Duels – 1740s

On March 13th, 1742 in Boston, Massachusetts, four slaves were sent to jail for having a duel on the Common. The report says it was the first duel fought since the Massachusetts Bay Dueling Act of 1728.

“It seems they had got some Notion of the Practice of those Pretenders to Honour who, to revenge an Affront, challenge and engage in that murderous Action; for each of the Principles had a second to attend him, and upon the Challenge exchang’d Handkerchiefs to meet at Time and Place, and also engag’d with two-edg’d Swords furbish’d clean and bright; but being soon discover’d, they were separated and seiz’d before any bad Wound was given.”1


  1. “Boston, March18.” The Pennsylvania Gazette [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], 8 April 1742, p. 2