Wednesday, February 08, 2006

On This Day in History, February 8:

1858 - Wisconsin Congressman Starts Fight in Legislature

On this date Wisconsin Representative, John F. Potter, helped start a fight in the United States Congress. House members were engaged in a heated debate regarding the North-South issue, as well as the recent beating of Senator Sumner of Massachusetts. Potter was a Republican Abolitionist, and when the Northern Republicans found themselves in a majority on this day, they pressed their parliamentary advantage to achieve many things. The few Southerners who were present were infuriated, and Potter jumped into a fist fight, and pulled off one of his opponent's wig. At this, rumors sprang up that Potter had "taken a scalp." Potter was from this point on marked by Southerners as an enemy and two years later, he was challenged to a dual by a Virgina representative. Potter accepted the dual but insisted on using bowie knives. His challenger, Roger Pryor of Virginia, refused the challenge. Potter then received bowie knives from sympathizers all over the country. [Source: Badger Saints and Sinners by Fred L. Holmes]


Steve said...

Pryor wasn't so much averse to the idea of dueling with Bowie knives as much as the second requirement of wearing a cheesehead during it.

Al said...

Is that how you get a Bowie knife? I collect knives. I gotta challenge somebody to a duel!

No, wait! I gotta get somebody else to challenge me to a duel so I can choose the weapons.

BTW, where do I go for info on the Sumner beating? I had an idea for a post on that, but I ran out of time for research.

I'd also like to prove that LaFollett was a fascist. Got anything on that?

tee bee said...

Remind me never to pick a fight with you.

No wait, maybe I should if I get to pick the weapons.

Badgers at 10 paces!

random guy said...

you either have a serious misunderstanding of what fascism actually entails or, much more likely, a biased political perspective that you want to rewrite history to support.