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[123]

Chapter 7: study in a law office.—Visit to Washington.—January, 1854, to September, 1834.—Age, 23.

Having finished his studies at Cambridge in Dec., 1833, Sumner entered as a student, Jan. 8, 1834,1 the law-office of Benjamin Rand, Court Street, Boston; a lawyer having a large practice, but distinguished rather for his great learning and faithful attention to the business of his clients than for any attractive forensic qualities.2 He had access to the remarkably well-stored library of Mr. Rand, which was enriched on the arrival of almost every English packet. He followed very much his tastes while in the office, doing little drudgery as a copyist, and seizing every opportunity of conversation with his learned master. He was missed at Cambridge, where teachers and friends had parted reluctantly from him. Already Story and Greenleaf counted on him as an associate instructor, and spoke of the separation as likely to be but temporary. The judge wrote to him from Washington, Feb. 4:—

Professor Greenleaf has written me a letter full of lamentations at your departure, and he complains of being now left alone. I grieve also, but not as those who are without hope; for, if the Law School succeeds, I am sure you will be with us again at no distant period. ... It would have been delightful to have had Mr. Livermore's bequest incorporated into your excellent catalogue. But, as it is, we must have it in an appendix. I wish exceedingly for two or three copies of your catalogue to present to some gentlemen here. The preface will do you, as well as them, good.

Sumner's contributions to the ‘Jurist’ at this time were an article on the ‘Lex Loci,—Can the Assignee of a Scotch bond maintain an Action in his own name in the Courts of this Country?’3 containing citations from the Roman and the French as well as from the common law,—a paper which grew out of his argument of a moot-court case before Professor Ashmun, the previous year; a ‘Review of “Chitty's pleadings,” ’4 in which some technical questions are treated; ‘Characters of Law Books and Judges,’5 a voluminous collection of opinions; ‘Replevin of Goods taken in Execution,—Error in the Books,’6 an elaborate discussion of a technical question; and a caustic notice of ‘Tayler's “Law Glossary.” ’7 To the July number alone he contributed more than one hundred pages. In May, he became one of the editors. His classmate Browne, whose advice he sought in relation to this connection, did not think the effect of habitual writing for law magazines upon a lawyer's mind to be wholesome, and strongly urged that, if he accepted the offer, he should limit his engagement to a year and a half.

His studies with Mr. Rand were soon interrupted by a journey to Washington, with an absence from the office from Feb. 17 to April 4. He had for some time felt a strong desire to visit the national Capital. He wished to see and hear the eminent statesmen of the time, and particularly to attend a session of the Supreme Court. It would be a satisfaction also to see Judge Story, whom he had known so well as professor, performing his high duties as judge. The Supreme Court of the United States, with Marshall as chief-justice, held at that period, —when the States were few and the best professional training was confined very much to the Atlantic States,—a larger place relatively than it now holds among the judicial institutions of the country. Young lawyers then, more than at present, sought as pilgrims this fountain of learning and authority. National politics then drew to the seat of government the highest talent more than now, when intellectual power finds a larger opportunity than formerly at the bar of commercial cities, or in other fields of distinction. Neither before nor since in our history [125] have three men of equal fame as orators with Webster, Calhoun, and Clay ever contended with each other in our national Senate.

The love of travel was with Sumner an inherited passion, which his brothers also shared. The journey to Washington now accomplished in seventeen hours, in a railway carriage furnished like a drawing-room by day and provided with couches at night, is at once an easy and a commonplace experience. It was then made only by stage-coach and steamboat, except a short railway ride from Amboy to Bordentown (thirty-seven miles), and another from the Delaware River to the head of the Elk (sixteen and a half). With the dispatch of these days Sumner would, by the time he then reached Hartford, have been some hours at his journey's end.

At Washington he passed a month, occupying a room in the house of Mrs. Eliza Peyton, at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Four-and-a-half Street. Among her guests were several members of Congress and other persons of distinction; most worthy of note among them was Dr. Francis Lieber, between whom and Sumner a long intimacy now began.8 Mrs. Peyton recalls the tall youth from Boston, sitting with the guests who gathered at the fireside in the large parlor. Dr. John B. Blake, a fellow-boarder, still living in Washington, remembers him as modest and deferential, attracting attention by his remarkable attainments and manly presence, and receiving from the judges unusual civilities. Dr. Blake went so far at the time as to predict for him the highest judicial station, unless he should be diverted by literary tastes.9

The commendation of Judge Story opened to him the best social opportunities. He dined with the judges; made the acquaintance of Henry Wheaton; and ‘dined repeatedly with Horace Binney, and received many marks of friendly attention from him.’10 Richard Peters of Philadelphia, the official reporter of the decisions of the Supreme Court,—whom he had previously [126] met at Cambridge, and who was a devoted friend of Judge Story,—conceived a strong regard for him at this time, and a frequent correspondence between them followed.11 Mr. Peters kindly said to him, in Washington, that he should before long have occasion to print his name in his reports as counsel before the Supreme Court. During this visit he first met Samuel Lawrence, who afterwards showed him substantial kindness. He undertook to serve a lawyer, a college friend, who was prosecuting a claim against the United States,—and this friendly agency brought him into personal relations with Rufus Choate, then a member of the House of Representatives. He left Washington, after a month's sojourn, with little expectation of ever seeing the city again, with an increased love of his chosen profession, and with a strong aversion to politics.

On his way home he passed some days in Philadelphia, where he seems to have enjoyed himself heartily; dining one day at the house of Joseph R. Ingersoll,12 ‘in a large and splendid company,’ and passing his evenings with the family of Mr. Peters. He left the city with a lively impression of the hospitality of the people. One of the daughters of Mr. Peters pleased him much with her excellent imitation of Miss Kemble's acting. With another daughter, then quite a young girl, he talked much concerning her studies, and afterwards sought, by his letters, to foster her literary inclinings. Her vivid recollections of him, as he appeared at this period, find a place in this chapter.

His father wrote to him, while he was in Washington, a letter as stately as it was paternal, sending a friendly message to Governor Lincoln, enjoining upon his son to visit the grave of Vice-president Gerry, and also that of William Wirt who had died Feb. 18, and ending with ‘macte virtute, puer.’ His brother Henry and his sister Mary added playful postscripts to the father's letter. Professor Greenleaf gratefully acknowledged his reports of his visit to Chancellor Kent and of life in Washington.

One of the daughters of Mr. Peters thus describes him at this time:— [127]

It was somewhere about 1832 I think, in the summer-time, that Charles Sumner led me—then a little girl—and my father over Harvard Library; and it has always been to me a beautiful memory,—the recollection of this slender, bright-eyed youth, with what seemed to me an adoring reverence for the hallowed spot, so that his voice was subdued and his touch rested tenderly on the dear books as he stood showing them to my father.

When he came to Philadelphia in 1834, he had finished his course at the Law School, I think; but had almost put his eyes out with hard study, and was forced to come away for rest. He was then a great, tall, lank creature, quite heedless of the form and fashion of his garb, “ unsophisticated,” everybody said, and oblivious of the propriety of wearing a hat in a city, going about in a rather shabby fur cap; but the fastidiousness of fashionable ladies was utterly routed by the wonderful charm of his conversation, and he was carried about triumphantly, and introduced to all the distinguished people, young and old, who then made Philadelphia society so brilliant. No amount of lionizing, however, could then affect him. His simplicity, his perfect naturalness, was what struck every one, combined with his rare culture and his delicious youthful enthusiasm.

My mother became very much interested in him, and thought his mother must be very proud of him.

He was almost beside himself then over Fanny Kemble's acting; used to walk, he said, that winter to and from Boston, through snow and storm, to see her act. One of my sisters had a singular ability in imitating this gifted woman's acting and reading, and it was Charles Sumner's delight to insist on this rather shy lady's “performing” for him. His exclamation was, “By George, that's fine! By George, that's fine, Miss S.! Give it to us again: now, Miss S.! The ‘Do it’ point,—the ‘Do it’ point” (from Sheridan Knowles' “ Hunchback ” ).13 And striking his great hands together and heaving them about like Dominie Sampson, and striding up and down the room, he would keep repeating, “By George, that's fine!”

Every one was sorry when he left town, and from that time his name was really a household word with us. There was a sweetness and tenderness of character about him, and an entire unworldliness that won all hearts, while his delightful culture completed the charm.

My father was exceedingly fond of Mr. Sumner from his youth. He knew all about him, sometime before the visit to Philadelphia in 1834, from Judge Story; and believed with that dear friend that all possibilities for a legal and literary career of great brilliancy lay before this young man, so gifted, so fond of culture, so persevering in the study of his profession, so appreciative of, and so enthusiastic for, all that is good and fine.

Shortly after Sumner's return from Washington, Judge Story pressed him to accept a connection with the Law School as instructor; but the offer was declined. An extract from his [128] classmate Browne's letter, of May 2, shows the latter's view of Sumner's probable future:—

In the concluding lines of your letter, which I received this morning, you seemed to see and lament the course which fortune and your stars appear to have marked out for you. I see no reason for lamentation, but rather much for congratulation and rejoicing. The course of events, or rather your own might and main, have opened to you the very path your feet were made to tread. Let me speak plainly what I plainly discern and feel. You are not rough-shod enough to travel in the stony and broken road of homely, harsh, every-day practice. You were neither made for it by the hand of Nature, nor have you wrought and fashioned yourself to it by that less cunning but still most potent artificer,—practice. All your inclinations (I do not see through a glass darkly) and all your habits set you on with a strong tendency toward a green eminence of fame and emolument in your profession; but you are not destined to reach it by travelling through the ordinary business of a young lawyer in the courts. You see that yourself, and you affect to be sad thereat. Instead of looking back with regret to the practice which you are to leave to other spirits touched less finely, and to far less fine issues, you should reserve both your eyes to look forward and see the reasons of rejoicing. By all means take up the offer of the judge, and never think of opening an office in the city. If, before the day of service upon your post, you have an offer from some established man with large business and a good library, then deliberate, then suffer yourself to institute comparisons between that and the station in the Law School; but not till then. If such a chance should occur, the judge would be one of the foremost to relinquish his hold on you.

A few weeks before Sumner's admission to the bar, the Ursuline Convent at Charlestown was burned, Aug. 11, by a mob. The authorities of Harvard College seriously apprehended a retaliatory attack by the Catholics upon the college buildings, and particularly upon the library, then kept in Harvard Hall. The students were absent upon their vacation; and Rev. Mr. Palfrey, Dean of the Divinity Faculty, undertook to collect a volunteer guard among the recent graduates. One of seventy men was gathered for one night, commanded by Franklin Dexter; and another of like number for the next night, commanded by David Lee Child and George W. Phillips,—and the two guards alternated. Sumner was a private in the second guard; and, armed with a musket, left his father's house at evening to do duty at Cambridge, while the alarm lasted. The story is told of him, that, as they were quartered in Harvard Hall for the night, he started the question whether the guard had been assembled and was acting under due corporate authority,—a legal inquiry, [129] which, under the circumstances, somewhat amused his companions.

At the beginning of September, 1834, Sumner, anxious to enter at once on practice,—there being no court in session at Boston having authority to grant admissions to the bar,—applied to the Court of Common Pleas, sitting in Worcester (Chief-Justice John M. Williams, presiding), where on the third of that month he was admitted as an attorney, after a recommendation by the bar of Worcester County, of which Pliny Merrick and Charles Allen were then the leaders. D. Waldo Lincoln,14 a fellow student in College and at the Law School, who was admitted at the same time, interested himself in the preliminary arrangements for Sumner's admission.


Letters.

To his family at home, Boston.

steamer splendid, from New haven to New York, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 1834.
To my dear home,—The steamer is now fast going to New York, where I shall be at two o'clock this afternoon. There is something imposing in the thought, that one with so many accommodations as I now see about me is moving on his journey at the rate of twelve or fourteen miles an hour. The boat has about sixty passengers on board, and we have all just risen from a well-prepared breakfast at a table the full length of the cabin. It is thus that we enjoy the comforts and luxuries of the best hotels, and still keep moving on our way. The motion of the boat is delightful; nothing to occasion sickness; the sea is placid as a mirror; wild fowl (immense flocks of geese) are swimming upon its surface; the sun is bright overhead; the air is pure and the day clear. Such is the happy scene through which I am now hurrying,—a scene most unlike that of the last two days, which has been marred by all the fatigue and discomfort of the most wretched roads and, generally speaking, equally wretched conveyances. If the roads had been good, I should have probably been at this time on my way for Philadelphia. I have lost a day.

We started from Boston at half past 3 o'clock15 Monday morning, with [130] twelve passengers and their full complement of baggage on board, and with six horses. The way was very dark; so that, though I rode with the driver, it was some time before I discovered that we had six horses. Light overtook us at Newton Falls, about ten miles from the city; breakfasted at Natick, sixteen miles; part of us, then, for thirty miles, rode in a crazy wagon; after that I rode sixteen miles alone in a gig, driving a horse that Rosinante would not have owned as a kinsman, over roads almost impassable to the best animals; every step my horse took was caused by a blow from my whip. It was thus I rode,—literally working my passage, as much as he did who drove the horse on the canal. My shoulder was lame from its excessive exercise in whipping the poor brute. I arrived at Thompson, the first town we enter in Connecticut, about three o'clock, P. M.,—about sixty miles from Boston. Here we dined, and again started weary on our way, with forty miles of heavy travelling before us: changed horses every sixteen miles. The moon was up, making the road less gloomy than it otherwise would have been; but even this deserted us before we arrived at Hartford, which was not till three o'clock of Tuesday morning, having been on the road twenty-three hours. I sat with the driver all the time, and was only sick for an hour or so in the evening of Monday. The cold was benumbing during that night; so much so that the experienced driver complained. No sound could have been more grateful than that of the heavy tramp of the horses over the sounding covered bridge that leads into Hartford. Had we arrived in proper season, we should have jumped aboard the stage to New Haven, and gone directly there to take the steamer, Tuesday morning, at seven o'clock. Upon arriving at the hotel, I warmed myself, and then went to bed to snatch an hour of sleep. In a short time I was perfectly rested; enjoyed a good breakfast; walked through some of the fine streets of Hartford; visited the court, there holding by C. J. Daggett, to whom I sent the kind note and package, Mr. Greenleaf had furnished me. At eleven o'clock, A. M., started from Hartford for New Haven,—a route of forty miles,—where we arrived at eight o'clock in the evening, having a very pleasant journey so far as a good driver and good weather could make it so, and without feeling sick in the least. Wednesday morning attended prayers at Yale College, which act nearly cost me my passage to New York,—certainly fifty cents to get my baggage to the boat, the stages appointed to take me and it having gone. I ran till my wind was most gone, and thus secured my place. The boat started at seven o'clock in the morning.

Travelling is very expensive,—thus far full thirty per cent above my calculations. This is owing to the delays, bad roads, and to the season of the year.

I am very thankful to Mary for her tippet; without it I should have frozen.


[131]

To Professor Simon Greenleaf, Cambridge, Mass.

New York, Wednesday Evening, Feb. 19, 1834.
‘That Mr. Greenleaf is a civil sort of a man,’ said Chancellor Kent, this afternoon, to me, after he had slowly and fully read your kind letter of introduction. ‘He was a great loss to the profession at Portland; makes a fine professor, I have no doubt,’ he continued. To all of which I of course sincerely responded.

I called upon the chancellor at his house, two or three miles from the heart of the city where I was, at about half-past 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I handed him your letter; he asked me to sit. It was in a parlor that I saw him, with a young lady and an infant, probably the family of his son. He received me cordially; talked fast and instructively, but without elegance or grammar (however, falsa grammatica non vitiat); praised the civil law highly; thought Livermore's bequest a splendid one; liked the civil law, all but that relating to husband and wife,—he would stick to the common law on that subject; spoke with warmth of the present politics; thought Jackson would ruin us; wanted to go to Washington, but if he went should be obliged to see much company, call upon Jackson, and dine with him perhaps, all of which he could not consent to do; were he there, he should associate with such men as Webster; trusted next spring that he should visit the great valley of the West, which he wished much to see, as he had a great passion for natural scenery; said he never wrote an article for a review in his life; had just written with considerable pains a life of General Schuyler for the ‘Portrait Gallery,’ which he had condensed as much as possible, to suit the dimensions required for that publication; spoke of the ‘North American’ and the other reviews; said that he read them all,—he had nothing else to do now; invited me up into his room, so he called it, where he introduced me to Mrs. Kent, and showed me his library with a good deal of particularity; pointed out the ‘Waverley Novels,’ Miss Edgeworth's, &c., and long rows of the reviews bound; also a very large collection of pamphlets, making ninety-five volumes, which he had collected since he was a young man,—that is, said he, within the last fifty years; showed me also ‘Greenleaf's Reports;’ said he set much by that man; showed me the blank leaves of the first volume, in which he had written the time of your appointment as professor, and the testimonial of their regard offered by the Portland Bar, including in quotation marks the comparison run between your reports and those of Johnson and Binney: he had watered into the first volume of ‘Greenleaf's Reports’ your letter to him presenting the book, which he said he had done to preserve how you had honored him. I bid him good-by. He told me to give his regards to Judge Story; but as to Jackson, he had none for him.

Kent has great simplicity and freedom of manners; he opens himself like a child. This, though, I attributed partly to a harmless vanity. He undoubtedly knows that he is a lion, and he therefore offers himself readily for exhibition. Indeed, he seemed to be unfolding his character and studies, &c., to me, as if purposely to let me know the whole bent and scope of his mind [132] I thought more than once that he was sitting for his picture. Many more things I can tell you when I see you.

As I passed through Hartford, I saw Judge Daggett on the bench. Not having time to stop, I enclosed your favor in a note, in which I expressed a wish to consider your letter as a continuing introduction, if, upon my return, I should find him at home and disengaged.

I am now in the great Babel. Every thing is in a whirl. Boston seems small and thinly peopled compared with this mammoth place.

Here, as elsewhere, I am

Yours affectionately,


To his parents.

Philadelphia, Friday Evening, Feb. 21.
my dear parents,—Since writing you from the steamboat, I have flown many rapid miles further on my journey, tried a novel conveyance, and seen the two most extensive cities of this part of the world. Indeed, Boston is but a baby compared with the mammoth size of these two places. New York is one perpetual whirl and bustle; the streets flow with throngs, as thick and pressing as those of Boston on a gala day. Carriages of all sorts are hurrying by; omnibuses and Broadway coaches for the conveyance of citizens up and down their miles of streets are perpetually in sight. Stores, almost infinite in number and variety, line the long streets. One must be wide awake, or he will run over or be run over by some of the crowd. One minute after I had left the steamboat was enough to let me know that I was in a place under different influences from Boston; where business was pushed to its extremest points, and all the available energies of men were put in requisition. I fancy that I can see a vast increase since I was there five years ago. This may be attributed in part to my being more of an observer now.

I arrived at New York at two o'clock in the afternoon of Wednesday; had my baggage carried to the ‘American;’ was cheated by the porter; changed my coat, &c., and sallied out to walk round the city, to drop my many letters into the post-office, and to call upon Chancellor Kent. It was with some difficulty that I found him, living as he does at an extreme part of the city, in a splendid house, where a year ago, as he told me, was a pasture. I jumped into a Broadway coach, and was conveyed somewhere near his residence. I found him in a parlor; was waited upon by him into his study; shown his law and miscellaneous library; his manuscript comments upon the books and reviews he reads,—and he reads every thing legal and literary that is published; his interleaved copy of his Commentaries, in which he is making additional references, explanations, &c.; was invited to tea, which I declined, and to call as I returned. Kent's conversation is lively and instructive, but grossly ungrammatical. It is a wonder which I cannot solve, that he is so correct a writer (I do not think very highly of his taste as a writer) and so incorrect a converser. The same evening, after my interview with [133] Kent, I wrote a full letter to Professor Greenleaf, giving him an account of it.

Thursday morning, at seven o'clock, my baggage was in the hands of a porter, to be conveyed to the Philadelphia boat. And here was a delightful passage. First, thirty miles in a fast-sailing, spacious boat to Amboy; thence, thirty-seven miles on the railway, which we travelled in about two hours, part of the way going at the rate of more than twenty miles an hour. The interval between landing from the steamboat and starting on the railway was but a minute. All the baggage was taken from the boat in one crate and put into a car; the passengers, about thirty, jumped into the different carriages, all attached to one steam-carriage, and were soon far on our way,—moving fast but very gentle,—bowling through the sandy desert or pine-clad plains of New Jersey. At distances of about twelve miles the machine stopped for three minutes to take in water; the bell rang, and we were again on our ‘winding way.’ At Bordentown—the residence of Joseph Bonaparte—we took the boat again. The crate of baggage was swung into the boat, the bell rang, and we were soon pushing the water away before us, and leaving a wake as far back as the eye could reach. At four o'clock-after going thirty miles—we were in Philadelphia, the city of straight streets and marble edifices. I called upon Mr. Walsh;16 was received kindly, &c.: called upon Mr. Troubat;17 on his invitation determined to stay one day in the city, to attend the courts. To-day have attended the courts; visited the waterworks; seen my old schoolmate Peabody, who is a merchant here and boards where I am stopping. I shall start for Baltimore to-morrow at seven o'clock.

Your prodigal son,


To his parents.

Washington, Monday, Feb. 24, 1834.
my dear parents,—Here I am in the great city, or rather the city of great design, of spacious and far-reaching streets, without houses to adorn them or business to keep them lively, with a Capitol that would look proud amidst any European palaces, and with whole lines of houses, which resemble much the erections at Cambridgeport and Lechmere Point,—poor, stunted brick houses, with stores beneath and boarding above. There is nothing natural in the growth of the city. It only grows under the hot-bed culture of Congress. There is no confluence of trade from different parts of the country, and no natural commercial or manufacturing advantages to induce persons to live here. So, for aught I see, it must for ever remain as it is now,—a place of winter resort, as the Springs are of summer resort, and be supported entirely by travellers and sojourners. I arrived here last evening, at about six o'clock, and as yet have only seen the outside of the Capitol; [134] have not seen, except from a distance, the President's house; and have not traversed the city. All these are the pleasures of to-day. I called first upon Judge Story; found him boarding, with the rest of the court, in a house near the Capitol; was most kindly received by him. He wished me to tell you that he should take good care of me.

I left Philadelphia Friday morning at seven o'clock, in the boat William Penn,—a large and ample establishment,—sailed forty miles down the Delaware to Newcastle; jumped into a railroad-car, and in an hour and five minutes, by Henry's watch, passed through the State of Delaware to Frenchtown, at the head of Elk River,—General Washington's headquarters,—a distance of sixteen and a half miles; then took the steamer Charles Carroll for Baltimore, down the Elk and Chesapeake and up the Patapsco, upon which Baltimore is situated,—a distance of sixty-four miles,—arriving at Baltimore at six o'clock in the evening, where I stopped at Barnum's till the next morning, being Sunday, at eight and a half o'clock, when I started for Washington, mounting my last stage. The distance is but thirty-eight miles, yet we were till night laboring over the road,—the worst I was ever upon. The whole country was barren and cheerless; houses were sprinkled very thinly on the road, and when they did appear they were little better than hovels,—mere log-huts, which father will remember, though none else of the family may be able to conceive them. For the first time I saw slaves, and my worst preconception of their appearance and ignorance did not fall as low as their actual stupidity. They appear to be nothing more than moving masses of flesh, unendowed with any thing of intelligence above the brutes. I have now an idea of the blight upon that part of our country in which they live.

At these headquarters of politics, I shall see the men of the land, and ascertain their relative standing. The present prospects are represented as unpromising in the extreme. The majority of the Senate, having the great weight of talent, are against Jackson and his measures relating to the deposits. In the House it is the other way. The Legislature of Pennsylvania have the question now before them; and it is said that upon their proceedings depends the fate of the measure. If they go against Jackson, their large delegation will swing round directly, and give the day to the opposition. Jackson is represented as uncompromising and violent, determined to hold on in his course till he can no longer.

The city is full of travellers. I am now at Brown's, but I hope to find some private boarding-place in the course of the day.

My expenses to this time have been something over thirty dollars. I wish I had twenty dollars more with me. I hardly think I shall have occasion for it, but it would make me feel more comfortable to think that there was no risk of my spending my last dollar before I arrived home. I wish, of course, to see Baltimore and also Philadelphia more than I have. While passing through the cities now, I should see them so as not hereafter to make a special visit with that view.

Affectionately, your prodigal,


[135]

To Professor Simon Greenleaf.

Washington, March 3, 1834.
my dear Mr. Greenleaf,—Mr. F. S. Key18 is now speaking in the Supreme Court, where I write these lines. The case before the court is an important one, between Amos Binney and the Chesapeake Canal,19—Key, Walter Jones, and Webster on one side, and Coxe and Swann on the other. Key has not prepared himself, and now speaks from his preparation on the trial below, relying upon a quickness and facility of language rather than upon research. Walter Jones,20—--a man of acknowledged powers in the law, unsurpassed, if not unequalled, by any lawyer in the country,—is in the same plight. He is now conning his papers and maturing his points,—a labor which, of course, he should have gone through before he entered the court-room. And our Webster fills up the remiss triumvirate. He, like Jones, is doing the labor in court which should have been done out of court. In fact, politics have entirely swamped his whole time and talents. All here declare that he has neglected his cases this term in a remarkable manner. It is now whispered in the room that he has not looked at the present case,21 though the amount at stake is estimated at half a million of dollars.

The insurance case,22 argued by Selden, of New York, at Boston last year before Judge Story, has been argued here since my being in town by Selden on one side and Charles G. Loring and Webster on the other side. It was Loring's first appearance in the Supreme Court, and he acquitted himself honorably, drawing from Webster a practical compliment, dictated probably as much by his own convenience as by his sense of the merits of the argument, though they were superlative. He declined arguing the question after the learned argument of his friend, though a very large property was at stake, —saying, that out of respect to himself and to the court he would not pass over superficially, as he necessarily must, what his friend had discussed so thoroughly and satisfactorily. Loring spoke from a very full brief; was very clear and full, delivering his argument in a calm, undisturbed manner, which was a beautiful contrast to the rhetorical, excited, disturbed, tinselled manner of Selden, who spoke as if addressing his constituents at the Park or at Tammany Hall. Loring's manner was that of reason. The court and all present were highly impressed.

We expect a very interesting case. Wheaton v. Peters,—an action brought by Wheaton (the old reporter) against Peters for publishing in his ‘Condensed Reports’ the twelve volumes of Wheaton, thus, as is alleged, violating Wheaton's copyright. One of the grounds of the defence—and a very interesting one—is, that there cannot be a copyright in the opinions of [136] the court published in the Reports. This ground is strongly upheld by Ingersoll, Peters' counsel at Philadelphia, in a printed argument, which I have read. John Sergeant is Peters' counsel, and Webster, Wheaton's.23

Franklin Dexter made an argument here a few days before I came, which gained him a good reputation. The court this morning gave judgment for his side.24

At this moment, Isaac Hill has moved both Senators and spectators from their seats by undertaking a written speech about the deposits. The Senate do not listen; but the public, whom he will reach through the press, will listen. Every day's attendance in the political part of the Capitol shows me clearly that all speeches there are delivered to the people beyond, and not to the Senators or Representatives present. In the Supreme Court, the object of speaking is to convince. The more I see of politics the more I learn to love law.

Signs of the deep distress of the country are received every day and proclaimed in both Houses. Jackson is obdurate. Sanguine hopes are entertained that he will soon be in a minority in the House, as he is in the Senate.

Judge Story has shown me immense kindness. He sends his love to you. He has just come to me from the bench, and tells me to inform you that he is tired. You will sympathize, I have no doubt, with the fatigue of a wordy argument. My love to Mrs. Greenleaf, and hope your son is well of that cough.

Yours, as ever, affectionately,


To his parents.

Washington, March 3, 1834.
my dear parents,—Since last I wrote, I have seen many great men and attended at the Capitol every day, making the Supreme Court (which is on the lower floor, in a dark room, almost down cellar) my first object of attention, the Senate my next, and the House of Representatives my last. There have not been many cases of interest in the Supreme Court, either from the talents displayed by the counsel or the character of the questions raised. The best argument I have heard as yet was by our Charles G. Loring. You, father, may here see the vanity of my journey in travelling so many hundred miles at such cost, and living here at such cost, to confess that the best treat I have as yet had in the Supreme Court, to attend which was the main object of my visit, was from a home lawyer.25 . . . [137]

I could write a quire about the different lawyers and the appearance of the court, and more about the different judges, of whom I have seen considerable, having supped and dined with them once en famille, as it were,—if I may apply that term where there is no family. All the judges board together, having rooms in the same house and taking their meals from the same table, except Judge McLean, whose wife is with him, and who consequently has a separate table, though in the same house. I dined with them yesterday, being Sunday. Judges Marshall, Story, Thompson, and Duval were present, who, with myself, made up the company, with two waiters in attendance. Sunday here is a much gayer day than with us. No conversation is forbidden, and nothing which goes to cause cheerfulness, if not hilarity. The world and all its things are talked of as much as on any other day. Judge Marshall is a model of simplicity,—‘in wit a man, simplicity a child.’ He is naturally taciturn, and yet ready to laugh; to joke and be joked with. Judge Thompson is a kind-hearted man, now somewhat depressed from the loss of his wife. Judge Duval is eighty-two26 years old, and is so deaf as to be unable to participate in conversation.

I have spent considerable time in the Senate, to the floor of which I received an introduction from Mr. Webster; in other words, he gave me a card which gives me access at all times to the floor. The Senate is now employed entirely upon the deposits. This subject is directly before them by means of Mr. Webster's great report as Chairman of the Finance Committee, which appeared before I left Boston, and also through the various memorials which are pouring in from every part of the country. The presentation of one of these memorials gives occasion for some introductory remarks, descriptive of the sufferings of the country and of the memorialists, which often draws out a reply or counter-statement, and not unfrequently leads on an animated discussion. I was present at one last Tuesday, in which Mr. Clay took part. His eloquence was splendid and thrilling. Without notes or papers of any kind, he seemed to surrender himself entirely to the guidance of his feelings. He showed feeling; to which, of course, his audience responded. There was not one there whose blood did not flow quickly and pulse throb quickly as he listened. He delivered a violent attack upon Jackson, and a vehement exhortation to the people to continue their memorials and remonstrances. His language, without being choice, is strong; but it is his manner, or what Demosthenes called action,—action, action,—which makes him so powerful. The opposition have now a majority of numbers in the Senate and much the heaviest weight of talents. Van Buren sits like a martyr under the volleys of abuse that are poured upon his master and his followers. In the House there has been little to attract attention.

For the first two days I was in Washington I boarded at Brown's Hotel, where I was dropped by the stage. Since then I have taken private lodgings.

Affectionately, your son,


[138]

To his sister Jane, aged fourteen.

Washington, March 4, 1834.
my dear Jane,—I wrote a letter home yesterday, which will be carried by Charles G. Loring, Esq. This letter will go by the mail at nine o'clock this evening. Mr. Loring left town this morning at nine o'clock. You will see how much quicker the mail goes than a private traveller. I have no doubt that you will receive this at least a day earlier than that first written. Letters are carried by mail with all the speed possible. No delay is allowed at any place. They are hurried from one post-office to another, till they reach their final destination. Letters are never tired, as travellers are. They require no sleep or food. Relays of horses and changes of drivers are arranged, so that there may be no stoppage. The post-office is a vast establishment, and is an invention of very modern times. The first appearance of any thing like it was as late as James I. Since then it has received constant improvement and enlargement. And here you will see the importance of the railroads and canals which are now building throughout the whole country. They cause a quick interchange of goods and products, and also of opinions. Steam is now the great and surely powerful agent of this intercommunication. Thirty years ago, its use for this object was hardly known. All transportation of goods and letters was then by horses or ships. But now steam, with a swiftness that never tires, and which literally outstrips the wind, is fast becoming the universal agent. In a year or two, one will be able to go all the way to Washington by steam. Indeed, there are now but seventy miles on which horses are used, and railways are constructing over these miles. I refer to the roads from Boston to Providence, and from Baltimore to Washington. There is something partaking of the sublime in the sense that you are going at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, drawn by an insensible agent, the contrivance of man, who ‘has sought out many inventions;’ enjoying, if you are in a boat, all the comforts and luxuries of the finest hotel, walking over carpets or sitting at a table loaded with all the products of the season; or, if in a railroad car, enjoying at least a comfortable and easy seat, from which you may see the country over which you are flying as a bird. Steam will be a great revolutionist. You, Jane, will hardly understand this word in the sense in which I use it. Yet I am persuaded that the idea intended to be conveyed by it is correct. A journey to Washington now is but a trifle; not so great an affair as a journey to New York twenty years ago. And a voyage to Europe is fast becoming as common and as easy as a journey to Washington. Steamboats are now erecting at Liverpool (I think) to run between that port and New York. Steam, you will see, is destined to be the great link of nations.

Pardon the above dissertation. I have been betrayed into it by my desire to impress upon your mind something that, though it may not be entirely new, still may be slightly instructive; or, at least, show you that I think of your instruction at the distance now between us. I hope you continue to study your Latin. You will not care to be an accomplished Latin scholar; out I trust you will have an ambition to acquire enough of that noble language [139] to enable you to understand the grammar and etymology of your own, and also to enjoy the numerous allusions to and quotations from the authors of old Rome, with which elegant composition is so often interspersed. Further, the study of Latin will be a very proper discipline to your mind. The value of French, as a part of female education, I do not think so high as that of Latin.27 Fashion and custom, though, have settled this question against me; and, in fact, have required from every lady a knowledge of this tongue. You, therefore, should learn French, as it were, in self-defence, to show that you are not behind that standard of education fixed for ladies. Remember, further, that books will be constant friends, to relieve you from lonesomeness and perhaps sorrow. . . .

These are incoherent hints, my Jane, which I wish you to think of, and, if willing, to adopt. I might expand them into a treatise. I hope Mary—who is not so docile as you—will imbibe some of your spirit of study, some of your willingness to undertake labor. She has fine intelligence and an inquisitiveness, which I think a good omen. I hope she will not abandon any of that; though I wish she would try to bear her little disappointments, in not being able to have her questions answered, with more nerve. She must remember the fable of Hercules and the laborer. The laborer's complaints and Mary's tears are equally unavailing.

There is little in Washington to interest you, or I would have written you about what I have seen and heard here. There are many strangers here. Indeed, Washington is peopled by them. It is a great encampment, where some pitch their tents for the season, and others for a month or a week. The Capitol you have read a description of. It is a sumptuous edifice, worthy in every way its high object, as the place of meeting of the representatives of the greatest republic on earth. The President's palace is of equal attraction. The description given of it in your ‘Juvenile Miscellany’ is correct. I have been in many of its rooms, and seen General Jackson (the old tyrant), who appeared very infirm. He seemed to have hardly nerve enough to keep his bones together. When I first called upon him, he had just gone out with some gentlemen to see a horse. He soon returned, and went into conference with Secretary McLane, who was with him when I was introduced. Judge Story has shown me great kindness and afforded me many facilities here, for which I am grateful. He sends his regards to father. I wish, Jane, you would ask father to send me, enclosed in a letter, twenty dollars, if convenient. If not convenient, I will try to do without. It would be a comfort to me to have more than I have. My expenses here are considerable,—board ten dollars a week,—and I wish to stop a day or two in Baltimore and Philadelphia on my return. The money will be remitted, of course, at my risk.

This letter is written in the Supreme Court, while F. S. Key is speaking in a case of great magnitude.

Your affectionate brother,


[140]

To his sister Mary, aged twelve years.

Washington, Tuesday Evening, March 18, 1834.
my dear Mary,—I am thankful to father for his letter, and to you for yours,—which, by the way, I wish had been written a little fairer. I received them in due time, with their enclosures of fifty dollars from Mr. Rand28 and of twenty dollars from father. I have intended every day to write to you, but have been prevented by some engagement or other. Time passes very quickly here, without affording much room for study or correspondence; and it would be often difficult to point out at the end of the day what all the hours had been devoted to. I rise usually about seven o'clock; read the newspapers till breakfast, which is at eight and a half o'clock. After breakfast, say at nine o'clock, I take a walk to view some object of interest, or to make a call on some gentleman of Congress; sometimes get to the Capitol at ten o'clock, when I pass the next hour in the Congress library, till eleven o'clock, when the Supreme Court opens. Here I pitch my tent generally till the hour of its adjournment, which usually takes place about three and a half o'clock.

The Senate and House of Representatives open at twelve o'clock, and continue in session till four and sometimes five o'clock. If I hear of any very interesting debate in either, and there is nothing of great interest in the court, I desert the latter; and after the court is over I wait the adjournment of the Senate and House. This brings me to dinner at four or four and a half o'clock. After dinner there is but little daylight left, which I occupy in making calls. The first part of the evening I spend in conversation with some of the gentlemen at home, or in visiting. The latter I most invariably spend with Judge Story,—say from nine o'clock till ten, that being the hour when he is free. Such, Mary, is a simple account of the course of my time. It will be hardly interesting or intelligible to you, though otherwise to mother and father. The end of the day generally finds me tired and willing to go to bed, or at least indisposed to much exercise of the mind. I have found time, though, to read an able work of Dr. Lieber on the Girard Seminary, and to run my eyes through a law-book on ‘Tenures,’ and to prepare a law-argument of four pages, to be laid before the Judiciary Committee of the Senate, on Mr. Ward's claim against the United States,29 besides writing the few letters which I have written.

This letter will be carried by Judge Story, who leaves to-morrow morning,—the Supreme Court then adjourning. It was my intention to have started with him; but as I should stop, at his recommendation, a day or two in Baltimore, so that I should be obliged to quit him,—and as I should be but an unsocial companion on the road to Baltimore, he riding in the inside and I necessarily on the outside,—I have determined to remain a few days longer in this city of magnificent distances, to give an undivided attention to the debates in Congress, which are growing daily in interest. Mr. Webster [141] has this day presented, with an eloquent speech, the protest from Boston, and also introduced his bank-bill.30 This last will excite great debate. Mr. McDuffie31 told me to-day that he should endeavor to show, to-morrow or next day, that General Jackson has deliberately aimed to engross all the powers of the government; and, in short, to challenge little short of a ‘kingly crown.’

I shall not start for home till the last of the week,—say Friday or Saturday or Sunday,—and shall be fully a week on my way. My dear Mary, I am ashamed of addressing such a letter as the above to you. It contains nothing, I feel, adapted to your age, and should rather be addressed to father.

Good night, by your affectionate brother,


To Professor Simon Greenleaf.

Washington, March 18, 1834.
my dear Professor Greenleaf,—I snatch a moment to express to you my joy at receiving the testimonial of your regard and recollection enclosed in the letter to Judge Story. The Supreme Court adjourns to-morrow, and Judge S. starts immediately on his ‘winding way’ home, where I hope will be peace and happiness. Since I have been in Washington my debt of gratitude to him has been largely swelled. To him I owe an introduction to many of the interesting persons and scenes of the place, and especially what I may almost call a place in the court,—persona standi in judicio, as Lord Stowell would say. I shall remain a few more days in Washington, being anxious to attend the animating debate which impends on Mr. Webster's bank-bill. I probably shall never come to Washington again, and therefore I shall do myself best service by making the most of this visit. I wish to become acquainted with the manner and appearance of those gentlemen whose speeches I am to read for some years, and with whose fame the country rings from side to side. Notwithstanding the attraction afforded by the Senate, and the newspaper fame which I see the politicians there acquire, I feel no envy therefor, and no disposition to enter the unweeded garden in which they are laboring, even if its gates were wide open to me; in plain language, I see no political condition that I should be willing to desire, even if I thought it within my reach,—which, indeed, I do not think of the humblest.

The country is in a sad condition, without a discernible sign of relief. I cannot but have a sense or feeling that things cannot continue in this pass, and that the very extremity of our distress shows the day of redemption to be near. However, why write of this? Judge Story will fully, and more justly than I can, tell you all the impressions a Washington residence makes.

Judge Story's ‘Conflict of Laws’32 was cited in argument in the Supreme Court last Saturday for the first time. [142]

I have paid a pilgrimage to Mount Vernon alone on horseback; seen the original Declaration of Independence; the snuff-boxes and royal presents to our ambassadors; the toys at the Patent-Office, &c.

My love to Mrs. G., and my ardent wishes for your health and happiness.

From your, as ever, affectionate


To his father.

Washington, March 19, 1834.
my dear father,—I have seen Governor Lincoln several times since he has been in town. He has treated me very kindly, and cordially invited me to see him. I presented your respects to him upon his first arrival, and he appeared much gratified. He has spoken, you will have seen by the papers, this week, on presenting a memorial from Worcester. The speech, I think, reads well, though it made little impression on the House. In fact, nobody can make himself there heard, nor, by consequence, gain the attention of the House. Members have too many facilities for writing and reading to give up these last to attend to a speech where the very attention is labor and weariness. Governor Lincoln is very constant in his seat, and attentive to all the speeches. Indeed, he seems to give a studied attention.

The spring has stolen upon me here unexpectedly in this southern latitude. The grass looks green in many fields within sight, and the days feel sultry; which, with the dust that sweeps up and down Pennsylvania Avenue, make the walk to the Capitol quite uncomfortable.

Calhoun has given notice to-day that he will speak to-morrow on Mr. Webster's bank-bill. I shall probably hear him, and he will be the last man I shall ever hear speak in Washington. I probably shall never come here again. I have little or no desire ever to come again in any capacity. Nothing that I have seen of politics has made me look upon them with any feeling other than loathing. The more I see of them the more I love law, which, I feel, will give me an honorable livelihood. Mr. Peters, who has treated me with great friendship, told me, when I was remarking to him as above, that before 1840 I should come on to Washington (if I were willing) to argue some causes in the Supreme Court. This anticipation, flattering of course, was dictated undoubtedly by Judge Story's friendly recommendations of me. However, I do not presume to indulge any such anticipations. When indulged by others, I let them pass for what they are worth. To-day is Thursday. Saturday morning I shall probably leave Washington for Baltimore, where I shall be, perhaps, Sunday and Monday; on Tuesday pass from Baltimore to Philadelphia, over the track of the unfortunate steamer William Penn, one of the largest and handsomest boats I ever was in, where I shall stay a couple of days; pass to New York, there to stop a day; then through the Sound via Providence home, where I hope to find you all well and happy, as I have been and now am.

Affectionately, your son


[143]

To Professor Simon Greenleaf.

Washington, March 21, 1834.
my dear Mr. Greenleaf,—Let me congratulate you upon the presence of your fellow-laborer in instruction. I hope Judge S. is at home, well and in good spirits.

I leave Washington to-morrow morning for Baltimore. I feel happy in the prospect of soon seeing home and my friends in Cambridge, who stand next in my affections; and, indeed, I have sometimes feared more than divided them. That I may find you and yours in health and happiness is my ardent wish.

It will be vacation, I presume, when I arrive. I trust that you will make it vacation in reality.

I have nothing interesting to write from this big city. There is the same strong cry of complaint received every day from every part of the country; and, in return, there is the same stubborn indifference manifested by the administration.

Excuse this rude scrawl, and believe me

Yours, as aforesaid,


To his father.

Washington, March 21, 1834.
my dear father,—I start for Baltimore to-morrow morning at eight and a half o'clock, after one month's residence in Washington. I have seen many of the first men in the country, and heard most of the speakers. The excitement of the times has afforded me a good opportunity to hear our leading minds.

I feel a little melancholy at leaving, as I have become almost a denizen here; have habituated myself to the hours and style of living here, so that I shall feel the change. And yet there is nothing that I have met, either in the Senate or the court, or in the well-furnished tables of the richest hotels, that I would take in exchange for the calm enjoyments and employments to which I have been accustomed. I feel in an unnatural state, and I shall have joy in once more resuming my constant labors.

Mr. Calhoun has spoken to-day on Mr. Webster's bank-bill.33 He is no orator, very rugged in his language, unstudied in style, marching directly to the main points of his subject without stopping for parley or introduction. His speech made a very strong impression upon a very numerous audience.

I bade good-by to Governor Lincoln to-day, who wished me to present his regards to you. He has obtained private lodgings now, and feels a little more contented. He was quite homesick a week ago. He is much discouraged by the size of the Representatives' Hall; he can neither hear nor be heard.

Perhaps you will not hear from me again till I come in person. I wrote [144] letters while on my way from home, but those were Parthian shafts. I shall follow so close upon my letters, that it will be superfluous to write till I come home.

Good-by.

You will see that this is written in a hurricane of haste.


To Dr. Francis Lieber, Philadelphia.

Boston, July 17, 1834.
my dear doctor,—Yours containing the notice of ‘Mittermaier's Journal’ was duly received. I thank you for it; it was what was wanted. Your friendly address to me I appreciate, and under your advice shall hasten to learn German as speedily as possible. Judge Story will attest to you that my time is not unemployed; if it had been in the least otherwise for the last three months, I should already have made some acquests of that difficult language. I have just, by the help of a dictionary, made out the meanings of half a dozen title-pages in German, to enter in the list of new publications on jurisprudence at the end of our journal. Set that down as a beginning.

You may see at Micklin and Johnson's, probably, the ‘Law Magazine,’ No. 23, which contains Mittermaier's article on German criminal law. I see he has just published another medical work on ‘Proofs,’ &c.

I was with Judge Story when he received your letter giving an account of Mittermaier's article on his ‘Commentaries on the Constitution.’ How long is that article, and what is its purport and point? Ought it not to be presented to our public, translated?34 I burn to know German, that I may at once read all these things myself, and not pester with my ignorance my indulgent friends.

Can I help you about towns?35 You will wish first to state in brief what towns are in England,—to get, as it were, a unit of measure; and because ours are fashioned more or less upon those models. You will then be led to state that towns are public corporations: and here explain a nice distinction of the common law between public and private corporations,—a distinction unknown to the civil law, and, I presume, to German or any continental jurisprudence. The early history of New England should be searched, in order, as it were, to go behind the statute-book; for, I take it, towns were established long before there was much systematic legislation. Indeed, I have always regarded the formation of New England into towns as one of the peculiarities of the first settlers, to be accounted for by a study of their circumstances and character. Can I assist you? I have several engagements [145] of my pen in different quarters, but there is no one I should be so happy to serve as you.

With sincere attachment, yours,


To Miss Peters, Philadelphia.

Boston, Aug. 13, 1834.
. . . I am glad that you are so fond of what most young ladies call dry reading,—Hume, Sallust, &c. Novels, indeed, are delightful. They are the sources of exhilaration and pleasure; and especially those of Walter Scott and Miss Edgeworth often contain much instruction, either by furnishing sketches of historical characters, or of an age, or of a remarkable event, which are thus imprinted on the attentive mind with the vividness of a picture, or by illustrating and enforcing some beautiful moral truth. Miss Edgeworth's ‘Helen,’ which I have just read, is worth a score of dull sermons on this account. With what point and skill has she shown the miserable consequences of the slightest departure from truth! But notwithstanding all the fine qualities which some novels possess, they must not be received as the only aliment of the mind. . . .

I am glad you have taken the trouble to abridge Hume as you read, though I fear you have done it out of kind deference to my advice rather than from love of it. The making this abridgment will have a tendency to fasten your attention upon the history more than it would have been otherwise, while you will also accustom yourself to select the leading events,—a habit of great importance. Hume's style is easy and fascinating. It has not the stately and oratorical character which belongs to Robertson and Gibbon, but is much more intelligible than that of either. . .. When you have grown a good deal older, you will take a pleasure in reading some criticisms and strictures upon Hume, and also the volumes of Sir James Mackintosh on English history, which, though written in an involved and often crabbed style, abound in the finest thoughts and in the most correct views of the English Constitution.

Sallust is one of the most valuable authors spared to us from antiquity. He is remarkable for point, strong remark, and sarcasm; the last is especially directed against vice, though he himself was one of the most flagitious men that ever lived,—if I remember right, the plunderer of the province of which he was pro-consul, and a sensualist who set no bounds to his indulgence. His works, so caustic in the cause of virtue, and his character so defiled by vice, taken together present an anomaly which is a standing wonder. . . .

Remember me affectionately to your father, mother, sisters, and

Believe me as ever yours,


1 His father noted the day in his interleaved copy of ‘Thomas's Farmer's Almanac.’ His classmate Hopkinson had desired Sumner to enter his office at Lowell, and Mr. Alvord also invited him to his office in Greenfield.

2 Mr. Rand in the autumn of 1834 visited England, where he was well received by lawyers and judges. His partner, Mr. A. H. Fiske, remained in charge of the office.

3 Jan. [124] 1834, Vol. XI. pp. 101-105.

4 April, 1834, Vol. XI. pp. 320-338.

5 July, 1834, Vol. XII. pp. 5-66. The materials for this article were largely furnished by a memorandum-book, in which, beginning with 1832, he had been accustomed to write, from time to time, opinions of law books gathered in his reading.

6 July, 1834, Vol. XII. pp. 104-117. Browne wrote, July 24, ‘Your article on “Replevin” was learned, and well and logically expressed. It was an extraordinary article for a young man; but it is not practical. You seem to delight in the speculative in the choice of your articles.’

7 July, 1834, Vol. XII. pp. 248-270.

8 They were introduced to each other by a note of Richard Peters, commending Dr. Lieber to Sumner.

9 Dr. Blake's reminiscences of Sumner at the time of this visit were printed in the Washington ‘Weekly Republican,’ March 19, 1874.

10 Sumner had through life a profound respect for Mr. Binney's character. In an address to the Law School of Howard University, Feb. 3, 1871, he spoke of ‘the venerable Horace Binney, as the living head of the profession in our country.’ Mr. Binney died, August, 1875, at the age of ninety-five.

11 Mr. Peters was fond of society, entertaining in conversation, and full of wit and anecdote. He lived till May 1, 1848. His intimate relations with Judge Story appear in the latter's ‘Life and Letters.’

12 1786-1868. Mr. Ingersoll was a member of Congress, 1835-37, and again 1842-49. and Minister to England, 1850-53.

13 Act V. Scene 3.

14 Lincoln was the son of Governor Lincoln, for whom Sumner's father cherished a lively gratitude. Ante, pp. 21, 22.

15 Before leaving, that morning, he wrote a note to Professor Greenleaf, accompanying a copy of Story's ‘Conflict of Laws,’ just issued, which the judge had requested him to send as the author's gift.

16 Robert Walsh, then editor of the ‘National Gazette.’

17 Francis J. Troubat.

18 Francis Scott Key, 1779-1843, author of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’

19 8 Peters' Reports, p. 201.

20 1775-1861. An eminent lawyer, for many years residing and practising his profession at Washington.

21 Mr. Coxe, counsel on the other side, so informed Sumner.

22 Hazard v. New England Marine Insurance Co., 8 Peters' Reports, p. 555; 8 c. 1 Sumner's Reports, p. 218.

23 The brief of Mr. Webster's argument in Wheaton v. Peters, 8 Peters' Reports, p. 591, was taken by Mr. Peters, the reporter, from Sumner's notes, made during the argument. Mr. Peters prevailed in the case.

24 Carrington v. Merchants' Insurance Co., 8 Peters' Reports, p. 495.

25 The omitted paragraph is a repetition of a part of the letter of the same date to Professor Greenleaf.

26 Gabriel Duval, 1752-1844. He resigned Jan., 1835.

27 His foreign travels changed his opinion as to the study of the French language.

28 Mr. Rand had forwarded the amount for the purchase of law books for himself.

29 Joshua H. Ward, a lawyer practising in Danvers.

30 Webster's Works, Vol. IV. pp. 82-102.

31 Representative from South Carolina.

32 This treatise was published early in the year.

33 Calhoun's Works, Vol. II. pp. 344-376.

34 ‘American Jurist,’ July, 1835, Vol. XIV. p. 247.

35 Mittermaier had requested Dr. Lieber to contribute to a German magazine an article on ‘Towns.’ This was prior to the publication of Tocqueville's review of the ‘American System of Townships,’ and particularly of the towns of New England, in his ‘Democracy in America,’ Vol. I. ch. 5.

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