previous next
[474] as Crittenden, crying out, ‘Let them alone!’1 and with, according to one witness, the emphasis of an oath.2 His purpose was presumably murderous, as he had his hand on a pistol, ready apparently for use in case the senator had overmastered his assailant.3

The cane used by Brooks was in diameter one inch at the large end, three fourths of an inch at the middle, and five eighths of an inch at the smaller end, with a specific gravity equal to that of hickory or whalebone,—a weapon deadly in effect when the blows are applied to the head with full manly strength.4 If death had directly ensued, Brooks's crime would have been murder.5 He indeed disavowed the intent to kill, except in a certain event; but his intent, as shown by his act, was something more than to humiliate and disgrace. The repeated blows show a purpose at least to incapacitate for further public service.6

Sumner remained insensible for several minutes after he fell; and when he recovered consciousness he found Himself, as he testified afterwards, ten feet forward from his seat, lying on the floor, with his bleeding head on the knee of a gentleman whom he recognized as Mr. Morgan.7 His only words were a request

1 Gorman's testimony, Congressional Globe, p. 1354; Foster's, p. 1356; Morgan's, p. 1357; Holland's, p. 1358; Sutton's, p. 1363; Simonton's, p. 1:361; Toombs's, pp. 1355– 1356. Keitt and Edmundson, in order to avoid the charge that an indignity to the Senate was intended, and to maintain the point that that body had no jurisdiction, made formal denials that they knew beforehand of the time and place when the assault was to be male. (Brooks also testified to the same effect, May 23, Globe, p. 1312; Brooks's letter, p. 1347; Emundson's testimony, p. 1362; Keitt's remarks, May 23, p. 1292; Keitt's speech, July 16, App. p. 838.) The-e denials were evasive. the two accessories were, according to the testimony and their own confessions, waiting about within supporting distance to see what Brooks did (Edmundson's testimony, Globe, p 136; 3); and they admitted their purpose to prevent any interference. (Holland's testimony, Globe, pp. 1358, 1359; Emundson's speech, July 14, App. p. 1015.) Emundson, according to his own testimony, talked a few moments before with Senator Johnson of Arkansas about the propriety of Brooks's calling on [assaulting] Sumner in the Senate. (Globe, p. 1362.) Keitt is stated to have been seen with a pistol behind him. Giddings's ‘History of the Rebellion,’ p. 394.

2 Simonton's testimony, Congressional Globe, p. 1361.

3 J. S. Pike's ‘First Blows of the Civil War,’ p. 379.

4 House committee's Report, Congressional Globe, p. 1348; Dr. Perry's testimony, p. 1364; Davis's, p. 1365; pearce's, p. 1355. Penningtton, in his speech, July 10, described the material of the cane as ‘of vulcanized india-rubber,—a composition of which about three fourths are one of the heaviest of minerals.’

5 Pennington's speech, July 10.

6 According to Edmundson, Brooks was to give Sumner an opportunity for explanation, or ‘ample apology,’ as he called it; but his plan was changed in this respect. Edmundson's testimony, Congressional Globe. p. 1362; Edmundson's speech, July 14.

7 Sumner's testimony, Congressional Globe, p. 1353.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Arkansas (Arkansas, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 14th (2)
July 10th (2)
May 23rd (2)
1356 AD (1)
July 16th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: