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Secession Era Editorials Project

Furman University Department of History

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Messrs. Sumner and Brooks.

Nashville, Tennessee, Republican Banner and Nashville Whig [American]

(27 May 1856)

Below will be found a telegraphic sketch of the proceedings of both Houses of Congress consequent upon the beating of Mr. Sumner, by Mr.Brooks, a representative from South Carolina. Mr. Sumner was exceedingly virulent, venomous, offensive, and insulting in his speech; but the Senate Chamber, although that body had adjourned, was no place for such an exhibition, on the part of Mr. Brooks. He could have sought and easily found Mr. Sumner elsewhere. His assault upon Mr. S., a member of the Senate, upon the floor of the Senate, was a great outrage upon that body, and cannot be justified or excused. As to Mr. Sumner, no Southern reader of his speech will be likely to feel any sympathy for him personally. But that circumstances should not prevent Southern men of all parties from raising their voices in strong and earnest rebuke and condemnation of the desecration, by such brutality, of the Halls of the National Legislature. The effect abroad of this occurrence can not fail to be deeply injurious to our national character. At home -- in the non-slave-holding States -- the effect will be to cause Mr. Sumner to be looked upon with increased consideration, and to strengthen the party to which he belongs.

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