BROOKS, Preston Smith, (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 until his resignation on July 14, 1856 (March 4, 1853-July 14, 1856); resigned despite failed attempt to expel him for his assault upon Senator Charles Sumner; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Thirty-fourth Congress); reelected in a special election to the Thirty-fourth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by his own resignation, sworn in August 1, 1856, and served until his death (August 1, 1856-January 27, 1857); had been reelected to the Thirty-fifth Congress; died on January 27, 1857, in Washington, D.C.; interment in Willow Brook Cemetery, Edgefield, S.C.


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.