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The Shooting in the Territorial Council - 2

Vest worn by Charles C.P. Arndt when he was shot on the floor of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, 1842.


On February 11, 1842 the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature was interrupted by the shooting of one member by another. Representative Charles C.P. Arndt implied that fellow member James R. Vineyard had lied in the chamber. In the moments following adjournment, Arndt approached Vineyard's desk on the floor of the assembly and the two continued their disagreement. When Arndt came closer to Vineyard and struck him in the head, Vineyard drew a pistol and shot Arndt in the chest. Arndt reeled backward and fell to the floor, dying where he had fallen about five minutes later. English author Charles Dickens was traveling in the U.S. at the time, and the incident was one of several that he used to show the brutality and barbarity of frontier Americans in chapter XVII of his book, American Notes. The links below take you to a photograph of the vest Arndt was wearing that day, as well as more details about the event.

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Related Topics: Territory to Statehood
The State Constitutions of 1846 and 1848
Creator: anonymous
Pub Data: Original artifact in the Wisconsin Historical Museum.
Citation: Vest worn by Charles C.P. Arndt when he was shot on the floor of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, 1842 (Wisconsin Historical Museum object #1963.300). Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1024; Visited on: 4/17/2014
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