history images Mound City on the Mississippi Home Page
image menu Buildings, Sites, and Objects People, Places, and Things Events, Incidents, and Occurrences Bibliography


Name:  Bloody Island
Address:  Mississippi River
The site of many duels, Bloody Island is part of the reason that St. Louis became known as a violent city in antebellum America. It took its name at 6:00 AM on August 12, 1817, when lawyers Thomas Hart Benton and Charles Lucas fought there. Benton´s shot went through Lucas´ jugular, while Lucas´ shot hit Benton´s knee. A few months later, Benton challenged Lucas to another duel, and this time killed his rival with a shot to the heart.

In August 1831, Thomas Biddle, director of the St. Louis branch of the Bank of the United States, fought Spencer Pettis, a congressman who was critical of the branch bank. Both were killed.

Duel at ´Bloody Island´

Related Links
Survey Map of Bloody Island



about historic preservationnew entries4 kids onlymap it!

This site was made possible by: the City of St. Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency and
the City of St. Louis Community Information Network.

This site was funded in part by Federal funds administered by the Missouri State Historical Preservation Office, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, The National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Version 1.0