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.
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.