Duke Center for Firearms Law
Duke Law logo
Repository of Historical Gun Laws

Subject: Dueling

An Act in relation to Crimes and Punishment, Ch. XXII, Title II, Sec. 8, in Acts, Resolutions and Memorials Passed at the Several Annual Sessions of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah 31 (Henry McEwan 1866).

| |

“Sec. 8. Whoever fights a duel with deadly weapons, and inflicts a mortal wound on his antagonist, wherefrom death ensues, is guilty of murder of the first degree, and shall be punished accordingly.”

An Act Defining Crime and Punishments, Ch. 49, Sec. 22, in Revised Statutes of the Territory of Iowa (Reprint 1911)

| |

SEC. 22. Every person who shall fight a duel with any deadly weapon or weapons, and death ensues, shall be adjudged guilty of murder.

An Act to suppress duelling, Adopted from the Virginia Code, in Nathaniel Pope, Laws of the Territory of Illinois (1815).

| |

any person who shall hereafter wilfully and maliciously, or by agree- ment fight a duel or single combat with any engine instrument or weapon, the probable consequence of which might be the death of either party, and in so doing shall kill his antagoni...

any person who shall hereafter wilfully and maliciously, or by agree- ment fight a duel or single combat with any engine instrument or weapon, the probable consequence of which might be the death of either party, and in so doing shall kill his antagonist or any other person or persons, or inflict such wound as that the person injured shall die thereof within three months thereafter, such offender, his aiders, abettors and councellors being thereof duly convicted shall be guilty of murder and suffer death by being hanged by the neck any law custom or usage of this territory to the contrary notwithstanding.

Read More

Crimes and Punishments, in Compiled and Revised Laws of the Territory of Idaho 326 (M. Kelly, Territorial Printer 1875).

| |

Sec. 35. If any person. shall, by previous appoint-ment or agreement, fight a duel with a rifle, shot-gun, pistol, bowie knife, dirk, small sword, back sword, or any other dangerous weapon, and in so doing shall kill his antagonist or any other person ...

Sec. 35. If any person. shall, by previous appoint-ment or agreement, fight a duel with a rifle, shot-gun, pistol, bowie knife, dirk, small sword, back sword, or any other dangerous weapon, and in so doing shall kill his antagonist or any other person or persons, or shall inflict such wound as that the party or parties injured shall die thereof within one year thereafter, every suc1h offender shall be deemed guilty of murder in the first degree, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished accordingly.

Read More

Josiah A.Van Orsdel, Revised Statutes of Wyoming, in Force December 1, 1899 Including the Magna Charta, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Organic Act of Territory of Wyoming, Act of Admission of the State of Wyoming, Constitution of the United States and of Wyoming, and the Rules of the Supreme Court Page 1252, Image 1252 (1899) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

| |

Chapter 3. Crimes Against Public Peace. Duelling. § 544. Whoever fights a duel, if death do not ensue, shall be fined one hundred dollars, and be imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year.

George Clark, The Criminal Laws of Texas. Comprising the Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure, as Published by Authority, with Annotations of All Decisions in Criminal Cases from Dallam to Eighth Court of Appeals Reports Inclusive Page 205-208, Image 253-256 (1881) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

| |

Offences Against the Person, Dueling, Article 610. Dueling, Etc. How punished. – Any person who shall, within this State, fight a duel with deadly weapons, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, either within the State...

Offences Against the Person, Dueling, Article 610. Dueling, Etc. How punished. – Any person who shall, within this State, fight a duel with deadly weapons, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, either within the State or out of it, or who shall act as a second, or knowingly aid or assist in any manner those thus offending, shall be deemed guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be punished by confinement in the penitentiary not less than two nor more than five years.

Read More

1879 Mont. Laws 359, Offences against the Lives and Persons of Individuals, ch. 4, § 23.

| |

If any person shall, by previous appointment or agreement, fight a duel with a rifle, shot-gun, pistol, bowie-knife, dirk, small-sword, back-sword, or other dangerous weapon, and in so doing shall kill his antagonist, or any person or persons, or shall...

If any person shall, by previous appointment or agreement, fight a duel with a rifle, shot-gun, pistol, bowie-knife, dirk, small-sword, back-sword, or other dangerous weapon, and in so doing shall kill his antagonist, or any person or persons, or shall inflict such wound as that the party or parties injured shall die thereof within one year thereafter, every such offender shall be deemed guilty of murder in the first degree, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished accordingly [death by hanging].

Read More

George H. Hand, The Revised Codes of the Territory of Dakota. A.D. 1877. Comprising the Codes and General Statutes Passed at the Twelfth Session of the Legislative Assembly, and All Other General Laws Remaining in Force. To Which is Prefixed the Organic Law and the Constitution of the United States Page 732-733, Image 775-776 (1880) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources. (An Entry for this statute exists for both North and South Dakota because it was passed during the territorial period.)

| |

Duels and Challenges, § 294. Duel Defined. A duel is any combat, with deadly weapons, fought between two persons by previous agreement or upon a previous quarrel. § 295. Punishment for Fighting. Every person guilty of fighting any duel, altho...

Duels and Challenges, § 294. Duel Defined. A duel is any combat, with deadly weapons, fought between two persons by previous agreement or upon a previous quarrel. § 295. Punishment for Fighting. Every person guilty of fighting any duel, although no death or wound ensues, is punishable by imprisonment in the territorial prison not exceeding ten years. § 296. Incapacity to Hold Office. Every person convicted of fighting a duel is thereafter incapable of holding, or being elected, or appointed to any office, place or post of trust or emolument, civil or military, under this territory. § 297. Seconds, Aids, and Surgeons. Every person who is present at the time when any duel is fought, either as second, aid or surgeon, or who advises, or gives and countenance to any duel, is punishable by imprisonment in the territorial prison not exceeding seven years. § 298. Punishment for Challenges. Every person who challenges another to fight a duel; every person who accepts any such challenge; and any person who knowingly forwards, carries or delivers any such challenge is punishable by imprisonment in the territorial prison not exceeding seven years. § 299. Challenge Defined. Any words, spoken or written, or any signs uttered or made to any person, expressing or implying, or intended to express or imply a desire, request, invitation, or demand, to fight a duel, or to meet for the purpose of fighting a duel, are deemed a challenge. § 300. Attempts to Induce Challenge. Every person guilty of sending, uttering, or making to another any words or signs whatever, with intent to provoke or induce such person to give or receive any challenge to fight a duel, is guilty of a misdemeanor. § 301. Posting for not fighting. Every person who posts or publishes another for not fighting a duel, or for not sending or accepting a challenge to fight a duel, or who uses any reproachful or contemptuous language, verbal, written, or printed, to or concerning another, for not sending or accepting a challenge to fight a duel, or with intent to provoke a duel, is guilty of a misdemeanor. § 302. Leaving Territory to Evade Laws. Every person who leaves this territory with intent to elude any of the provisions of this chapter, and to commit any act out of this territory, such as is prohibited by this chapter, and who does any act, although out of this territory, which would be punishable by said provisions, if committed within this territory, is punishable in the same manner as he would have been in case such act had been committed within this territory. § 303. Where tried. Such person may be indicted and tried in any county within this territory. § 304. Witnesses Privilege. No person shall be excused from testifying or answering any question upon any investigation or trial for a violation of either of the provisions of this chapter, upon the ground that his testimony might tend to convict him of a crime. But no evidence given upon any examination of a person so testifying shall be received against him in any criminal prosecution or proceeding.

Read More

George H. Hand, The Revised Codes of the Territory of Dakota. A.D. 1877. Comprising the Codes and General Statutes Passed at the Twelfth Session of the Legislative Assembly, and All Other General Laws Remaining in Force. To Which is Prefixed the Organic Law and the Constitution of the United States Page 732-733, Image 775-776 (1880) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

| |

Duels and Challenges, § 294. Duel Defined. A duel is any combat, with deadly weapons, fought between two persons by previous agreement or upon a previous quarrel. § 295. Punishment for Fighting. Every person guilty of fighting any duel, altho...

Duels and Challenges, § 294. Duel Defined. A duel is any combat, with deadly weapons, fought between two persons by previous agreement or upon a previous quarrel. § 295. Punishment for Fighting. Every person guilty of fighting any duel, although no death or wound ensues, is punishable by imprisonment in the territorial prison not exceeding ten years. § 296. Incapacity to Hold Office. Every person convicted of fighting a duel is thereafter incapable of holding, or being elected, or appointed to any office, place or post of trust or emolument, civil or military, under this territory. § 297. Seconds, Aids, and Surgeons. Every person who is present at the time when any duel is fought, either as second, aid or surgeon, or who advises, or gives and countenance to any duel, is punishable by imprisonment in the territorial prison not exceeding seven years. § 298. Punishment for Challenges. Every person who challenges another to fight a duel; every person who accepts any such challenge; and any person who knowingly forwards, carries or delivers any such challenge is punishable by imprisonment in the territorial prison not exceeding seven years. § 299. Challenge Defined. Any words, spoken or written, or any signs uttered or made to any person, expressing or implying, or intended to express or imply a desire, request, invitation, or demand, to fight a duel, or to meet for the purpose of fighting a duel, are deemed a challenge. § 300. Attempts to Induce Challenge. Every person guilty of sending, uttering, or making to another any words or signs whatever, with intent to provoke or induce such person to give or receive any challenge to fight a duel, is guilty of a misdemeanor. § 301. Posting for not fighting. Every person who posts or publishes another for not fighting a duel, or for not sending or accepting a challenge to fight a duel, or who uses any reproachful or contemptuous language, verbal, written, or printed, to or concerning another, for not sending or accepting a challenge to fight a duel, or with intent to provoke a duel, is guilty of a misdemeanor. § 302. Leaving Territory to Evade Laws. Every person who leaves this territory with intent to elude any of the provisions of this chapter, and to commit any act out of this territory, such as is prohibited by this chapter, and who does any act, although out of this territory, which would be punishable by said provisions, if committed within this territory, is punishable in the same manner as he would have been in case such act had been committed within this territory. § 303. Where tried. Such person may be indicted and tried in any county within this territory. § 304. Witnesses Privilege. No person shall be excused from testifying or answering any question upon any investigation or trial for a violation of either of the provisions of this chapter, upon the ground that his testimony might tend to convict him of a crime. But no evidence given upon any examination of a person so testifying shall be received against him in any criminal prosecution or proceeding.

Read More

Mercer Beasley, Revision of the Statutes of New Jersey: Published under the Authority of the Legislature; by Virtue of an Act Approved April 4, 1871 Page 232-233, Image 278-279. (1877) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.

| |

Crimes Against the Public Peace, If any person shall by word, message, letter, or any other way, challenge another to fight a duel, with a rapier, or small-sword, back-sword, pistol, or other dangerous weapon, or shall accept a challenge, although not ...

Crimes Against the Public Peace, If any person shall by word, message, letter, or any other way, challenge another to fight a duel, with a rapier, or small-sword, back-sword, pistol, or other dangerous weapon, or shall accept a challenge, although not duel be fought, or knowingly be the bearer of such challenge, or shall any way abet, prompt, encourage, persuade, seduce, or cause any person to fight a duel, or to challenge another to fight a duel, every person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction shall be punished by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisonment at hard labor not exceeding two years, or both; and further if any person shall engage in, and fight a duel with another, with a rapier, or small-sword, back-sword, pistol or other dangerous weapon, although death does not thereby ensue, or shall be a second in any such duel, then and in such case every person so offending shall be adjudged to be guilty of a high misdemeanor, and on conviction shall be punished by fine, not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisonment at hard labor, not exceeding four years, or both; and shall not after such conviction, hold any office of profit or trust under this state.

Read More