Sept. 18, 2013
Old South Meeting House
310 Washington Street Boston, MA 02108
Stephen Puleo, author and historian
Series Title: "A War of Divisions: The Impact and Aftermath of the American Civil War"
Lecture title: "The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War"
On May 22, 1856, ardent pro-slavery Congressman Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina strode into the United States Senate Chamber in Washington, D.C., and beat renowned anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner repeatedly with a gold-topped walking cane, leaving him unconscious and covered in blood. Brooks' attack was in retaliation for a speech Sumner delivered forty-eight hours earlier, in which he vilified slaveowners in general and Brooks' cousin, Senator Andrew Butler, in particular. Author and historian Stephen Puleo will show how this shocking and provocative event destroyed any pretense of civility between North and South, and hastened America's slide into Civil War five years later. *Book sales and signing to follow.