Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"I would not have seen him fall wounded for all the land that is watered by the King of Floods"

I have previously mentioned the duel between John Randolph of Roanoke and Henry Clay. Kenneth S. Greenberg points out a few more details:
When John Randolph and Henry Clay fought a duel in 1824 Randolph aimed at Clay’s knees on the first shot and fired into the air on the second. He later told Thomas Hart Benton: “I would not have seen him fall mortally, or even doubtfully, wounded for all the land that is watered by the King of Floods and all his tributary streams.”

After the duel, Randolph treated his seconds with great courtesy and rewarded them for their service. He
gathered with his friends and produced an envelope – an envelope he had earlier left with instructions to be opened in the event of his death. It contained a note that directed that the gold coins that Randolph carried in his pocket be made into seals and given to the seconds. “But Clay’s bad shooting shan’t rob you of your seals,” Randolph announced, “I am going to London and have them made for you.”

About the illustration:
A figurative portrayal of the presidential race of 1824. A crowd of cheering citizens watch as candidates (left to right) John Quincy Adams, William Crawford, and Andrew Jackson stride toward the finish. Henry Clay has dropped from the race and stands, hand on head, on the far right saying, "D--n it I cant save my distance--so I may as well "draw up."" He is consoled by a man in riding clothes, "Well dont distress yourself--there'll be some scrubbing by & by & then you'll have a chance." Assorted comments come from the crowd, reflecting various sectional and partisan views. A Westerner with stovepipe hat and powder horn: "Hurra for our Jacks-"son."" Former President John Adams: "Hurra for our son "Jack."" Two men in coachmen's livery: "That inne-track fellow [Crawford] goes so well; that I think he must have got the better of the bots [boss?]." and "Like enough; but betwixt you & I--I dont think he'll ever get the better of the "Quinsy."" A ragged Irishman: "Blast my eyes if I dont "venter" a "small" horn of rotgut on that "bald filly" in the middle [Adams]." A Frenchman: "Ah hah! Mon's Neddy I tink dat kick on de "back of you side" is worse den have no dinner de fourt of july." In the left background is a platform and an inaugural scene, the "Presidential Chair" with a purse "

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