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Two Friends in Early California


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The Broderic-Terry Duel, and some surrounding events

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Two Friends in Early California

  1. 1. Two Friends in Early California<br />Anti-Slavery<br />David C. Broderick<br />and <br />David S. Terry<br />And Their <br />Unfortunate <br />Adventures<br />Pro-Slavery<br />
  2. 2. David Broderick came to California in 1847 for the Gold Rush<br />He made lots of money minting $10 Gold coins like this:<br />Of course, they only contained $8 worth of gold…<br />Then he really made a lot of money being a California State Senator <br />from 1850-1857, selling lucrative political nominations; enough to become<br />a US senator from California…<br />
  3. 3. Broderick’s friend, David S. Terry, served as a California State <br />Justice from 1855-1859. He stabbed Sterling A. Hopkins in <br />1856. He must have been pretty mad at him to have done that.<br />
  4. 4. Not half as mad as he got when he didn’t get re-elected in 1859,<br />and blamed Broderick for his loss. He said many vitriolic things,<br />in public, and so did Broderic.<br />They were both REALLY mad!<br />One thing led to another,<br />and:<br />On September 13, 1859,<br />at Lake Merced…<br />
  5. 5. Oops!<br />The two friends dueled, but since they were using Terry’s hair-trigger<br />dueling pistols, Broderick had an accidental discharge into the ground,<br /> and Terry carefully aimed and shot him through the right lung.<br />Broderick died three days later.<br />
  6. 6. David S. Terry was killed in 1889 by a bodyguard of United States<br />Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field, said Justice whom he was <br />assaulting at a train station in Lathrop, California, near Stockton.<br />Pro-Slavery<br />Mr. Terry was really mad at him, too.<br />Stephen J. Field<br />Sometimes things<br />just don’t work out.<br />Anti-Slavery<br />Even between friends…<br />
  7. 7. This is Senator William Gwin. According to the<br />NY Times, Oct. 10, 1859, everyone was surprised <br />that Broderick did not have a duel with him. Gwin<br />thought that Broderick had blocked his re-election<br />to the Senate. He had. <br />Too bad for Broderick. In Gwin’s last duel, with <br />Congressman Joseph McCorkle, the only casualty<br />was an unfortunate donkey.<br />(Wikipedia)<br />
  8. 8. The same article indicated that Mr. Broderick had also dueled at least<br />once before. He and Judge J. Caleb Smith fired a total of twelve shots<br />at each other at twelve paces,<br />and the only hit was on Mr.<br />Broderick’s watch. Unfortunately,<br />part of the ball ricocheted, and <br />struck Mr. Broderick in the <br />groin.<br /> Ouch!<br /> Although the wound <br />was not serious, I must say <br />that I would have been <br />dissuaded from further<br />dueling activities.<br />
  9. 9. Apparently, Broderick and Terry tried<br />to have their duel the day before, on<br />the 12th of September, but were <br />arrested by the San Francisco Chief of<br />Police and three other officers.<br />The two men were released on parole, but engaged the next day<br />
  10. 10. In “The fight for Slavery in California”, James McPherson <br />speculates that the shot that killed Broderick on Sep 13, 1859<br />might have been the first shot fired in the Civil War, and the<br />shots that killed Terry at the railroad station in 1889,the last. <br />Sadly, David Broderick and David Terry were not the only two friends<br />who faced each other over a pair of gun sights in this dispute. ..<br />The End<br />