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,
BibliographyGienapp, 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.