Senator Charles Sumner addressed the Senate on the issue of whether Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a slave state or a free state, known as the Crime Against Kansas" speech, and attacked Andrew Butler and Stephen Douglas on their actions.
Butler touches nothing which he does not disfigure with error, sometimes of principle or fact.
Representative Preston Brooks was Butler's South Carolina kinsman representing Butler during the speech. After hearing Butler attack Butler on his personality and actions, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
How dare Sumner disrespect Andrew Butler like that! Let me teach that animal a lesson.
Shortly after the Senate had ended for the day, Brooks entered the old chamber where he found Sumner attaching his postal frank to copies of his "Crime Against Kansas" speech. He planned to attack the unsuspecting Sumner with his metal cane as revenge.
Brooks struck Sumner multiple times on the head, Sumner trying to protect himself. Brooks stopped a minute later and left Sumner bleeding on the floor of the chamber. He then walked calmly out of the chamber, before he could be stopped by the stunned bystanders.
Brooks was considered a hero in the South for his attack on Sumner. The South's hatred for the North grew even more after this event. Brooks, not having to serve time in jail, resigned and was immediately re-elected. He died before his term started.
Sumner survived the ruthless attack from Brooks, and spent time recovering. He was considered a hero in the North for surving the attack. The North became enraged at the South for the attack. After recovering, Sumner returned to his position in the Senate.