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Daniel Showalter

Breckinridge Democratic

Date Party Office Votes Result
11-04-1856 Democratic AD-06 0 Win
11-06-1860 Breckinridge Democratic AD-06 0 Win

Candidate Biography:

Born: 1830 in Greene County, Pennsylvania
Military Service: Confederate Army (Civil War)
Died: February 4, 1866 in Mazatlan, Mexico

1861: Speaker pro Tem, California State Assembly

  • Legislative Altercation: Showalter killed former Assemblyman Charles W. Piercy in 1861 (with whom he had served in the 1861 Legislature) in a duel hosted by Charles S. Fairfax. The disagreement began over Showalter's request to be permitted to address the Assembly and explain a floor vote on a resolution, which Piercy objected to. In response, Showalter said "It is a right which I have always maintained, and I have nothing but contempt for any gentleman who does object." The weapon of choice was rifles at 40 paces.
  • Legal Troubles: While attempting to leave California in 1861 (as a fugitive after the duel and hoping to join the Confederate Army), Showalter was captured by Cavalry patrol. He was taken to Fort Yuma, and was released after swearing allegiance to the Union. He then joined the Confederate Army. 
  • According to "Arizona Brigade in North Texas" [at] Showalter died of lockjaw resulting from a fight at a bar he owned in Mazatlan.
  • QUOTABLE: "I know how you all view matters of this in the old states, where a man may without dishonor refuse to fight, but here such a refusal would subject him to the insults of the whole community and the jeers of a corrupt press which apparently condemns duelling but always brands the man who refused to right as a coward."

Source: History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892 by Winfield J. Davis (1893)
Source: "Bourland in North Texas and Indian Territory During the Civil War: Fort Cobb, Fort Arbuckle & the Wichita Mountains" by Patricia Adkins-Rochette [website]
Source: "Dan Showalter - California Secessionist" by Clarence C. Clendenen