Politics can be a dangerous business, but words are usually the weapon of choice. That wasn’t the case, though, 200 years ago in old Livingston County, Kentucky. According to an article from the 27 Nov 1806 issue of the New York Evening Post, a confrontation occurred on election night in Eddyville. A Mr. Cofield was introduced to Matthew Lyon, who stated he did not wish to be acquainted with the man as Mr. Cofield had not voted for him and, therefore, Cofield could not be Lyon’s friend. Cofield became upset, which resulted in Lyon being knocked down and somehow Cofield’s thumb became positioned in the mouth of Lyon, who promptly amputated it at the first joint.
With the current election campaign getting more passionate daily, let’s hope the candidates can refrain from a situation of this nature.