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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMissouri

Spencer Darwin PETTIS

(1802-1829)

PETTIS, Spencer Darwin, a Representative from Missouri; born in Culpeper County, Va., in 1802; completed preparatory studies; studied law; was admitted to the bar about 1824 and commenced practice in Fayette, Howard County, Mo.; held various local offices; appointed secretary of state on July 22, 1826, and served until December 31, 1828, when he resigned; elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Congresses and served from March 4, 1829, until his death; during the campaign of 1830 his feeling regarding the United States bank issue precipitated a quarrel and subsequently a duel with Maj. Thomas Biddle, in which both fell mortally wounded; Mr. Pettis died the next day, August 28, 1831, in St. Louis; interment in the Old City Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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