The friends of Cyrus Turner, who was killed by Cassius M. Clay, in the recent rencontre at Foxtown, have published a statement of the affair in reply to the statement of Mr. Clay, an abstract of which was published by us a few days ago. It differs in many points from the accounts heretofore published. Mr. Clay is charged with having used most offensive language without cause to Mr. Runyon and Squire Turner, and, on stepping down from the stand, the following scene occurred:

"Cyrus Turner called him a liar, when Clay seized hold of a dagger which he had upon his person, and Cyrus Turner, who was entirely without arms, struck Clay with his fist, and then caught him by the right arm to prevent his using the dagger. A scuffle ensued, and Clay jerked loose from Cyrus Turner, and T. Turner, Jr., a brother of Cyrus Turner, ran in and snapped a pistol at Clay more than once; the pistol missed fire; and none was fired during the affray. At this stage of the struggle, some person knocked Cyrus Turner down with a club. While Cyrus Turner was laying prostrate on the ground, on his back, caused by the blow of the club, Clay stabbed him in the abdomen, cutting his bowels out, of which he died in the morning of the 17th of June, having suffered most intense agony during the period he lived. The deceased said before his death that he did not inflict the wound upon Clay, but by no means exonerated Clay and others concerned for the part they took in the difficulty. When Clay was trying to stab the deceased, Alfred Turner, a distant relation, who had been mustering with a small stick, ran in and struck Clay once. There were more than twenty relations of Cyrus Turner upon the ground, and not one interfered, except as above stated."

This statement goes on to express the belief that Clay stabbed himself with his own dagger, when jerking back from Turner, as the wound corresponds with the blade, and it is asserted that the dagger was not out of his hands.


Source: Richmond Semi-Weekly Examiner 24 July 1849: 4. (Library of Virginia Archives).

Mark Bell, UR English Master’s Program, prepared this typescript.

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