The Yancey-Clingman Duel

For More Information Click Here:   William Yancey    Thomas Clingman

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In 1844, William Lowndes Yancey was elected to the United States House of Representatives to fill a vacancy and re-elected in 1845. In Congress, his political ability and unusual oratorical gifts at once gained recognition. Yancey delivered his first speech on January 6, 1845, when he was selected by the Democrats to respond to a speech by Thomas Clingman, a Whig from North Carolina, who had opposed Texas annexation. Clingman was offended by the tone of Yancey’s speech and afterwards Yancey refused to clarify that he had not intended to impugn Clingman’s honor. Clingman challenged Yancey to a duel, and he accepted. The exchange of pistol fire occurred in nearby Beltsville, Maryland; neither combatant was injured. 

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