On May 22, 1856, Rep. Preston Brooks entered the floor of the United States Senate, approached abolitionist Sen. Charles Sumner, and beat the senator with a cane, almost taking his life.
Brooks was provoked by a passionate anti-slavery speech that Sumner had delivered in the Senate three days earlier, in which he assailed Sen. Andrew Butler of South Carolina, a relative of Brooks, for his pro-slavery stance.
This sad and gruesome history is related on the website of the U.S. Senate, which concludes saying, “The nation, suffering from the breakdown of reasoned discourse that this event symbolized, tumbled onward toward the catastrophe of the civil war.”
We ought to be concerned that again, today, the nation appears to be flirting with this uneasy territory where “reasoned discourse” is breaking down.
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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