Eric Foner: Punch-Ups in the Senate, 22 November 2018
Show More The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War by Joanne Freeman.
Farrar, Straus, 450 pp., £20.99, September 2018, 978 0 374 15477 6Show More
“... On 22 May 1856, Preston Brooks, a member of the US House of Representatives from South Carolina, strode into the Senate chamber shortly after the daily session had ended. Two days earlier, Charles Sumner, the Senate’s most outspoken critic of slavery, had delivered a five-hour speech, ‘The Crime against Kansas’. Sumner not only denounced the ‘rape’ of Kansas by pro-slavery forces, which had terrorised Northern settlers and sacked the town of Lawrence, but ridiculed Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina in unusually personal terms, alluding to his speech impediment ...”