Secession Era Editorials Project

CAPT. BROOKS' CASTIGATION OF SENATOR SUMNER.

Edgefield, South Carolina, Advertiser [Democratic]

(28 May 1856)

"Hit him again."

Hon. P. S. Brooks took an admirable occasion the other day to give Mr. Senator Sumner, of Massachusetts, a handsome drubbing. As we learn the particulars, the affair was on this wise:

Mr. Sumner had just delivered himself of an elaborate abolition speech, which occupied the Senate a part of two successive days. The galleries were crowded during the time of its delivery with an immense and a greedy audience, made up in large part of Mr. Sumner's own abolition constituents, who had come on to hear their great man make his great speech. In the course of that speech, however, he "slung his slosh" so madly at large as to produce the denouement we now record.

Our Representative, Mr. Brooks, was among Mr. Senator Sumner's audience, on the second day; and it was on this day that Sumner, emptied one of his vials of vile vituperation on the head of Senator Butler, who was then absent at home. As soon as the speech was done and the Senate had adjourned, Mr. Brooks advanced to Sumner and demanded some explanation or retraction of his abuse of Judge Butler; and upon Sumner's refusal to accede to the proposition, our member fell to work upon him with a cane he happened to have in hand at the moment. The beating is said by all the reporters to have been a thorough one. Some say he received fifty stripes; yet we very much doubt if the Captain cared to exceed the legal number of thirty-nine, usually applied to scamps. But the beauty and propriety of the proceeding consists, to no small extent, in the fact that it was accomplished while yet the galleries had not emptied themselves, and while many of Sumner's constituents were probably there to look upon the deed. For our own part, we feel that our Representative did exactly right; and we are sure his people will commend him highly for it. We have often heard of a word in good season, but this is an act in good season. By the way, the battle at Lawrence, Kansas, is said to have been fought only forty-eight hours before; and it may be that a passing breeze wafted the spirit of combat to the Capitol at Washington just in time for our member to catch it up and act out it's promptings. Well, we have borne insult long enough, and now let the conflict come if it must.


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