Andrew Jackson Kills Charles Dickinson in Duel

On May 30, 1806, Andrew Jackson and Charles Henry Dickinson met in a duel in Nashville, Tennessee.  Charles Henry was an excellent duelist with 26 kills under his belt. The animosity between the two men seems to have started in 1805 over a bet at a horse race.

Charles Henry Dickinson
Charles Henry Dickinson

Charles Henry was angry about the way his father-in-law, Joseph Erwin, a party in the wager, had been treated by friend of Jackson’s, so Charles Henry wrote a letter to Jackson calling him a ‘coward and an equivocator’.  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 poltoon and a coward.’  Before this though Jackson had confronted Dickinson over a report that he had insulted Rachel, Jackson’s wife.  Shortly before the fatal duel, there was a confrontation at a tavern that finally precipitated the duel.  It is reported that Jackson struck one Thomas Swann, who was a friend and confidant of Charles Henry.  This incident led to two more newspaper exchanges of insults between them.  It was Jackson then who sent a letter to Dickinson “requesting satisfaction due me for the insults offered”.

The Duel in NashvilleDueling 2

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.

A Jackson Duel

Dickinson was an expert shot.  He had killed 26 men in previous duels, so the man was deadly.  So, Old Hickory (what is the story about that name?) had a lot of guts to challenge Charles Henry.  Jackson gave the first shot to him.  The reason he did was he thought, and hoped, that Charles Henry would be rushing his shot and might miss then Jackson could take his time and take aim more carefully.  Charles Henry did fire first, hitting Jackson in the chest.  The bullet was so close to the heart it could not be removed, so he carried it until the day he  died.  Under the rules of dueling Charles Henry had to remain perfectly still as Jackson took aim and shot.  The bullet was deadly.

Many of Jackson’s fellow Tennesseans did not like what Jackson did, thought he had acted brutally, had done a cold-blooded killing.  This was a reputation that stuck with him, that he was a violent, vengeful man, and to some degree made him an outcast in some social circles.

Looking at the Chart

The first, checking out the angles of the wheel, we see there is a very close opposition of transiting Venus to the transiting Saturn, Uranus conjunction, these almost exactly on the ASC/DSC angle of the natal chart.  In addition there is a YOD ( Finger of God) configuration 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.  Could we predict that he was going to be engaged in a duel, take a bullet to the chest, kill the other guy, and survive? What do you think?

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, but the signs on the houses and the planet placements will change.  It is critical for these to be correct if  we expect to be able to make predictions.

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.  So, Charles Henry, from what we see so far, 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 it would seem that a bet of Jackson surviving  the duel would be a good one.



2 Replies to “Andrew Jackson Kills Charles Dickinson in Duel”

  1. Did you chose this incident because Dickinson is an ancestor of Veep Al Gore? And Trump is often compared to Old Hickory?


    1. I didn’t know that, fascinating connection. I really don’t have a clue as to how this subject popped into my mind to look at. It was something about the day, May 30. After reading the accounts it my interest started to percolate. Thanks for reading and commenting


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