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[22] the liveliest gratitude to Governor Lincoln, accounting him, in a letter to him, Jan. 21, 1834, his ‘greatest earthly benefactor,’ as, without his favor, he ‘should not probably have sent a son to college.’ Governor Lincoln answered, as he retired from office, in terms appreciative of the sheriff's personal and official character.

The sheriff's sureties, on his official bond, were William Sullivan, William Minot, Samuel Hubbard, William Prescott, John Heard, Jr., Timothy Fuller, and Asaph Churchill. These well known names show his high standing in the confidence of the community.

Mr. Sumner's home life, which before his appointment as sheriff had been regulated with severe economy, was now more generously maintained. Twice a year, at the opening of the Supreme Judicial Court, he gave a dinner to the judges, the chaplain, and members of the bar and other gentlemen. He gathered, on these festive occasions, such guests as Chief Justices Parker and Shaw, Judges Prescott, Putnam, Wilde, Morton, Hubbard, Thacher, Simmons, Solicitor General Davis, Governor Lincoln, Josiah Quincy, John Pickering, Harrison Gray Otis, William Minot, Timothy Fuller, Samuel E. Sewall; and, among the clergy, Gardiner, Tuckerman, Greenwood, Pierpont, and Lyman Beecher. His son Charles, and his son's classmates, Hopkinson and Browne, were, once at least, among the youngest guests. He gave a dinner, in 1831, to surviving classmates; at which were present Pickering, Jackson, Thacher, Mason, and Dixwell.

He made the duties and history of his office the subject of elaborate research. He read to the bar, and published in the ‘American Jurist,’ July, 1829, a learned exposition of the points of difference between the office in England and in Massachusetts, stating clearly its duties in each jurisdiction, and giving sketches of his predecessors in office. No sheriff in this country, probably, has ever pursued studies of this kind to the same extent.

An incident, which illustrates his professional learning and his independence of character, may be fitly given here.

In 1829, the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth held that an officer serving a writ, which directs him to attach the property of the defendant, may be resisted, as a trespasser, by another party, whose goods he undertakes to seize, honestly but erroneously

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