05 April 2013

Losing Duelist Buried In Norfolk

The New England Historical And Genealogical Register...had an interesting tidbit about a Massachusetts midshipman who was killed in a duel and buried in a churchyard in Virginia.

In St. Paul's churchyard in that city [Norfolk, Virginia] is the following on a small headstone..." Samuel W. Cushing of Berwick Massachusetts, killed in a Duel 24th April 1800, AE 23 years."

A record in another place, showing who Cushing was, has the following : 

"Cushing, Samuel W. Appointed Midshipman, 28 August, 1799. Last appearance on Records of Navy Department, 12 September 1799. Killed in a duel."

His parents were John Cushing and Olive Wallingford.

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy, by Ian W. Toll, (see below) told the story of Midshipman John Duboise who "fought a duel with a fellow midshipman, Samuel Cushing, and 'shot his antagonist through the neck, which put an immediate period to his Existence.'  Fearing arrest on a murder charge, Duboise fled."

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