This Day in History — May 30

On May 30, 1806, Andrew Jackson, later the seventh President, killed Charles Dickenson in a duel in Logan County. Dickenson was accused of printing libelous comments about Jackson and his wife Rachel. In 1790, Jackson had married Rachel Donelson Robards, whose husband had abandoned her. However, Rachel and her husband had not technically divorced, which caused uproar in early-19thcentury society. Rachel was socially ostracized as a bigamist and Jackson swore to defend her honor. Dickenson, a lawyer, was regarded one of the best pistol shots in the area. However, dueling was against the law in their home state of Tennessee, so the two men rode to Kentucky, where dueling was legal, so they may settle the feud as gentlemen, no matter how deadly the outcome. Jackson shot Dickenson at close range and the man died from the wounds inflicted by the future president, truly a sign of the times in which they lived.


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