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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesSouth Carolina

Preston Smith BROOKS

(1819-1857)

BROOKS, Preston Smith, a Representative from South Carolina; born in Edgefield District, S.C., August 5, 1819; attended the common schools and was graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) at Columbia in 1839; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1845 and commenced practice in Edgefield, S.C.; member of the State house of representatives in 1844; served in the Mexican War as captain in the Palmetto Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Congresses and served from March 4, 1853, until July 15, 1856, when he resigned even though the attempt to expel him for his assault upon Charles Sumner on May 22, 1856, had failed through lack of the necessary two-thirds vote; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Thirty-fourth Congress); reelected to the Thirty-fourth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by his own resignation and served from August 1, 1856, until his death in Washington, D.C., January 27, 1857; had been reelected to the Thirty-fifth Congress; interment in Willow Brook Cemetery, Edgefield, S.C.

Bibliography

Gienapp, W.E. “Crime Against Sumner: The Caning of Charles Sumner and the Rise of the Republican Party.” Civil War History 25 (September 1979): 218-45; Mathis, Robert Neil. “Preston Smith Brooks: The Man and His Image.” South Carolina Historical Magazine 79 (October 1978): 296-310.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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