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[471] strength1 a succession of blows with a gutta-percha cane on Sumner's bare head, repeating them with all possible rapidity, so that it was impossible for a witness to count them.2 The first blow so stunned Sumner that he lost sight, and could not see his assailant, or any person or object, and from that time acted almost unconsciously under the instinct of self-defence.3 He did his best to defend himself.4 With his head bent down, and wrenching the desk,, he tore it from its fastening in the attempt to extricate himself, and pressing forward came upon his feet. Then other blows falling, consciousness ended; and partially erect, he staggered and swayed back and forth, throwing his arms about aimlessly as if in convulsions,5 while his assailant, seizing him by the collar, continued the blows at the head, which numbered according to different calculations ten, twenty, or thirty,6—the stick finally breaking, but the blows continuing until the stricken senator sank on the floor at the edge of the main aisle, on the site of Collamer's overturned desk No. 29, and his feet lying in the aisle.7 The positions of the two were reversed during the affair; and when it ended, Brooks was standing on the site of Sumner's seat and facing

1 Morgan's testimony, Congressional Globe, p. 1357; Toombs's, p. 1356; Gorman's, p. 1354. Morgan testified: ‘I do not think he could have given them with greater force. I think he was exerting himself to the full extent of his power.’ To one witness, Sutton (p. 1363), it sounded like ‘a sharp crack.’ Toombs testified: ‘They were very rapid, and as hard as he [Brooks] could hit. They were hard licks. and very effective.’ Gorman testified: ‘Mr. Brooks continued to strike very rapidly, and with a great deal of severity.’

2 Foster's testimony, Congressional Globe, p. 1356; Gorman's, p. 1354.

3 Sumner's testimony, Congressional Globe, p. 1353; J. S. Pike in New York Tribune, May 23; W. S. Thayer in ‘Evening Post,’ May 23. Sumner, though an advocate of international peace, was a full believer in the right of self-defence. Works, vol. IV. p. 333.

4 Governor Gorman, a Democrat, testified: ‘The very first blow Mr. Sumner rose and attempted to defend himself with a great deal of vigor, putting his hands forward to get at Mr. Brooks, as I thought.’ (Congressional Globe, p. 1:354.) Pearce, senator, saw Sumner clutching at the cane or at Brooks. (Globe, p. 1354.) Brooks is said to have admitted that Sumner tried to defend himself. W. S. Thayer in New York Evening Post, May 26.

5 Murray's testimony, Congressional Globe, p. 1357; Foster's, p. 1356; Sutton's, p. 1363; Nicholson's, p. 1366; Simonton's. p. 1361; Morgan's, p 1357.

6 Foster's testimony, Congressional Globe, p. 1356; Winslow's, p. 1361; Murray's, p. 1357; Simonton's, p. 1361. The statement was made at the time that as Sumner instinctively raised his arm on the side he was struck, Brooks, following the method of sword practice, struck on the other, and with such alternating blows had no obstruction in the way. (W. S. Thayer in the ‘Evening Post,’ May 28.) Iverson, colleague of Tombs, testified: ‘When Mr. Sumner would attempt to reach him he would recede, and at the same time strike over his arms and at his head.’

7 Pearce's testimony, Congressional Globe, p. 1355; Toombs's, p. 1355; Murray's, p. 1356; Nicholson's, p. 1366; Iverson's, p. 1364; Douglas's remarks, May 27, p. 1305.

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