Saturday, September 15, 2007

Where the Grass Don't Grow

Back in 1806, future U.S. President Andrew Jackson shot and killed a man in a duel. Now Jim and Laura Bowen of Nashville, Tennessee—together with a descendant of the fallen man—want to see if he is buried in their front yard. According to a 1955 newspaper clipping attached to their petition (pdf), the location of the burial won't be hard to find.

In the searing heat of last summer's drouth the grass and ivy in the front yard of J. M. Southall at 216 Carden Avenue, just off West End, first began to wither and die on a spot approximately three by seven feet under an ancient hackberry tree near the street. This indicated to the owner that at this point for some reason there was an unusual thinness of the soil.

Reference to Mr. Southall's deed shows that here is located the grave of Charles Dickenson [sic], killed in the famous duel with Andrew Jackson. When this area was opened as a sub-division a number of years ago; and the flat stone marker was covered shallowly by an earth-fill, the last visible evidence of Dickinson's mortal remains was obliterated.

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