Authors

Newspaper Title

Sun

Publication Date

5-24-1856

Publication Place

Baltimore,Maryland

Event Topic

Sumner Caning

Political Party

American

Region

slave state

Quote

It is seldom, perhaps, that a more general feeling of disapprobation has been felt and expressed in regard to a circumstance of the kind, than is called forth on all hands by the outrage and descration commited by the Hon. Mr. Brooks, of S. C., in his recent assault upon Senator Sumner, in the Senate Chamber, on Thursday last.

Document Type

Article (Journal or Newsletter)

Full Text Transcription

It is seldom, perhaps, that a more general feeling of disapprobation has been felt and expressed in regard to a circumstance of the kind, than is called forth on all hands by the outrage and descration commited by the Hon. Mr. Brooks, of S. C., in his recent assault upon Senator Sumner, in the Senate Chamber, on Thursday last. It was bad enough that that hall should have been permitted to become the theatre of venomous invective and personal defamation between members, and that the tone of the public discussions there held should have been so lowered as we find them of late, (and in which, it must be conceded, Mr. Sumner appears as one of the adepts;) but it is indeed a humiliation and a degradation -- an offence, too, as it were to the whole country -- that its sanctity should have been so ruthlessly violated by such a scene as that enacted by Mr. Brooks.

As a matter of course, an occurrence of this kind was not to be lightly passed over, and it is gratifying to observe that both houses of Congress are promptly taking action on the subject, and have appointed special committees to inquire into the transaction, while Mr. Stuart, of Mo., has proposed a new rule for the Senate, prohibiting reflections upon the motives of members, etc., in the debates of that body. Mr. Cass is at the head of this special committee in the Senate, and Mr. Campbell, of Ohio, is chairman of the House committee. The telegraph informs us, also, that theMassachusetts Legislature has appointed a special committee to consider what actions shall be taken by that body on the subject, and a meeting of the citizens of Boston was called last evening to consider the matter.

Mr. Wilson, of Mass., the colleague of Mr. Sumner, made a statement of the affair to the Senate yesterday, which represents that Mr. S. was taken at very great disadvantage by his assailant. The Washington Star, however, has an account of the assault, said to be from an eye-witness, in whose judgment and in the integrity of whose statements it says it can rely, which is as follows:

On Thursday, after he had sought Mr. Sumner elsewhere without finding him, Mr. Brooks went to the Senate chamber, (the Senate having adjourned,) and Mr. S. being there, Mr. Brooks sat near Mr. Sumner until a few ladies who were on the floor had retired. He then went up to Mr. Sumner, who was at his desk writing, and said:

"I have read your speech carefully and with as much disposition to do you justice as I could command; and I have deliberately come to the conclusion that you were guilty of a gross libel upon my State, and of a wanton insult to my absent and grey-haired relative, Judge Butler, and I feel myself under obligations to inflict on you a punishment for this libel and insult."

Mr. Sumner thereupon essayed to rise from his seat, as though to resist what Mr. Brooks had said, when he (Mr. Brooks) struck Mr. S. with rapid and repeated blows about the head with a gutta-percha cane, and continued his blows in spite of Mr. Sumner's efforts to ward them off and seize the cane, until Mr. S. fell. AsMr. Brooks was suspending his blows (which he did the instant Mr. Sumner fell) Mr. Crittenden came up and interposed, saying "don't kill, &c. Mr. Brooks thereupon left the spot and remained with his friends in the Senate chamber, until Mr. Sumner's friends, several of whom were present, (Mr. Morgan, of New York, and Mr. Foster, of Connecticut, among them,) lifting him up, bore him into one of the ante-rooms of the Senate.

The Star also states that Mr. Brooks with his friends, after the police officer, who had served the warrant on him, had retired, went to the office of Justice Hollingshead and offered security for court. The Justice did not think it proper to take security for court until he knew the condition of Mr. Sumner, and therefore held Mr. Brooks to security in $500 for his appearance at the office on the 24th inst., (to-day,) at 4 o'clock P. M., for a further hearing.

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Entered by Lloyd Benson. Proofed by James Cash

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The Assault in the Senate.

It is seldom, perhaps, that a more general feeling of disapprobation has been felt and expressed in regard to a circumstance of the kind, than is called forth on all hands by the outrage and descration commited by the Hon. Mr. Brooks, of S. C., in his recent assault upon Senator Sumner, in the Senate Chamber, on Thursday last.