A duel is an engagement in combat in which two people either come to agreement or the duel results in a death. Duels are usually prearranged, and there is a set date and time, as well as which weapons are used (usually pistols). The guidelines for proper dueling etiquette, called the code duello, is strongly modulated when duels commence, and it was considered an enormous dishonor to break a rule in the code duello, which could damage a person's reputation for a long time, sometimes up to years.
Only one-on-one duels were done, because duels were very personal and were deep engagements. However, many brought seconds with them, as well as trusted men who helped set up and keep them from view.
Duels were illegal in many places in the 17-1800's, in an attempt to keep under control the deaths due to dueling, though most found ways to surpass this law. New York enforced this policy the strongest, so many men engaged in a duel went to New Jersey, where it was also against the law but poorly enforced: hence the phrase from Hamilton, "everything is legal in New Jersey".
Major duels in HamiltonEdit
- Lee–Laurens duel, 12 December 1778
- Hamilton–Eacker duel, 23 November 1801
- Burr–Hamilton duel, 11 July 1804