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First Name: Thomas

Last Name: Biddle

Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Date of Birth: 21 November 1790

Date of Death: 29 August 1831

Rank: Major

Years Served:
Thomas Biddle

•  War of 1812


Thomas Biddle
Major, U.S. Army

Thomas Biddle was born on 21 November 1790 in Philadelphia, PA, a member of the famous Biddle family of Philadelphia.

His father, Captain Charles Biddle, was a member of the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Philadelphia, and his brother, Nicholas Biddle, was a banker. During the War of 1812, Biddle was commissioned as a Captain in the Infantry. He saw action at Fort George and Stony Creek and was wounded at Fort Erie, and again in the Battle of Lundy's Lane.

In 1820, Major Biddle was assigned to St. Louis, MO, where he made his home. He is most famous for the Biddle-Pettis duel. Congressman Spencer Pettis, an opponent of the U.S. Bank, publicly criticized Biddle's brother, Nicholas Biddle, its president. Biddle then went to Pettis' hotel room in St. Louis where he whipped Pettis with a piece of cowhide.

Later, Pettis won re-election to Congress by a wide margin, and in 1831, Pettis challenged Biddle to a duel. Biddle, who was nearsighted, set the terms of dual at five feet. They met on 27 August 1831 at Bloody Island (a sandbar in the Mississippi River outside the jurisdiction of local authorities) and both men were mortally wounded. Pettis died the following day while Biddle died two days later.

Major Thomas Biddle was buried with military honors.

Death and Burial

Major Thomas Biddle died on 29 August 1831 near St. Louis, MO. He is buried at the Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum in St. Louis, MO.

Honoree ID: 2250   Created by: MHOH




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