The duel has been out of fashion for so long that the societal factors contributing to the practice are alien to modern Americans. Accordingly, it is easy for a modern viewer to think of the duel as the American gentry’s way to legally murder another gentleman he disliked but such a description would do the practice injustice.The duel was certainly seen by its supporters as a noble practice but was by no means exclusive to the elite nor was it solely motivated by bloodlust.
This project takes direct examples of duels to illustrate the (relative) diversity in the identities and aims of duelists as well as the ways in which duelists were driven by the intense drive from "honor" and a desire to be vindicated in the eyes of the populace. Finally, an example of how a breach in the traditions of honor can work to turn public perception against the duel and incite existing critics to act.
 Freeman, Affairs of Honor