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The Man Who Shot Andrew Jackson

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In 1806, Andrew Jackson and Charles Dickinson fought a duel near the KY-TN border. Dickinson was killed, but the story goes that Jackson took a bullet to the chest and carried it around for the rest of his life. But did he really? A look at primary sources suggests that it may have just been one of those “tough guy” stories people liked to tell about Jackson.

Dickinson’s grave space was lost for nearly a century before it was located on former farmland in 2010; what remained of him (a single finger bone) was reburied at Nashville’s City Cemetery with a new “box style” headstone similiar to the one he had until 1920, when the original was lost (see above). Hear the whole story above, with the pre-duel insult letters performed as a pre-match pro wrestling interview, with an entrance song for Dickinson performed by The Limited Time!

Nashville City Cemetery, just south of downtown Nashville, was agreeably damp the day we visited:

Not far from Dickinson was the finest name we’ve ever seen on any gravestone, ever: Ladie Savage Butts. (Ladie was her first name, Savage her maiden name; she married a farmer named Jim Butts. She was buried in the Savage family plot, and the family chose to use both names).

The Library of Congress preserves one of the original letters in which Dickinson insulted Jackson, leading to the duel. In the episode the letters are read in the form of a “pre-match” pro wrestling interview featuring former wrestler Nick Jordan and Wrestlezone’s Ross Berman.

The song for the episode, “Honor (Wrestling Entrance Music for Charles Dickinson Esq.)” was recorded by Adam Selzer and The Limited Time, a band named after how long Land Before Time puppets were available at Pizza Hut in 1988.