From these humble and obscure Georgia pinelands, assisted by the plantation-owning South Carolina Calhouns, George McDuffie rose to become Congressman, Senator, and Governor of South Carolina.
McDuffie's political prominence involved him in a renowned political dispute when his loyalty to John C. Calhoun brought on a series of duels with Col. William Cumming of Augusta who supported William H. Crawford of Georgia, Calhoun's rival for the Presidency.
"This feud has become a sort of historical incident", John Quincy Adams confided to his diary regarding the McDuffie-Cumming duels which involved among others, Calhoun and Crawford; President James Monroe, who tried to stop the duels; and Richard Henry Wilde, Georgia poet and Congressman, who was implicated by a rumor that he, not Cumming, was the aggrieved party.
A series of newspaper articles appeared in 1821 promoting Crawford's candidacy; McDuffie's vehement reply caused William Cumming, one of the authors, to challenge him. The dueling preparations, which lasted nearly a year, were complicated by the bitterness of the two men. The principles met four times on the field of honor and shots were exchanged at two of these meetings. McDuffie, native Georgia, but outstanding South Carolinian, carried the distinguished Georgian's bullet in his spine for the rest of his life.