THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY
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November 28, 1818
John M. McCarty Refused to Take an Antidueling Oath
In 1810 the Virginia General Assembly enacted an antidueling law, requiring all public officers to take an oath that they would not participate in duels. John Mason McCarty wrote to Linn Banks (1784–1842), the Speaker of the House of Delegates, resigning his seat in the House, stating that he could not take the oath against dueling because he had challenged his cousin, Armistead Thomson Mason (1787–1819), to a duel. The duel took place in Bladensburg, Maryland, on February 6, 1819, and McCarty killed Mason.