Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Shott vs Nott Willing Gunfights

Dear Friends,

Since I've been extremely busy trying to get my barn and property ready for winter, here's a short story about a couple of duels which may or may not have actually taken place. As you can see, I've posted the newspaper article where I first learned about one of the gunfights. It was this article that sent me on a search to validate it. After you read it and the rest of the article, you may see why I say it may or may not have taken place.

So please, read this first. I promise you, you will laugh. I also promise that I will tell you the rest of the story at the end.


OK, so I hope you had a good laugh!

I read where this took place in Texas in 1881, 1887, and 1899. I also read where the above clipping was originally in a Philadelphia newspaper in either 1826 or 1836. And believe it or not, it was put to music in 1902 as you can see below:

THE KNOTT-SHOTT DUEL

I've been reading about a duel
A mixed up affair, oh, it's something cruel
It's puzzling my poor brain, and driving me fair insane
A Mister Nott and a Mister Shott, in an argument one day they got
They decided to have a fight, so they met in the pale moonlight
With a pistol each in a lonely wood they quickly got to work.

Chorus:

Then Shott faced Nott - likeshot he shot Nott
'I'll tie Nott in a knot!' he said
Then Nott at Shott took a little pot-shot
Missed, and Mister Shott he shot poor Nott instead
Said Nott, 'I'm shot, though my name is not Shott
You're shot, so you're Mister Nott shot.'
'How can Nott be Shott,' said Shott, 'If Nott's not me?'

When they went in the lonely wood
Like the Corsican Brothers, there they stood
They were after each other's life, (They'd been after each other's wife)
You understand, they both were shot,
Though both were shot, yet one was Nott
It's as simple as ABC, but I'm blowed if it is to me
I've been sitting up both day and night to work this problem out.

Chorus:

I've got a clue to the mysteree
I'll explain it to you - it's like this, you see
Of course, you will understand - and then, on the other hand
They fought a duel - now we've got so far,
Then again, you see -well there you are
You're following me, no doubt. Now, what am I talking about
See, Shott shot Nott, not Shott, see Shott - I wish they'd both been shot.

Now, the Rest of the Story! 

It wasn't unheard of for a reporter, especially one trying to make a name for himself to fabricate a story or two, or more. Keep in mind that when Mark Twain was a reporter, he was known to have written a few stories for his papers that were lies. He just made them up. And frankly, something tells me that this may be a similar situation.  

Besides, who really knows if this story is true or not? A number of sources give different dates of when Shott shot Nott, and no one really knows where the duel took place. If it was Texas? Where in Texas?

As far as I can determine, it may have simply come from a bored newspaper writer in Philadelphia in the 1840s. Here's another example of the same sort of story that's believed to have come out of a Philadelphia in 1844. 

In this case, Shott shot Willing!

The story goes that a duel between Mr. Shott and a Mr. Willing resulted in both men being shot. Supposedly, Shott shot Willing willingly. Willing willing shot Shott. Shott's shot struck Willing and it was a spectacle to see. Of course, Willingly's shot struck Shott through his anatomy.

So was Shott shot? Was Nott not shot? Was Willing willingly shot or not? Who knows since we can't trust the news, even back in the day! 

I hope you have a good weekend! 

Tom Correa

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