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[496] in obscure papers printed in by-ways and at cross-roads, but in Richmond and Charleston, cities which vaunted a pre-eminence for refinement; and it was repeated with a frequency which showed that it was agreeable to the people who read them. This carnival of brutality was not confined to the newspapers. The students of the University of Virginia, founded by Jefferson, and justly distinguished as the centre of culture, devoted a panegyric to Brooks as the representative of Southern chivalry, and voted him a gold-headed cane. Similar testimonials were sent to him from other parts of the South.1 Mason, the senator, and Jefferson Davis, member of the Cabinet, wrote letters commending his character and deed. At the end of the session, receptions and various tokens of honor awaited his return to South Carolina. The tributes to him all commemorated his deed as a vindication of the slaveholding cause and of his State, without any mention of it as a punishment for words spoken against Butler.2 For the honor of human nature, it is to be believed that in many of the Southern people there was a more rational and humane sentiment than these demonstrations indicated, which was suppressed by the terrorism of the time.3

It is worthy of note that all the Southern leaders who openly in speeches or letters, or covertly by inaction and indifference at the time it occurred, approved the assault, and who survived till the Rebellion, became active in its civil or military service,— Jefferson Davis, Toombs, Iverson, Slidell, Mason, Hunter, Clingman, Cobb, Orr, and Keitt.

A profound feeling of indignation pervaded the free States, already deeply moved by pro-slavery violence in Kansas. Side by side with the latest tidings from that Territory were the details of the assault under headings describing it as ‘brutal,’ ‘ruffianly,’ ‘cowardly’ ‘an outrage on Massachusetts.’ It

1 By June 4 he had received a dozen live-oak canes. New York Evening Post, June 5. Goblets and canes were presented to him at ‘Ninety-six,’ oct. 3, 1856.

2 Mason in his letter barely mentioned the assumed personal grievance, while all the rest ignored it.

3 Professor Felton, in two letters to Sumner, written Nov. 8 and 10, 1860, represented that Southern opinion, even in South Carolina, did not really approve Brooks's act, and that the support openly given to him was on the surface, with no heart in it. He gave Memminger of South Carolina and Hamilton Fish as authority for his statements. There may be some truth in them. but they have not been authenticated by any contemporaneous written evidence. Reverdy Johnson, it should be mentioned to his credit, promptly sent a message, through George Sumner, of ‘kindest remembrance’ to the senator, asking for an immediate answer as to his condition, and expressing ‘the highest regard for him as a friend, though differing with him on the exciting question of the day.’

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