The last duel in San Francisco occurred 153-years-ago today, when anti-slavery Senator David C. Broderick squared off with former Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, pro-slavery firebrand David S. Terry, along the shoreline of Lake Merritt. Broderick became the first sitting senator to die in a duel.
There’s a great article with some cool illustrations on the Anchor Steam blog today. I wrote about it in a blog entry three years ago (read that here). The Broderick-Terry duel occurred a full month before John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, and illustrates the trans-continental nature of what William Henry Seward in 1858 called the "irrepressible conflict."