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JQA Diary, volume 43 28 February 1842
JQA Neal Millikan Dueling Sectionalism Slavery
63 Washington. Monday 28 February 1842

28. VI:15. Monday.

Thompson Gilbert L

Henry A. Wise publishes in the National Intelligencer of this Morning a long Letter to William A Graves, and a statement of circumstances attending the duel between Graves and Cilley, with the view to cast off the whole odium of it from himself upon Henry Clay.— He succeeds so far as to show that Clay must share with him the odium, and he assumes for his pretext my declaration in the house, that I believed him more guilty of the blood of Cilley than the man who drew the trigger— My opinion was founded on the fact which occurred on the field, when after two shots had been exchanged without effect, there was a parley between Wise and Jones, the seconds then it depended upon Wise alone to command the peace between them. He had but to say Gentlemen, this misunderstanding arose from words spoken by Mr Cilley in debate, and in particular debate with me—in opposing a motion made by me— The parties have met like men of honour; and twice exposed their lives upon a punctilio— This matter must proceed no further— If Mr Cilley hesitates to resort to the privilege of free debate I am bound to take it, to save the shedding of his blood or that of my friend. This was his duty as Graves’s friend and as a man; instead of which he broke off the truce with an insult, saying that if the next shot did not take effect he should propose to shorten the distance.— He now admits that he did say so, but pleads that it was by order of Graves— He should have refused to obey such an order, fit only for a savage or a fiend.— A person by the name of Mann brought me a Bill for the last volume of Hazard’s Register.— Mr and Mrs Angier and Miss Cutts rode with me to the Capitol to view the Statue of Washington. Message by Miss Cutts— In the house Robert M’Lellan moves a call on the Secretary for a report of extra allowance to General Scott in 1838. for removing the Cherokees. W. B. Campbell moves to enlarge and dilute the call—rejected. Then motion to reconsider which I opposed—laid on the table— General Resolution finally adopted— Call for petitions—beginning from Iowa moving South and then East— Giddings of Ohio, presented numerous petitions—among which one for a division, between Slavery and Freedom— House refuse to receive it— Explosion. John P. Kennedy’s mad Resolution not received— Pendleton’s—objected to.— He moves a suspension of the rules. Bustle— Winthrop moves to adjourn—carried. Evening. Barrow, prospectus for pictorial illustrations of Washington’s life— T. Whitcomb. His friend from Vermont—Mr LambLieutt. GerryJoseph Blunt—here.