Were Swords Used in Antebellum Duels?

During a discussion earlier this semester, a student asked what other weapons besides pistols were used in duels. I mentioned swords as an alternative, but the class didn’t seem to find them a believable option.

In researching an anecdote about the Eaton affair today, I came across this piece of news in the 2 July 1831 issue of Niles’ National Register that indicates one example of the (proposed) use of broadswords for dueling purposes.

If it surprises you that a sitting congressional member would participate in a duel, let Joanne Freeman dispel you of the notion that Congress has not been a violent arena:

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