previous next

[4] his nephews, being near the residence of the Hon. James M. Robbins. His father died in 1771, leaving a widow and twelve children; and, two years later, Thomas Vose was appointed his guardian. Job was employed, after his father's death, upon the farm of Daniel Vose1 of that town; and one day, when eighteen years of age, he made known, with some emphasis, his purpose to abandon that occupation and to obtain a liberal education. When twenty years old, he joined the Freshman Class of Harvard College. He entered in November, 1774, not being sufficiently qualified in the preparatory studies to enter in July, at the time of the regular examination for admission.

It appears by the records of the college on the fourth of that month, that ‘Job Sumner of Milton, having applied for admission to Harvard College, after examination had, voted that upon condition that he pay into the college the sum of £ 6, to comply with the second law of the first chapter of the college laws, he be admitted into the present Freshman Class.’

His most distinguished classmate was Nathan Dane, who reported in Congress the ordinance of 1787 for the government of the North-west Territory, by which a vast domain was saved to freedom. Rev. Samuel Langdon had become president of the college, July 18, 1774. Immediately after the battle of Lexington (April 19, 1775), Cambridge became the Headquarters of the troops for the siege of Boston, then held by the British. The students were ordered to leave the buildings, which were turned into barracks. The institution was temporarily removed to Concord. Washington arrived, July 2; and on the next day took command of the patriot army under the ancient elm which still attracts many a pilgrim. Sumner did not follow his teachers to Concord, but, in May, joined the army at Cambridge, with the rank of an ensign. He had already acquired some knowledge of the drill in a college company, called the ‘Marti-Mercurian Band,’ which existed in the years 1770-87,2 and was afterwards revived as the Harvard Washington Corps.

The good soldier, though his text-books had been for ever laid

1 At Mr. Vose's house, still standing at the Lower Mills Village in Milton, adjacent to the railway station, were passed, in September, 1774, the Suffolk Resolves, which have been regarded as the earliest organized demonstration for Independence in the American colonies. The centenary of this event was commemorated in this historic house, by proper ceremonies, Sept. 9. 1874.

2 ‘Reminiscences of the Old College Company, or Marti-Mercurian Band,’ in ‘Columbian Centinel,’ Boston, April 2, 1828, by Charles Pinckney Sumner. References to this company and its uniform may be found in ‘The Harvard Book.’ Vol. I pp. 42, 67.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Concord (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Milton, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Daniel Vose (2)
Job Sumner (2)
Thomas Vose (1)
Charles Pinckney Sumner (1)
James M. Robbins (1)
Milton (1)
Samuel Langdon (1)
Nathan Dane (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: