May 30, 2013

207 years ago today, Andrew Jackson — the future President — committed "a brutal, cold-blooded killing."

I've read a few descriptions of this incident, and this one is especially interesting:
By May 1806, Charles Dickinson had published an attack on Jackson in the local newspaper, and it resulted in a written challenge from Jackson to a duel. Since Dickinson was considered an expert shot, Jackson determined it would be best to let Dickinson turn and fire first, hoping that his aim might be spoiled in his quickness; Jackson would wait and take careful aim at Dickinson. Dickinson did fire first, hitting Jackson in the chest. Under the rules of dueling, Dickinson had to remain still as Jackson took aim and shot and killed him. However, the bullet that struck Jackson was so close to his heart that it could never be safely removed. Jackson's behavior in the in the dual outraged men of honor in Tennessee, who called it a brutal, cold-blooded killing and saddled Jackson with a reputation as a fearful, violent, vengeful man. He became a social outcast.
More here:
Though acceptable by the code of the times, many people considered it a cold-blooded killing. I presume the rules of engagement were for each man to draw and fire at the same time, upon hearing the signal, but if one fired, there was no "second round" until the other man fired. The implication is that magnanimity would have required Jackson to fire into the air rather than taking a slow deliberate aim at 24 feet.

176 comments:

rhhardin said...

The guest list for duels is always tricky, and dress options.

Dale Light said...

When he left the presidency Jackson was asked if he had any regrets. "Just two", he replied, "I did not shoot Henry Clay and I did not hang John C. Calhoun."

Hagar said...

Yes, Professor, dueling pistols are single-shot.

Also see the Hamilton-Burr duel. Hamilton's shot went into a branch of a tree way above Burr's head, but it is not known whether this was because Hamilton deliberately fired high, though he had stated he intended do so before the duel took place, or because Burr's bullet struck him first and threw his aim off.

Capt. Schmoe said...

It would appear that Jackson fought to win.

The aiming and firing of pistols at each other is an absurd method of settling disputes of honor.

The idea of following unpublished rules while performing such an absurd act is even more absurd.

Hagar said...

I have read that Jackson's regrets were that his favorite horse never won the Derby, and that he never found an opportunity to hang John C. Calhoun.

The Godfather said...

Dueling makes sense to me, in that I understand why people would want to do it. The reaction of the people reported in this story makes no sense to me. Jackson, having received what could have been a mortal wound, is supposed to fire into the air???

Can someone explain this?

The Godfather said...

Dueling makes sense to me, in that I understand why people would want to do it. The reaction of the people reported in this story makes no sense to me. Jackson, having received what could have been a mortal wound, is supposed to fire into the air???

Can someone explain this?

YoungHegelian said...

Jackson's marriage to Rachel Donelson was a little iffy by the standards of the times, too.

The couple may have thought that Donelson's first husband had done the divorce "right & proper", but it seemed that that was not the case. So, Rachel Jackson was a bigamist, for a while at least.

Jackson was basically an ornery SOB who took what he thought was coming to him. He was not about half-measures.

X said...

what an asshole to shoot a dude who shot you in the chest.

chuck said...

I think the problem was that Jackson's pistol misfired the first time and he had to cock it again and it was the second attempt that succeeded. So the controversy wasn't about the fact that he shot and killed Dickinson, but rather whether he was right to do so after his pistol misfired on the first attempt.

Gotta admit that the guy had balls. Planning to stand there and get shot, and then doing it, that isn't the sort of thing most folks could do.

Larry J said...

“Fast is fine, but accuracy is final.” ― Wyatt Earp

In Jackson's case, he bet that his opponent would miss or at least inflict a non-mortal wound. He almost lost that bet by receiving a near mortal wound. As it was, he might've missed himself due to the severity of his wound. Pretty ballsy bet, IMO. I see no problem with him killing the other guy under the circumstances but then I'm not up on the finer points of dueling.

chrisnavin.com said...

Old Hickory didn't mess around. The Establishment was particularly scared of his brand of populism.

Hagar said...

Jackson also was almost killed by Thomas Hart Benton and his brother Jesse in 1813, but that was more of a frontier brawl than a duel.

I think there also a story about him fighting a duel with Bowie knives, that got quite bloody.

mariner said...

Jackson didn't believe that Americans should be ruled by others who believed themselves superior and thus entitled to rule.

Anything he did is therefore seen today as terrible.

chuck said...

fighting a duel with Bowie knives, that got quite bloody.

From what I've been told, knife fights are usually bloody. Even when they are practice fights, one always gets cut.

Expat(ish) said...

In a past life I had time and money to shoot pistols exactly like the ones these guys were using.

Hitting someone at 24 feet with one is pretty hard to do with any certainty. IIRC we were pretty happy with a 1:4 kill shot. Hitting someone after taking a shot to the chest is amazing.

Personally I'd mark it up to dumb luck.

-C

traditionalguy said...

What does a frontier man expect when he shoots to kill a Scots-Irish military minded man.

He learned that he will be targeted for a kill shot.

Any distaste came from the Anglican priests and their King who resented the idea that a common man with a resolve could start a fight, win a fight and execute the attacker. That sort of thing was reserved for the Army of the German lunatic sitting on the Throne of England.

Paddy O said...

Just finished reading Six Frigates, the history of the US Navy. Officers dueled all the time. Dueling was a devastating practice, understood so at the time and yet honor compelled men to keep at it, often even if they didn't want to.

Baron Zemo said...

Andrew Jackson was the kind of guy we need as President.

He was the man the elitist credentialed fops and phonies all looked down on as a plebe.

While he was getting stabbed by a British officer during the Revolution..... Jefferson was fucking his slaves.

While he was fighting the Creeks and the Seminoles and stealing shit from the Indians to open the frontier....John Quincy Adams was having tea in the embassy with his pinkie raised.

While he was fighting the Brits with Pirates and freedman and backwoodsman rifleman....Henry Clay was in a compromising position .....with someone's wife.

He had the right idea about a lot of thing.

When John C Calhoun started making secessionist noises Jackson told him to STFU and you know what...he STFU!

Imagine what he would do to the terrorists who come to our land to murder our citizens.

Imagine. The mind boggles.

Ann Althouse said...

Perhaps the deterrent effect made some sense.

Baron Zemo said...

The fight with Benton was in a hotel where he was stabbed after he shot and missed. Several gunshots where thrown but it went to hand to hand. Jackson was shot by Jesse Benton and almost bled to death.

He was one tough customer.

Baron Zemo said...

His legacy lives on in the form of his great-great-great granddaughter Latoya Jackson who recently bitch slapped Omarosa during this seasons edition of the "Celebrity Apprentice."

Michael K said...

There is some dispute about the misfire since it was the other man's seconds who accused Jackson of the second shot.

At the first signal from their seconds, Dickinson fired. Jackson received Dickinson's first bullet in the chest next to his heart. Jackson put his hand over the wound to staunch the flow of blood and stayed standing long enough to fire his gun. Dickinson's seconds claimed Jackson's first shot misfired, which would have meant the duel was over, but, in a breach of etiquette, Jackson re-cocked the gun and shot again, this time killing his opponent.

I've read Remini's three volume biography of Jackson and it says his hammer stopped at half cock, not a misfire. He recocked it and fired. Dickinson had bet $300 that he would kill Jackson so he never intended anything else.

Jackson feared his wound was mortal and was determined on satisfaction.

I see no problem with it, especially given Dickinson's boasts.

Thorley Winston said...

My understanding about the conventions of dueling is that if the other person fires first and misses you, then it’s sometimes customary to fire your pistol in the air and both parties agree that "honor" is satisfied. But if they shot and inflicted what was likely a mortal wound, you kill the mother****er.

AllenS said...

If you let me shoot first, you're fucked.

JAL said...

This discussion would not be complete without reviewing The Battle of New Orleans

According to the notes the Brits had 10,000 and lost more than 2,000.

The US under Jackson lost 76.

deborah said...

Here's a book about Jefferson's nephews who brutally murdered a slave (for breaking a pitcher) in 1811:

http://www.amazon.com/Jeffersons-Nephews-A-Frontier-Tragedy/dp/0803282974

AllenS said...

Baron Zemo said...
His legacy lives on in the form of his great-great-great granddaughter Latoya Jackson who recently bitch slapped Omarosa during this seasons edition of the "Celebrity Apprentice."

5/30/13, 4:59 PM


That was good.

The Godfather said...

If Chuck is correct, that Jackson's pistol misfired, and he then cocked and fired again, then I understand the criticism of his conduct. I assume these were flintlocks, so perhaps the priming powder was a tad damp, and the spark from the first attempt didn,t set it off, but the second one did.

But there must have been rules about this. The seconds were there to keep the disputants honest. If there was no rule that you weren't allowed to try again, then Jackson did nothing wrong. And if there was such a rule, one of the seconds should have stopped him.

Rule # 1, though, has got to be: Don't mess with Andrew Jackson.

edutcher said...

If you threw out libel laws (which have been gutted by the appellate courts anyway) and brought back duelling, Uncle Saul's Rules would die a very quick death

(think Miss Sarah vs Andy Sullivan)

(the Romster vs Dingy Harry)

traditionalguy said...

What does a frontier man expect when he shoots to kill a Scots-Irish military minded man.

He learned that he will be targeted for a kill shot.

Any distaste came from the Anglican priests and their King who resented the idea that a common man with a resolve could start a fight, win a fight and execute the attacker. That sort of thing was reserved for the Army of the German lunatic sitting on the Throne of England.


No, even the Scotch-Irish understood there were rules. As several have noted, Dickinson intended to kill Old Hickory, so this was to the death, regardless.

The real issue is, you don't defame a man's wife - ever - regardless of culture. The Scotch-Irish are no different than the English, the real Irish, the French, Russians, Italians, or anyone else.

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

Someone needs to teach the 8th grader who put the video above together how to use punctuation properly.

Other than that, neat project. Didn't know 8th graders did history anymore.

SteveR said...

Would be interesting to consider who would have made the twenty dollar bill. As it is, Jackson's image is on the short list of ones to be replaced by BHO in 2017, but I understand he might accept a Mt Rushmore carving instead.

edutcher said...

JAL said...

This discussion would not be complete without reviewing The Battle of New Orleans

According to the notes the Brits had 10,000 and lost more than 2,000.

The US under Jackson lost 76


We were extremely lucky that day.

The Brits understood the folly of attacking men positioned behind cotton bales and tried to negate it with a flanking maneuver.

While the British plan was a tad too complex, the Redcoats did manage to get in a position to outflank the Americans; it was just too late to do any good.

The extreme good fortune that Pakenham and 2 of his 3 brigadiers were killed also helped.

lemondog said...

Jackson also was almost killed by Thomas Hart Benton and his brother Jesse in 1813

O/T kinda, painter Thomas Hart Benton (April 15, 1889 – January 19, 1975) related.

Works

sydney said...

Reminds me of a good movie.

RichardS said...

Don't forget that Jackson pledged his allegiance to the King of Spain in the 1780s:
http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19950504&slug=2119113

peoplearenotstupid.com said...

What year was the old "metal plate hidden under the shirt" trick invented? Did it come before or after the metal cup?

Baron Zemo said...

When I was a kid in grammar school they had a movie day in school as a treat.

One year they played "The Buccaneer" which was about the battle of New Orleans.

Charlton Heston played Old Hickory.
EG Marshall played Gov. Claiborne.
Yul Brenner played the pirate Jean Lafitte.

It was remarkable for one thing.

Yul had hair.

edutcher said...

I think there were one or two others where he did, but, yeah, that's something else.

Derek Brown said...

They didn't lunching him or anything they just socially ostracized him because he hadnt acted like a gentleman. What exactly are the posters defending Jackson here complaining about. Jackson wasnt a gentleman that's pretty undisputable. Leaving aside the duel his patent treason to the issue of states rights (the cause he onstensibly built his career on) during the tariff crisis demonstrates that Jackson wasnt man of principle either. He was a poor hick like Clinton who was going to get his hands on power honor and propriety be damned. John Calhoun was fifty times the man Jackson was.

For those trying to make the point that Jackson is being slurred because he was populist, note that Arthur Schlesigner, doesn't get more establishment leftist than that, wrote a panygeric to Jackson, The Age of Jackson, to draft Jackson into the pantheon of leftist greats.

Derek Brown said...

They didn't lunching him or anything they just socially ostracized him because he hadnt acted like a gentleman. What exactly are the posters defending Jackson here complaining about. Jackson wasnt a gentleman that's pretty undisputable. Leaving aside the duel his patent treason to the issue of states rights (the cause he onstensibly built his career on) during the tariff crisis demonstrates that Jackson wasnt man of principle either. He was a poor hick like Clinton who was going to get his hands on power honor and propriety be damned. John Calhoun was fifty times the man Jackson was.

For those trying to make the point that Jackson is being slurred because he was populist, note that Arthur Schlesigner, doesn't get more establishment leftist than that, wrote a panygeric to Jackson, The Age of Jackson, to draft Jackson into the pantheon of leftist greats.

The Drill SGT said...

random comments

In those days, a bullet to the chest was often fatal. A bullet to the gut always was.

some of the rules for gunfights that apply:

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on “pucker factor” than the inherent accuracy of the gun. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. “All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket.”

11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won’t work.


20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

24. Do not attend a gun fight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than “4″.

25. You can’t miss fast enough to win.

traditionalguy said...

@ Derek Brown... You are mistaken. Jackson was not being slurred at all by American standards. He was being praised.

No one ever thought Jackson was a populist. He was a Presbyterian.

Revenant said...

Andrew Jackson was the kind of guy we need as President.

We already *have* a President who packs the federal government with his political cronies and ignores the law.

What the heck would we need another one for? :)

Baron Zemo said...

I don't know Rev.

If Andrew Jackson were around today he would of owned Barack Obama.

Literally.

Fandor said...

Let's see...publicly insulted...probably humiliated...challenges a known crack shot...crack shot shoots to kill Jackson...comes close, but no cigar...Jackson, probably in great pain and very angry, keeps his cool and shoots the S.O.B. Hmm...what would you do?

Revenant said...

People are completely missing the point about what angered people about Jackson's behavior. The mentality behind dueling was that it gave men a chance to show they were willing to risk their lives to defend their honor. That is why it was not-uncommon for people to deliberately miss.

Jackson's made it clear that honor wasn't his chief concern; he just wanted the other man dead. *Legally* what he did was acceptable, but morally it was premeditated murder. That horrified the largely devout Christian society of Tennessee.

All in all, Jackson was lucky that Hell is just a myth. :)

Cedarford said...

Derek - . John Calhoun was fifty times the man Jackson was.

No one agency was more at fault, save the cripling harm of the US Constitution, the Sacred Parchment itself - in causing the Civil War - other than John Calhoun.

While you can deplore Jackson's methods and ethics, just about everything the guy did left America the better for it.

Calhoun, while an honorable man,lit the fire that killed 660,000 men and destroyed 1/3rd of the wealth and property of the South.

And the pity is that aside from Haiti, every other nation or colony in the Western Hemisphere ended slavery peacefully.

Jackson was right. He should have hanged Calhoun.

Derek Brown said...

There was no agency on earth Cedarford that could have averted the civil war. Correctly judging that Calhoun said might as well go for broke. If compromise was possible believe me Daniel Webster would have found it. The Constituion was a suicide pact as far as slavery was concern and the absence of such a Constituion was why the other counties solved slavery peaceful.

virgil xenophon said...

The Drill Sgt/

Amend#7 to also read: "You ain't tryin' if you ain't cheatin.' "

LarsPorsena said...

Considering our convoluted, counter-intuitive, illogical, expensive, time-consuming , crap-on-the-common-folk legal system, I'm for pistols at 24 feet making a comeback.

Derek Brown said...

Cedarford I would add after the Force Act the South was convinced that president politics was pointless because even a Southerner would let the power go to his head and would take any incident of nullification as a personal affront. The fact that both Randolph and Calhoun had been burned by Jefferson and Jackson respectively created the fire eaters, Ostend Manifesto etc.

gadfly said...

Jackson subscribed to the "Do unto others before they do it unto you" philosophy.

David said...

He was pretty good at genocide too.

Cedarford said...

Derek Brown said...
There was no agency on earth Cedarford that could have averted the civil war
------------------
If that is so, why was it that 28 other nations and colonies that had slaves avoided any civil war over ending it?

What was so special, as in specially fucked - about America and Haiti.
With Haiti, perhaps it is more obvious. One look at Haii today gives you clues.
With America - what other explaination exists other than grievous fuckups in our "Sacred Parchment" - and how hothead English descendents separated in culture and grew to hate one another??

Derek Brown said...

Cedarford read my comment I said the constitution was a suicide pact. It was the constitution's fault. You cant wven argue civilly with someone who agrees with you just calm down. two senators per state meant that the south had to keep coming up with slave states and you can't grow cotton on the Great Plains. That's why you have the Ostend Manifesto pledging to turn the Carribean into an America basin.

edutcher said...

Baron Zemo said...

When John C Calhoun started making secessionist noises Jackson told him to STFU and you know what...he STFU!

He was Veep at the time - and the real fight was over the Eaton business (not that Jackson and Calhoun didn't have their contretemps over nullification).

Calhoun didn't STFU - he resigned as VPOTUS and continued his political career.

Would that we had men (and women) with that kind of principle today.

Derek Brown said...

It's a shame someone of your calm disposition wasnt there to soothe tempers I guess cedarford. And lets be clear can buren the first high profile aboltionist politician certainly wasnt English. The anti-slavery brigades werent just puritans.

John said...

I went to the link but found no mention of drones... Do brutal and cold blooded still apply?

Derek Brown said...

Right educater Calhoun didn't STFU until he literally got to sick to speak.

Baron Zemo said...

There was a great deal of controversy over the marriage of Andrew Jackson and his so called wife Rachel. She had an on again off again relationship with her first husband Ross and no one could tell if they were together or not. Ross claimed that they were on a "break" when Rachel moved in with General Jackson and never accepted the fact that they would not get back together. Frankly the subject bored everyone and was another example of how old white men exploited women before the law was changed to protect the innocent.
(Old White Men Had Nothing to Do with the Founding of this Country, Randi Weingarten UFT Press 1987)

ken in sc said...

Jackson was the original Scots-Irish Southerner. There were rule books about dueling. There is a copy of one in the Up-Country History Museum In Greenville, SC. He didn't care about that. He was a fighter who fought about whatever he wanted to fight about—especially his honor and his wife's honor. He was an Indian fighter who also adopted an Indian child as his own son. He didn't hate Indians. He thought their culture was incompatible with American culture. Many Native Americans hate him for this still.

BTW, the lead ball in his chest probably led to his death years later. He was chronically ill for many years, probably from lead poisoning.

traditionalguy said...

I saw where President Gee of Ohio State said that when the SEC leaders learned to read and write, then he would try to explain to them how the elite Big Ten does things

Gee he was also the man who said the Big Ten should not have to play The Little Sisters of the Poor, meaning the TCU team that went on to dominate Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

The audacity style of aroused men such a Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jonathan Jackson and George S Patton is being looked down on today by the truly uneducated.


Indigo Red said...

Dueling etiquette required that both pistols be fired for each participant to retain honor and the duel deemed over. To have a pistol stop at half-cock or misfire did not satisfy the requirement that the pistol actually fire which didn't simply mean "to shoot", it literally meant flaming fire and Jackson's pistol powder did not ignite.

Now, even though Charles Dickinson is a maternal ancestor, I hold with the Jacksonian interpretation of the duel. His pistol powder did not ignite due to a mechanical failure and he was, therefore, entitled to re-cock and fire the pistol.

Had his pistol not worked a second time, Jackson would've been well within his rights and etiquette to demand another pistol to shoot. All the while Dickinson would have had to stand there waiting to be shot.

Dueling was not for pussies.

Revenant said...

The audacity style of aroused men such a Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jonathan Jackson and George S Patton is being looked down on today by the truly uneducated.

Being looked down on by "elites" doesn't make you a douchebag. It also doesn't miraculously cure you of douchebaggery.

Jackson was an accomplished military leader. As a politician and a human being he was a waste of sperm.

edutcher said...

Baron Zemo said...

There was a great deal of controversy over the marriage of Andrew Jackson and his so called wife Rachel. She had an on again off again relationship with her first husband Ross and no one could tell if they were together or not. Ross claimed that they were on a "break" when Rachel moved in with General Jackson and never accepted the fact that they would not get back together. Frankly the subject bored everyone and was another example of how old white men exploited women before the law was changed to protect the innocent.

No, Rachel Donelson was the light of Jackson's life and his enemies tried to use the controversy over their pre-marital arrangements to their advantage. They knew they could rely on his volcanic temper to betray him.

A similar situation was the science fiction of the "romance" between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. Any dalliance was in the minds of Jefferson's political enemies.

Roadkill said...

OK, so a so-called founder of the Democratic party (see Jefferson-Jackson Dinners) was a slave-owning, Indian-hating (see trail of tears), cold-blooded murderer. Is there something new here?

rcocean said...

Gad here we go again with the "Scot Irish" crap. There's no evidence that Jackson thought of himself as "Scot-Irish". Further, his attitudes and beliefs were Southern. Was Washington "Scot-irish"? What about Robert E. Lee? Stonewall jackson? Jefferson Davis? Jefferson?

Remember Marion "The Swamp Fox" - most of his men were Irish - not "Scot Irish". Augusta GA - founded by an Irishman. Atlanta GA - also founded by an Irishman.

Derek Brown said...

Neither his wife nor he had any honor to defend what you are talking about is face. I get that the South of my ancestors is dead, on the WSOH, and all that but the way Andrew Jackson acted was alot like how certain leftist comics acted in the post-war years. Always thumbin their nose at convention and then constantly wondering why people didnt find their antinomianism refreshing. Imagine if Obama's inauguration had turned into Miami Urban Beach week.

Derek Brown said...

Jackson certainly wasnt Irish-Irish. I don't like the Scots-Irish mythos (positive or negative) but they aren't Irish. Really they are just Scottish with a slight selection toward male aggression.

Michael K said...

"The mentality behind dueling was that it gave men a chance to show they were willing to risk their lives to defend their honor. That is why it was not-uncommon for people to deliberately miss."

Yeah and look where it got Hamilton.

Derek Brown said...

Look where the converse got Burr.

eddie willers said...

OK, so a so-called founder of the Democratic party (see Jefferson-Jackson Dinners) was a slave-owning, Indian-hating (see trail of tears), cold-blooded murderer. Is there something new here?

I had to scroll a long way before I got to the correct answer.

edutcher said...

Roadkill said...

OK, so a so-called founder of the Democratic party (see Jefferson-Jackson Dinners) was a slave-owning, Indian-hating (see trail of tears), cold-blooded murderer. Is there something new here?

Another Lefty idiot.

Jackson's treatment of William Weatherford belies the idea he was an Indian hater, as such and owning slaves was perfectly acceptable in his time and had been since the dawn of Man.

As for cold-blooded, anyone who reads the description of the fight can see the last thing it might have been was "cold-blooded".

rcocean said...

Gad here we go again with the "Scot Irish" crap. There's no evidence that Jackson thought of himself as "Scot-Irish". Further, his attitudes and beliefs were Southern. Was Washington "Scot-irish"? What about Robert E. Lee? Stonewall jackson? Jefferson Davis? Jefferson?

The term, "Scotch-Irish" was coined as something of a dig at the Presbyterian Scots the English tried to settle in Ireland in the 17th century with the hope of their intermarrying with the Catholics and diluting the fierce Irish strain of rebellion. It has defined them in American history for 200 years.

After 100 years or so, many left for America, the rest becoming the "Prods" of the recent Troubles in Ulster.

The term "Scots-Irish" was apparently coined by James Webb in his book about them.

Lee, Davis, and Stonewall were all Tidewater aristocrats and of English descent, although Jackson had some Irish ancestry and Davis some Welsh.

Derek Brown said...

Neither his wife nor he had any honor to defend what you are talking about is face.

No, in those days, it could mark a woman as fallen and thus affect her life the the lives of those around her.

We may not think it's a big deal today, but reputation was everything back then.

kcom said...

"and that he never found an opportunity to hang John C. Calhoun."

But he didn't have Eric Holder as his AG. Think of the possibilities.

commoncents said...

World's Highest BASE Jump - Flying from Mt. Everest


http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com/2013/05/jump-from-top-of-world-worlds-highest.html

Derek Brown said...

You miss understand me educatcher honor was very much real the simply had not earned it. Therefore Jackson could at best be said to be defend the more primal face.

rcocean said...

Ed:

I've written this before. but...

Southerners in the 19th century considered themselves of "English" descent. Then, the Irish were considered a bunch of truculent dimwitted boozers, while the Scotch were goofy kilt-wearing cheapskates. OTOH, the English were 'cool'. See Emerson's "English Traits".

Its not until the 1920s that Americans started to view the English as a bunch of boring losers, and the Celts as lusty, full of wit and life, and "Cool."

That's when the "Scot-Irish" crap started.

ricpic said...

Ol' Hickory was always ready for sex. No agonizer he.

edutcher said...

Derek Brown said...

You miss understand me educatcher honor was very much real the simply had not earned it. Therefore Jackson could at best be said to be defend the more primal face.

I would disagree on the grounds he would have said his honor had been established in three wars. Sam Houston was of similar attitude.

Honor as a concept wasn't reserved for the Lees and Randolphs of Virginia.

(and my name isn't that hard to spell)

rcocean said...

I've written this before. but...

Southerners in the 19th century considered themselves of "English" descent. Then, the Irish were considered a bunch of truculent dimwitted boozers, while the Scotch were goofy kilt-wearing cheapskates. OTOH, the English were 'cool'. See Emerson's "English Traits".

Its not until the 1920s that Americans started to view the English as a bunch of boring losers, and the Celts as lusty, full of wit and life, and "Cool."

That's when the "Scot-Irish" crap started.


I'm not disagreeing with you, my use of term is in the context of historical scholarship, although the term itself has been around for about 325 years.

YMMV

ricpic said...

Ol' Hickory was always ready for sex. No agonizer he.

Citation, por favor.

William said...

There were men in those days who had long, contentious careers without ever finding the need to fight a duel, and there were others who could hardly make it to lunch without a challenge. In one day, Hamilton challenged three men to a duel. Jackson seems to have been unusually combative even for that era.........He lived in the era of daguerreotypes and portraits. Compare the shrunken old man in the daguerreotype versus the glory laden figure in the portrait. I think it's possible that a similar divide exists between the Jackson of legend and the Jackson of reality.

Big Mike said...

207 years?

"What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?"

Michael K said...

"while the Scotch were goofy kilt-wearing cheapskates"

That's a more modern image of the Scot. The Enlightenment began in Scotland and it was by far the intellectual heart of England before Victoria.

ricpic said...

Citation por favor.

Okay, I made a baseless wisecrack. Mea Culpa.

On an up note the Mets have just swept the Yanks in a four game subway series. Eat your heart out, Baron.

Chip Ahoy said...

Music to duel by, Sarabande,a musical term for a slow stately decorus Spanish dance in triple time, to a soldier meaning extra fast but to a musician meaning this rising and falling: doo... do-do .... doo... do-do ...doo... do-do ...doo... do-do ... very slowly so that you get to glide and glow in the aura of your partner and in the magnificence of your own dress or impressive uniform, composed by a guy with a very easy handle to remember.

Foxxy Conservative said...

We still settle differences of opinion in the South like this so I've reckoned. Next best is slapping a dead catfish up against someone's head to get their attention. Barbs are a bitch!

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

ricpic said...

On an up note the Mets have just swept the Yanks in a four game subway series. Eat your heart out, Baron.

Any time the guys in pinstripes take it on the chin is worth celebrating.

William said...

The Heisenberg Uncertainty principle applies to Scots. The last Scottish rebellion occurred in 1740. The lowland Scots of Edinburgh and Glasgow thought that membership in the British union was a pretty good deal and, for the most part, declined to join. The Highland Scots were all for it. One Highland chieftain thought that it was a damnable bit of English imperialism that he was not allowed to sell his vanquished foes into slavery. The Highland Scots were illiterate cattle rustlers. They're one reason why during the Scottish Enlightenment period that the Scots never fell for that Noble Savage bullshit that their French counterparts swallowed whole.......It was only several generations later under the influence of SIr Walter Scott that Highlanders became such romantic figures. Scots of genius like Adam Smith and David Hume had no great objection to union with England.........In America, the Highlanders supported the King. The Scotch Irish were fierce unionists in Ireland and fierce rebels here.

The Drill SGT said...

The Theory of Sheep :)

rcocean said...

"The Enlightenment began in Scotland and it was by far the intellectual heart of England before Victoria."

More Scot propaganda.

"Scotland is a vile country, though God made it, but we must remember that he made it for Scotsmen, and comparisons are odious, but God also made Hell"- Samuel Johnson

Brian Macker said...

It is hard to hit a target at 24 feet with a dueling pistol even when you haven't just been hit with a slug that penetrated all the way into your chest and up against your heart. His shot was perfectly fair. The other guy obviously shot to kill and he was returning the favor.

Patrick said...

How they ruled duels in Tipperary and Galway, Ireland, back in the day:

http://www.ringofsteel.org/reference/irishcode.html

John said...

OT but re the Scots:

Never forget that you are reading this thread courtesy of a Scotsman, James Watt who invented the steam engine. 95%+ of all the electricity in the world is generated via steam engines using principles that Watt discovered.

And, re the English:

If it had not been for a Manchester button maker, Matthew Boulton, who commercialized Watt's engine, it might still be a lab curiosity today.

John Henry

phx said...

The other guy obviously shot to kill

That's not necessarily so obvious. Accidents will happen.

Eric said...

Let's see...publicly insulted...probably humiliated...challenges a known crack shot...crack shot shoots to kill Jackson...comes close, but no cigar...Jackson, probably in great pain and very angry, keeps his cool and shoots the S.O.B. Hmm...what would you do?

Miss, probably. Never been shot, but it looks like it hurts.

traditionalguy said...

Being descended from Scottish settlers in northern Ireland is not a legend. It is as real as I am.

Bloody Armagh was not a legend. It was a battle ground, and the home of my ancestors who fought the Jacobins for England and decided like Andrew Jackson to win that duel no matter the cost.

If you are going into war, there is NO reason to go there without a resolve to never surrender until you win it.

As for T. J. Jackson, he was a West Virginian by birth. And he did consider himself a normal American. But he discovered a lot more about himself when he went into battle in Mexico City as a young artillery commander, and later when in the Shenandoah Valley he defended his Institute in Lexington Virginia and his Presbyterian Church there.

He discovered that he was fearless under fire and too damn stubborn to let an enemy beat him. Ergo: he proved by that that he was a normal Scots-Irish man.

El Pollo Raylan said...

I'm sure Jackson didn't plan the duel to happen that way. I give him kudos for quick thinking. 207 years ago is a long time ago.

Jefferson screwed his slaves; Lincoln was gay; Grant was a drunk; Hamilton was a pussy. Who else among the DWM's on Fed Reserve Notes can we crap on? Washington? Franklin?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Discrediting and otherwise getting rid of all those dead white males on our currency just clears a path for putting Barack Hussein Obama's smiling visage on our currency.

Mark my word: there are engravers at work on it already.

David said...

Ordinarily it's difficult to be magnanimous toward one who just shot you in the chest.

NotClauswitz said...

Did he hold the gun sideways and say "Yo!" a lot - if not all is good.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: If someone Questioned Scarlett's Honor I would Challenge Them to a Duel. I can Duck Very Well.

edutcher said...

traditionalguy said...

Ergo: he proved by that that he was a normal Scots-Irish man.

Oh, Christ, let it go. That's like saying everyone of Irish descent is a brawler and a drunk.

I don't doubt plenty of Scotch-Irish boys on both sides of the line took to their heels in their first fight (and, yes, there were plenty of Scotch-Irish that wore the blue) and a lot more did everything they could to stay out of it - including going West.

Bloody Armagh was not a legend. It was a battle ground, and the home of my ancestors who fought the Jacobins for England and decided like Andrew Jackson to win that duel no matter the cost.

Not exactly a mark of honor. The Scots did all they could to oppress the Catholics. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't beat the Irish.

And "Born Fightin'" could have just as easily named "Born Stupid" because they never knew when a fight was the worst possible way of settling something (I know some of their descendants and they'll still fight when against their interests). If they had, there would have been a peaceable solution to the issue of slavery and they might still be a power in this country, but all the Irish and German laborers and English shopkeepers stopped them cold at places like Gettysburg.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: If someone Questioned Scarlett's Honor I would Challenge Them to a Duel. I can Duck Very Well.

Rhetorical Butler says: Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

DiploMad said...

Such duels now would be settled by unleashing the IRS on your opponent . . .

El Pollo Raylan said...

"Rhetorical Butler" sounds like an argumentative manservant.

betamax3000 said...

Re: ""Rhetorical Butler" sounds like an argumentative manservant."

Ewing!

betamax3000 said...

Andrew Jackson: ""I’ll be the man smoking two cigarettes. Who Shot You."

betamax3000 said...

"A tray of Dueling Pistols floated at us through the twilight, and we sat down at a table with the two girls in yellow and three men, each one introduced to us as Mr. Charles Dickinson"

Eric said...

Mark my word: there are engravers at work on it already.

I've no doubt this is true, but I doubt it will happen. I don't think he'll be remembered as a particularly good president.

betamax3000 said...

"A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding-cake of the ceiling, and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea. Then Andrew Jackson Shot Him. In the Creme Filling."

traditionalguy said...

Edutcher...I'm glad you agree with me that the Scots-Irish are too aggressive in most cases start the fights themselves.

But don't go into a war without them on YOUR side.In peacetime just educate them in Liberal Arts and try to be polite when they stand up to you.

betamax3000 said...

"A bullet stirred the gray haze of Charles Dickinson's fur collar."

betamax3000 said...

"The mouth was wide open and ripped at the corners, as though Charles Dickinson had choked a little in giving up the tremendous vitality he had stored so long."

Steve Koch said...

The two duelists employeed two different strategies, Charles Dickinson opted for speed rather than taking the time to aim carefully, trying to kill Jackson before he could got a shot off. He came within a fraction of an inch of killing Jackson.

Jackson opted for a more deliberate approach, taking the time to aim carefully even though it meant he could be dead before he ever got a shot off. BTW, after Jackson got hit in the chest, right next to his heart, he knew it was possible, even likely, that he would die from Dickinson's bullet. Given that Jackson risked his life to aim more carefully and probably thought that he was about to die, why wouldn't Jackson shoot to kill?

Dueling was not a dance, it was two guys trying to kill each other.

betamax3000 said...

"The prolonged and tumultuous argument that ended by herding us onto that field eludes me, though I have a sharp physical memory that, in the course of it, my underwear kept climbing like a damp snake around my legs and intermittent beads of sweat raced cool across my back. Then I shot Him."

David R. Graham said...

"The audacity style of aroused men such a Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jonathan Jackson and George S Patton is being looked down on today by the truly uneducated."

Concur. What is legal, moral, illegal, immoral, good, bad, etc. is never a dispute or question of consequence. Any of that is useless and irrelevant. Who is right and who is wrong is the only useful, relevant question, ever.

Life is never a what, it's ever always and only a who.

Astro said...

Some people just need killin'.

edutcher said...

traditionalguy said...

Edutcher...I'm glad you agree with me that the Scots-Irish are too aggressive in most cases start the fights themselves.

But don't go into a war without them on YOUR side.In peacetime just educate them in Liberal Arts and try to be polite when they stand up to you.


I can name several wars where they lost rather badly.

And I've found being polite does no good. They can be like the Pike County mule of legend - you need to take a 2x4 to them just to get their attention. you have to wait until everything's blown up and them explain it to them in purple crayon.

Quaestor said...

I have read that Jackson's regrets were that his favorite horse never won the Derby, and that he never found an opportunity to hang John C. Calhoun.

What Derby was that? The Kentucky Derby was first run in 1875, long after Jackson was dead. (BTW, Belmont's June 7. Watch Golden Soul take the distance by 2)

Charles Dickinson hit Jackson in the chest with a ball fired from flintlock smoothbore pistol at six yards. Even with the best English-made duellers that's a good shot. These guns were typically .68 to .70 caliber, which is a damned big bullet. At hit in the torso at close range was devastating. I know what I’m talking about. Years ago I built a .69 caliber replica Tower pistol (made by CVA, these were fully functional replicas of the flintlock pistols supplied to the British army from about 1715 to the Napoleonic period). I made a good job of the assembly, and I used the recommended ammo and powder, but I couldn't hit a man-sized target at 50 feet. At 10 yards I could score a hit 6 out of ten shots, and that's with taking a slow and careful aim. Once I shot at a plastic carboy full of water to see just how effective the pistol was. The shot tore the container in half and mangled it horribly. Surviving a hit at close range from a Tower pistol would be problematic to say the least. Given the fact that Dickinson evidently had every intention to kill Jackson, I don't see how the honorable men of Tennessee could find Jackson behavior any more outrageous than Dickinson’s.

Christy said...

Malcolm Reynolds at the end of a sword duel wherein he defeats his opponent and his second explains that honor requires he go ahead and kill the guy: "Mercy is the mark of a great man." He stabs his opponent a little. "I guess I'm just a good man." Stabs him again. "Well, I'm alright." Firefly, written by Jane Espenson

So I guess we conclude that Jackson was a complex guy with good and bad in him. Isn't it the low information voter that needs heroes and villains in black and white?

I hated Jackson for years because after they saved his ass against the Creek at Horseshoe Bend, he had the Cherokee rounded up and sent on that Trail of Tears. Now I think he prevented a genocide. Still, not pretty.

eddie willers said...

(BTW, Belmont's June 7. Watch Golden Soul take the distance by 2)

Most moments we can't forget are the big tragedies.

One good one in my life that I will never forget is watching Secretariat pull away so far in the Belmont that the TV camera could not fit the following horse in the same field of vision.

Even the new widescreen TVs would fail at that task.

An unbelievable run.

Dale Light said...

In order to place the duel within its American, as opposed to ethnic, context I would recommend Joanne B. Freeman's "Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic". It's good history and a good read.

Quaestor said...

I don't know what was typical dueling practice but a few times I loaded my Tower pistol with a standard Brown Bess cartridge -- 125 grains of black powder, a .69 caliber lead ball and three buckshot pellets, the so-called "buck 'n ball" load. I was told by a reenactor that was how the Continental cavalry sometimes loaded their pistols. The recoil was tremendous. My gun arm was flung backwards so violently that I strained a muscle in my back, and I nearly lost my grip on the weapon. I also missed my target, except for one buckshot that hit my human silhouette (made from 3/4 plywood) almost dead center. The shot went clear through and would have been mortal.

The Continental cavalry was short of good swords, so many trooper didn't have them. Instead they carried pistols in addition to their carbines, sometimes as many as four -- two in saddle buckets and two stuffed in the waist belt. They usually loaded with buckshot only, five to seven pellets, and fired at the enemy at point blank range.

Quaestor said...

The Colonies were well supplied with skilled gunsmiths who could make excellent shooting but frugally styled firearms, including pistols. American smiths even invented a distinctive style, the so-called saw-handled pistol. A few saw-handles saw service in the Revolution, but mostly they were intended for affairs of honor. This was not true of swords, however. Before the War of Independence swords were rare in America, and those were invariably of European manufacture. Washington always despaired that his forces were wanting for good edged weapons, even bayonets were in short supply. Unfortunately for the Continental Army sword-making was just not a skill in demand prior to 1776. But by 1800 there were a few good sword smithies in operation. They made military swords on contract, but their bread and butter were small swords and epees, good for show and dueling, but not much else.

The history of American dueling is odd in this respect. There is very little evidence of the practice prior to the Revolution, yet afterwards it was almost commonplace, especially in the South and West. I wonder if the new found nation fostered its own "ruling class" with its own aristocratic code in the European model.

kmg said...

Duels are stupid. I notice that only men were dumb enough to get suckered into them....

How come no women squandered their lives over such ill-calculated bravado?

Because they got the male suckers to do it for them.

kmg said...

Duels are stupid. I notice that only men were dumb enough to get suckered into them....

How come no women squandered their lives over such ill-calculated bravado?

Because they got the male suckers to do it for them.

Quaestor said...

kmg wrote:
Duels are stupid. I notice that only men were dumb enough to get suckered into them... How come no women squandered their lives over such ill-calculated bravado?

So speaks the voice of the progressive 21st century. We have our own barbarities which doubtless would have shocked and dismayed the good folk of 200 years ago, lest one is inclined to self-righteousness. One reason for the rarity of female duelists (they weren't unheard of, by the way) is the fact that women weren't admitted to the professions, nor did they vote or hold office.

Quaestor said...

Topless female duelists!

Carl said...

Och, the peasant. Of course the civilized thing to do would've been to sic the IRS on him. Or secretly read his mail. Have your friends spread nasty rumors about his sexual predilections in pamphlets and blogs.

That's what a real man does, by God. Thankfully we live in times when the right tools to uphold honor and decency are available.

Quaestor said...

Carl's insightful comment should be the last word on this subject, methinks.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

One of the jobs of a good second was to besmirch the honor of the winner in the event his principal loses.

Of course, if the winner had actually behaved dishonorably, the second would be honor-bound to demand satisfaction. So in Andrew Jackson's defense we have the fact that no such challenge was issued.

gshotts said...

Suprised this hasn't been mentioned yet: http://www.cracked.com/video_18463_andrew-jackson-most-terrifying-man-ever-elected-president.html

gshotts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Emily said...

Code Duello....

Jeremy said...

Duels were ultimately about personal honor.

It's one thing to shoot and kill a man who has a loaded pistol.

It's another thing to shoot and kill a man who is defenseless.

Jackson would have won the duel by deliberately choosing to not shoot his opponent. But by choosing to do so, he forfeited his honor. But it's not surprising, since he held his fire.

Quaestor said...

Miss Emily's comment prompted me to look up Code Duello at Wikipedia, where I learned much, such as the formal Irish Code Duello adopted in 1777 (which reminded me strongly of several duels of Redmond Barry, as related by Thackery). The American version was laid down in 1835, and encouraged secrecy since dueling, though widespread, was unlawful. I also learned why sandbars were a favorite dueling venue -- questionable jurisdiction! Can't summon the sheriff if you don't know which sheriff to summon.

Quaestor said...

It's another thing to shoot and kill a man who is defenseless.

I don't see this a clear cut case of being shot while defenseless. Firstly, a pistol isn't a defense like armor; it's useful only to maim, destroy or (perhaps) deter an attacker. Secondly, duelists are defending their honor, not defending their persons. Furthermore, the ritual (take ten paces, turn and fire... whatever) is designed to encourage the near-simultaneous discharge of single shot deadly firearms at close quarters (interestingly, even after repeating arms were available, dueling codes called for single shot guns), therefore if a duelist in an ideal contest is hurt or killed he is hurt or killed in a state of "defenseless" since his pistol is empty by the time he is struck by his opponent's bullet.

Unknown said...

I seem to recall reading that Jackson's comment about how he had fired a fatal shot at Charles Dickenson even though he had been shot in the chest was, "I would have killed him even if I had been shot in the head."

Jackson was apparently quite angry indeed.

edutcher said...

Quaestor said...

Topless female duelists!

Take that with a grain of salt. It's documented with a painting, rather than a photo.

I know of at least one such "duel" that turned out to be completely bogus, but we guys (and, apparently, a good many "feminists") love to dream.

Unknown said...

In Europe, dueling was a perk of the upper classes. In the young America, Old World ideas of privileged classes had been swept away and so Honor and dueling were available to pretty much everybody. The death toll from dueling was pretty bad but then in those days before germ theory was understood, the death toll from malaria, mumps, measles, small pox and tuberculosis was pretty bad as well.

In order to discourage dueling, a number of states passed laws requiring political office holders to swear an oath that they had not fought a duel after the date on which the law took effect. One result of this was that rather than fighting formal duels, people with political ambitions, which was a lot of them, would defend their honor on the spot by pulling out a knife or pistol and killing the person who had insulted them. This led to the first laws against carrying concealed weapons.

Unknown said...

Jackson's pistol misfired when attempted to shot it

This would count as a shot according to rules of dueling

He quickly recocked his pistol and
fired killing Dickinson.....

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

The Democrats of the time were a bit closer to their roots as Jeffersonians. Today's descendents of the party? Not so much. That's one of the primary reasons that our contemporary political ideologues despise men such as Jackson.

As for dueling? If you wish to publicly insult a man, his wife or his family, don't be surprised if there are...consequences.

Within the rules of dueling, Jackson had every right to shoot the man who had shot him. His actions were well within the rules of that or any other time. Honor demanded no less. If his opponent had fired into the air before Jackson shot him? Yeah. That would've been a violation of honor, there.

X said...

phx said...
>>>>>The other guy obviously shot to kill

That's not necessarily so obvious. Accidents will happen.


you're obviously an idiot. there was nothing accidental about Dickinson shooting Jackson in a duel.

Rusty said...

John said...
OT but re the Scots:

Never forget that you are reading this thread courtesy of a Scotsman, James Watt who invented the steam engine. 95%+ of all the electricity in the world is generated via steam engines using principles that Watt discovered.


He didn't invent, but perfected a design already in limited use. He made the steam engine more efficient and therefore more commercially viable.
It revolutionized the mining industry in England.

Toquam said...

I'd like to nuance "social outcaste" a bit.

Dickinson's seconds vetted Jackson's pistol, and they seem to have originated the critique - and won or lost Dickinson's bet on killing Jackson.

I'm guessing that no matter how you judged the morality, inviting Jackson anywhere would invite another duel - so even if you loved the Jackson's dearly, you'd keep a low profile and look like you saw him as an outcaste.

So the story invoked and then stoked passionate hatreds, and folks were at least as good haters, there, then.

If I ever understand dueling, Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin books will be the key, especially Lucifer could not hold a candle to Stephen, who operated on himself to remove a bullet from his own pericardium.

As to hating Indians, the massive inter-marriage between Scots Irish and the Indians we now call civilized nations meant that "Red Stick" in the Davy Crockett Disney version lacked the blond hair, blue eyes and McGillicudy name of the real "Indian."

The Trail of Tears land grab was more like Cromwell stealing all the arable land from Catholics in Ireland - "Indian" include your cousins and in-laws. Cherokee tried to take slaves, and there's still a lively argument about tribal membership for the descendants of slaves who did not run off.

I haven't finished "The Son" yet, but Quanah Parker apparently gave back a white Commanche captive in return for a stray buffaloe killed with a lance and eaten in the traditional fashion.

Given that just about all Texans say they are related to Quanah Parker - like or unlike us descendants of Pochahontas - I'd say I wonder if we'll ever start bragging about being related to our African-American cousins?

gregq said...

If he'd done that in England at the time, he would have been charged with murder, and probably convicted.

The pistols of the time were rather inaccurate, so with a quick "draw and fire", luck played an important role. Or, to put it another way, it gave God a chance to help whoever was in the right.

Taking your time and aiming meant you were simply trying to kill the other guy, rather than settle the point of honor.

No, that makes no sense to us. Yes, that appears to be the way they thought. So yes, by the rules of the day, what Jackson did was wrong, wasn't dueling, was just (because he got away with it) legalized murder.

Astro said...

... missed a lot of this earlier. Was busy shoveling coal into my PC's steam powered microprocessor.

Mitch H. said...

At least the Dickinson duel was a straight-up formal duel. His "duel" with the Benton brothers was nothing more than a street ambush, albeit by the Bentons rather than Jackson's party.

I'd have thought you'd have approved of duelin' Jackson, Professor. He was easily the most badass Supreme Court Justice the State of Tennessee ever had. He once disarmed an armed lunatic in his court just by staring him down.

Jackson's marriage to Rachel Donelson was a little iffy by the standards of the times, too.

According to Remini's account, it was a *lot* iffy. I'm not sure if the accusation of bigamy is actually correct, but it certainly sounds like before that an old-fashioned case of "alienation of affection" and elopement to me.

The real issue is, you don't defame a man's wife - ever - regardless of culture.

I seem to remember that the Dickinson duel was over a horse, not the usual bigamy quarrel. Dickinson had said something in the past about Rachel, but apologized, and the duel proper was over hard words exchanged about some damn fool race, and the betting thereon.

While the British plan was a tad too complex, the Redcoats did manage to get in a position to outflank the Americans; it was just too late to do any good.

The British weren't going to tactically flank Jackson's line, it was firmly anchored on one side by the Mississippi and on the other by 1) a swamp and 2) Cherokees *in* the swamp. Also, the British plan was mostly a straight-up direct assault, complete with fascines and bloody-minded British stupidity.

As far as Calhoun - Calhoun was a dishonorable swivel-hipped whore of a politician. He let Jackson believe that hadn't been involved in a plot by the Monroe cabinet to disown Jackson's first occupation of Florida, letting Crawford and Adams take all the blame for actions that were substantially his. And the Eaton "crisis" was the most small-minded petticoat horseshit I've ever seen dishonor a nation's capital, and much of it was Calhoun's fault.

The last Scottish rebellion occurred in 1740

1745. To the point that it was known as "the '45".

The other guy obviously shot to kill

That's not necessarily so obvious. Accidents will happen.


Not when he'd bet others that he would kill Jackson.

Quaestor said...

Rusty wrote:
[James Watt] didn't invent, but perfected a design already in limited use. He made the steam engine more efficient and therefore more commercially viable.

True, and very little electricity is generated using reciprocating steam engines, the turbine being more efficient.

Paul said...

I'd have shot the bastard myself after he tried to kill me.

Murder? Hell no, he paid him back.

Long time ago a guy named John Wesley Hardin was riding near Longview Texas. 4 of Davie's police asked him for his guns. He wrote in his book, "I then gave them the contents of them."

Jackson was in a duel. The other guy tried to kill, so Jackson just paid him back for the effort.

I see no problem with what he did.

Paul said...

And if you Jim Bowie.

To him, if you want to duel, you wanted to die. There was no quarter. And as a result some tried to ambush him and got themselves killed to (but Bowie was ran through with a rapper and shot in the process.)

jr565 said...

Considering the guy he was dueling was a crack shot, it says something that he let him fire first. Let alone challenged him to a duel.

edutcher said...

Paul said...

Long time ago a guy named John Wesley Hardin was riding near Longview Texas. 4 of Davie's police asked him for his guns. He wrote in his book, "I then gave them the contents of them."

Wes Hardin was an outlaw. No duel.

He was apprehended by the duly constituted authority and resisted arrest, even though everybody from WT Sherman on down thought Davis was a jerk.

And if you Jim Bowie.

To him, if you want to duel, you wanted to die. There was no quarter. And as a result some tried to ambush him and got themselves killed to (but Bowie was ran through with a rapper and shot in the process.)


Those were less duels than attempted murder.

(and that's rapier, I think; I'd hate to see him run through with RunDMC)

Baron Zemo said...

It is quite amusing to see edutcher taking the conflation of the plot of "Friends" with the history of Andrew Jackson but that's the way he likes it.

edutcher said...

Elucidate, por favor.

Baron Zemo said...

While it is true that Calhoun resigned because of Peggy Eaton and the Real Housewives of the Jackson Cabinet....what I was referring to was the "Nullification " crisis that Calhoun ginned up in South Carolina after he went back home to be a Senator. When Jackson got the Army ready to go down and straighten them out they all walked softly.

Baron Zemo said...

Finally it is really cute how ricpic and the Metsie fans are all excited about sweeping the Yankees. They did a great job and deserve all the accolades they can get as they did a great job.

But you see the thing is when the Mets play the Yankees it is their "World Series."

For the Yankees the "World Series" is the "World Series." Everything else is no big deal.

The Yanks are in striking distance and the next few weeks will be getting back three Hall of Famers and a centerfielder who hits about 40 homers a year and a slick fielding first basement who usually pops about 20-30 dingers a year.

So I like our chances.

But you have a nice little last place team there little fella's.

Enjoy your moments in the sun.

edutcher said...

Jackson, in the piece I linked, can be seen as another "my way or the highway" type so common among the Scotch-Irish, but his threat was more sound than fury. Nullification was was philosophical issue, rather than one of immediate secession.

The Army, at the time, consisted of 7 regiments of infantry, with 10 50-man companies each, plus a regiment of artillery, mostly used as coast artillry. They were spread across the country, and engaged in the Black Hawk and First Seminole Wars, not to mention much of them being laid low by a cholera pandemic. There would not have that been many troops involved.

Besides, Calhoun's resignation preceded all of this, as he was replaced on the ballot as Jackson's running mate and successfully ran for US Senate that fall. Calhoun was a strident voice for nullification throughout the 1830s and 40s.

PianoLessons said...

The Washington DC elite types hated Andrew Jackson way before he was elected President.

Jackson actually fired his entire Cabinet(save the Postmaster) because of the vicious gossip over the Peggy Eaton Affair ....

He was a ninja - they hated him and he hated them right back.

See The Petticoat Affair for an interesting moment in US History: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petticoat_affair

PianoLessons said...

The Washington DC elite types hated Andrew Jackson way before he was elected President.

Jackson actually fired his entire Cabinet(save the Postmaster) because of the vicious gossip over the Peggy Eaton Affair ....

He was a ninja - they hated him and he hated them right back.

See The Petticoat Affair for an interesting moment in US History: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petticoat_affair

John said...

Having watched the Cracked.com video that Gschotts recommended above, I am tempted to consider what would have happened had Jackson challenged Chuck Norris to a duel.

Nothing. Norris would have been afraid to show up.

Even though Jackson has been dead for close to 200 years.

AJ was pretty badass.

John Henry

John said...

Queastor

Quite right that little, if any, electricity is generated by reciprocating steam engines. I am very familiar with steam turbines from my Navy days.

OTOH, absent the external condenser, Watt's big idea, turbines probably never would have developed.

Watt's engine was, arguably, an improvement on the Newcomen engine. OTOH, the Newcomen engine depended on vacuum to pull the cylinder up and down. That limits the force to a theoretical max of 14.7PSI.

Watt quickly figured out how to use pressure to move the piston. That allowed the maximum pressure to be whatever the boilers, pipes, cylinders and pumps could stand.

John Henry

Revenant said...

As for cold-blooded, anyone who reads the description of the fight can see the last thing it might have been was "cold-blooded".

He deliberately chose a tactic that he knew would ultimately involve shooting a defenseless man. Then he followed through on it.

I do have to say, though, that it is funny to see how many self-described "conservative Christians" praise anybody, even a crooked big-government politician and murderer, who has a thick enough layer of macho bullshit layered onto him. Attitude just matters more than morality to some folks, I guess.

edutcher said...

John said...

Having watched the Cracked.com video that Gschotts recommended above, I am tempted to consider what would have happened had Jackson challenged Chuck Norris to a duel.

Nothing. Norris would have been afraid to show up.

Even though Jackson has been dead for close to 200 years.

AJ was pretty badass.


No, actually Chuck is dead and has been for 30 years.

Death's been afraid to tell him.

(I'm here all week...)

Jackson, though, was lucky, as the origin of the post indicates. Unlike Armstrong Custer, he retired before his luck ran out.

edutcher said...

PS Technically, the rules allowed what Jackson did.

On his side, as a couple of people have noted, he probably figured he was a dead man, anyway.

On the down side, like all lawyers, he took advantage of the loophole when most men would have shown some charity, or, at least, scruples.

edutcher said...

PPS Not sure how many who have come down on Old Hickory's side can be IDd as Conservative Christians, self-described or otherwise.

traditionalguy said...

Where does cold blooded become a defect? The colder you think under fire the better.

Practice tip: Don't start a fight with a man who thinks coldly under fire.

E.g., Col.Harold Moore of the Ia Drang Valley battle fame was a cold blooded killer.

edutcher said...

I'd offer the opinion what old Hickory did was anything but cold-blooded.

He was known for his temper and was probably mad as Hell.

Keeping your cool in a fight is one thing, he could have just as easily shot him in the knee (or some other debilitating place) and condemned him to a life of pain or just said, "I'll hold my shot for another time" - making Dickinson's future dependent on his good will; tossing your scruples because you just feel like it is something else.

You're making excuses for him because he's Scotch-Irish.

That's no different than blacks making excuses for Choom because he's half black or the media doing it because he's a crypto-Commie.

Mitch H. said...

Jackson was well-known for being capable of controlling and directing his "uncontrollable anger". It was real enough, but he was its master, rather than vice versa. I'd call him the polar opposite of Lee, Washington and Eisenhower, who were supposedly disciplined and controlled men known to their inner circle to be prone to sudden wild passions in the heat of events. Jackson was something else - a popularly known "hot tempered Scot" who could turn his rage off in a heartbeat when it suited him.

Revenant, I'm not a Christian, so you can't beat me with that particular rulebook. On the other hand, Jackson was, if not notably churched in his day. Modern-day Christians in the mainstream denominations have been castrated by the Alinskyites, but there was once a day when "muscular Christianity" ruled the roost. Sort of a shame, really. Your head might leave your shoulders if too many rough Christian men are emasculated so. "Muscular atheists" being precious rare on the ground, let alone in foxholes.

rcocean said...

Jackson reminds me of the "Terminator"

Asta La Vista, Calhoun

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
He deliberately chose a tactic that he knew would ultimately involve shooting a defenseless man. Then he followed through on it.

that tactic involved letting himself be shot in the chest, with the bullet so close to his heart that it couldn't be removed. How did he know that the bullet wouldn't have killed him?
And the man was only defenseless because he fired a bullet into Jackson's chest first.

HistoryDoc said...

The story I've always heard is that Jackson knew Dickinson was a marksman who aimed for the heart, so he wore an overly-large coat to the duel to give the appearance of having a "broader chest" than he really had. Dickinson shot him right where he thought the heart would be, but he actually aimed lateral to the heart, and the shot went into Jackson's lung. He had a chronically infected wound thereafter, but obviously survived, and lived long after with the wound.

HistoryDoc said...

The story I've always heard is that Jackson knew Dickinson was a marksman who aimed for the heart, so he wore an overly-large coat to the duel to give the appearance of having a "broader chest" than he really had. Dickinson shot him right where he thought the heart would be, but he actually aimed lateral to the heart, and the shot went into Jackson's lung. He had a chronically infected wound thereafter, but obviously survived, and lived long after with the wound.