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The Civil War: The Caning of Charles Sumner

Boston, Massachusetts
Saturday, October 12, 2013

In May of 1856, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner delivered a speech to Congress against slavery, personally insulting several pro-slavery politicians. In retaliation, South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks beat Sumner in the Senate chamber with a cane. The event left Sumner unconscious. After three years of recovery, he returned to the Senate. In this program, author Stephen Puleo discusses the caning of Charles Sumner by Preston Brooks, and the lives of the two men before and after the event. He argues that the attack not only reflected the deep political divide in America, but also accelerated the nation towards Civil War. The Paul Revere Memorial Association & the Old South Meeting House organized this event.

Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 at 9:31am (ET)

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Washington Journal (late 2012)