02/13/13 - posted by Paul K. Sholar
Can anything more be usefully said about this event? Well I just found something small, but perhaps quite significant, that is news to me. After reading about a fortuitous day just prior to July 4, 1851, in Downieville, CA, during which young lawyers William Walker (future filibuster), Stephen Field (future U.S. Supreme Court Justice), and William Stewart (future U.S. Senator from Nevada) all spoke, I took a peek inside Stewart's "Reminiscences" (1908) and found, to my surprise, his remark that Broderick had a physical defect in his forefinger that interfered with his effectively firing a hair-trigger pistol. Stewart became aware of this after some number of visits with Broderick to a shooting gallery located near their respective residences in Sacramento when they served contemporaneously in the Legislature. And of course, in the Broderick-Terry duel, the latter provided a pair of pistols with hair-trigger settings, thus apparently putting Broderick at a disadvantage, though he was reputed to be a very good marksman. See the relevant passage on pages 119-120 here - http://books.google.com/books?id=nl5ImEuWvOgC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
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