Saturday, January 21, 2012 alive and well

SO Im researching this mass drowning that happened in my community... What you didnt hear about it??
Well thats because it happened back in 1860!! HA-

Meanwhile its so cool as you look for one bit of history you find 10 other bits that you had no clue about..(they dont teach this stuff in school)--Here in my area the Revolutionary and the Civil Wars get all the attention, yet real life history fills the cracks of this place...lots of other things happened ...yes the South was a battle ground and there is a-lot of that history here each and every battle has been recorded, studied, restudied, marked, and such..but to me its the human stories that never made the history books that are this one-
...back in early 1829...
Mr Thomas A Hopkin's mother held a grudge against Mr. Henry G. Nixon's father...she accused him of swindling her outta some land, and I reckon she passed her angry and revengeful story down and onto her son.  So Mr Hopkins called Mr. Nixon out to a duel.  The date was set and they kept it on the QT, least their families should try to talk them out of the fool hearted idea.  Dueling was considered a gentleman's way of restoring Honor to ones name and one's family name....
(this brings to mind Klingon Warriors from StarTrek)...
anyways the duel took place in Augusta a SC/GA border town on the public dueling ground. YEAH...there was such a thing. 

Mr Nixon was the pride of Camden having been born here in 1800 a native (the town was founded in 1787) and with his stellar education he was a lawyer, a SC Legislator, & past chairman of the committe to receive General Marquis de LaFayette, (who helped the budding United States to fight the War of Independence,) when he made his second (and last) visit to the USA in 1825.  LaFayette came to our fair town and dedicated Mr Baron DeKalb's ( a German Rev War Hero's) memorial we have streets named in both their honors and a very old and rather weird looking Cedar tree in our town called the LaFayette Cedar.

SO back to my story...Mr Nixon's father owned the Jackson Hotel....that stood on the corner of King & Broad streets...not far from the Quaker Meeting house and burial grounds.  Mr Hopkins knew his way around a pistol but Henry G Nixon needed a little practice, Im sure he was more adapt at legalese than shooting---so

Mr Nixon went to the Quarker Burial Ground to practice with his pistol, it was written that he fired off the 2 rounds from his dueling pistols aiming at the headstone (placed in 1822) of Scottish merchant Mr Neil Smith...and his wife Isabella....

and then on Jan 15, 1829 exactly 183 yrs and 6 days ago... Mr Nixon was killed in that duel when Mr Hopkins, shot first he fell dead upon the ground...and died with honor intact but his body in ruins...his bereeved father buried him near the Quaker burial ground where he had practiced for this the Old Presbyterian Burial ground and the grief stricken father erected a fence of granite and iron around his sons burial spot.  It was only 2 short years later (1831)that Mr. Hopkins himself would die, they say of grief over his deed.  His grave has since been completely obliterated as a newly cut road encroached on the Swift Creek Baptist Chruch in Boykin, SC and graves were simply pushed aside to make way for progress...

The Jackson Hotel burned to the ground in November of that same yr and the The Nixon family left their beloved Camden in 1833 and went to Alabama and bought a plantation... I wonder how the Nixon plantation fared during Shermans bloody march through the South?
SO I went to the Old Quaker Burial Ground...and I looked for and found Mr Neil Smith, a merchant and his Wife Isabella's headstone...and wouldnt you know look what I found on the backside of that rock....


This post is linked to
Taphophile Tragics.


  1. A fascinating and interesting story; and slice of history Sondra.
    And seeing that gravestone with the bullet holes, wow, kinda spooky in a way.

  2. Hi Sondra :-) its good to be back.

    What a fascinating story and you wrote about it so vividly. Quite chilling seeing the bullet hole!!! History is so interesting, I thought it was really dull and boring when I was at school....perhaps it was the teacher, or perhaps you need to live a bit to appreciate the past.

    I did some research into my family history and it was almost like bringing people back to life, quite compelling.

  3. Holy crap, what a story and what a find. I really can never get over how barbaric dueling is. Men. Sheesh.

  4. Hi Sondra...that is quite the story ...history is interesting now but in school yuck..although my teacher was real good looking huh!
    Amazing what you find in a name!!
    Nice and watch for stray bullets LOL

  5. Ooh so awesome you found the bullet holes!! Great story, glad you shared it...

  6. How sad. Life had to be hard enough back then without needlessly shooting each other.

  7. History in school, don't remind me.
    But digging out old things like you did, wonderful!
    I could listen to that / read that all day :-)

  8. Good old days, huh?
    Greta post, very interesting and photos are fantastic!

  9. Fascinating bit of history. The bullet holes really add to the story!

  10. I thought dueling gentlemen aimed to miss their opponent. Wrong again.

  11. Ooo, but you do spin a wonderful yarn, Sondra. This was beautifully laid out, keeping me hanging all the way through. Contrary to some of the other comments, I loved history in school (I did both Ancient and Modern) and love it increasingly the older I grow, especially family history.

    Thank you so much for this contribution to Taphophile Tragics. It is wonderful to have you on board. I am ever so glad you looked at the back of the grave marker. Excellent stuff ...

  12. great story (you are a born story-teller) and very well illustrated! (I had a feeling you'd love this meme.)

  13. A stellar start to this story!


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