A very characteristically Southern duel between Andrew Jackson and Charles Dickinson. Charles Dickinson, 27 years old and having had a few drinks in him, made some “uncomplimentary remarks about Rachel Jackson, Andrew’s Wife, who was the subject of much gossip (Williams, p. 18). ” The reaction was predictable, the next day Andrew Jackson confronted Dickinson, who attempted to no avail to apologize and found himself facing off against Jackson on “the field of honor” in May of 1806.
According to William’s account, Dickinson aimed and did successfully wound Jackson in the chest. Old Hickory, however, lived up to his name and did not fall when struck. He clutched the wound, took one shot that failed to discharge his weapon and then a Second that killed Dickinson. Clay vs. Randolph On Saturday, April 8, 1825, Henry Clay and John Randolph squared off in Virginia over the latter’s support for John Quincy Adams and Clay’s having insulted Randolph for it.
Randolph had a reputation for being a deadly-accurate marksman and it was assumed among most Washington officials that Clay would not survive the encounter. What followed was as farcical as any duel could have been. Randolph’s pistol discharged before the duel was underway. Clay, not satisfied, insisted that they carry though. The duel was held at thirty-steps distance, apparently beyond the marksmanship skills of either duelist. Clay shot and hit the ground, Randolph managed to hit a tree stump.
Still, despite the urging of a Second, they insisted on carrying through. The third attempt was slightly more impressive, Clay managed to penetrate Randolph’s coat. Randolph, according to the Code Duello, now had the right to fire upon Clay. After stretching out the moment, apparently for maximum dramatic impact, he opted to fire into the air, against the rules of the Code Duello. Clay inquired whether he had injured Mr. Randolph’s to which Randolph replied “No, Mr. Clay. But you owe me a new coat. ” (Kentucky, 2005)