Public invitation to duel issued by N. Darling to Judge Smith of St. Augustine, 1839

Public invitation to duel issued by N. Darling to Judge Smith of St. Augustine, 1839


A Card.
On the evening of the 6th inst., I met Judge Smith, of St. Augustine,
at a private house in this city, and found him in the presence of ladies, in-
dulging in rude and ungentlemanly language of altercation and dispute,
which I felt it my duty to put an end to, as soon as my attention was call-
ed to it. In my endeavors to do this, I incurred the like treatment,
which resulted in a personal affray, and was stopped by the intercession of
others, and in respect for the host, and the presence of the ladies-with
the understanding that it would be attended to on the morrow. I accord-
ingly this morning addressed him the following note:
St. Augustine, E.F. June 7th, 1839
Sire- For your ungentlemanly and rude attack upon me last night at Mr. Cleland's,
under circumstances that prevented any action on my part at the time, I have to request
immediate satisfaction, and meeting at the earliest possible moment, as I am obliged to
leave town on duty in the morning.
I am Sir,
Your ob't Serv't
N. Darling,
Lt. 2d Dragoons.
To Judge Smith,
St. Augustine
Which he returned to my friend, with the simple remark that finding my
name attached to it, he did not choose to be acquainted with its contents,
alleging that he only knew me by report, and from the meeting of last
evening-which was of a nature, in his opinion, to forbid any further in-
Under these circumstances, I pronounce him a Cowardly
Scoundrel, and deem no apology necessary for taking satisfaction
from him whenever and wherever I meet him.
N. Darling,
Lt. 2d Dragoons
Ss. Augustine, June 7, 1839
The above affair has just ended by
Darling's giving Judge Smith a most
thorough thrashing - the Judge having
first attracted him.


State Library of Florida: Florida Collection, BR0132


Notice published by N. Darling, a lieutenant of the 2nd Dragoons, that on June 6, 1839 he discovered Judge Smith engaging in inappropriate behavior in the presence of ladies, which he endeavored to stop, only to be restrained by others. Darling challenged the judge to a duel, but the judge brushed him off, hence Darling's decision to make the challenge public. A handwritten notation on the bottom of the notice explains that ultimately Darling did give Judge Smith "a thorough thrashing," although the judge attacked first.