1858 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT HANDWRITTEN LETTER DETAILING A WILD, EXCITING, AND ULTIMATELY FARCICAL DUEL BETWEEN TWO DRUNK MEN, ONE WHO WANTS TO DUEL TO THE DEATH, AND THE OTHER WHO WANTS TO PLAY A DIRTY TRICK

By: NED WRENSHALL [to his brother]

Price: $2,455.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good


On offer is 7 page letter from 1858, describing in full and exhilarating detail, the setup, execution and aftermath of a duel between two men in pre-Civil War Era Pittsburgh. The handwritten letter is from a man named Ned Wrenshall to his brother and gives a detailed account of a local duel between a Captain Hunter and a dry goods merchant, Mr. William C. Murphy who got into a dispute while playing billiards. The letter begins with pleasantries to his brother and a few lines about the weather changing. After such pleasantries, he writes: “We had a great duel here on Friday evening, bet. Wm. C. Murphy of W. C. Murphy and Co. dry goods merchant on Hood St. and Capt. Hunter. It originated in this way...” Ned explains that they were playing Billiards “when Hunter accused Murphy of moving too many ‘pints’ on the ‘tally wise’ - which Murphy denied - and both being a little in liquor and being quarrelsome a dispute arose, and after the game was over the Captain continued to abuse him.” Murphy challenges the Captain to a duel, which he accepts. A discussion of weapons arises next. Hunter wanted to use rifles or shotguns for the weapons, but Murphy thought it was too "blood thirsty." They settle on pistols, choose their seconds, hire carriages and then go to Collins Park. “After the usual preliminaries they took their position and wheeled around, fired away, but the powder being damp the pistols fizzled and didn’t go off. Murphy then called for a drink of liquor of which they had plenty along and taking their positions - stopped again to get another drink - and then another again - saying it was probably the last he would get in this world.” They take their positions again and the pistols go off this time. The Captain falls “and was in a few moments covered with blood.” “‘My God!' says Murphy - 'I knew I was a dead shot, I intended shooting him in the hip and hit him in the heart. Good God, what shall I do? Good evening gentlemen! I'm going to Cinc or St Louis or Europe or to Hell anyway.” Ned Wrenshall then writes that an old man who was passing by goes and tells the mayor that what happened and “advised [the Mayor] to send out some officers to stop the bloody bid. - But the Mayor would not just believe the old fellows story.” However, there is another twist, the author writes: “The whole thing was a farce.” The Seconds, in conspiracy with the Captain, put blank cartridges in the pistols. When the guns went off, the Captain fell, and when he was raised from the ground the seconds spilled red ink over him to imitate the look of blood. Murphy, wracked with guilt for thinking he killed another man, didn’t find out about this till the next day. “The papers are all making great fun of the duel.” The rest of the letter concerns news of friends and acquaintances. A woman, Maggie White, got married and Ned writes of the lovely wedding. There are more lines about the weather from the week before, ”snow up to my ankles.” There is talk of friends moving away, of a friend who got so sick, “[his family] did not expect him to live.” The letter is signed, “Yours affect, Ned”. The letters are in good condition. The handwriting is legible throughout, with little fading. There is light soiling and discoloration on the pages and some small tears along the creases, but no structural problems. One of the pages contains a 1/2 sheet only, but there is no loss of text. OVERALL: VG.; Manuscript; Folio - over 12" - 15" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, DUELING IN THE UNITED STATES, PISTOL DUEL, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, PRE CIVIL WAR ERA, WILLIAM C. MURPHY, CAPTAIN HUNTER, NED WRENSHALL, OFFENSE AND SATISFACTION, FIGHTING FOR HONOR, EFFECT OF LIQUOR, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D’ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL

Title: 1858 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT HANDWRITTEN LETTER DETAILING A WILD, EXCITING, AND ULTIMATELY FARCICAL DUEL BETWEEN TWO DRUNK MEN, ONE WHO WANTS TO DUEL TO THE DEATH, AND THE OTHER WHO WANTS TO PLAY A DIRTY TRICK

Author Name: NED WRENSHALL [to his brother]

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Diary, All, 19th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, PA, 1858

Book Condition: Very Good

Seller ID: 0009141

Keywords: Keywords: History Of Dueling In The United States Pistol Duel PITTSBURGH PENNSYLVANIA Pre Civil War Era William C. Murphy Captain Hunter Ned Wrenshall