Thursday, May 19, 2011
The Harlot Slavery
United States Senator Charles Sumner, an antislavery Massachusetts Republican rose from his seat to address the Senate on May 19th 1856 as to whether or not Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a free or slave state. Sumner’s speech a “Crime Against Kansas” identified two fellow senators, Andrew Butler of South Carolina and Stephen A Douglas of Illinois as the main culprits of the crime. Sumner called Douglas a "noise-some, squat, and nameless animal . . . not a proper model for an American senator." Andrew Butler was charged by Sumner as having "a mistress . . . who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight—I mean, the harlot, Slavery."
Andrew Butler’s relation, United States Congressmen Preston Smith Brooks entered the Senate after adjournment where he found Sumner at his desk. Brooks took his metal topped cane and repeatedly beat Sumner with it. When the beating ended Sumner was carried out of the chamber bleeding heavily, and Brooks walked away calmly. Both would become heroes of their causes.