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Posted: 11/28/2003 2:32:47 PM EDT
"Bowie Knife Fight at the Arkansas Capital"
by Larry Connelley
Little Rock, Ark - In the first session of the Arkansas General Assembly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives murdered another legislator with a Bowie knife on the floor of the house. The year is 1837.

The historic knife fight started with a debate in the house on a bill to offer bounties for wolf hides. This bill encouraged the killing of wolves.

Because of long standing political differences Representative Major J.J. Anthony proposed an amendment to the wolf bounty bill requiring the Arkansas Real Estate Bank President to sign each bounty check. The President of the Bank was non-other than House Speaker, John Wilson. Wilson took insult to the motion, regarding it as repetition and the continuation of disparaging insults that had been made at him. When Wilson asked if the amendment meant anything personal by his motion Representative Anthony remained silent. Then Speaker of the House Wilson demanded that Anthony take his seat. At once Anthony responded “I will not”. Wilson declared, “Then – I will make you.”

Wilson descended the steps of the speakers platform, and as he reached the bottom step – each man drew his Bowie knife. Anthony’s knife was slightly longer than Wilsons. As they drew closer, Representative Royston thrust a chair between the two in an attempt to avert the fight. “Each man seized a round of the chair with his left hand and began cutting and slashing at the other. Anthony made a downward slash, and, the keen blade descending upon Wilson’s left wrist, made a deep wound, almost severing the hand from the arm . . . then at this point Anthony threw his knife at Wilson.” Instead of striking at the point, the Bowie knife struck slantwise and fell to the floor. In the instant the knife fell to the floor, the wounded Wilson then plunged his knife to the hilt in Anthony’s body. Representative Anthony fell to the floor mortally wounded. He died minutes later.

Representative Wilson was then arrested, expelled from the House of Representatives, and acquitted in trial on the grounds of "excusable homicide". Wilson was later re-elected to the Arkansas House. He never fully recovered from his wound; his wrist was partially paralyzed for the rest of his life. He moved to Texas and died in 1865.

Source:

Historical Review of Arkansas by Fay Hempstead. 1911.

boy ...that would change the outcome of next gun control debate in Congress.I love this story
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 2:48:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By StonerStudent: He moved to Texas ....
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Where he fit right in.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 2:52:07 PM EDT
Cool story, Thanks SS. I bet they can't even carry a pocket knife with them now.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 3:10:25 PM EDT
C-span would be alot more interesting...in the 1800s [bowies and big screen tv]
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 3:23:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Searcherfortruth: Cool story, Thanks SS. I bet they can't even carry a pocket knife with them now.
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I don't know about knives in Texas but in Indiana you can carry (with a permit) a concealed weapon in the State Capital. [:D] [devil]
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