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The House committee made two reports; the majority recommending the expulsion of Mr. Brooks, and expressing ‘disapprobation of the act of Henry A. Edmonson and Lawrence M. Keitt.’ The minority, pleading want of jurisdiction, gave sixty-six votes for the minority report. The House censured Keitt, but failed to condemn Edmonson. Keitt resigned. One hundred and twenty-one members voted to expel Brooks and ninety-five voted against expulsion. Having failed to expel —a two-thirds vote being necessary—a vote of censure was adopted by a large majority.

After these votes were declared, Mr. Brooks addressed the House in a speech of mingled assumption, insolence and self-conceit. While disclaiming all intention to insult Congress, the Senate or the State of Massachusetts, he seemed to be utterly oblivious that there had been any infringement of law or the rights of others; it being simply, he said, ‘a personal affair, for which I am personally responsible.’ With infinite effrontery he affirmed: ‘I went to work very deliberately, as I am charged—and this is admitted—and speculated somewhat as to whether I should employ a horsewhip or a cowhide; but knowing that the Senator was my superior in strength, it occurred to me that he might wrest it from my hand, and then (for I never attempt anything I do not perform) I might have been compelled to do that which I would have regretted the balance of my natural life.’ What that contingency he so coolly admitted was, every reader can conjecture. With still greater assurance and self-assertion, he claimed, as a matter of credit for his forbearance, that he had not plunged the nation into civil war, as if he had held the destinies of the Republic in his hands. ‘In my heart of hearts,’ he said, ‘such a menacing line of conduct I believe would end in subverting this government and drenching this hall in blood. No act of mine, on my personal account, shall inaugurate revolution; but when you, Mr. Speaker, return to your own home, and hear the people of the great North——and they are a great people—speak of me as a bad man, you will do me the justice to say that a blow struck by me at this time would be followed by a revolution; and this I know.’ Concluding his speech, he announced the resignation of his seat, and walked out of the House. He returned to his constituents, was triumphantly re-elected, in about two weeks went back with his commission of re-election, and again took his seat.

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