1850s Sumner-Brooks Fiasco


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  • Sumner-Brooks Incident
  • Since the government instituted popular sovereignty, and the people voted pro-slavery, Kansas shall become a slave state.
  • Slavery in Kansas should not be allowed.  Due to your illegal voting schemes, my companion John Brown was forced to kill pro-slave settlers. After the persecution of free-staters at Topeka we have no choice but to resort to violence.
  • In the United States Senate, I, Charles Sumner, will make a speech titled "The Crime against Kansas". In my speech, I criticized the South Carolina Senator Andrew P. Butler. My comparison of Butler to "Don Quixote" enraged fellow members of the Senate.
  • Preston Brooks (nephew of Butler) How dare you compare my uncle to "Don Quixote"? As a representative from South Carolina, slavery must be defended as it benefits my constituents.
  • Charles Sumner As a member of the North, we believe in "free labor". This ideology is against slavery as it threatens white advancement.
  • Sumner Caned- Brooks approached Sumner at his desk and beat him with a cane. Sumner collapsed, bleeding and unconscious. He was unable to return to the Senate for 4 years due to his injuries.
  • Preston Brooks After events such as the rebellion of Nat Turner, it is clearly evident that slavery must be defended. The North no longer values the opinions of the South nor respects the power.
  • The impact and legacy of this incident was the growing emphasis on sectional controversy. In the North, Sumner became a martyr to the barbarianism of the South. In the South, Brooks also became a hero. Ideas in the North focused on free labor and social advancement. The South focused on protecting the cotton economy which relied on slavery. 
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