‘I rejoice that you have gone through the ordeal of your inauguration, and fairly through, and are now acclimated in the Law School. I never had any doubt upon the subject. Your success (for so I learn from Mr. Greenleaf) has been complete and every way gratifying. I hope that this is but the beginning, and that one day you may fill the chair which he or I occupy, if he or I, like autocrats, can hope to appoint our successors.’1He rendered the same service in the winters of 1836-37, and in the last-named year had the chief responsibility for the school during the absence of both Judge Story and Professor Greenleaf,—the latter being engaged at Washington as counsel in the case of The Charles-River Bridge v. The Warren Bridge. Like the two professors, Sumner taught by oral examinations and also by formal lectures. He used as text-books Kent's ‘Commentaries,’—the first and second volumes,—and Starkie's ‘Evidence.’ The volumes of Kent which he used, particularly the first, are very much underscored, and marked with additional references. The first volume treats of the law of nations, the jurisdiction of the national courts, and the sources of municipal law. The thorough study of these topics, which his duties as instructor required, gave him thus early a facility in dealing with them, which was to be of great use to him in public life. He had a difficult place to fill in the school,—one always suggesting a comparison with Story and Greenleaf. Few recall his method as a teacher; and while he did not leave a strong impression of any kind on the students, he appears to have realized a fair measure of success for so young a lawyer. Early in 1835,2 Judge Story appointed him as the reporter of his opinions in the Circuit Court. His first volume (filled with cases decided in the time of the preceding reporter, Mason) was published in March, 1836, the second in 1837, and the third in 1841. In 1835, he assisted Professor Greenleaf in preparing the General Digest of his ‘Reports of the Decisions of the Supreme Court of Maine,’ which is a part of Vol. IX. of the series. In 1835-36, he prepared the indexes to the two volumes of Story's ‘Equity Jurisprudence.’ Some literary work planned in 1835 was not executed,--a condensed series of English Parliamentary Cases, to be prepared by him in connection with
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