CAPT. BROOKS' CASTIGATION OF SENATOR
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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