Preston Smith Brooks

Brooks, Preston Smith, 1819–57, U.S. Congressman (1852–57), b. Edgefield District, S.C. A lawyer and the nephew of Senator Andrew Pickens Butler, he is remembered as the man who in 1856 caned Charles Sumner after Sumner had bitterly criticized Senator Butler. The slander in Sumner's speech and the brutality in Brooks's action showed how the rift was widening between North and South. Resigning, Brooks was promptly reelected.

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