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[11]

Chapter 2: Parentage and Family.—the father.

Charles Pinckney Sumner, the son of Major Job Sumner, was born in Milton, a suburb of Boston. His name was at first Job, but was afterwards changed to Charles Pinckney by his father, who probably had friendly relations with the South Carolina statesman.1 The boy passed his early childhood on the farm of the parish sexton, working hard, and attending in winter the public school.2 He then entered Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., at that time under the charge of Ebenezer Pemberton, and was placed in the family of Rev. Jonathan French, the minister of the South Parish of that town.

Mr. Pemberton was a graduate of Princeton College. James Madison and Aaron Burr are supposed to have been his pupils. It has been said of him that ‘no teacher had a higher character for scholarship, manners, elegance, and piety.’ While of a kindly nature and beloved by his pupils, he maintained discipline and respect for authority after the old style. He died, June 25, 1835, at the age of eighty-nine.3 Rev. Mr. French was of Braintree nativity. He was, in early life, a soldier and subaltern

1 Charles Pinckney Sumner contributed, with the signature of ‘An Elderly Man,’ a sketch of Charles Pinckney to the ‘Patriot and Mercantile Advertiser,’ March 4. 1823.

2 On Aug. 15, 1829, he wrote, ‘I had but little time to enjoy the society of anybody. I scarcely remember the time from my eighth to my twelfth year, when all the summer long I did not perform half the labor of a man in the field from sunrise to nearly sundown, in the long summer days, and after that go every night about a mile, all over the Milton Church land, for the cows.’

3 History of Andover, by Abiel Abbot, Andover, 1829; Allen's American Biographical Dictionary. Edmund Quincy, in his ‘Life of Josiah Quincy,’ p. 28, says of Mr. Pemberton: ‘This gentleman lived till 1836, and was past ninety when he died. I well remember the handsome old man, and the beautiful picture of serene and venerable age which he presented, seeming in old-world courtesy and costume to have stepped out of the last century into this, and the pride with which he spoke of the eminent men who had been his pupils, and especially of his having offered two presidents-Kirkland and Quincy to Harvard.’ A sketch of Mr. Pemberton, written by Charles Pinckney Sumner, is printed in the ‘Daily Advertiser and Patriot,’ July 15, 1835.

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