Republican Sen. Charles Bishop claimed that Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron called him a "son of a (expletive)."What a sissy, fighting like a schoolgirl in public where its sure to be broken up. Real men use canes and have someone cover their back:
"I responded to his comment with my right hand," Bishop said. Alabama Public Television tape captured the punch.
The Senate had just taken a recess Thursday afternoon when Bishop approached the chair where Barron was sitting. Moments later security officers and others rushed to separate the two senators.
Two days later, on the afternoon of May 22, Preston Brooks, a congressman from South Carolina and Butler's nephew, confronted Sumner as he sat writing at his desk in the almost empty Senate chamber.In all seriousness, though, I find the differences in the two stories almost as interesting as the similarities.
Brooks was accompanied by Laurence M. Keitt also of South Carolina and Henry A. Edmundson of Virginia. Brooks said "Mr. Sumner, I have read your speech twice over carefully. It is a libel on South Carolina, and Mr. Butler, who is a relative of mine."
As Sumner began to stand up, Brooks began beating Sumner on the head with a thick gutta-percha cane with a gold head. Sumner was trapped under the heavy desk (which was bolted to the floor), but Brooks continued to bash Sumner until he ripped the desk from the floor. By this time, Sumner was blinded by his own blood, and he staggered up the aisle and collapsed, lapsing into unconsciousness.
Brooks continued to beat Sumner until he broke his cane, then quietly left the chamber.
Several other senators attempted to help Sumner, but were blocked by Keitt who was holding a pistol and shouting "Let them be!"