Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dueling In Missouri 1831

This is a true case:

Quoted from "A History of Northeast Missouri" by Walter Williams © 1913

Page 265
At the February term 1831, the grand jury of Boone County indicted Dr. Nash for sending a letter, challenging Gilpin S. Tuttle to fight a duel. The wording of the letter was very adroit, but the intention of the writer was clear. The indictment was signed by R. W. Wells, attorney general, certified by Mason Moss, foremen of the grand jury, and the trial occured before Judge David Todd, in Columbia. It resulted in the conviction of Nash and his being fined one hundred dollars, the only man ever convicted of that offense in this county. The letter is as follows:


I have always been fond of the chase, and of gunning. I have experienced great satisfaction in the chase, in the countries of West Florida and New Mexico, and in the states of Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, North Carolina, S. Carolina, Missouri and Tennessee,—in the extreme eastern part of the latter, I took my first chase when quite a boy. Now, Sir, the object of this communication is to let you know that there is not anything could be more greatful to my feelings than to take a short hunt with you, in some place not exposed to Indians depredations, and , as my first chase was in the East of Tennessee, I propose to take this (perhaps my ]&st) chase in the extream West of that state, say in the Mississippi bottom opposite New Madrid. I propose the hunting camp to be located some where near the Mississippi river (nigh to where the eye of Leonard flashed on Major Berry) and then and there the preliminary arrangements will be made for the hunt, by * * * say our camp keepers—and they will, no doubt, give you liberty to execute your threat of 12th of June last, on me—and if you stick close to the chase, I insure that we will have something of better colar, if not so strong scented, as that with which you plastered my letter 10th of last June.

To Capt. Gilpin S. Tuttle, Yours &c.,

Nashville, Mo. I. P. Nash.

P. S. Sir—I most seriously invite you to this hunt—you may object to the season, but 'tis the best time to save meat and skins, and the climate is more mild at New Madrid than here. I have frequently observed that men by being camp- mates (each doing his duty) would become great friends, and agreeable associates. Therefore this measure is absolutely necessary three days after this is delivered, I shall call at Nashville for an answer for this invintation, believing most confidently that you will perfectly understand this prelude at the first glance. There is an embargo (and something worse) on those who execute certain instruments of writing in Missouri, which criminal words I have, and will avoid. But there is no law (that I know of) which prohibits hunting parties.


I. P. Nash.

There's more on this colorful character of Missouri's past, if you're interested do some further research.

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