US Congressman. Fought in the Mexican War as a Captain in the South Carolina Volunteer "Palmetto Regiment". Elected to represent South Carolina's 4th District in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1853 until his death in office in 1857. An ardent proponent of slavery, he became etched into the history of the sectional strife that led up to the Civil War when, on May 22, 1856, after the anti-Slavery "Crimes Against Kansas" speech by Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, he attacked Senator Sumner and beat him with his cane so severely that Sumner was unable to return Congress for a full three years. Congressman Brooks received no punishment for his act, and a Congressional attempt to have him expelled fell short of the required votes. However, he resigned his seat, only to run for the vacancy he caused and was elected again to it by a wide margin. He did not live long to hold it, however, dying in January 1857. A cenotaph exists for him in Washington, DC's Congressional Cemetery, and Brooks County in Georgia is named in his honor.
Bio by: RPD2
Martha Caroline Means Brooks