Anonymous letter, 20 March 1804, Boston, Mass., to "My dear Welles," relates details of the relationship between John Rutledge, Jr. (1766-1819) and [Dr. F. Strace] Senter.
Rutledge's suspicions that Senter had engaged in improper advances towards Mrs. Rutledge apparently were confirmed when he learned that Senter had visited Mrs. Rutledge in disguise while the Rutledge family was spending the summer in Weathersfield, Conn.
When Senter returned to Charleston from Europe in January 1804, Rutledge determined to confront him which he did in the hallway of Rutledge's country home. In the encounter Senter sustained a minor wound, and the following day Rutledge challenged him to a duel. The duel took place in Savannah, Ga. Senter suffered a wound in the leg and later died from lockjaw.
The writer observed, "I have related these facts as they are generally reported and believed here but can not vouch for their perfect accuracy." The writer went on to criticize the policies of the government in Washington, "National honor and national welfare are sacrificed and forgotten. The inordinate lust of gold seems to have swallowed up every honorable passion of the heart."