The Caning of Charles Sumner: Honor, Idealism, and the Origins of the Civil War (Witness to History)

3.19 avg rating
( 31 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780801894695: The Caning of Charles Sumner: Honor, Idealism, and the Origins of the Civil War (Witness to History)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

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.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

"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."

(Booklist)

"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."

(Midwest Book Review)

"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)

"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."

(Tommy C. Brown South Carolina Historical Magazine)

"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."

(Martin Hardeman H-Law, H-Net Reviews)

"His smooth style will allow students to engage with the material."

(Christopher J. Olsen Journal of Southern History)

About 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.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780801894688: The Caning of Charles Sumner: Honor, Idealism, and the Origins of the Civil War (Witness to History)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0801894689 ISBN 13:  9780801894688
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Hoffer, Williamjames Hull
Published by John Hopkins University Press
ISBN 10: 0801894697 ISBN 13: 9780801894695
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)

Book Description John Hopkins University Press. Condition: New. Brand New. Seller Inventory # 0801894697

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
11.30
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.79
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Hull Hoffer, Williamjames
ISBN 10: 0801894697 ISBN 13: 9780801894695
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
GreatBookPrices
(Columbia, MD, U.S.A.)

Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 7692859-n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
16.14
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.05
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Hoffer, Williamjames Hull
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press (2010)
ISBN 10: 0801894697 ISBN 13: 9780801894695
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Book Deals
(Lewiston, NY, U.S.A.)

Book Description Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. Paperback. Condition: BRAND NEW. Seller Inventory # 0801894697_abe_bn

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
18.24
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Hoffer, Williamjames Hull.
Published by Johns Hopkins Univ
ISBN 10: 0801894697 ISBN 13: 9780801894695
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Print on Demand
Seller:

Book Description Johns Hopkins Univ. Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Softcover - This title is now printed on demand - please allow added time for shipment! A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Veteran Owned Bookshop in business since 1992!. Seller Inventory # 3670278

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
21.51
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Williamjames Hull Hoffer
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press (2010)
ISBN 10: 0801894697 ISBN 13: 9780801894695
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0801894697

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
18.70
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.70
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Williamjames Hull Hoffer
Published by JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0801894697 ISBN 13: 9780801894695
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)

Book Description JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 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. Seller Inventory # BTE9780801894695

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
24.85
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Hoffer, Williamjames Hull
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press (2010)
ISBN 10: 0801894697 ISBN 13: 9780801894695
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Textbooks_Source
(Columbia, MO, U.S.A.)

Book Description Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Ships same day or next business day! UPS shipping available (Priority Mail for AK/HI/APO/PO Boxes). Used sticker and some writing and/or highlighting. Used books may not include working access code. Used books will not include dust jackets. Seller Inventory # 001027902N

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
26.53
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.10
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Hoffer, Williamjames Hull
Published by Johns Hopkins Univ Pr (2010)
ISBN 10: 0801894697 ISBN 13: 9780801894695
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)

Book Description Johns Hopkins Univ Pr, 2010. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 176 pages. 9.00x6.00x0.25 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # zk0801894697

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
23.54
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 7.50
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Hoffer, Williamjames Hull
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN 10: 0801894697 ISBN 13: 9780801894695
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)

Book Description Johns Hopkins University Press. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0801894697 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.1569516

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
45.32
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.87
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Williamjames Hull Hoffer
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press (2010)
ISBN 10: 0801894697 ISBN 13: 9780801894695
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
BookVistas
(New Delhi, India)

Book Description The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. 0 x 0 cm. Seller Inventory # BD1-9780801894695

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
52.50
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.56
From India to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book