Wednesday, March 5, 2014

More on the Duel in Bladensburg, February 1819

[From the (Leesburg) Ge[]ins of Liberty]

            General Mason having determined upon his course, contrary to the advice, the entreaties, the supplications of his best friend, who were in his confidence, he had arranged his business, resigned his commission, made his will and prepared to meet his fate. On Tuesday he left home and repaired to Georgetown and the city on business, with his usual cheerfulness. Dr. Brenaugh of the United States Army, one of his second, in the meantime, was corresponding with McCarty, and negotiating the terms of the duel; the particulars of this correspondence we have not been able correctly to ascertain, but the final conclusion was the fight with muskets, at the distance of only 10 feet, with one ball in each muskets. As ration daring as this measure was, it was acceded to on the part of Ge. Mason. The meeting was to have taken place on Friday evening at 5 o'clock, preparatory to which Gen. M. wrote letters to several of his friends, gave a memorandum in writing to two of his particular friends, requesting in case he should fall, one of them to repair to Leesburg and request Dr. Claget, and also to send for Dr. Heaton [sic] (the elder) to repair to his house and render any medical aid that might be necessary to his wife and mother on their hearing the news of his fate— the other was to repair to some of his relation and request that his female friend in particular should visit his afflicted wife and mother, and render them all the constellation in their power. He left his most valuable papers and money with his friends, and requested them in writing to have his body conveyed to Leesburg and buried in the Episcopal Church yard. After making these arrangements, he wrote to Bladensburg with the utmost composure, and without any sensible agitation, appeared on the fatal spot at 5 o'clock on Friday evening— but his antagonist did not appear. He was now, it appears by the rules of duelling [sic], of dissolved from every obligation to fight. His triumph was complete. His honor, if it ever had suffered, was now relieved. But Mr. McCart's seconds appeared on the ground with an apology that Mr. McCarty could not be found, and pledge themselves that he should meet him on the following morning at 10 o'clock.— Notwithstanding this uncommon request it was complied with on the part of M, who spent the evening in Bladensburg with his usual cheerfulness and slept with great composure. In the morning at the appointed hour, the parties met. A melancholy event is known. Gen. Mason received the contents of his antagonist musket in his left breast and sell. His left arm was literally torn to pieces and his body was perforated in three places, at the distance of nearly 3 inches apart, which gave rise to suspicion this honorable to Mr. McCarty's seconds. These suspicions however, we are happy to learn for the honor of human nature, were done away by an examination of the body by a number of respectable physicians in the town. We understand it is their opinion that there was but one ball, which split on the bone of the arm and entered the body in two places, and that the third perforation was occasioned by a splinter from the bone of his arm, it being only through the flesh. Thus we have given a detail of the facts attending this melancholy event, so far as they have come to our knowledge. If we have been misinformed we shall readily give publicity to any official or authentic statements concerning it.[1]

[1] The American Beacon and Norfolk & Portsmouth Daily Advertiser; Date: 03-03-1819; Norfolk, Virginia.

read more on this duel: Gen. A. T. Mason, of Virginia, is no more - Duel at Bladensburg Feb. 6th, 1819


Transcribed by John Peter Thompson. March 5, 2014.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Gen. A. T. Mason, of Virginia, is no more - Duel at Bladensburg Feb. 6th, 1819

Alexandria Gazette Office,
Saturday; Feb. 6 —1 P. M.

            It has become our painful duty to announce that Gen. A. T. Mason, of Virginia, is no more. He this morning fell in a duel with J. M. McCarty, Esq. the parties met at Bladensburg, Maryland, at 10 A. M. with Marine muskets, and fought at the distance of 10 paces. General Mason received Mr. McCartney's fire in the heart, and instantly expired. The latter was wounded in the arm, but not severely. Mr. McCarty, accompanied by his friend, arrived in town at 12 o'clock. The sensation produced among our citizens, at this truly heart–rending intelligence, has never been equaled; and among the variety of rumors it is impossible to obtain all the circumstances correctly.

            The quarrel originated at the last election for Congress in Loudon County, Virginia, when gen. Mason was the democratic candidate. A long controversy ensued in the public prints, and it was believed that the interference of friends had amicably adjusted the difference. But the event has proved otherwise;— the arbitrary rules of honor have demanded that blood should be shed, and the life of general Mason has been the sacrifice. Both the parties were of high standing. The deceased was the late senator in congress from Virginia, and the survivor elected last spring a member of the house of delegates.[1]

[1] Alexandria Gazette & Daily Advertiser; Date: 02-08-1819; Volume: XIX; Issue: 5456; Page: [2]; Location: Alexandria, Virginia.

Transcribed by John Peter Thompson. March 3rd, 2014.

Notice to construct a Turnpike from Baltimore to Bladensburg, Maryland - 1814

            The President, Managers and Company of the Washington and Baltimore Turnpike Road hereby give Notice —

            That Plants of the said Road have been lodged as the law directs, in the County Clerk's Office of Baltimore, Ann , and Prince George's; and it is intended to commence making said Road from Baltimore on the first day of April next.  This toad will run from Pratt-street [Baltimore] across Gwynn's falls, a little below Mrs. Carroll's Mill, and continue in a straight a line as the nature of the ground will permit, (keeping always to the left of the old road to Norwood's Ferry; from thence to McCoy;s Tavern to Vansville [Beltsville, Prince George's County] , and to Bladensburg.

            This is to require all persons over whose lands the said road may pass, to make known to the said President and Managers, whether they intend to claim any damages on account of the road passing over their lands, in order that a jury (if necessary) may be called to adjust the same as the law directs.
                     March 21                                            2aw8t [1]

[1] American & Commercial Daily Advertiser; Date: 03-25-1814; Volume: XXIX; Issue: 4632; Page: [4]; Location: Baltimore, Maryland.

Transcribed by John Peter  Thompson. March 2nd, 2014.