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According to Joanne Freeman's recent book on congressional violence, in the years between 1830 and 1860, members of Congress engaged in 'manly' violence against one another more than seventy times. However, no issue caused more violent personal disputes in the legislature than slavery. In particular, the debate over the legal status of slavery in the Kansas Territory caused a panoply of incidents in Congress, including near-duel between John C. Breckinridge and Francis Cutting in 1854, Preston Brooks' caning of Charles Sumner in 1856, and a brawl in the House of Representatives in 1858. This article examines how these lawmakers' views on masculinity and slavery motivated their involvement in these incidents. Firstly, the article establishes Amy S. Greenberg’s dichotomy of martial and restrained masculinities as a lens of analysis; then it recounts each event and analyzes the masculine practices of each lawmaker. This analysis shows that these three violent encounters resulted from the practice of a specifically Southern iteration of martial manhood grounded in the service of slavery’s interests.