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Caning of Charles Sumner
Transcript of Caning of Charles Sumner
In 1856, during the "Bleeding Kansas" war, Sumner denounced the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
In his "Crime against Kansas" speech on May 19 and May 20.
argued for the admission of Kansas as a free state, and went on to denounce the "Slave Power".
Its goal, was to spread slavery through the free states.
It was rape of a virgin territory
May 22, 1856, the Senate was not in session when South Carolina Representative Preston S. Brooks entered the chamber to avenge the insults that Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner had leveled at Brooks' cousin, Senator Andrew P. Butler.
Sumner was addressing copies of the speech at his desk when Brooks began his attack, striking the northern senator repeatedly with a walking cane, which splintered with the force of the blows.
Although two House members intervened to end the assault, Sumner, who had ripped his desk loose from the bolts holding it to the floor in his effort to escape, was rendered unconscious.
He regained consciousness shortly after the attack, but it would be three years before he felt able to resume his senatorial duties.
"The wickedness which I now begin to expose is immeasurably aggravated by the motive which prompted it. Not in any common lust for power did this uncommon tragedy have its origin. It is the rape of a virgin Territory, compelling it to the hateful embrace of Slavery; and it may be clearly traced to a depraved desire for a new Slave State, hideous offspring of such a crime, in the hope of adding to the power of Slavery in the National Government. " - The Crime Against Kansas