Caning of Charles Sumner

On May 22, 1856, in the United States Congress, Representative Preston Brooks attacked Senator Charles Sumner with his walking cane in retaliation for a speech given by Sumner two days earlier. The beating nearly killed Sumner and it drew a sharply polarized response from the American public on the subject of the expansion of slavery in the United States. It has been considered symbolic of the "breakdown of reasoned discourse" that eventually led to the American Civil War.

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American History

Political History

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Early and Antebellum America (1789-1860)

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