Sunday, November 11, 2012
Nicholas Biddle, The Second Bank Of The United States
On August 26, 1831, Biddle's brother, Thomas, a War of 1812 veteran, was killed in a duel on Bloody Island (Mississippi River) at St. Louis, Missouri with Congressman Spencer Pettis. Thomas had taken offense to Pettis' criticizing Nicholas at the bank. After an exchange of letters to the editor Biddle accosted an ill Pettis in his hotel room. After Pettis recovered he challenged Thomas to a duel and both were killed when they exchanged shots from five feet apart
In April 1836, the Bank's charter expired, but the institution continued as a state-chartered bank for several more years. In 1839, Biddle resigned from his post, and in 1841, amidst the panic of 1837, the Bank failed. Biddle was arrested and charged with fraud; he was later acquitted. He died soon after while still involved in civil suits.