his defence, that the 
fight might be commenced. "Ah!" said the first, "I 
do admire the fine appearance you make in your pos- 
ture : you are a perfect Caesar. Why should such a 



55 2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

fine fellow be caused to bite the dust ? Will you real- 
ly not ask your life ?" " No, no !" thundered out the 
other; "defend yourself or I will kill you !" "You 
ravish me !" cried the man of mercy. " But if you are 
determined not to ask your life of me, why, I ask mine 
of you r 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 553 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD- 
CONCLUDED. 

Rescuing a Man from Drowning, and Killing him Afterward in 
a Duel Romieu's Answer to a Challenge Fox's Reply to his 
Second Meurice and his Antagonists Tom Moore's Duel 
with Jeffrey Zephaniah Reeve, the Quaker Colonel Breaute's 
Affairs Tierney and Pitt "I'm a Gone Community" What 
Conway Said to Cadwallader Harrington's Duels Joshua R. 
Giddings Ben Wade and Bob Toombs Shooting at a Wooden 
Leg Humors of the Law The Louisiana Creole of Ante- 
Bellum Days Fighting Fitzgerald Ignatius Loyola Pat 
Power's Ways Abraham Lincoln's Wit-r-His Friend a Good 
Second Hill Carter's Method A Philosophical Mathematical 
Tutor Bishops and Archbishops Adventures of Croquard 
Sainte-Beuve Only a Lawyer An Unfortunate Donkey All 
about a Goose The Liverpool Sea-Captain The Affair of Nine- 
teen Years between Two French Officers Barrington's Story 
of Skelton's Duel. 

ONE of the most humorous of all the many humor- 
ous incidents of duelling is the following : Monsieur 
Mary-Lavour, while bathing, one day, in the Marne, 
saw a man named Gaillard disappear, as if drowning, 
and hastened to his relief and saved him. So grateful 
was the person afterward that he many times sent 
nosegays to his noble rescuer, and in various other ways 
betrayed promiscuous manifestations of never-ceasing 
gratitude to such an extent that Monsieur M. re- 
quested his admirer to desist. Instead, however, Gail- 



554 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

lard became, if anything, more zealous in his demon- 
strations of love ; which so enraged his rescuer that 
he threw a plate of strawberries at him, one day, in a 
restaurant, and was hit with a decanter of water by 
Gaillard in return. A duel was the consequence of 
this rupture, and Mons. M., hoping to get rid of his 
pertinacious adorer, took good aim, but missed. 
Gaillard also missed, and cried, " O mon pere ! mon 
pere ! I am so glad you are unhurt." Mary-Lavour 
only replied by saying, "Will you mind your own 
business, sir, hereafter, and molest me no more?" 
" O mon pere ! I can never " " Load again," re- 
joined Monsieur, and Gaillard was buried upon the 
following day, at Mary-Lavour's expense. 

J^omieu, the French poet, once received a challenge 
from a rival in these words : " Sir, I enclose with this 
note a ballad which I beg you will peruse with atten- 
tion, and if you think you can add a few appropriate 
words, and they suit me, I will accept you as a col- 
laborateur." He replied as follows : " Sir, I have 
perused your ballad with great attention. I leave you 
the choice of weapons." When Voiture, the French 
poet, was challenged by a rival, he replied : " The 
game is not equal : you are big and I am little ; you 
can fight and I cannot ; you are brave and I am not. 
However, if you want to kill me, / will consider myself 
dead" 

In the duel between Fox (who was a very stout 
man) and Adam, so soon as the ground had been 
measured, Fitzgerald (second of the former) said, 
" You must stand sideways, Mr. Fox, as much as you 
can." " Why so ?" asked the statesman ; " I am as 
thick one way as the other." In his duel with M. 
Charles Meurice, M. Perpignan had the first fire and 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 555 

missed. Meurice then advanced, placed his pistol 
within three feet of his antagonist's heart, and asked, 
" What were you thinking about just now ?" " I was 
thinking that if I were you I would not fire," replied 
Perpignan. Meurice spared the fellow ; and in a 
short time afterward met a notoriously heartless per- 
son, who likewise fired first and missed. Meurice 
again advanced ; and as he did so he heard his ad- 
versary muttering something, and said, " You ut- 
tered a prayer just then, didn't you, thinking your 
last moment had come ?" " Pardon me, Monsieur 
Meurice, but you are mistaken ; I was making a vow 
to the Holy Virgin never again to aim at the head." 
He never again aimed at the head. 

For seizing and bearing away the false hair of one 
of the ladies of James's Court, in 1606, James Lowe, a 
gentleman of the bed-chamber, was challenged by 
Lord Herbert, who had recovered, with some diffi- 
culty, the ambrosial appendage aforesaid. The par- 
ties were arrested, however, on their way to Hyde 
Park, and taken to the Tower, where they were 
cooled off during a stay of two months. In 1852, in 
Boston, James C. McKie sent a challenge to William 
O. Eaton, in which he wrote, "Were you a gentle- 
man I would send a friend to wait upon you," etc. 
For this note McKie was arrested, and held to an- 
swer bail in the sum of two thousand dollars. 

In 1806 Tom Moore, the charming poet, got into a 
great rage with Francis Jeffrey (since Lord Advocate 
of Scotland), who had written an article for the 
Edinburgh Review attacking Moore's poems with 
some severity, and wrote the latter a letter, calling 
him a liar and demanding a meeting. Jeffrey ac- 
cepted, of course. On the day of the "encounter," 



556 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

on which it had been arranged to have the Bow 
Street officers rush upon the combatants just as they 
were about to fire (which was carried out with pre- 
cision), and while the seconds were loading their 
pistols with paper pellets instead of bullets, the two 
principals approached each other, and Jeffrey ex- 
claimed, " What a very beautiful morning this is, 
isn't it ?" Moore replied calmly, with a smile, " It is, 
indeed, a very beautiful morning much too beautiful 
for such purposes as we have met for." They were 
then permitted to chat together until the minions of 
the law put in their appearance. Moore and Jeffrey 
became great friends afterward, but the former 
alienated himself from his second for thirty years for 
" giving the thing away." 

The Earl of Pompet, who lived in London from 
1740 to 1800, was a monomaniac on challenging that 
is, challenging parties who generally did not care to 
fight. On one occasion, however, he picked up the 
wrong man (General Woyston), whom he had chal- 
lenged for making faces at him in court. The Gen- 
eral made a prompt denial, but insisted on a meet- 
ing ; which the fiery Earl, however, crawled out of, 
crab-fashion. 

One Zephaniah Reeve, a Quaker, once became so 
unmindful of the lessons of his religious training as to 
issue a cartel of defiance, in 1735, to tne Lord High 
Chancellor of England, Robert Henley ; who not only 
declined the challenge, but apologized to Reeve for 
unprofessional conduct, and invited his belligerent 
" Friend " to dinner ; and the latter demonstrated his 
cordial acceptance of the apology by accepting Hen- 
ley's invitation to dine. One of the most eminent 
foes ever arrayed against the custom of duelling in 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 557 

England was Richard Steele, who, after publishing 
many anti-duelling articles in the Spectator, fought 
and dangerously wounded an officer of the British 
army. Thiers, the illustrious French statesman and 
author, early deprecated the custom ; but, in 1849, 
challenged Monsieur Rixio, an eminent statesman 
and diplomat of France. After fighting nearly a 
score of duels to prove that Dante was a greater poet 
than Ariosto, a Neapolitan nobleman at last admitted 
that he had read the works of neither. 

There is a story told of Colonel Breaute, of the 
French army : how he had been repeatedly called 
out by a stripling lieutenant (who had become dis- 
turbed by some fancied offence), and had as often 
declined the call, until at last the youngster had de- 
nounced the old Colonel as a coward, and had ac- 
tually slapped him in the face ; and then, as the story 
goes, how Breaute met the young officer and wounded 
him, and cut off a piece of court-plaster from his 
face ; and how the veteran kept on calling out and 
wounding the poor lieutenant until the fifth time, 
when he informed the doomed youth, gravely, that he 
was going to kill him which act of polite murder 
Breaute performed, even to the evisceration of his 
victim. Louis XV. once lectured two officers who 
had fought and wounded each other about an Angola 
cat, in the course of which his Majesty remarked to 
the offenders that they " should have fought with 
claws, not with swords." 

In the duel between Mr. Tierney and Mr. Pitt the 
parties met on Sunday, at Putney Heath, and fired 
once at each other without effect. At the second fire 
Mr. Pitt discharged his pistol in the air, when the 
seconds interfered and terminated the affair. No 



558 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

sooner was the result known than squibs, epigrams, 
pasquinades, and caricatures appeared on all sides ; 
one of the best being a ballad, in imitation of " Chevy 
Chase," of which the following stanzas are a part : 

"Two orators, whose venomed tongues 

Had left a point in doubt, 
With weapons of more deadly mould 
Resolved to fight it out. 

" The one, a squire of manners blunt, 

A patriot stanch within ; 

The other of a lordly breed 

A courtier tall and thin. 

" Fire-arms they chose artillery dire 

Pistols, flint, powder, shot ; 
Battle the powder what the ball, 
The poet knoweth not." 

There was humor even if of the most devilish 
kind in the short dialogue between Antragues and 
Quelus, just before their fight. "Thou hast both a 
sword and a dagger," said Quelus, "while I have 
only a sword." "The more thy folly," said An- 
tragues, " to leave thy dagger at home. We came 
here to fight, not to adjust weapons." 

When Lord Harcourt was English ambassador at 
Paris, his secretary, Sir John Blaquiere, was applied 
to, one day, by Major Bushe, a noted Irish duellist, 
for an introduction to the king of France. Sir John 
responded by asking the Major if he had ever been 
presented to his own sovereign, and he replied that 
he never had been. Sir John then remarked that, 
such being the case, he could not reasonably comply 
with his request. The Milesian then got fiery, and 
denounced Blaquiere as wanting in manners, and 
wound up by challenging him to fight. The duel 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 559 

took place near Paris ; and Bushe, who was consid- 
ered by many as the most famous shot in Ireland at 
that time, missed his man and got winged himself. 
Upon his return from France, Bushe said that he 
wanted to pay his respects to the king and got shot 
for it. 

Equal to Curran in pure wit and humor was Wil- 
liam I. Ferguson, of California, who was mortally 
wounded in a duel on Angel Island (San Francisco 
Bay), in 1858, by George Pen. Johnston. The com- 
batants had exchanged two shots, and Ferguson had 
fired his third, when, looking right into the jaws of 
death, he exclaimed, laughingly, to his second, " I'm 
a gone community." Mercutio was not gamer. 

In his duel with General John Cadwallader, near 
Philadelphia, on the 226. of February, 1778, General 
Thomas Conway received his antagonist's bullet in 
the mouth, and fell forward on his face. He then 
raised himself and humorously addressed Cadwal- 
lader as follows : " You fire with much deliberation, 
General, and certainly with a great deal of effect." 
It is a noteworthy fact that Cadwallader challenged 
Conway a bristling young Irish-American for 
his persistent calumniations of General Washington, 
and that the hostile meeting between these two dis- 
tinguished general officers of the Revolutionary 
army occurred upon the birthday of the illustrious 
object of their dispute. Conway, as soon as he was 
able to sit up after his wound (from which he 
recovered), wrote to his commander-in-chief a letter 
in which he expressed great grief for all he had said 
or written, and asked Washington's forgiveness for 
any and all of his offensive acts. 

Sir Jonah Barrington, in his sketches, relates a 



560 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

number of good stories. Of his own duel with Rich- 
ard Daly " who had the greatest predilection for a 
single combat of any person (not a society fire-eater) 
I ever recollect," says Sir Jonah, " having fought six- 
teen duels in three years" he admits that, while he 
was conscious of never having spoken a word against 
the fighting barrister, he felt the necessity of accept- 
ing the challenge it being his first invitation, and 
public sentiment at that time in Ireland being such 
that he could not reasonably decline. " It being," as 
Crosby (Harrington's second) said, " my first blood, I 
lost no time, but let fly without a single second of 
delay, and without taking aim. Daly staggered back, 
put his hand to his heart and said he was hit, and 
Crosby gave me a slap on the back which staggered 
me, and a squeeze of the hand which nearly crushed 
my fingers, and cursed the underloading or damp 
powder ; while I was extremely glad to discover that 
Daly was not seriously hurt." A short time after 
this affair Harrington was challenged by Leonard 
McNally who had been refused by Henry Deane 
Grady, a superior shot and promptly accepted. In 
his second letter to Barrington, McNally wrote : " I 
hope you won't disappoint me as that scoundrel 
Grady did." In the duel Barrington's bullet hit the 
buckle of McNally's suspenders ; and Henry Hard- 
ing, Sir Jonah's second, in addressing McNally, 
shouted : " Mac, you are the only rogue I ever saw 
that was saved by the gallows !" Curran, in his 
account of this affair, says : " His distress at not being 
able to induce anybody to fight him at one time 
was truly pitiable. McNally being, it seems, under 
some cloud, Harry Grady, who wounded everybody 
with whom he fought, refused that favor to him. 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 561 

Everybody followed this inhuman example. The 
poor man could get nobody to shoot him, and was 
the picture of misery. In vain he fumed, and fretted, 
and affronted. All seemed determined on being 
1 guiltless of his blood.' Never was an Irish gentle- 
man so unfortunate. At length Sir Jonah Barring- 
ton, out of Christian charity, accepted his cartel, and 
shot him into fashion. McNally was a man again. 
McNally himself used to say, afterward, that Bar- 
rington's shot was his salvation." 

The Cleveland (Ohio) Leader of a late date tells 
the following story about Joshua R. Giddings, the 
famous Abolitionist : Giddings had made some fiery 
remarks on abolition and the South on the floor of the 
House. In this he drew a Southern Senator rather 
roughly over the coals. The Senator became very 
angry, and sent him a challenge. He would have an 
apology or blood. Giddings accepted the challenge, 
but he wrote that he was unacquainted with the use 
of the pistol or other fire-arms. As challenged party 
he had the choice of weapons. He would name 
rawhides, tough, long, and wiry. The two comba- 
tants should have the thumbs of their left hands 
bound tightly together, and, with rawhides in their 
right hands, thrash each other until one gave in. 
The Southerner refused to accept the challenge, and 
the matter dropped. Had he accepted it, Giddings, 
who was a tall, muscular fellow, would have cut him 
to pieces. 

A short time before the breaking out of the Rebel- 
lion, Ben Wade, of Ohio, while making a character- 
istically bitter speech in the U. S. Senate, turned 
many times toward Bob Toombs, of Georgia; and, to 
all intents, hurled his oratorical violence right into 



562 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

the Georgian's face. Immediately after the adjourn- 
ment many friends of Toombs sought his presence, 
and asked him what he proposed to do. " You must 
challenge the old wretch !" cried a fire-eating South 
Carolinian. " Oh no, I musn't," replied Toombs; 
" for that same old wretch is the deadest shot in the 
district. Wade and I have been out practising many 
times together, and he can hit a ten-cent piece at 
thirty paces every time; and and to tell you the 
truth, gentlemen, / can't /" 

One of the most singular (and in some respects 
humorous or ridiculous) incidents connected with 
duelling transpired in India some years ago. Two 
officers, accompanied by a second each (all of the 
Queen's Regiment), engaged in mortal combat with 
pistols, and one of the principals was killed. The 
survivor was brought to trial; and the two seconds, 
who were subpoenaed as witnesses, declined to testify, 
on the ground that they would criminate themselves, 
and the prisoner was acquitted for want of evidence. 
The seconds were thereafter arraigned; the survivor 
was subpoenaed as witness, and assumed that he, too, 
would criminate himself. But the court ruled that 
the witness would not criminate himself, as he could 
not be held again for the same offence. He then 
proceeded, reluctantly, of course, with his sworn 
statement of the unfortunate affair, and the seconds 
were convicted of manslaughter. 

When Captain Foster (who had a wooden leg) and 
Mr. Molineaux fought, the former insisted that Mr. 
M. should have a piece of board stood up against his 
left leg, equal in height to his wooden limb. Moli- 
neaux objected at first; and only consented, at last, 
because Foster declared that the duel should not 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 563 

proceed unless his terms were acceded to. Just 
before firing, Molineaux said to his second, " I'll have 
my revenge for this ;" and, sure enough, his bullet 
crashed into Foster's wooden leg, while he himself 
lost a little finger. Foster shot at the board, however. 
The following illustrates the proverbial punctil- 
iousness of the Louisiana Creole of ante-bellum days. 
For the account the writer is indebted to a gentleman 
of San Francisco, a former resident of the Crescent 
City. Messrs. A and B and Dr. C (we will call them) 
were one evening at the St. Charles Hotel (New 
Orleans) conversing together, when Mr. A indulged 
in vulgar and otherwise ungentlemanly language; 
at which Dr. C, an old French Creole, quietly re- 
marked to Mr. B, " Sir, you will please excuse me if 
I take my leave, as I cannot listen to such language. 
Mr. A is not one gentleman, and I cannot associate 
with him;" and the doctor departed. Upon the 
following morning Mr. A sent Dr. D (the son of an 
old and intimate friend of Dr. C) to Dr. C with a 
challenge. The latter received the young gentleman 
very warmly, and exclaimed: " I am very glad to see 
you, Doctor; I knew your honored father very in- 
timately, my young friend; but what affords me dees 
great pleasure of your visit ?" " My dear Doctor," 
replied the other, " I am the bearer of a challenge 
from Mr. A." " A challenge from Mr. A ! Non, sir ! 
Mr. A is not one gentleman; and, pardon, sir, I can 
only fight with one gentleman. You are one gentle- 
man, my dear sir; and I will fight you with pleasure 
now or to-morrow with one rapier, sword, pistol, or 
cannon, if you like. But fight with Mr. A ? Why, 
Mr. A is one blackguard ! Must I fight with one 
blackguard ? Non ! Never ! Jamais !" 



564 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

Judge Tessier, of the County Court of New Or- 
leans, was one of the most polite and courteous gentle- 
men of his time, both while on the bench and in his 
social and business relations with the world at large. 
Mr. Ogden, a French Creole, was a practising at- 
torney at the New Orleans bar, and was par 
excellence a " gentleman of the old school." Mr. 
Jones, an attorney of Vermont, was in the Crescent 
City, attending to legal business. One day, in 
Judge Tessier's court, a case was on trial in which 
Mr. Ogden appeared for the defendant and the 
gentleman from Vermont for the plaintiff. During 
the progress of the trial Mr. Jones not only intimated 
that one of the witnesses was not telling the truth, 
but, after having been admonished by the judge, 
used language not at all respectful toward his 
brother-attorney; at which Mr. Ogden left his seat 
and, approaching Mr. Jones, said: "Sir, you are a 
stranger in our country; and, as a member of the 
same profession, I advise you not to be so rude in 
your action, and so objectionable in your language. 
We are not used to such manners in the courts of 
Louisiana." Mr. Jones took no heed of the advice 
given by Mr. Ogden, and continued in his own way 
until Mr. Ogden again advanced toward him and 
said: "The first time, sir, I advised you to alter your 
manner and your language; this time I warn you, if 
you continue in your course, I will chastise you." 
Mr. Jones continued to badger the witness and to 
contradict his statements, when Mr. Ogden ap- 
proached him for the third time and slapped his 
face. Mr. Jones sprang to his feet, and appealed for 
the protection of the court; to which Judge Tessier 
replied: "You want de protection of dis court when 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 565 

you have de five fingers on your face ? Yes, sir ! I 
give you de protection of de court. Mr. Sheriff, as 
an officer of dis court, you take Mr. Jones in safe- 
keeping, and afford him de protection he asks." 
Then, turning to Lawyer Ogden, Tessier added, 
"Mr. Ogden, we take de soup together to-day." 

There is a good story told of " Fighting Fitz- 
gerald," who had determined to become a member of 
" Brookes's," and, although elected, had received one 
blackball. Entering the club one day, he set a num- 
ber of nervous men to shrinking and prevaricating 
by inquiring, in loud tones, who had cast the obnox- 
ious sphere; and concluded: "I am an Irish jontle- 
man a jontleman by my father's and by my 
mother's side and a jontleman who has never missed 
his man ! But," he added, in a calmer voice, " I am 
satisfied that some jontleman must have cast the 
blackball by mistake." When the Rev. Mr. Hill was 
killed in a duel by Colonel Gardner, of the Carabi- 
neers, an obituary in the Edinburgh Review concluded 
by touching the unfortunate chaplain off as follows: 
"Mr. Hill was an Irish gentleman of good address, 
great sprightliness, and an excellent talent for 
preaching; but rather of too volatile a turn for his 
profession." 

The character of the target makes all the differ- 
ence in the world, sometimes, to even an expert shot, 
thus: Some years ago, at the Cape of Good Hope, 
a little thin fellow who could shoot unerringly at a 
mark, or snuff a candle twelve times in succession, 
missed his man (a tremendous fellow) in a mortal 
encounter, and was hit himself. " How, in the name 
of wonder, could you have missed him ?" inquired a 
friend; " you, who can snuff a candle so neatly how 



566 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

do you account for it ?" " Only in one way, sir," 
replied the wounded man; " the candle, you know, 
cannot fire at me." 

The inconsistency of some men's lives makes us 
smile. For instance, Ignatius Loyola, the founder of 
the Jesuits and a notably holy man in many ways, 
was a famous duellist. If the Bible is true, God 
Almighty forbids murder. "Thou shalt not kill !" is 
the sixth commandment. And yet, Loyola, the 
founder of the Society of Jesus, called out a man for 
denying the divinity of our Saviour, and run him 
through. 

Many clever stories are told of Pat Power, of Ire- 
land, who was not only a famous shot, but a charm- 
ing, chivalric fellow. He was fat and intemperate, 
and as full of mischief as an egg is of meat. 
Among many of his affairs of honor was one with 
Bill Brisco. When taking aim he said he had still a 
warm friendship and a natural tenderness for such a 
gentleman of honor, and would show it. So he 
only shot off Brisco's whisker and part of his ear. 
On one occasion he ordered supper in a coffee-room, 
and, while waiting for it, he read the newspaper. 
After waiting some time the waiter laid two covered 
dishes on the table, and when Power examined their 
contents he found they were two dishes of smoking 
potatoes. He asked the waiter to whom he was in- 
debted for such fare. The waiter pointed to two 
gentlemen in the opposite box. Power desired his 
servant to attend him, and, directing him in Irish 
what to do, quietly supped off the potatoes, to the 
great amusement of the Englishmen. Presently his 
servant appeared with two more covered dishes, one 
of which he laid down before his master, and the 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. $6? 

other before the persons in the opposite box. When 
the covers were removed there was found in each a 
loaded pistol. Power took up his and cocked it, tell- 
ing one of the others to take up the second, assuring 
him they were at a very pleasant distance for a close 
shot, and if one fell he was ready to give satisfaction 
to the other. The parties rushed out without wait- 
ing for a second invitation, and with them several 
persons from an adjoining box. 

Incomparably witty, as well as sarcastic, was Abra- 
ham Lincoln's remark when after accepting a 
challenge and agreeing to fight, he was shown the 
spot selected for the hostile meeting (which was on 
the Missouri side of the Illinois River) he said that 
the site was singularly appropriate, as it was within 
convenient distance of the penitentiary. It is well, by 
the way, that the gentleman selected by Mr. Lincoln 
for his attendant in his threatened duel was a man of 
infinite jest ; for he arranged that the combat should 
be fought with dragoon-swords, which put a ridicu- 
lous termination to the affair, as Mr. Lincoln's adver- 
sary (General Shields) was a much shorter man than 
himself. We can just see the immortal Father Abra- 
ham going for the eminent Missourian with a 
dragoon-sabre. The ebullitions of Lincoln's wit 
continued to effervesce, however, even after the 
dragoon-sabres had been anointed with the oil of 
peace, for the illustrious Railsplitter then proposed 
to Shields that they play a game of " Old Sledge," to 
see which should pay the expenses of the trip and 
Shields "pungled." 

In 1414 Henry V. of England sent the Dauphin of 
France a challenge ; and in reply the latter pre- 
sented Henry with some tennis-balls, with a message 



$68 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

to the effect that the latter had better confine him- 
self to the use of something less mischievous and 
more appropriate than the playthings of war. 

The Washington (D. C.) Sunday Herald, not a long 
time since, related the following anecdote of a well- 
known Virginian: 

Hill Carter, of Virginia, a lineal descendant of King 
Carter, of Shirley, on the lower James River, was for many 
years an officer of the navy of the United States ; but re- 
signing, he found his estate in a dilapidated condition. 
From his training in the navy he had become a rigid dis- 
ciplinarian, thoroughly systematic and practical. He first 
directed his overseer to pull down the old fences and pile 
together all the crooked and dried rails and fire them. All 
of the old rickety cabins and other out-houses were next 
burned. Then all of the old wagons, carts, ploughs, hoes, 
axes, rakes, baskets, spinning-wheels, and looms were piled 
together and burned. The next order was to gather up 
every old horse and mule that could not work, and all non- 
producing mares, cows, sheep, and hogs, and the old dogs 
that could not hunt, and place them in a lot. When this 
was done the animals were all killed, placed in one vast 
heap and burned. On his several plantations were some 
seventy-five or a hundred old negroes, male and female, that 
had not performed any labor for many years. Some were 
cripples and some almost past walking from old age. To 
support so large a number of non-producers did not com- 
port with Mr. Carter's idea of discipline and economy. So 
he told the overseer to gather together in a certain lot all of 
these old negroes ; but when the overseer went out to 
execute the order, the old darkies, knowing how the old 
fences, cabins, farming implements, and the old stock had 
been served, had gone by the break of day to the fields and 
were all ready for work. The ex-naval officer proved him- 
self a model and successful planter. Hill Carter was of an 
irritable nature, and by virtue of his education dictatorial. 
On one occasion, while riding over one of his plantations, 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 569 

the overseer had displeased him, and he undertook to horse- 
whip him. The overseer, being the stouter of the two, 
took the whip from him and lashed him severely. He then 
challenged the overseer to mortal combat, but the overseer 
declined to fight, for the reason, he said, that if he was 
maimed or killed it would leave his wife and children with- 
out support. Mr. Carter said he would settle on his wife 
and children a competency if he would fight him. The 
overseer accepted the proposition, and the property-settle- 
ment made the parties met, the terms of the duel agreed 
on, the pistols loaded, and they were just taking position 
when the sheriff of the c*ounty arrived on the field and 
arrested the parties. Mr. Carter never changed his prop- 
erty-gift to the overseer's family, nor did he dismiss him 
from his employ. He said he would let him keep the 
property because he might again want to fight him. 

A certain mathematical tutor at Cambridge who 
had been confidentially made the recipient of infor- 
mation to the effect that a graduate and a pupil had 
about completed preparations for a hostile meeting, 
sought out the latter and inquired, " What is all this 
about? why do you fight?" "Because he gave me 
the lie," frankly and promptly replied the young 
man. " He said you lied, eh ? Well, let him prove 
it. If he proves it, then you did lie, of course ; but if 
he does not prove it, why, then it is he who has lied. 
Why should you shoot one another ?" 

In the gallery of Dusenne, one time, a crack shot 
was affording a good deal of entertainment to him- 
self and others by shattering one after another the 
puppets set up to be fired at. There was one man 
present, however, who could not laugh. That man 
was the proprietor of the puppets. At last they 
were all down but one that one was Napoleon. 
The marksman took quick aim, and down went the 



570 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

First Consul. The proprietor gave a wild scream, 
and exclaimed, "You cannot fire as well upon the 
-ground!" "Come out and see!" Bang! and 
down fell the proprietor. " He could fire as well," 
groaned the prostrate one. 

M. Olivier, Bishop of Evreux, and Monseigneur 
Affre, Archbishop of Paris, met one day, and the 
latter dwelt at length upon the imperfections and 
inconsistencies of the laws against duelling ; when 
Bishop Olivier asked, " Suppose, Monseigneur Affre, 
some one of standing should slap you in the face, 
what would you do ?" The Archbishop was slightly 
thrown from his equilibrium, but replied, " I know 
what I ought to do, but I do not know, really, what I 
should do." 

Croquard was not unlike St. Foix in many re- 
spects, although not so gallant and proficient in the 
use of the sword, and was always without a sou. 
One day, at the instance of the Comte de Chambord, 
he called upon a contractor and challenged him, at 
which the latter picked Croquard up and held him 
under a pump and pumped water on him until he 
was completely drenched. He once challenged a 
linen-draper, whose wife informed Croquard that her 
husband was ill and would not recover before six 
months. In precisely six months from the day of his 
first visit Croquard again called, and was again met 
at the door by the wife of the linen-draper, who 
invited the nomadic duellist to breakfast. He de- 
clined, although hungry, saying that he wanted to 
fight more than he wanted to eat. " Won't monsieur 
try a glass of Madeira?" inquired the diplomatic 
woman, with well-affected affability. "Madeira!" 
ejaculated Croquard, with a smack of his lips like the 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 571 

crack of a whip. " Oui, oui, my dear madame ; and 
your good husband shall remain ill for another six 
months." Croquard once got enraged with an actor 
named Mouton, and was about to challenge the 
Thespian, when he remembered that he owed him 
five francs. " How unlucky, mon Dieu !" he cried, 
after having unsuccessfully attempted to borrow that 
amount from others present, "that I should owe a 
man money whom I want to fight." 

Sainte-Beuve once fought a duel holding an um- 
brella during the preliminaries of which he said 
that he had no objection to being killed, but that he 
was determined not to get wet. When the Duke of 
Wellington wanted the Tenth Regiment kept at Dub- 
lin he admitted that many duels would grow out of 
such action; "but that's of no consequence," he 
added. Some years ago two inexperienced shooters 
met in the woods near Paris, and at the first dis- 
charge of their pistols a cry went up at a point only 
a few yards away, and it was quickly discovered that 
a well-known attorney had been hit. " If it is only a 
lawyer," cried one of the combatants, "let us fire 
again." 

During the progress of the duel between Senator 
William M. Gwin and Representative J. W. McCor- 
kle, in 1853, a poor donkey nearly half a mile away 
was shot dead and the donkey was not even a 
spectator. Sterne once fought a duel about a goose, 
and Raleigh one concerning a tavern-bill. An Irish- 
man once challenged an Englishman because the 
latter declared that anchovies did not grow on trees. 
A member of Louis the Eighteenth's body-guard 
challenged three men in one day one because he 
had stared at him, another because he had looked at 



57 2 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

him askew, and the third on account of his passing 
him by without looking at him at all. A Liverpool 
sea-captain was once challenged, and named harpoons 
as weapons. A Frenchman who had been called out 
named twenty-four loaves of " siege-bread " " We 
shall eat against each other," he said, " until one of 
us shall die; for one of us is sure to die." Many who 
have received challenges have accepted and named 
horsewhips or cowhides. Two Tennessee editors, 
who had long quarrelled, repaired to the field to 
fight, but settled their difficulty, after firing one shot, 
by agreeing to merge their papers into one concern 
and enter into partnership with each other; which 
they carried into effect after their return. 

Parson Brownlow was once challenged to fight a 
duel for something he had published in the Knoxville 
(Tennessee) Whig, and replied as follows : " Yes, 
sir, I accept the challenge ; and, since I am the chal- 
lenged party, it is my right to choose the weapons, 
time, and place. As the place, I select the nastiest 
hog-pen in the vicinity of Knoxville ; time, just after 
the first July shower ; weapons, dung-forks : the man 
who stays in the pit longest to win the fight." It is 
hardly necessary to add that the challenger " backed 
out" and became at once the laughing-stock of East 
Tennessee. 

One of the most remarkable duels (or series of 
duels) of any age was the affair between two French 
officers named Fournier and Dupont. This duel was 
commenced in 1794, and lasted nineteen years. Four- 
nier had challenged and killed a young man named 
Blum, at Strasburg, under distressing circumstances ; 
and General Moreau, the commandant, who had 
issued cards for a soiree which was to take place 



HUMORS AND PLEASANTRIES OF THE FIELD. 573 

upon the evening of the day of Blum's funeral, had 
hinted to his chief of staff (Dupont), just before the 
commencement of the arrival of guests, that the 
presence of Fournier might mar the character of the 
festivities. So, when Fournier appeared, he was 
denied admission by Dupont, who was at once chal- 
lenged, and fought (with swords) and wounded 
Fournier. In a month or two they fought again, and 
Dupont was wounded. Immediately upon the re- 
covery of the latter the combatants again met, and 
both received severe and dangerous wounds. Before 
retiring from the field, however, they had an agree- 
ment drawn up and sworn to that, whenever after- 
ward they came within one hundred miles of each 
other, each should travel fifty 'miles toward the 
other, and renew and continue the fight until at least 
one of them was placed hors de combat. In the mean 
time they corresponded with each other, met and 
fought many times during ten or twelve years, al- 
ways shaking hands, and sometimes dining together 
after their fights. At length both became general 
officers, and, during the year 1813, were ordered to 
Switzerland. Dupont arrived at the post at night, 
put up at the best inn, and learned shortly after his 
arrival that Fournier occupied an adjoining apart- 
ment. In a few moments they were at it again, 
sword in hand, and the fight was temporarily ended 
by Dupont running his steel through his antagonist's 
neck and pinning Fournier against the wall. While 
in this situation Fournier challenged Dupont for a 
meeting upon the following day. " Early in the 
morning, with pistols, in the woods near Neuilly !" 
cried Dupont, greatly to the astonishment of Four- 
nier, who was a distinguished shot. " Good !" re- 



5/4 THE FIELD OF HONOR. 

plied the latter. " Hear me," added Dupont ; "I am 
about to engage in matrimony, and have concluded 
that this matter of ours must first be permanently 
settled ; so I propose that we each arm ourselves 
with a pair of loaded pistols, go into the woods to- 
gether, then separate and walk off in opposite direc- 
tions one hundred paces, then turn and fire at will." 
The proposition was accepted by Fournier, and the 
combatants met upon the following morning, went to 
the woods together, separated, paced off a hundred 
steps, turned, and commenced to advance hostilely. 
Dupont, while on his hands and knees, got sight of 
Fournier behind a tree, and at once took up a like 
position. He then stuck out a flap of his coat, as if' 
in a kneeling position, and in an instant a bullet went 
through it from Fournier. Then Dupont hung his cap 
on the muzzle-end of one of his pistols, and by de- 
grees stuck it out to one side until at length Fournier 
blazed away. Dupont then stepped out from behind 
the tree and advanced upon his astonished antago- 
nist with drawn weapons and said, " General, your 
life is in my hands, but I do not care to take it. I 
want this matter to end, however, right here ; and in 
case of a fresh disturbance, I want you to never lose 
sight of the fact that the weapons must be pistols 
your favorite weapons and that I am entitled to the 
first two shots ; distance, three feet." Thi