July 10, 2013

Thriller Thursday ~ The Last Chapter of the Jones-Liddell Feud

From the March 10, 1870 edition of the Anderson Intelligencer, Anderson, South Carolina:

Courtesy of Chronicling America


The Last Chapter
The culminating crime of a series took place in the northeastern part of Louisiana, on the 15th instant.  Twenty years ago a lady of Natchez, sojourning at General St. John Liddell's house, in Catahoula Parish, took offense at some personal remark attributed to a neighbor, Colonel Jones.  Liddell went with his guest to the house of Jones to demand an explanation, and then and there the lady drew a pistol and shot Jones in the face and body.  Jones, long recovering from these severe wounds, considered Liddell responsible for bringing the gun-powder woman to his gate.  Any number of assaults and duels were threatened, and plenty of fight between Jones and Liddell resulted.  Their mansions became fortresses, their plantations military posts; they went about armed to the teeth, and the feud shook the county with alarms.  On one occasion a shooting party was to have been made up to utterly wipe out Liddell's friends, but the leader of the party, while on the war path collecting recruits, riding past the Liddell plantation, was shot dead in his gig.  Men with such stomachs for a fray found favor in the Confederacy, and General Liddell, having learned experience in private fortification, commanded the desperate defense of a fort near Mobile.  When the larger war was finished, the neighborly strife began again, and a certain John Dixon, Jr., somehow involved in it, was not long ago killed in a club-room.  The latest murder of the series took place on the steam boat St. Mary's, on the Black river.  General St. John Liddell, having come on board from his own plantation, was eating dinner when the boat passed the Jones' location.  There Col. Charles Jones and his two sons came on board, and, as the Captain of the St. Mary's neatly phrases it, "did the killing."  It only remains that Colonel Jones and his sons should be hung.  The conditions of society which encouraged the vendetta have departed, and, when all who engage in it are also gone, the rest of the world will experience relief.

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