1905 – Dueling still common at St Pierre

At St Pierre and One Man Has Fought Ten Times
Chicago News

  • December 29, 1905 – The Hartford republican. (Hartford, Ky.)
  • April 05, 1906 – Hopkinsville Kentuckian

There is one place in North America where dueling is still common

That is St Pierre Miquelon. Among other practices peculiar to the mother country France is that of settling affairs of honor by an appeal to the pistol or the rapier. From a recent publication in the Pierrois journal, La Vigie (The Lookout) it is learned that 17 duels have taken place there the last four years or an average of one every three months. In 10 of these M Paul Louis Legasse the fishery merchant who represents the little colony in the French chamber at Versailles has figured as a principal. It is evident therefore that he lives a strenuous and dangerous life though as nobody has ever been seriously wounded in these encounters the peril must be less than would appear at first sight. The little town has only 6500 people and what may be termed its aristocracy is very limited. M Legasse who is the leading fishery outfitter owning over 60 vessels that ply on the Grand Banks and whose wealth far exceeds that of any competitor in the place has to find his adversaries among the officials who conduct the administration or among the candidates who contest his seat when the biennial elections take place.

His latest duel was with M Caperon the retiring Chief Justice of the little colony Between the two there had been a feud since last summer when M Legasse being charged with complicity in some alleged marine scandal was arrested by order of this Judge bail being refused until M Legasse’s friends appealed by cable to the Minister of Justice in Paris who ordered his release M Legasse being unable to insist upon a meeting while M Caperon was actually holding his exalted office had to wait until his transfer to another post was ordered. Then he promptly challenged the Chief Justice. They fought with pistols at 45 paces but neither was hit M Legasse’s previous important duel was with M Dumont a Creole from St Pierre Martinique all of whose relatives were killed by the tragic explosion of Mt Pelee. M Dumont who is a lawyer ran against M Legasse for deputy in the election and special interest attached to his candidacy because many of his follows advocated the annexation of the island to the United States.

It was an outcome of some violent language that the Legasse Dumont duel took place. Previous appearances of M Legasse on the field of honor were made with other officials and with one of our two rivals in the commercial line Officers of the gendarmerie on the island and the naval squadron which gathers there every summer figured in some of these affairs.

Grand Colombier

Le GrandColombier.com est un site recensant tout document historique ayant un lien avec les îles Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon : traités, cartographie, toponymie, archives, sources primaires, études, recherches, éphémérides. Le site est dirigé par Marc A. Cormier.

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