American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Arguments of the Chivalry

Supply Object Title
Signed with monogram:
WH [Winslow Homer]
Arguments of the Chivalry.
Boston: John H. Bufford, 1856
Lithograph on wove paper
Prints & Photographs Division

This dramatic print shows a violent incident that occurred in Congress on May 22, 1856, which inflamed sectional passion. The artist recreates the severe beating of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner by Representative Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina. Brooks (right) is standing over Sumner (seated), and Rep. Lawrence M. Keitt stands (center) raising his cane against possible intervention, while holding a pistol. In the foreground are Georgia Senator Robert Toombs (far left with hat) and Illinois Senator Stephen A Douglas (hands in pockets), looking vindicated by the event.

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