1.13.2009

The Papers of Henry Clay, pg. 396-400



January 13, 1809

In an attempt to be completely independent from Great Britain, the Senate and House of Representatives (beginning on December 18, 1808) passed a series of resolutions that prevented the tributary exaction on foreign goods and encouraged the use of American manufactures. All members of the general assembly therefore would clothe themselves with only American production and would abstain from the use of cloth or linen of European fabric, until the belligerent nations respect the rights of the United States. Along with other resolution, the United States was progressively developing an industrial system that moved away from British sovereignty and dependence.
On the same day, Henry Clay and Humphrey Marshall moved to a further step in their long standing conflict. Insulting each other, they had to be restrained by their colleagues. Clay, apologizing for the occasion, alleged that nothing would have happened wasn’t his opponent a man of honor. Marshall replied that it was the “apology of a poltroon”.
A resolution, presented by John Lancaster on the situation, was taken no further and adopted without recorded vote.
Later the two met for a pistol duel, during which Clay was hit in the thigh and Marshall in the belly.

  The Papers of Henry Clay, pg. 396-400