On 22 May 1856, Congressman Preston Brooks (1819-1857) of South Carolina approached Senator Charles Sumner (1811-1874) of Massachusetts on the floor of the United States Senate. What happened next?

Answer: Brooks attacked Sumner with his cane, striking Sumner more than thirty times until his cane splintered into pieces and the Senator lay unconscious and covered in blood. The encounter, between two passionate opponents on the issue of slavery, demonstrated the stark divisions in the United States in the years before the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Source: The Caning – The Assault That Drove America to Civil War by Stephen Puleo

More at: History

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