The Brooks Sumner Affair

Background

May 1856 sectional tensions were rising as "Bleeding Kansas" became a symbol of controversy.

Events
Preston Brooks
Preston Brooks

Charles Sumner
Charles Sumner

In response to Bleeding Kansas, Charles Sumner Massachusetts senator gave an impassioned speech called " The Crime Against Kansas." In which he focused external image moz-screenshot-2.jpg particularly on senator Andrew P. Butler of South Carolina. Sumner used derogatory terms in his speech against Butler, calling slavery his mistress "who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him, though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight . . . the harlot slavery."
Sumner's rude sexual references enraged Butler's nephew, Preston Brooks a member of the house of Representatives. Brooks approached Sumner in the Senate during a recess and beat Sumner with a cane until he collapsed.
After four years recuperating Sumner returned to the Senate. Brooks was censured by the House but stood for reelection.

Effects

Northern Propaganda
Northern Propaganda

In the North Sumner became a hero and a martyr to the viciousness of the South. Preston Brooks also became a hero for standing up to the Northerners. This event

increased sectionalism by changing the way the two regions viewed each other. The North now saw the South as lawless brutes, and the South saw the North as rude, due to the language Sumner used in his speech.

Links

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2952.html
http://www.sewanee.edu/faculty/willis/Civil_War/documents/Crime.html
http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h225.html

Source

http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/84/115684-004-75A12D24.jpg
http://kindredblood.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/230px-pbrooks-sc2.jpg
http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/graphic/xlarge/sumner_caning_xl.jpg
American History A Survey Twelfth Edition