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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 1: Ancestry. (search)
About 1635, he came, with his wife Mary and his three sons, William, Roger, and George, to Dorchester, Annexed to Boston, 1870. Massachusetts, and became the founder of an American family, now widely spread. Many of the first settlers of Dorchester were from the southwestern counties of England. They arrived in 1630, less than ten years after the settlement of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. They were attracted to the particular site by the salt-marsh, which lay along the bay and the Neponset River. This furnished an immediate supply of hay, and dispensed with the necessity of clearing at once large tracts of forest land. Among them were expert fishermen, who were pleased to find at hand this means of support. The territory which they selected for their new home presented one of the fairest of landscapes,— diversified with upland and meadow, the Blue Hills and the river. At first, the organization of the settlement was imperfect. In 1633, a local government was organized; an
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 4: College Life.—September, 1826, to September, 1830.—age, 15-19. (search)
ng it without regard to public opinion. He was thoroughly equipped for the station which he reached; and the world knows how well he acquitted himself. In his vacations, Sumner saw something of country life, walking once to Hanover, with his friend William H. Simmons, and occasionally passing a few days with his father's uncle, William Sumner, who lived on what is now River Street, in Hyde Park, then a part of Dorchester. This relative died in 1836, at the age of eighty-seven. The Neponset River flows just in the rear of his house. Near by were then forests and pastures, where now are streets and dwelling-houses. Sumner rowed on the river, strolled over the fields, took long walks to Scots' Woods, the seashore at Squantum, and once, at least, made the ascent of Blue Hill. He joined the farmers when, with their hay-carts, they went for the salt hay they had cut on the marshes of the Neponset. He seems to have had a boy's passion for a gun, and urged his uncle to let him have