Young Abraham Lincoln’s Deadly Sword Duel

Chuck Banner | August 16th, 2018

At a young age in 1842, Abraham Lincoln was publicly berated by James Shields during a debate about banking in Illinois. The humiliation in public led to James Shields challenging Lincoln to a duel. This was a duel to the end, where the victor would take both the life and the pride of his opponent.

You see the Illinois State Bank went bankrupt in August 1842 and advised it would no longer accept its own paper currency from citizens to pay off their debts: they had to use gold or silver. Gold or silver was a rarer commodity so most of the citizens could not repay their debts. The state auditor, Shields, supported the decision to close the bank. And Lincoln at the time known as a “prairie lawyer” wrote a scathing editorial that he published in the Sangamo Journal.

The published letter saw Lincoln assume the role of an Illinois farmer and signed it as “Rebecca” unfortunately Shields did not take too kindly to what he called slander. And demanded the newspaper give up who this person was, they obliged. Shields then went on to demand Lincoln retract his statement, which he refused to do so. Shields then challenged Lincoln to a duel, it would happen in Missouri where dueling was still legal.

The rules at the time allowed the challenged to pick the weapon, Lincoln felt he would have no chance with a pistol and did not want to die, he also had no intention of killing Shields but felt he would easily be able to disarm him with a blade. Therefore, he decided on dueling with the broadsword planning to use his superior height and easily beat Shields.

September 22 and they met on Bloody Island to fight to the death, Lincoln swung his sword high about Shields and cut through a nearby tree. This was enough for Shields to understand he was at a fatal disadvantage and promptly called a truce.

They met again during the civil war, President Lincoln and Brigadier General Shields, Shields was one of the only men to deliver a defeat to Stonewall Jackson during the Battle of Kernstown. And President Lincoln promptly promoted him to Major General, symbolically burying the hatchet!

Next Article
  • Olympics Athletes Are Zapping Their Brain For Performance Increases

    A strange phenomenon is taking over the sports industry at an alarming pace, one that sees professional athletes zapping their brain in name of increasing their performance. The technology uses brain simulation with the goal of increasing everything an Olympic athlete needs to grab that gold medal. The basic explanation...

    Read More
  • The Sea Creature That Eats Its Own Brain

    There is one little creature that lives in tidal pools and over shallow ocean areas, that has a rather strange and fascinating characteristic: it eats its own brain. The sea squirt is a little undersea animal which is part of the tunicate family. Whenever poked or threatened, this small animal...

    Read More
  • Pokemon Go A Security Fear For The Pentagon

    If you happen to love Pokemon Go but work for the American government at the Pentagon, well that is just too bad. All employees are banned from playing Pokemon Go inside the Pentagon walls, due to its mapping features. Anyone working at the facility in Arlington, Virginia has been given...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Porthemmet Beach Hoax

    In some regions of the world no matter how much the local area survives off tourism, there is just a general distaste for tourists in general. All these strangers tramping around your Townsquare asking for directions, one of those places in Wales. With all the coastlines and beautiful beaches, locals can tend to get very...

    Read More
  • A Castaway Who Survived 14 Months At Sea

    One man defied all the odds and was able to survive lost at sea for over 14 months. This is no story of being washed up on an island and finding coconuts, this man just drifted around the ocean for months on end. He is called Jose Salvador Alvarenga and...

    Read More
  • The Romans Actually Invented The Swiss Army Knife

    When you think of the Swiss Army Knife you would have thought it was invented in Switzerland - and it was, unless you count Roman’s version as the first one. A spoon, a knife, a fork, and toothpick - all the tools you need to extract the meat out of the shells of seafood. This...

    Read More
  • Seagulls Are Able To Drink Salt And Freshwater

    When you are at the beach you may have seen some gulls drinking from the ocean and wondered how they could possibly do it. Seagulls can steal your sandwich at the beach and even been known to invade hotel rooms via a balcony just for some food, yet these mischief makers have one key talent...

    Read More