August 26, 1831

Leading St. Louis citizens, Thomas Biddle and Spencer Pettis fought a duel on Bloody Island. They fired at five feet and both were killed.

TRIVIA: Each “principal” in a duel appointed a “second.” The primary duty of the second was to work with his counterpart and arrange a way for both men to avoid the duel and still maintain their honor. This might mean an apology, purposely shooting into the air or, at least, shooting from a great number of paces.

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