Prior to his presidential career, Andrew Jackson was known his extreme sensitivity to his honor; he was the veteran of at least 13 duels. These showdowns left his body so filled with lead that people said he “rattled like a bag of marbles.”
With 13 duels already notched on his belt, on May 30, 1806, Andrew Jackson and Charles Henry Dickinson met for another. Charles Henry was an excellent duelist with 26 kills under his belt — he was considered the best shot in the country, but the animosity between the two men started in 1805 over a horse race. Henry was angry how his father-in-law, Joseph Erwin, a party in the wager, had been treated by Jackson.
The quarrel continued, with more insults and threats, until Dickinson published a statement in the Nashville Review in May 1806, calling Jackson a ‘worthless scoundrel, a poltroon and coward.’ Dickinson also insulted Rachel, Jackson’s wife, an easy target but one that was a bit too far for the latter’s liking.
The Duel in Nashville
The date May 30, was agreed upon for the duel. I have not been able to find the exact time, it was probably in the morning. I have set up the transit chart at Nashville for noon. What you see is a bi-wheel with Jackson’s chart inner and the transit chart outer.
As Dickinson was an expert shot, Old Hickory (what is the story about that name?), figured that Charles Henry would be rushing his shot and might miss & then Jackson, remaining steady, could take his time and aim carefully. Charles Henry did fire first, hitting Jackson in the chest. Under the rules of dueling Charles Henry had to remain perfectly still as Jackson took aim and of course hit Henry. Jackson though did not stop at his one shot, but re-cocked his pistol and fired again, killing Dickinson.
Dickinson’s hit was so close to the heart that it could not be removed, so Jackson carried it until he died in 1845, all the while with the telltale cough. Normally that would have garnered him some favour but in Jackson’s s case the the cold-blooded killing of Dickinson made everyone angry and instead he got the reputation that he was a violent, vengeful man; he was an outcast in many social circles, even as President.
Looking at the Chart
Checking the angles of the wheel, there is a very close opposition of transiting Venus (First House Cusp) to a transiting Saturn Uranus conjunction (Seventh House Cusp). The Venus is semisextile the natal Saturn in the Second House (profit & gain, gambling ) suggesting that the duel was about Jackson’s wife’s honour from Jackson’s point of view. Transiting Sun is conjunct the natal Saturn suggesting that Jackson will suffer great loss of blood, and a bullet near his heart or lodged in the rib cages.
The main configuration of the chart is a YOD (aka Finger of God) combining the Venus & Saturn,Uranus with the natal Sun and Mars. Jackson’ natal Uranus is also somewhat involved. This is obviously an astrologically ‘hot period’ for him.
This birth data is rated DD, so we can’t place much confidence in the house placements. The planetary aspect patterns will not change much in a matter of a few hours. With this in mind, what does this chart suggest as a possible outcome of the duel? Where do we place the ‘actors’, Andrew and Charles Henry? Since we are studying this situation from Jackson’s point of view, he will be placed at the 1st House ( Aries rising, Mars as ruler represents him) . Jackson’s adversary, Dickinson, will be located there, in the 7th (Libra, with Venus as ruler).
Venus ( Charles Henry) in the transit chart is in Aries, a difficult place for it, much too hot and dry, hence he is probably dangerously overwrought. This Jackson intuited waiting and letting him take the first shot, which he did too quickly. And further, we see that Venus is opposing Saturn and Uranus, which increases the stress. Charles Henry was not in very good shape.
Mars, representing Jackson, is by transit approaching his natal Mars in Taurus, suggesting that Jackson is feeling re-energized and ready for action. The transiting Moon is in Scorpio, opposing his Mars, which stimulates it even more. Further transiting Mars is trine to his natal Moon and Jupiter.
From this quick study a bet on Jackson surviving the duel would be a good one.