On This Date In History:
Our future president killed a man in a duel and he did so right here in Kentucky. Now, Abraham Lincoln was known to be quite abrasive as a young man. His wit was used as a rapier and often really hacked his prey. On at least two occasions, he was challenged to a duel. That is not the image that we have of Father Abraham. Well, this isn’t about President Lincoln. No, this is about “Old Hickory” whose reputation better suits the story.
Andrew Jackson had developed a rough and tough reputation when he ran for President in 1824. He handily won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote to John Quincy Adams. The pair battled for the Presidency again in 1828 and Jackson won in spite of charges from the Adams camp that Jackson was an adulterer. His wife, Rachel, had been married to some guy named Robards. In 1790, the Kentucky legislature declared that Robards could sue for divorce. Now, Jackson had been a practicing lawyer since 1787 but I think he could have used the help of a Heavy Hitter. Jackson assumed that the legislature’s declaration was one of divorce. So, he married Rachel in 1791. Robards finally got around to suing for divorce in 1793, citing Rachel’s adultery with Jackson. The pair got remarried in 1794 but the damage had been done.
In spite of the fact that the charge of adultery was technically correct, Old Hickory often too hum-bridge to anyone who questioned his wife’s honor. It is said that the future President was involved in 103 duels with his actual participation in 14. Of the 14, only one resulted with the death of one of Jackson’s opponents. And he did it in Kentucky!! On this date in 1806 near Harrison’s Mills, Kentucky in Logan county near the Red River, Andrew Jackson shot and killed Charles Dickinson. The standoff came about because…you guessed it…Dickinson questioned Jackson’s wife’s honor. You’d think that by that time people would have figured out that, when it came to Rachel, truth was not a defense and Andy was gonna get even.
Dickinson was younger and a much better shot than Jackson. He was called a snap shooter for his speed and accuracy. Jackson knew this and had a risky strategy. He would allow Dickinson to fire first! When the pair stood apart at the traditional 24 feet, Dickinson wore a form fitting waist coat and trousers while Jackson had a loose fitting frock coat. Dickinson fired and Jackson didn’t flinch. Dickinson couldn’t believe that he missed. Jackson took careful aim and his pistol got stuck in half cock. So, he tried again and this time he struck a fatal blow to his victim.
Here’s the interesting part…Dickinson was not wrong. He didn’t miss Andy. The loose frock coat made the marksman unclear of his target but it was more luck or Divine intervention. While Dickinson lay dying, Jackson’s second noticed blood on Old Hickory’s foot and asked if he had been hit. Jackson replied, “Oh, I believe he has pinked me a little.” Truth is, the bullet had broken some of Jackson’s ribs before it lodged so close to his heart that it was left there for the rest of his life. But, Jackson was not about to let his victim know that he had hit his mark. Instead, he went to a nearby tavern and had a bottle of wine sent to his dying antagonist. And it didn’t change the fact that for two years, Rachel Donelson had indeed been married to two men at the same time. Imagine what would have happened had someone actually lied about Jackson’s wife!!
Weather Bottom Line: I’ve been skepitcal of the severe weather threat around here but there were a few storms in southern Indiana, what would be the extreme northern to northwestern part of the viewing area that apparently had some storms with small hail. In general, however, it did appear that anything we did get would be limited to isolated storms coming through with hail and gusty winds the biggest threat. That appears to have manifested itself will to our north. Nevertheless the SPC put us in a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until midnight Saturday night. One of those…maybe sorta kinda possible…but cerainly not probable. Sunday will be nice. First part of the week will be pushing 90 with increasing humidity. Just about every model that I saw wants to bring a shortwave of sorts through hear sometime from Wednesday evening to Thursday midday. Otherwise, pretty lame weather for so early in the season.
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0733 PM CDT SAT MAY 30 2009
VALID 310100Z – 311200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE OH
MID-LVL JET STREAK NOSING INTO CNTRL IL HAS BEEN SUPPORTING A FAIRLY
EXTENSIVE ZONE OF WDLY SCTD TSTMS FROM THE WV/KY COALFIELDS NWWD
INTO CNTRL IL. FORTY-50 KT OF DEEP LAYER SHEAR…LARGELY
STRAIGHT-LINED HODOGRAPHS AND 1500-2000 J/KG MLCAPE WILL CONTINUE TO
BE SUPPORTIVE FOR OCCASIONAL SPLITTING SUPERCELLS WITH PRIMARILY
LARGE HAIL AND DMGG WIND GUSTS. SVR THREAT MAY PERSIST WELL INTO
THE EVENING ACROSS SRN IND…NRN/ERN KY…EXTREME SRN OH AND SRN WV
AS THE MID-LVL WAVE CONTINUES ESEWD TOWARD THE CNTRL APLCNS. WSW
LLJ OF 30-35 KTS BLOWING STEEP LAPSE RATE AND RELATIVELY MOIST
PARCELS INTO THIS REGION WILL SUPPORT EVOLUTION INTO A LOOSELY
ORGANIZED MCS WITH STRONGEST CELLS LIKELY FAVORING THE S AND W SIDES
OF THE TSTM CLUSTER.