Abraham Lincoln's Duel

  1. Abraham Lincoln nearly fought a duel. The history of the United States could have been much different if he had fought the duel and lost - or won. There are numerous accounts of this episode - what follows is my summary of many of the different accounts.

  2. In 1842 a scurrilous letter to the editor was published mocking the State Auditor Democrat James Shields. It is not
     Mary Todd  -she turned so many heads that as her brother-in-law
    put it, “she could make a bishop forget his prayers.”
    certain who actually wrote the letter - some think it was Mary Todd, not yet married to Lincoln. Or Lincoln may have written the letters himself - sources vary.  In any event Shields accused Lincoln of writing the letter.

  3. After some give and take Lincoln would not apologize. Shields challenged Lincoln to a duel.  Dueling was not legal in Illinois. But on the American frontier to refuse to respond to the duel challenge was the same as admitting you were a coward.

  4. As the challenged party Lincoln chose the weapons and rules. Lincoln chose the largest cavalry swords available. He also stipulated that both men would face each other in a small space divided by a board. They could not cross the board or retreat from the board.

  5. Lincoln was six feet four inches tall. Shields was a small man who would be at a great disadvantage in what would likely be a one strike fight.  But Shields did not back down.

  6. The two men and their seconds traveled by wagon from Springfield towards an island in the Mississippi River.  The seconds ran back and forth between the two wagons in an effort to reach an agreement before the duel.

  7. They eventually reached an agreement.  Lincoln did not
    James Shields
    exactly apologize but did express regret that anything he may have written could have been construed to be an insult.

  8. Shields and Lincoln were friendly before and after this event. Shields became a General in the Civil War. Shields also went on to be a US Senator representing three different States.

  9. http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/linc
  10. oln-hub/abraham-lincolns-duel.html

  11. Abraham Lincoln's Duel - Civil War Trust


    Civil War Trust
    The ridicule pushed Shields to challenge Lincoln to a duel in which the victor took both the life and the pride of his opponent. In August of 1842, the Illinois State ...
  12. Lincoln's Forgotten Duel - Illinois Periodicals Online


    Lincoln's Forgotten Duel. Lori Eberhart Civic Memorial High School, Bethalto. AbrahamLincoln once remarked about his notorious duel with James Shields, ...
  13. The Time Abraham Lincoln and a Political Rival Almost ...


    Mental Floss
    Sep 18, 2014 - Upon learning the identity of his defamer, Shields decided to settle the matter by challenging Lincoln to a duel. Though Lincoln thought the ...
  14. Abraham Lincoln Prepares to Fight a Saber Duel - History Net


    History Net
    Jun 12, 2006 - The idea of Lincoln fighting a duel begs a burning question for the ...Lincoln and Shields, however, were able to negotiate a compromise that ...
  15. James Shields - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Shields

      Jump to Duel with Abraham Lincoln - Shields almost fought a duel with AbrahamLincoln on ... Illinois to participate in a duel (as dueling was ...
      Biography - ‎See also - ‎Notes - ‎References

  16. The Duel that Could Have Changed the Nation


    Apr 21, 2006 - Lincoln could not believe that Shields was refusing to settle the matter with anything else but an old fashioned duelLincoln felt the entire ...
  17. 5 Things You Didn't Know: Abraham Lincoln - AskMen


    1- Lincoln was challenged to a sword duel at Bloody Island. In 1842, Lincoln wrote a series of letters criticizing a Democrat named James Shields. Unfortunately ...

    • Image result for lincoln shields duel
    • Image result for lincoln shields duel
    • Image result for lincoln shields duel
    • Image result for lincoln shields duel
    • Image result for lincoln shields duel
    • Image result for lincoln shields duel
    More images for lincoln shields duel

  18. Abraham Lincoln once nearly dueled a rival with a ... - io9


    Sep 22, 2012 - Rather than get back at his rival with similarly sharp prose, Shieldschallenged Lincoln to a duelLincoln accepted, but, fearing that a gun duel ...