"In 1806, several years after leaving the Senate and while remaining one of Tennessees most famous citizens, Jackson agreed to a duel with Charles Dickinson to settle a matter of honor that had arisen out of a horse racing dispute. Many observers felt that Jacksons willingness to duel Dickinson was intemperate; most Tennesseans regarded Dickinson as the finest shot in the state. Additionally, dueling was already considered a crude way for gentlemen to settle their differences.
On his way out to the duel site, Dickinson amused his traveling party with his shooting skill, sometimes cutting a string with a bullet from 24 feet, the distance that would separate the two duelists.
For his part, Jackson spent the time traveling to the duel site settling on his strategy. Realizing that Dickinson was the better shot, Jackson figured he should let Dickinson shoot first and absorb the hit. If he tried to rush a shot before Dickinson fired, Jackson feared that his aim would suffer and he would miss the target. So his plan was to take a shot from Tennessees best marksman. If he survived the blow, he would then take his time and kill Dickinson.
At the duel, Jackson stuck to his plan. Dickinson fired first and grievously wounded Jackson; his bullet broke two of Jacksons ribs and lodged close to Jacksons heart. But it did not kill him.
Indeed, Jackson hardly flinched. Dickinson stared in astonishment and screamed, "Great God, have I missed him?" Jackson took deliberate aim and squeezed his trigger. Nothing happened. He re-cocked his pistol, again carefully aimed, and fired. This time the gun functioned properly, killing its mark. Jackson required over a month to recuperate from his wound."
That Jackson is fascinating is beyond doubt. That he is, in some measure, an entirely American man, is also beyond doubt. That he was a brave, tough, intemperate sob is true enough. The father of democracy? Maybe all those Jefferson-Jackson dinners would like us to believe that, but dog my cats, I dont reckon thats so. Although this superficial note on Jackson doesnt deserve serious response, the idea that Jackson has somehow come to represent democracy does (see this, and this, never mind this). But that will have to be done another day.