Saturday, July 20, 2013

Duels of Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson fought at least three duels in his lifetime.

His first duel took place in 1788. The twenty-one year old Jackson was ridiculed by Revolutionary war hero Waightsill Avery, and demanded satisfaction. Clearer heads took charge by the time they met to fight, and both men agreed to miss when they fired.

Jackson’s next duel was with Tennessee Governor John Sevier in 1802. Jackson, who at this time was a judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court, accused the ex-governor of dealing in forged land warrants. Sevier burst into his chambers brandishing a sword, and demanded satisfaction. The duel was scheduled to be fought in Virginia, but never took place.

Jackson’s final duel took place at Harrison’s Mill, Kentucky where he faced down Charles Dickinson. The men stood twenty-four feet apart. Dickinson fired first, putting a ball in Jackson’s chest. To his surprise Jackson barely reacted. Instead, he leveled his pistol, took deliberate aim, and shot Charles Dickinson dead.