CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - Among the Oriental rugs and fine furniture at the annual Charleston International Antiques Show this weekend is President Andrew Jackson’s dueling pistol, priced at $65,000.
“It’s this one here on top, the really ugly one,” said antiques dealer Chris Mitchell of Arms & Militaria in Point Clear, Alabama, pointing to the long-barreled pistol.
The gun has Jackson’s name engraved in a gold inset on the top of its handle.
The hot-tempered Jackson, who was the seventh president, serving from 1829 to 1837, fought a dozen or more duels.
“He was a violent person,” Mitchell said.
In one duel in 1806, Jackson allowed Charles Dickinson to fire first, and Dickinson hit Jackson in the chest before Jackson took aim and killed him. The lead ball in Jackson’s chest could not be removed.
“He let the other guy shoot first and lived the rest of his life with a bullet in his chest,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell deals in swords, guns, buckles, buttons and flags from the American Revolution and Civil War.
”These are not the kinds of things people throw away, he said. “There’s a story to them, or at least people envision one.”
South Carolina and North Carolina dispute where, exactly, Jackson was born. The official White House Web site diplomatically states that he was “born in a backwoods settlement in the Carolinas in 1767.”
The border region was called the Waxhaws after the American Indians who lived there.
Both states claim the birthplace of “Old Hickory” who got the nickname after Jackson, the founder of the Democratic Party, relocated to Tennessee.
Reporting by Harriet McLeod, editing by Ellen Wulfhorst