Each of the letters is franked "free," but we have been unable to discover an official position for the letter writer (possibly former Massachusetts Congressman Ezekiel Bacon, serving in Washington as First Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury). The first letter recounts a misunderstanding between White and Lt. Twiggs, a fellow junior military officer, leading to a duel in which White took a ball in the hip and endured its surgical removal; the following two letters report on his recovery, visiting friends, and public sentiment, which seems to have favored him. To the third letter Francis White has himself appended a one-page signed autograph note reassuring Mooses. He recovered from this wound but was not so lucky in a second duel. Item #47532
Although neither Lorenzo Sabine (Notes on Duels and Duelling, Boston, 1855) nor Ben Truman (Field of Honor, New York 1884) record this 1814 duel, both cover White's 1819 confrontation with Lt. William Fonch, whom he challenged for "indignities suffered on board the Independence in 1815" and at whose hand he died. Manuscript material relating to American duels is quite uncommon on the market. The three letters have been folded as for mailing; lightly browned, some breaks at seals.