Ben Franklin was the first president of the first anti-slavery society in the United States. Richard Bassett, a Signer of the Constitution, converted to Methodism, freed all his slaves and paid them as hired labor. John Quincy Adams fought to end slavery by removing Congress' Gag Rule. It was Senator Charles Sumner's vehement stand against slavery that resulted in Congressman Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina violently beating Sumner on the head with a cane while he was seated at his desk on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Charles Sumner died MARCH 11, 1874, having never fully recovered from those injuries. A founder of the Republican Party, Charles Sumner served as a Senator from Massachusetts for 23 years. He stated: "Familiarity with that great story of redemption, when God raised up the slave-born Moses to deliver His chosen people from bondage, and with that sublimer story where our Saviour died a cruel death that all men, without distinction of race, might be saved, makes slavery impossible." Charles Sumner continued: "There is no reason for renouncing Christianity, or for surrendering to the false religions; nor do I doubt that Christianity will yet prevail over the earth as the waters cover the sea."