The counting of steps, the smell of gunpowder, the sound of clashing swords. This is the duel; gentleman’s right, settler of disputes, restorer of honor, a really easy way to get yourself killed. Duels took many forms over the years, including some very unusual conflicts. In the second installment of a four-part animated video series, we recount history’s most unusual duels along with the lessons learned.
During this period New Orleans was home to more duels than any city in America. A duel was fought almost daily at the dueling grounds (now part of City Park) under a set of large oak trees. In 1839 one busy Saturday saw ten duels fought back to back on the spot, and while the duels didn’t always lead to death, the old trees soaked up plenty of spilled blood. While the duelers are all long dead, by pistol or by time, the “dueling oak” still stand.
Lesson learned: Pick the right weapons.