The Caning of Charles Sumner: Honor, Idealism, and the Origins of the Civil War [NOOK Book]

Overview

A signal, violent event in the history of the United States Congress, the caning of Charles Sumner on the Senate floor embodied the complex North-South cultural divide of the mid-nineteenth century. Williamjames Hull Hoffer's vivid account of the brutal act demonstrates just how far the sections had drifted apart and explains why the coming war was so difficult to avoid.

Sumner, a noted abolitionist and gifted speaker, was seated at his Senate desk on May 22, 1856, when ...

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The Caning of Charles Sumner: Honor, Idealism, and the Origins of the Civil War

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Overview

A signal, violent event in the history of the United States Congress, the caning of Charles Sumner on the Senate floor embodied the complex North-South cultural divide of the mid-nineteenth century. Williamjames Hull Hoffer's vivid account of the brutal act demonstrates just how far the sections had drifted apart and explains why the coming war was so difficult to avoid.

Sumner, a noted abolitionist and gifted speaker, was seated at his Senate desk on May 22, 1856, when Democratic Congressman Preston S. Brooks approached, pulled out a gutta-percha walking stick, and struck him on the head. Brooks continued to beat the stunned Sumner, forcing him to the ground and repeatedly striking him even as the cane shattered. He then pursued the bloodied, staggering Republican senator up the Senate aisle until Sumner collapsed at the feet of Congressman Edwin B. Morgan. Colleagues of the two intervened only after Brooks appeared intent on beating the unconscious Sumner severely—and, perhaps, to death.

Sumner's crime? Speaking passionately about the evils of slavery, which dishonored both the South and Brooks’s relative, Senator Andrew P. Butler. Celebrated in the South for the act, Brooks was fined only three hundred dollars, dying a year later of a throat infection. Sumner recovered and served out a distinguished Senate career until his death in 1873.

Hoffer's narrative recounts the caning and its aftermath, explores the depths of the differences between free and slave states in 1856, and explains the workings of the Southern honor culture as opposed to Yankee idealism. Hoffer helps us understand why Brooks would take such great offense at a political speech and why he chose a cane—instead of dueling with pistols or swords—to meet his obligation under the South’s prevailing code of honor. He discusses why the courts meted out a comparatively light sentence. He addresses the importance of the event in the national crisis and shows why such actions are not quite as alien to today’s politics as they might at first seem.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Hoffer, professor of history, recounts preceding events, the attack itself, as well as the aftermath in an excellent work of historical analysis... This will be a valuable addition to Civil War collections.
Midwest Book Review
An extraordinary and valuable study of what these events of history reveal not only about America of the past, but also America of today, The Caning of Charles Sumner is highly recommended especially for college library collections and American Civil War shelves.
Teaching History: A Journal of Methods
The short length, subject, and writing style of The Caning of Charles Sumner will make this text a staple in survey and upper-level American history classes alike.

— Mary Ellen Pethel

Teaching History: A Journal of Methods - Mary Ellen Pethel
The short length, subject, and writing style of The Caning of Charles Sumner will make this text a staple in survey and upper-level American history classes alike.
South Carolina Historical Magazine - Tommy C. Brown
The Caning of Charles Sumner should appeal to both academics and non-academics, but it is perhaps most useful as a supplemental text in undergraduate American history survey courses. The book likewise would be a welcome addition to reading lists in graduate seminars, especially those on the Old South or the Civil War.
H-Law, H-Net Reviews - Martin Hardeman
The Caning of Charles Sumner attempts to place the incident as well as its primary figures within their temporal, cultural, moral, and ethical contexts... In its careful analysis of the evidence and its generally balanced conclusions, the author has succeeded.
Journal of Southern History - Christopher J. Olsen
His smooth style will allow students to engage with the material.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801899577
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2010
  • Series: Witness to History
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 950,101
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Williamjames Hull Hoffer is an associate professor of history at Seton Hall University and the author of To Enlarge the Machinery of Government: Congressional Debates and the Growth of the American State, 1858–1891, also published by Johns Hopkins.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

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(18)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    Heatherpond

    Looks worried.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    Eclispe

    I do. But..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Get out!

    This is a warrior cat clan! Not a Chatroom! Go to like chat result one for a chatroom!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Patchkit and Dewkit

    They purr.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    Steampelt

    Licks their pelts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Seer

    Gender: male<br>Appearence: Entirely black, except for a bright green streak across his head, and his green eyes.<br>Name: Seer<br>Clan name: Silentclaw

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Xv hfjpfulugkglkgkpe ef

    Fjf
    Jgktigjfjc

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Swirlingkit, Flamekit, and Wildkit's Bio ((Updated))

    Name: Swirlingkit •~• Age: 5 and a half moons •~• Gender: Female •~• Personality: Cheerful, kind, loyal, brave •~• Appearance: Pale gray she-kit with white paws and pretty dark blue eyes •~• Kin: Sunlightclaw is her mother and Quartzkit is her brother •~• Crush: Wolfkit •~• Theme Song: Raise Your Glass by P!nk and Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne •~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~• Name: Flamekit •~• Age: 5 and a half moons •~• Gender: Male •~• Personality: Calm, mature, caring when you get to know him, brave •~• Appearance: Ginger tom with brown eyes and a black paw, black tailtip, and black stripes on his hind legs •~• Kin: Ravenclaw is his adopted father and Pearlkit is his adopted sister •~• Crush: Cougarkit •~• Theme Song: How to Save a Life by The Fray and On My Own by Hedley •~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~• Name: Wildkit •~• Age: 5 and a half moons •~• Gender: Male •~• Personality: Energetic, innocent, friendly, childish, curious, brave •~• Appearance: White tom with dark ginger stripes and bright green eyes •~• Kin: His mother is dead. Gemcloud is his adopted mother •~• Crush: None •~• Theme Song: Radio Hardcore by The Italio Brothers and You're Gonna Go Far, Kid by The Offspring •~•

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Snowynight and co.

    Name: Snowynight. Gender: she cat. Mate/crush/kits: crush on a loner. No mate. Rabbitkit Mousekit Dawnkit and Sparrowkit. Rank: warrior/queen. Family: Dawnlight and Sparrowsong (unbiological moms.) Lionrun (unbiological dad.) Creamfeather(?) Unbiological sibling. Age: 48 moons. Pelt: white with black flecks. Eyes: pale blue with darker blue edges. Powers: nonw. Siggy: ~Sn or ~Snowynight. Name: TwilightSparkle. Gender: she cat. Mate/crush/kits: no mate. No crush. Adopted kit (named Duskkit.) Rank: warrior. Family: Sun-something- unbiological mom. TwilightVelvet (mom) NightLight (dad) ShiningArmor (brother) MiamoreCadenza (sis-in-law) pelt: go to google images and search 'twilight sparkle alicorn' to see. Eyes: purple. Powers: flight and magic. Sigy: ~Ts or ~TwilightSparkle. Name: RainbowDash. Gender: she cat. Mate crush or kits: /9 /9 /9 rank: warrior. Family: Hurricanewind (mom) Tornadoshelter (dad) DaringDo (sister.) Pelt: search rainbow dash cat on google. Eyes: magenta. Powers: flight. Siggy: ~Rd or ~RainbowDash. Name: DaringDo. Gender: female. Mate/crush/kits: <{ <{ <{ rank: warrior. Family: same parents as RainbowDash. Pelt: go on warrior cats rpg website and search 'ask daring do and blondie' and go to the profile. Geez. Eyes: raspberry red. Powers: flight. Siggy: ~Dd or ~DaringDo. name: Rabbitkit. Gender: tom. Mom: Snowynight. Siblings: Mousekit Sparowkit and Dawnkit. Age: five moons. Looks: white. Black eyes. Name: Mousekit. Gender: tom. Mom: Snowynight. Siblings: Rabbitkit Sparrowkit and Dawnkit. Age: Five moons. Looks: grey and brown. Name: Sparrowkit. Gender: shekit. Mom: Snowynight. Siblings: Rabbitkit Mousekit and Dawnkit. Age: five moons. Looks: tan and oak colored. Name: Dawnkit. Gender: she cat. Mom: Snowynight. Siblings: Rabbitkit Mousekit and Sparrowkit. Age: five moons. Looks: pastel colors. Name: Duskkit. Gender: tom. Mom: TwilightSparkle(unbiological). Siblings: none. Age: three moons. Looks: pale grey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    &smile &smile &smile &smile &smile

    Read the headlines.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    Rockstar and co. Updated

    NAME: Rockstar --- GENDER: Female --- RANK: Leader --- APPEARANCE: Gray, lithe, blue eyes --- MATE/CRUSH: Sunwing (he's both) --- KIN: I have a lot --- AGE: Idk ---------- NAME: Nectarstream --- GENDER: Female --- RANK: Warrior --- APPEARENCE: Honey fur, nimble, brown eyes --- MATE/CRUSH: No :( --- KIN: Idk --- AGE: Idk ----------- NAME: Owlpaw --- GENDER: Female --- RANK: App --- APPEARENCE: Black, strongly built, brown eyes ---- MATE/CRUSH: Idk ---- KIN: Idk --- AGE: 8 moons

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Topazkits bio (updated

    Name: Topazkit (should be paw) <br> Age: 6 1/2 moons (11 years in human) <br> Description: long legged golden tabby she cat with violet-blue eyes, with flecks of indigo. Is super flexible. <br> Crush: Nope. I dont like any tom ecause they all have no sense of humor, just act like Leonardo DiCaprio in the Titanic and are too serious on love. Act like that to me, I will rip your eyes and shove them down your throat, and watch you suffocate. >:D (not really) <br> Kits: DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT? No! Im not one of those kits or apprentices in the clan who have kits, but then say they were forcemated *hint hint* certain people! <br> Likes: Irritating people, swimming, being a complete tomboy <br> Dislikes: (this is a long wun you guys.. so just stay put, mkay?) Godmodders, randomly injured kits, guys that randomly love you for no apperant reason, bad grammar, overdramatic queens, apprentices and kits who friggin have mates and kits, being ignored, people who think they are perfect, crowfood, advertizers, people... who... talk... like...this, self absorbent people, uptight people, goody good shoes. THE END of that. <br> Fun Facts: Will bite you if you yank her tail. <br> Okaiii, thanks! ^_^ Get off my page before I rip your trachea out! Thanks!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    Wolfkit and BloodPaw's Bio

    Name: Wolfkit~•~Age: Almost 6 moons~•~Gender: Male~•~
    Appearance: Light smoky gray with black tabby stripes, Bright green eyes~•~Personality: Loyal, Brave and Always up for a dare~•~Sibling/s: BloodPaw~•~Mate: None~•~Crush: Swirlingkit~•~Kits: None~•~Theme Song: Awesomeness by XxAmberxX~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~

    Name: BloodPaw~•~Age: 9 moons~•~Gender: Male~•~
    Appearance: All black tom with blood red tabby stripes, Silver eyes~•~Personality: Great to be with~•~Sibling/s: Wolfkit~•~
    Mate: None~•~Crush: Primpaw~•~Kits: None~•~
    Theme Song: Dance till' Your out by XxAmberxX~•~
    Signature: B|00D~•~

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Lightkits bio

    Looks golden every thing, mom and dad braveriver and smokey, crush: redwoodkit, moons: enouf to become a warrior! Rank: kit but wants to become a warrior! Signichur:

    XOXLightkitXOX

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    Snowstorm and sheakit

    Snowstorm is pure white with ice blue eyes. Unforgiving fierce and determined she os mates with shard. Sheakit is cream colored with green eyes. Kind fierce and advanced she has a crush on sleetkit.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    Skykit and Co.

    Skykit: 5 moons, she, white and blue highlights, deep blue eyes, Power: is an element. Crush clawkit.))) Ravenkit: five moons, she, looks like a cat version of Raven from teen titans, has the same powers.))) Willowmoon: white she with green highlights and dark green eyes. Can control plants. Mate is Shadowstorm.))) Pinewhisper: dark green she with even darker green eyes. Can activate a curse that releases Storm, her evil self. Mate is Falconstrike.))) Others: Starkit of starclan, Target, Arrow, Glen, and Starfire (starkit grown up). Sig: SWRPS (others used in imposter attacks)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    Gracekits bio

    Name Gracekit /// Gender She cat /// Crush Neonkit /// Parents Mom Night DEAD Adoptive Mother Goldenheartpaw Father Nettleglade Adoptive father Hyperoaw . Siblings Popcorn and Daisy DEAD . /// Past . Nettleglade killed Daisy and Popcorn and lunged for at that time Grace but Night blocked his path and wounded her . Night stumbled here and died but saved Gracekit /// Desciption . A black cat with green eyes /// perdonalty kind snappy crabby happy fierce . /// theme song big bang theory

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    AumnFire and Co.

    I'll update them later.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    Goldheartlight

    Is locked out of the first result.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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