This section is from the book "The National Capitol. Its Architecture Art And History", by George C. Hazelton, Jr. Also available from Amazon: The National Capitol Its Architecture Art and History.
A scene occurred in this old Senate Chamber on April 17, 1850, which created much excitement at the time. Senators Benton and Foote had already had several sharp personal altercations in debate. On this occasion, while Mr. Foote was replying to Mr. Benton, the latter started from his seat and approached his opponent, who also advanced and took a stand in front of the Secretary's table, at the same time drawing and cocking a revolver. The confusion was very great. Senators immediately surrounded the combatants, drawing Mr. Benton back to his seat and inducing Mr. Foote to surrender his weapon. The committee to whom the matter was referred reported, July 30th, that the whole scene was most discreditable to the Senate; that Mr. Foote had provoked Mr. Benton by bitter personal attacks ; that Mr. Benton probably intended either to make a personal assault on Mr. Foote or to intimidate him; and that, while Mr. Foote had no intention of assaulting Mr. Benton, there had been imminent danger of bloodshed. The committee, however, recommended no action, expressing only the hope that its condemnation of the occurrence would be " a sufficient rebuke and a warning not unheeded in future".