Authors

Newspaper Title

Sun

Publication Date

5-23-1856

Publication Place

Baltimore,Maryland

Event Topic

Sumner Caning

Political Party

American

Region

slave state

Quote

Scarcely a session of Congress passes in which the public ear is not abused with violence of some sort in one or other of the houses of Congress, or among the members elsewhere.

Document Type

Article (Journal or Newsletter)

Full Text Transcription

Scarcely a session of Congress passes in which the public ear is not abused with violence of some sort in one or other of the houses of Congress, or among the members elsewhere. Senator Sumner, immediately after the adjournment of both Houses, yesterday, was attacked and knocked down with a cane by Mr. Brooks, a member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina.

The cause of this outrage both upon the Senator and upon the sanctity of the Senate hall was, it appears, "words spoken in debate" by Mr. Sumner in a very elaborate, and evidently well studied speech, which he delivered on Monday and Tuesday last, on the Kansas and slavery subject, and in which he indulged, directly, in such character of personal allusions and comparisons as to call forth from Mr. Cass immediately thereafter, the declaration that he regarded it as the most un-American and unpatriotic speech that he had ever heard upon that floor, and he hoped he might never hear such another there or elsewhere." It also elicited denunciatory rejoinders from Messrs. Douglas, of Ill., and Mason, of Va., as shown in the sketch of the debate given in the Sun the following day. Mr. Sumner had spoken of the Kansas measure as the crime of crimes, and treated its friends as the blackest of criminals, and as showing in part the alleged provocation for the present assault, we make the annexed extract from the more full report:

Before entering upon the argument, I must say something of a general character, particularly in response to what has fallen from senators who have raised themselves to eminence on this floor in championship of human wrongs; I mean the senator from South Carolina, (Mr. Butler), and the senator from Illinois, (Mr.Douglas, who, though unlike as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, yet, like this couple, sally forth together in the same cause. The senator from South Carolina has read many books of chivalry, and believes himself a chivalrous knight, with sentiments of honor and courage. Of course he has chosen a mistress to whom he has made his vows, and who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight -- I mean the harlot, Slavery. For her his tongue is always profuse in words. Let her be impeached in character, or any proposition made to shut her out from the extension of her wantonness, and no extravagance of manner or hardihood of assertion is then too great for this Senator. The frenzy of Don Quixote in behalf of his wench Dulcinea del Toboso is all surpassed. The asserted rights of slavery, which shock equality of all kinds, are cloaked by a fantastic claim of equality. If the Slave States cannot enjoy what in mockery of the great fathers of the Republic, he misnames equality under the Constitution -- in other words, the full power in the National Territories to compel fellow men to unpaid toil, to separate husband and wife, and to sell little children at the auction-block -- then, sir, the chivalric Senator will conduct the State of South Carolina out of the Union! heroic knight! Exalted senator! A second Moses come for a second Exodus!

The speech further proceeds to portray Mr. Butler as a "sectionalist," on the ground of slavery being sectional, and next as a "fanatic" -- reversing thus the charges applied to northern anti-slavery men.

Edited/Proofed by

Entered by Lloyd Benson. Proofed by James Cash

Identifier

mdbssu560523a

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Violence in the Senate Chamber.

Scarcely a session of Congress passes in which the public ear is not abused with violence of some sort in one or other of the houses of Congress, or among the members elsewhere.