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[42] and with such surroundings, the boyhood of Charles Sumner was passed.

The boy's life was not wholly within the city; he sometimes visited his maternal relatives at South Hingham, where, with others of the family, he was the guest of his mother's uncle. Here he could enjoy the view from Prospect Hill, near by. Once, he and his brother Albert took a long walk, from South Hingham to Nantasket Beach. He was fond of going with the cow-boy for the cattle, at evening, and had a fancy for watching the dairy-work in the kitchen. Later in life, he spoke with interest of these early days. His surviving kinsfolk recall him, on these visits, as fond of reading, well behaved, helpful in doing chores, and never mischievous. He made visits also to his father's relatives in the district of Dorchester, now comprehended in Hyde Park.

His father did not expect to send him to college until after the last year of his five-years' course at the Latin School had begun. With his limited means, he had designed him for some occupation in which he could earn his livelihood sooner than in one of the learned professions. Charles had desired a cadetship at West Point, but no way opened for admission to the National Military Academy.1 The father began inquiries in relation to the ‘American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy,’ under the charge of Captain Alden Partridge, which was first established at Norwich, Vt., and had recently been removed to Middletown, Conn. The school was conducted on a military system, and enrolled cadets from nineteen States. In 1829 it was discontinued, and the present Wesleyan University was established on its site. The father's letter to Captain Partridge gives an interesting description of his son:—

Boston, 15 August, 1825.
Sir,—I have read the prospectus which you issued, in 1821, at Norwich, and I have recently read a notice, in the ‘Palladium,’ that you wish to employ some lads in your institution at Middletown.

I have a son, named Charles Sumner, in his fifteenth year, and large of his age, but not of so firm and solid a constitution as I should wish to have him.


1 Charles Pinckney Sumner, in a letter to Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, commanding at West Point, dated July 14, 1829, in which he introduces his son, says: ‘It was once my son's wish to become a member of your institution, but I perceived it to be a hopeless undertaking to procure his admission.’ The thought of a military education was probably prompted by the circumstance that a relative, Edwin V. Sumner, and a friend of the family, Josiah H Vose, were of the regular army.

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