Preston Brooks

U.S. Congressperson from United States of America

Preston Brooks Preston Smith Brooks (August 5, 1819 – January 27, 1857) was a Democratic Congressman from South Carolina during the period just prior to the US Civil War. Brooks is primarily remembered for severely beating Senator Charles Sumner with a metal-tipped gutta-percha cane on the floor of the United States Senate. Brooks' attack, assisted by fellow Southerner Rep Laurence Keitt, was delivered as revenge (or "punishment", in Brooks' words) in response to a virulent abolitionist speech by Sumner in which he mocked Brooks' relative, South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler, and likened Southern slaveholders to pimps. Sumner, who was known for his scathing abolitionist speeches, was severely injured by the attack, suffering head trauma that would cause him chronic pain and symptoms consistent with what would now be called traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and spent three years convalescing before returning to his Senate seat. After being tried for his role in the assault, Brooks was fined $300 and received no prison sentence. Brooks and Keitt were both overwhelmingly re-elected by their South Carolina constituents. Brooks' act and the polarizing national reaction to it  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Date of birth
Place of birth
United States of America

Political career

Party From To
Democratic Party


Institution From To
University of South Carolina


Date of death
Place of death
Washington, D.C.

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