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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Arlington in Arlington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Clay and Randolph Duel

 
 
Clay and Randolph Duel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
1. Clay and Randolph Duel Marker
Inscription. Although dueling was illegal in Virginia, Secretary of State Henry Clay challenged U.S. Senator John Randolph of Roanoke. Clay called Randolph out to defend his honor after Randolph insulted him in a speech on the Senate floor. Randolph confided to Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri that he had no intention of hurting Clay, who was married and had a child. The duel took place on 8 April 1826 a half mile north at Pimmit Run. Both first shots missed their intended targets. Clay’s second shot also missed, and Randolph raised his pistol and fired it in the air. The duel then ended, and the unhurt adversaries met each other half way and shook hands.
 
Erected 2000 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number C 1.)
 
Location. 38° 55.549′ N, 77° 7.283′ W. Marker is in Arlington, Virginia, in Arlington County. Marker is on North Glebe Road (Virginia Route 120) near North Randolph Street. Click for map. Located in the triangle formed by North Glebe Road, Randolph Street, and North Richmond Street. Marker is in this post office area: Arlington VA 22207, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Ethan Allen (approx. ¼ mile away); The Mouth of Pimmit Run
C 1 Along Glebe Road image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 24, 2007
2. C 1 Along Glebe Road
(approx. ¼ mile away); Pimmit Run and Chain Bridge (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Fort Ethan Allen (approx. 0.3 miles away); Chain Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); Walker Chapel (approx. half a mile away); Fort Marcy, Virginia (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Marcy (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Arlington.
 
Regarding Clay and Randolph Duel. The general location of the duel described was near the present day Chain Bridge Road, where Pimmit Run empties into the Potomac River.

This marker replaces a previous C 1 which stood along Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) near the county line. That marker read, “Near here Henry Clay and John Randolph of Roanoke fought a duel April 8, 1826. Randolph had called Clay a ‘blackleg’ in a speech. Both men were unhurt, but Randolph’s coat was pierced by a bullet.”

At the time the term “blackleg” was used to describe one who cheats at cards.
 
Also see . . .  Thomas Hart Benton in Defense of Dueling
Duel Between Randolph and Clay image. Click for full size.
By Bryan and Ridpath, 1893
3. Duel Between Randolph and Clay
From: The Wonderful, the Curious and the Beautiful in the World's History: as recorded in the historical literature of Europe and America, from the earliest period to the present time …, 1893 by William S. Bryan and John Clark Ridpath. (Internet Archive)
. (Submitted on September 4, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Notable PersonsPolitics
 
The Mouth of Pimmit Run image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, October 28, 2007
4. The Mouth of Pimmit Run
Just to the north, near where the Chain Bridge crosses the Potomac, Pimmit Run empties into the river. At the time of the duel, the area was the site of some light industrial and trade activity.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,668 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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