Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kansas Territory - The Senate Floor





The struggle for Kansas wasn't only fought in the territory but also on the Senate floor in Washington D.C.

On May 22, 1856, one day after the Sack of Lawrence, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner was beaten by South Carolina congressman, Preston Brooks after Sumner's speech "Crimes Against Kansas" in which Sumner pointed fingers at a few of his colleagues. Including Brooks' elderly cousin, Senator Andrew P. Butler.

Brooks, known for violence, felt the need to defend his cousin's honor.
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.
---Charles Sumner, "The Crime Against Kansas" The Works of Charles Sumner, vol. IV (Boston:   Lee and Shepard, 1870-1873), pages 125-249. Sewanee.edu
It's no doubt Sumner would have died in the attack if another congressman hadn't forcibly removed Brooks from Sumner's person.


The bloody attack shocked the nation and split opinions even further, forcing many who had remained on the fence to begin choosing sides. While Brooks received many canes as a show of support and was hailed a hero in the Southern states, he was coined a villain amongst the North and used as a symbol of the brutality of slave owners.

I hate to say this, but this was just the beginning of what was to come.

Even if Sumner was wrong in how he went about his speech, I can't imagine cheering on the sort of behavior that very well could have led to a man's death.

To read more of Sumner's speech, which I think you'll find rather interesting please visit "The Crime Against Kansas"

Born and raised in Kansas, where she currently lives with her husband and children, Christina loves to read stories with happily ever afters, research,  take photos, knit scarves, dig into her ancestry, fish, visit the ocean, write stories with happily ever afters and talk about her family and Jesus.
 

A semi-finalist in the Genesis, she just recently signed two contracts with Love Inspired Historical for a Biblical romance. You can find her at http://christinarich.wordpress.com/

12 comments:

  1. I love history. found your article very interesting. Will be going to your web site to learn more about your books.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Um, wow. I had never heard this one before. I'm curious, was there a punishment for Brooks? Interesting post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I didn't find anything on Brooks' punishment in the various articles I read. What you might find interesting is Brooks walked with a cane, not for a fashion statement, but because of an injury he received during a duel. Seems he considered himself a gallant knight in shining armor, rushing to defend his friends and family at the slightest offense.

      Delete
  3. Great blog, Christina! I wasn't aware of this story. And we think things get rough in the Congress these days! At least they are not actually coming to blows. . .though I wouldn't be surprised. LOL Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't imagine some if the animosity over the years just because of difference of opinions.

      Delete
  4. I'm sorry Christina for calling you Patty. My mind wanders sometimes. LOL Maxie Anderson

    ReplyDelete
  5. This sounds even crazier Christina since this must have deleted my first comment about enjoying this history lesson.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) me thinks blogger has been acting up. Glad you liked the post.

      And no worries, half the time I am not sure of my own name. ;)

      Delete
  6. Wow- that is quite a story- beaten with a cane! sharon, CA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, and then sent multiple replacements.

      Delete
  7. Interesting post, Christina! Must have been a strong cane! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete