Home » Uncategorized » Meet a brawl involving 50 congressmen on the US House floor in 1858. It ended when someone knocked off a man’s wig and the man accidentally put it back on backwards, causing both sides to laugh and stop fighting.

Meet a brawl involving 50 congressmen on the US House floor in 1858. It ended when someone knocked off a man’s wig and the man accidentally put it back on backwards, causing both sides to laugh and stop fighting.

Laurence M. Keitt

On February 5, 1858, Keitt started a massive brawl on the House floor during a tense late-night debate. Keitt, offended by Pennsylvania Congressman (and later Speaker of the House) Galusha A. Grow, a Republican, having stepped over to the Democratic side of the House chamber, dismissively demanded that Grow sit down, calling him a “black Republican puppy”. Grow responded by telling Keitt that “No negro-driver shall crack his whip over me.” Keitt became enraged and went for Grow’s throat, shouting that he would “choke [him] for that”. A large brawl involving approximately 50 representatives erupted on the House floor, ending only when a missed punch from Rep. Cadwallader Washburn of Wisconsin upended the hairpiece of Rep. William Barksd… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

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