Examination of parties charged with Intending to Practice the Code of Honor.
--As stated in our yesterday's issue, the Hon. H. S. Foote
; a member of the House of Representatives from Tennessee
, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and held to ball in the sum of five thousand dollars for his appearance before the Mayor
to answer the charge of being about to engage in a duel with Mr. John Mitchell
Yesterday morning both gentlemen came into court, Mr. Foote
represented by Mr. John H. Gilmer
as his counsel, and Mr. Mitchell
conducting his own case.
At the same time, the Hon. Mr. Swan
, also a member of Congress from Tennessee
, appeared before the Mayor
to answer the charge of being the bearer of a challenge from Mr. Michael
to Hon. Mr. Foote
In order to make the matter fully understood, it may be proper to state that, on Monday last, there appeared in the Examiner
some editorial strictures upon a speech which Mr. Foote
made in the House of Representatives, on Saturday, with reference to certain resolutions which had been introduced by Mr. Staples
These editorial remarks Mr. Foote
attributed to Mr. Mitchell
; and in the course of his reply, in the House
, used expressions which were deemed personally offensive by Mr. Mitchell
Subsequently, Mr. Mitchell
addressed a note to the Hon. Mr. Foote
, which he entrusted to the hands of the Hon. Mr. Swan
; but there having been a previous estrangement of friendly feeling between Mr. Swan
and Mr. Foote
, the latter declined to hold any correspondence through him; whereupon an altercation occurred between the two (Messrs. Foote
) in Mr. Foote
's room, at the Ballard House
The following is the substance of the evidence given in the examination which took place before he Mayor
H. Rives Pollard
, of the Examiner,
sworn.--On Monday night I was introduced to Mr. Swan
, in the Examiner
office, by Mr. John M. Daniel
At Mr. Swan
's request, I walked with him to Mr. Foote
's room, at the Ballard House
, to show him where he lived.
I had not the slightest suspicion that there was any other than the most friendly feeling existing between them.
On knocking at Mr. Foote
's door, it was promptly opened by Mrs. Foote
I inquired of her if her husband was in; and immediately upon hearing his name called, Mr. Foote
, whom I saw sitting by the fire with his head leaning down, as if he was drowsy, straightened up, and on seeing who it was, received me very cordially.
After shaking hands with me, I motioned towards Mr. Swan
, who was standing at the door, and remarked to Mr. Foote
that I supposed he was acquainted with his colleague.
, to the best of my recollection, replied, "Mr. Pollard
, I can't recognize him; he is not a gentleman. " Mr. Swan
remarked, "Governor, I am the bearer of a note to you" As might be supposed, this state of things greatly surprised and embarrassed me, and my recollection of what took place afterwards may not be entirely correct; but I think Mr. Foote
then remarked, (with his face side-ways to Mr. Swan
, as if addressing himself to me,) "This is my bedchamber, and he (Swan
) must leave," Mr. Swan
thereupon struck Mr. Foote
, when I sprang between them.
had a pistol in his hand; and fearing that he would kill some one, I endeavored to pacify him. As soon as the lick was struck, Swan
backed into the passage-way.
During the whole of my interview that evening Mr. Foote
's conduct was by no means boisterous; he was cool and collected, even after he was struck; and as far as our own relations were concerned, they were very cordial and friendly.
In conclusion, Mr. Pollard
reiterated the assertion that he had no knowledge of Mr. Swan
's business, and only went with him to Mr. Foote
's room because he knew him well, and supposed that Mr. Swan
did not know where he lived.
H. W. Thomas
, of Fairfax
, testified.--On Monday night, at an early hour, my attention was called to the screams of what seemed to be a lady's voice and a noise as if some persons were in a scuffle.
I ran out of my room to Mr. Foote
's, which is only a few doors off, where I found Mr. Swan
, outside of the door, with a chair in his hands, raised; and inside were Mr. Foote
and Mr. Pollard
Upon inquiry, ascertained the matter.
and myself, both occupying adjacent rooms, took Mr. Swan
off to my room.
He there expressed regret that any difficulty should have occurred between himself and Governor Foote
in the presence of his (Foote
's) wife; but said that he could not well avoid it, as he (Foote
) had said he was no gentleman.
and myself then went into Governor Foote
's room and got Mr. Swan
's hat and overcoat, which he had left in there.
In an hour or so after the fight took place, Governor Foote
came into my room and consulted with General Wickham
and myself as to what course he had best pursue towards Mr. Swan
We advised him that, under the circumstances, nothing further was required of him. Governor Foote
soon afterwards returned to his own room, but returned early on Tuesday morning into my room and informed me that he had determined to challenge Mr. Swan
He then handed me a letter, addressed to Mr. Swan
, recounting the circumstances of the attack which had been made upon him by Mr. Swan
, stating that he had obtruded his presence upon him in his private chamber, where his wife and children were, and, like an assassin, had assailed him, for which conduct he required a settlement with Mr. Swan
The note concluded by saying that there were only two alternatives left him — either to attack him on the street, and thereby endanger the lives of others, or to meet him (Swan
) upon a fair field, armed as might be agreed upon.
, doorkeeper of the House of Representatives, sworn.--On Monday afternoon last, Mr. Swan
came into my room and inquired where he could find Messrs. Barksdale
's and Governor Foote
I remarked to him that I thought Governor Foote
and himself were not on good terms; to which he replied that his object was to heal their old differences; that there had been a good deal of clamor and dissension among the Mississippi
delegation, and he desired that they should all harmonize.
In about an hour afterwards, a boy came into my room with a package from Governor Foote
to be handed to Mr. Cardwell
Soon afterwards, Mr. Cardwell
came in, took the note, broke the seal and read the contents.
He then made a memorandum on the back of the letter addressed to Swan
, which was in the package, in the following words: "My friend, Mr. Cardwell
, is authorized to receive any reply which you (Swan
) may have to make." Upon inquiry, Cardwell
told me that Mr. Foote
directed said memorandum to be made upon the back of the note to Swan
, and that it meant a challenge to fight a duel.
, member of Congress from Tennessee
, knew that Governor Foote
and Mr. Swan
were not on good terms, that language had passed between them which gentlemen ought not to use towards each other.
On one occasion, some months past, both of these gentlemen met in his room accidentally, but neither of them spoke during the evening.
On Tuesday night, at Mr. Foote
's room, he told me of the difficulty which had taken place between himself and Mr. Swan
the night before, and said that he had challenged Swan
, a member of the House of Representatives from Mississippi
, sworn.--On Monday evening, Mr. Swan
came to my room and desired to know whether, under the circumstances, --he being at variance with Mr. Foote
--there would be any impropriety in his bearing a note to him from Mr. Mitchell
, or a challenge.
I told him I did not think there would be, in view of what Governor Foote
had said in the course of some remarks made that day, to wit: "That, for the purpose of affording satisfaction to any person who might suppose himself referred to, he would regard any man who felt aggrieved as a gentleman outside of this hall, and personal misunderstanding should be a barrier to a meeting between them."
[The note which Mr. Swanbore
to Governor Foote
is supposed to have been a challenge from Mr. Mitchell
desired to see a copy of it, but Mr. Mitchell
declined furnishing it, remarking that it had been handed back to him.]
Mr. John M. Daniel
was then sent for to testify to the authenticity of a letter which appeared in the Examiner
of yesterday with reference to Mr. Foote
, over the signature of "John Mitchell
." That gentleman had never seen the manuscript of the letter, and could not, therefore, swear positively who wrote it. He did see the proof-sheet of it, however, and altered it very considerably.
then announced that he should hold all the gentlemen to security to keep the peace.
.--Within what limit, sir?
.--Within the limits of the Commonwealth
.--Very well, sir; the boundary line is not far off.
were then held to security to keep the peace for one year in the sum of five thousand dollars cash; and Mr. Mitchell
was also required to enter into bonds in the sum of two thousand dollars.