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Sunday, 9 November 2014


At least 4000 French noblemen were killed in duels between 1589 and 1607.

Julie d'Aubigny (1670/1673–1707) was a French swordswoman and opera singer who was challenged to duels by three different noblemen after kissing a young woman at a society ball. She beat all three of them, but fell afoul of the king's law that forbade duels in Paris. She was forced to flee to Brussels to wait for calmer times.

In 1792 Lady Almeria Braddock felt insulted by Mrs Elphinstone and challenged her to a duel after their genteel conversation turned to the subject of Lady Almeria's true age. Their "Petticoat duel" took part in London's Hyde Park with pistols, then with swords, until Mrs. Elphinstone received a wound to her arm and agreed to write Lady Almeria an apology.

Former US Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton was shot and mortally wounded by US Vice President Aaron Burr in a pistol duel near Weehawken, New Jersey on July 11, 1804. The duel was the culmination of a long and bitter rivalry between the two men. Hamilton was carried to the home of William Bayard on the Manhattan shore, where he died the next day.

From a painting by J. Mund. - Lord, John, LL.D. (1902). Beacon Lights of History. Vol. XI

The first duel from two hot air balloons was fought on May 3, 1808. The duel took place in Paris between Monsieur Le Pique and a Monsieur Grandpré over the attention of a ‘mutual acquaintance’. The men ascended in identical balloons, Le Pique fired his blunderbuss first but missed. Grandpré then fired hitting his opponent’s balloon, which plunged to earth, killing Le Pique.

Between 1798 and the Civil War, the US Navy lost two-thirds as many officers to dueling as it did in combat at sea, including naval hero Stephen Decatur.

The British Foreign secretary George Canning was challenged to a duel by political rival Lord Castlereagh in 1809. Canning, who had never fired a pistol, missed and was wounded in the thigh by Castlereagh.

Notoriously touchy about his honour, Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) fought as many as twenty-nine duels. When he faced scandalous rumors that his wife, Natalya, had embarked on a love affair with her brother in-law Georges d'Anthès, the Russian poet challenged her alleged lover to a duel which left both men injured. Shot through the spleen, Pushkin died two days later.

in 1842 Abraham Lincoln was challenged to a duel by political rival, James Shields. Due to his towering height, Lincoln chose broadswords. When the day of the duel arrived Lincoln demonstrated his strength by chopping a nearby tree branch in half, causing Shields to back out and apologize.

Wong Chin Foo, a 19th century Chinese-American civil rights activis once challenged Denis Kearney, an anti-Chinese demagogue, to a duel. He offered Kearney "his choice of chopsticks, Irish potatoes or Krupp guns."

Duelling was a demonstration sport at the 1908 London Olympics. It featured two male competitors firing at each other with duelling pistols loaded with wax bullets and wearing protective equipment for the torso, face, and hands.  It was also a sport at the 1906 Intercalated  Games at Athens, when male competitors fired duelling pistols at plaster dummies from 20m and 30m.

Before World War II in Germany, it was considered fashionable for young men to have a scar on their left cheek from sword duels.

From 1920-1992 duelling was legal in Uruguay as long as the participants had official permission.

Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

Anyone sworn into any statewide or county office or judgeship in Kentucky must declare under oath that he or she has not participated in, acted as a second or otherwise assisted in a duel.

A duel between three people is called a truel.

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