The Sumner-Brooks Incident
One night while Sumner was working late on pamphlets to be sent out,
Brooks snuck up on him and started beating Sumner with a gold tipped cane.
Brooks turned and walked calmly out of the chamber, leaving Sumner bloodied
and unconscious. Charles Sumner nearly died of wounds he recieved that day.
Preston Brooks resigned from the House but was almost immediately returned
to office by his South Carolina constituents, who viewed his actions as those
of a hero.
Brooks was very angry because of an increasingly destructive debate over the
future of slavery. Where Sumner insulted one of Brooks' cousins.