Thomas Biddle, (USA) (1790 - 1831)

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Death: Died
Cause of death: mortally wounded in a duel with Congressman Spencer Pettis
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About Thomas Biddle, (USA)

Thomas Biddle (November 21, 1790 – August 29, 1831) was a War of 1812 hero who died in a duel with Missouri Congressman Spencer Pettis.

Biddle was born into the powerful Biddle family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father was Charles Biddle, a member of the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and his brother was Nicholas Biddle, president of the Second Bank of the United States.

During the War of 1812 he was commissioned as a captain in the infantry under Zebulon Pike. He saw action at Fort George and Stony Creek and was wounded at Fort Erie and again in the Battle of Lundy's Lane.

In 1814 he was brevetted to major and became an aide for George Izard.

In 1820 he became an army paymaster in St. Louis, Missouri.

During an 1830 campaign speech Congressman Spencer Pettis criticized Biddle's brother Nicholas, President of the Second Bank of the United States.

Biddle then went to Pettis' hotel room in St. Louis, Missouri where he whipped Pettis severely with a piece of cowhide. Pettis won re-election to Congress by a wide margin.

In 1831 Pettis challenged him to a duel. Biddle, who was nearsighted, set the terms of meeting at five feet. They met on August 27, 1831 at Bloody Island (Mississippi River) and both men were mortally wounded. Pettis died the following day while Biddle lived until August 29.

Both men were buried with honors.

Biddle is buried in Bellefontaine and Calvary Cemeteries.

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Brevet Major Thomas Biddle, (USA)'s Timeline

November 21, 1790
August 29, 1831
Age 40