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Killed in a Duel

Posted for: Susan Ottignon, Special Collections

National Defender, v. IV, no. 10, Tuesday, October 18, 1859


Annotated and transcribed text from the digitized copy in the Historical Society of Montgomery County Collection.


Sen. Broderick Killed In a Duel. (1)

By the last advices from California, we learn that David Broderick,(2) United States Senator from California, was killed in a duel with Chief Justice Terry,(3) of that State. The duel took place on the 13th ult., (4) and Broderick fell at the first fire, having been shot through the lung. He lingered until the morning of the 16th, when he died from the injuries received. Terry escaped unhurt, but was immediately arrested to await an examination. The affair has created a great excitement in San Francisco, the community having been profoundly agitated by the melancholy event. The affair grew out of some remarks made by Broderick, against Terry, in the recent political content in that State. It is said that Judge Terry resigned his seat on the Supreme Bench before he sent the chalange. (5)

An account of the duel will be found on another page. (6)

1 The National Defender 4(10), Oct. 18, 1859, p. [3].
2 A Democratic Senator from the state of California, elected to the Senate from March, 1857 to his death September, 1859. “Broderick, David, Colbreth, (1820-1859).” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present.” Office of Art and Archives. Office of the Historian. Washington, D.C. 3 Feb. 2017. <>
3 Terry, David S. (David Smith), 1823-1889. “. . . he achieved fame in California, Terry considered himself a Texan and a southerner . . . Broderick represented the northern or antislavery faction of the California Democratic party, and Terry was a leader in the southern faction.” Hobbs, Kenneth W. “Terry, David Smith.” Handbook of Texas Online. Web. 3 Feb. 2017. <>
4 “of or occurring in the month preceding the present” Ultimo adj. Merriam-Webster Online. © 2017 Merriam-Webster, Inc. 3 Feb. 2017. <>
5 challenge
6 The account appears on same page, column 3. “Senator Broderick Killed In a Duel.” The National Defender 4(10), Oct. 18, 1859, p. [3].



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