About twenty years ago, it was my happiness to have some conversation with you in Boston. . . . I am desirous that my son, Charles Sumner, the bearer of this, should have the honor of touching your hand. His own reading and my conversation have taught him to respect you. He is about to commence a pedestrian tour from Boston to the Springs, to view the battlegrounds of Bennington and Saratoga, and on his way home by the steamboat to touch at West Point. He is a student at Harvard College, and sets out with two of his classmates, one of whom, Mr. Frost, will probably accompany him to West Point. I request you, if convenient and consistent with your regulations, to let these young men have a foothold on your ground during the few hours they may be inclined to stay. 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, and he must now content himself with barely taking a transient view of that of which he once had a desire to make a part. He is now a tall stripling, somewhat deficient in strength and consistency. Had he been under your orders for the three years past that he has spent under merely literary men, he would, perhaps, now have been as strong as a soldier of Bonaparte on the bridge of Lodi.
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