Chapter 3: birth and early Education.—1811-26.
Charles and Matilda, the eldest and twin children of Charles Pinckney
and Relief Sumner
, were born in Boston
, Jan. 6, 1811.
Their birthplace was the frame-house on the south-east corner of Revere
(then May) and Irving
(then Buttolph) Streets, the site of which is now occupied by the rear part of the Bowdoin Schoolhouse
The neighbors, who took a kindly interest in the event, remember that they weighed, at the time of birth, only three and a half pounds each, and were not dressed for some days.
At first, the tiny babes gave little promise of living many hours; but, surviving the first struggle for existence, they soon began to thrive.
The boy was retained by his mother, and the girl was provided with another nurse.
The parents rejoiced in their first-born.
To the father, whose heart was full of gladness, it seemed as if the whole town knew his good fortune as soon as he knew it himself.
Indeed, children, as they came one after the other, were always welcomed in that household.
Charles was first taught in a private infant school, kept by his maternal aunt, Miss Hannah R. Jacob
, in the upper room of his father's house.
's and Webster
's Spelling Books and the ‘Child
's Assistant’ were then the primary school-books.
It is not likely that he remained at his aunt's school when he was older than six or seven.
For some time before his admission to the Latin School he attended the West
Writing-School, afterwards known as the Mayhew School, which was kept in a building now used as a stable, at the corner of Hawkins and Chardon streets.
Not only writing but the other common English branches were taught in the school.
, who lived to an advanced age, was the master in the writing department, and Hall J. Kelley
in the reading.
, of Cambridge
, who died in 1877, was an usher.
Charles is remembered by persons still living as large for his age, amiable and quiet, and maturer than most of the other scholars.
The boys liked him, and even those older