Clay and Randolph Duel (Marker Number C 1)
Inscription. Although dueling was illegal in Virginia, Secretary of State Henry Clay challenged U.S. Senator John Randolph of Roanoke. Clay called Randolph out to defend his honor after Randolph insulted him in a speech on the Senate floor. Randolph confided to Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri that he had no intention of hurting Clay, who was married and had a child. The duel took place on 8 April 1826 a half mile north at Pimmit Run. Both first shots missed their intended targets. Clay’s second shot also missed, and Randolph raised his pistol and fired it in the air. The duel then ended, and the unhurt adversaries met each other half way and shook hands.