The Caning

Historical Author Event: Stephen Puleo

The Caning of Charles Sumner

The Canton & Stoughton Historical Societies and the Friends of the Canton Public Library present the bestselling author Stephen Puleo. A night that features Puleo talking about the event that started the Civil War; the caning of Senator Charles Sumner.

Bestselling Author Night

Monday, Feb 11th, 7pm

786 Washington Street

Canton, MA

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by:

The Canton Historical Society

The Stoughton Historical Society

The Friends of the Canton Public Library

A Turning Point in American History, the Beating of U.S. Senator Charles Sumner and the Beginning of the War Over Slavery

Early in the afternoon of 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 began beating renowned anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner with a gold-topped walking cane. Brooks struck again and again—more than thirty times across Sumner’s head, face, and shoulders—until his cane splintered into pieces and the helpless Massachusetts senator, having nearly wrenched his desk from its fixed base, lay unconscious and covered in blood.
One of the most shocking and provocative events in American history, the caning convinced each side that the gulf between them was unbridgeable and that they could no longer discuss their vast differences of opinion regarding slavery on any reasonable level.The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War tells the incredible story of this transformative event. Many factors conspired to cause the Civil War, but it was the caning that made conflict and disunion unavoidable five years later.