April 25, 2014
Preston Brooks beat Charles so mercilessly because brooks thought Sumner went way too far. Southerners in the nineteenth century were raised to live by an unwritten code of honor. Defending the reputation of one's family was at the number one thing to do. A distant cousin of Senator Butler, Brooks decided to teach Charles Sumner a lesson he would not soon forget. Two days after the end of Sumner's speech, Brooks entered the Senate chamber where Sumner was working at his desk. He told Sumner, "You've libeled my state and slandered my white-haired old relative, Senator Butler, and I've come to punish you for it." Brooks proceeded to strike Sumner over the head repeatedly with a gold-tipped cane. The cane shattered as Brooks rained blow after blow on the hapless Sumner, but Brooks could not be stopped. Only after being physically restrained by others did Brooks end the pummeling.
Brooks was levied a $300 fine for the assault. He resigned and returned home to South Carolina, seeking the approval of his actions there. South Carolina held events in his honor and reelected him to his House seat. I think from the Southern Perspective Sumner deserved the beating and I'm sure some of them wished he would have killed them. But from a Northern perspective, he didn't deserve the beating and all of them were defending Sumner. And having voted to expel brooks and with a fine. But from my perspective I wish you could beat Senators because it would be more enjoyable to watch and sometimes they deserve it.