Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Way to go, South Carolina...

Excerpt from Abraham Lincolin, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith:

Senator Charles Sumner lay unconscious on the Senate floor, facedown in a pool of his own blood. 
The abolitionist had been attacked by a thirty-seven-year-old congressman named Preston Smith Brooks, a proslavery South Carolinian who'd taken offense at the Massachusetts senator's mocking of his uncle in an antislavery speech two days earlier. On May 22nd, 1856, Brooks entered the Senate chamber accompanied by a fellow South Carolina congressman named Laurence Keitt and approached Sumner at his writing desk. "Mr. Sumner," said Brooks, "I have read your speech twice over carefully. It is a libel on South Carolina, and Mr. Butler who is a relative of mine." Before Sumner had a chance to reply, Brooks began to beat his head with his gold-tipped cane, opening new gashes with each blow. Blinded by his own blood, Sumner staggered to his feet before collapsing. His victim now unconscious and bleeding, Brooks continued to strike until his cane broke into two. As horrified senators rushed to Sumner's aid, they were held back by Keitt, who brandished a pistol and yelled, "Let them be!" 
The blows fractured Sumner's skull and vertebrae. He would live but wouldn't be able to return to his Senate duties for three years. When South Carolinians heard of the attack, they sent Brooks new canes by the dozen.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing (I'm listening to the audiobook) and had to check with my smart roommate to see if this was really true.

It is a true story. Not only did the South Carolinians send Brooks new canes, but they commended him for a job well done.



Stargirl said...

Lolol smart roommate.

katie said...

Uhh yeah - I took South Carolina History this summer and now I'm teaching it to 8th graders. Unfortunately, we really don't have that much to be proud of. Luckily we have a few shining stars to makes us look a little better, but still... it's sad.


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