Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln Prepares to Duel

On September 22, 1842, James Shields and Abraham Lincoln came to Missouri for a duel. Shields, an Illinois attorney, and State Auditor accused Lincoln of writing a newspaper editorial critical of his banking in Illinois and pursuit of women. For weapons, they chose cavalry sabers. Lincoln swung his sword high above Shields to cut through a tree branch and the duel was immediately called to a truce. Shields probably also noticed that Lincoln’s long arms gave him a much longer reach.

Ross Malone contributed to this post. Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales as a historian and a retired school teacher. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.