Jackson-Dickinson Duel

Historical marker #100 in Adairville, KY (Logan County) marks the site of a duel between future president Andrew Jackson and Charles Dickinson.  

 On May 30, 1806, Charles Dickinson, an attorney from Nashville, TN, and Andrew Jackson engaged in a duel on the Jeff Burr farm. The quarrel between the two men began as comments were made by Dickinson about Jackson’s wife, Rachel. Part of the argument also related to Dickinson accusing Jackson of cheating on a horse bet. Rachel’s first husband, Lewis Robards, petitioned for a divorce, accusing Rachel of desertion and living in sin with Jackson. Robards failed to finalize their divorce, but Rachel and Jackson, believing the divorce to be finalized, eloped in 1791.  Rachel and Robards divorce was not finalized until September 1793, and Jackson and Rachel remarried in 1794. 

After the insult to Rachel and a public statement in which Dickinson called Jackson a worthless scoundrel and coward, Jackson challenged Dickinson to a duel. On May 30, the two men met at Harrison’s Mills. Dickinson’s first bullet hit Jackson in the chest. Jackson’s first shot misfired and, according to the code duello, he should not have been able to refire. Re-cocking his gun, Jackson fired and killed his opponent. Although Jackson’s wound was not fatal, he suffered chronic pain from the wound for the remainder of his life. 

Jackson was not prosecuted for murder and the duel had little effect on his successful presidency campaign in 1829. Dickinson is buried at Old City Cemetery in Nashville. 

This marker was erected in 1966. It reads:

On the Jeff Burr farm in second "Poplar Bottom" is the site of the duel fought May 30, 1806. Andrew Jackson was wounded. Half mile west of site is Will Tyler farm where Charles Dickinson died. Miller's "Buttermilk Spring" is south on highway 75 two miles, on Old Burr farm.