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.

i.kinja-img.com

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
  • The Lost Cave Of The Jaguar God Has Been Found

    Below the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula, archaeologists have been steadily digging and searching for the long-sealed cave of The Jaguar God. The treasure in this cave is supposedly immeasurable, and now it seems they may finally find out with the cave being rediscovered. A...

    Read More
  • The Glow In The Dark Jellyfish Ice Cream

    Next time you are decided which scoop is best suited for you, arguing about if you prefer vanilla or strawberry - why not give glow in the dark jellyfish ice cream a go? This latest type of ice cream combines synthesized jellyfish proteins, that allow it to glow in the dark when licked. [caption id="attachment_7628"...

    Read More
  • The Terror That Was Balloonfest '86

    In 1986, United Way of Cleveland in Ohio decided to put together a world record by blowing up and releasing the most balloons ever: over one-and-a-half million balloons were released. Of course, the event was put together for fun and was meant to be completely harmless, it was a fundraising publicity stunt. However, the balloons...

    Read More
  • The Siege Of Candia Lasted 21 Years

    The city of Candia which is today known as Heraklion on Crete played an important part during the Ottoman-Venetian Wars, so much so that it was besieged for over 21 years. The siege of Candia is seen by Historians as one of the longest sieges in history. It started in 1648 and did not end...

    Read More
  • These Places Were All Abandoned Long Ago. Take a Look At Them Now

    Generally, when we think of a cool vacation stop we think of lush green gardens, maid service, infinity pools, you name it. It’s not often that we think about what happens to an area when people, for some reason, stop going and it’s left alone. Our list of abandoned places is sure to make you...

    Read More
  • A Dog’s Nose Print Is Unique Like A Human’s Fingerprint

    Each dog’s nose print is different and unique, and of course, each dog’s nose has amazing sniffing capabilities which truly make dogs one of the world’s favorite pets. What may come as a surprise is that paw prints are not really unique at all, but dogs can be identified by their nose print. [caption id="attachment_7579"...

    Read More
  • The Mysterious Indian Boulder That Continues To Defy Gravity

    Hundreds, even thousands, of tourists flock to see this 250-tonne boulder in India every year. This rock has stood for centuries and appears to be able to defy gravity, not moving at all even though it looks like it may roll at any moment. Brave tourists stand right under it, posing for an epic Instagram...

    Read More
  • The Blitz During World War II Happened By Accident

    The Blitz refers to what is thought to be a strategic campaign of bombing by the Germans against London. It also included various over English cities from 1940 to 1941, the targets were populated areas, factories, and dockyards. During the nightly bombing raids that happened across the United Kingdom, many...

    Read More