On an August evening in 1788, outside the town of Jonesborough (which was then inside the borders of North Carolina), two men faced each other with pistols in hand, ready to fight a duel. Waightstill Avery, one of western North Carolina's most prominent lawyers and citizens, was one of the men. Andrew Jackson was the other. A courtroom altercation had brought both men to the town's outskirts. Coffey recounts the events leading to the duel and the duel itself.