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In May of 1856, Charles Sumner of Massachusetts presented his speech entitled ¨Crime Against Kansas¨ to the United States Senate. Being an ardent abolitionist and Republican, Sumner's proposal embodied the growing sectionalism amidst America.
"My fellow senators, we as political leaders need to refrain ourselves from expanding the institution of slavery into Kansas and allow this state to enter the Union free in its entirety."
In his "Crime Against Kansas" speech, Sumner identified two Democratic senators as the culprits for the explosive issue of Kansas's admission into the Union-Stephen Douglas of Illinois and Andrew Butler of South Carolina. Though Butler was not present for Sumner's address, Preston Brooks, Butler's South Carolina kinsman, was appalled on Butler's behalf.
Angered by Sumner's "Crime Against Kansas" speech and poor regard for Butler, Brooks entered the old chamber on May 22, 1856, after the Senate had adjourned, and struck Sumner with his metal topped cane.
Although making both Brookes and Sumner heroes in their respective territories, the "Sumner-Brooks Fiasco" deepened the divide between the North and South over slavery and gave way to more social and political strife between these regions.
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