James Shields and Abraham Lincoln came to Missouri for a duel. Shields, an Illinois attorney and State Auditor accused Lincoln of writing a newspaper article critical of him. For weapons they chose cavalry sabers but Lincoln convinced Shields that he did not write the article so the duel was called off. Shields probably also noticed that Lincoln’s long arms gave him a much longer reach.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.