Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 30: Andrew Jackson kills man in duel

On this date in History .... May 30, 1806:  

Future President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel. Jackson was not charged with murder as dueling was considered a “time honored tradition”. 

Dickinson accused Jackson of reneging on a horse bet and called him a coward. Dickinson also accused Mrs. Jackson of being a bigamist.  Rachel Jackson thought she was divorced when she married Jackson but her first husband had not finalized the divorce. In the duel, Dickinson’s bullet struck Jackson in the chest, next to the heart. Holding his hand over the wound, Jackson stood long enough to fire his round. His gun misfired, which according the rules of dueling would end the duel. But Jackson re-cocked his gun and killed Dickinson with a second shot. 

Ironically, the story of Rachel’s unfinalized divorce caused more scandal in Washington than the duel.

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