on the Fourth of July, and an address at a commencement of Dartmouth College.
was already a favorite public speaker; and, in Dec., 1837, made his famous reply to James T. Austin
, in Faneuil Hall, on Lovejoy
's murder at Alton
Unlike most young lawyers, Sumner
took no part in politics.
His letters written in 1836 make no reference to the political canvass of that year, which ended in Van Buren
Young men of similar education—as Robert C. Winthrop
—were elected to the Legislature, then much larger than now, soon after they entered on manly life;1
but no one seems to have thought of him in such a connection, and certainly he had no ambition for the place.2
In 1835, he took a share in a speculation,—his only venture of the kind through life.
He was duped by the assurances of brokers into investing in the American Land Company
, of New York, the officers of which pretended to have made fortunate investments in the West
He hoped to realize a handsome sum; but he lost all he had advanced,—an amount which he could ill afford to spare from his meagre revenues,—and was left in debt.
Smarting under the deception to which he was a victim, he wrote to the friend whose investigations had opened his eyes, ‘I have learned a valuable lesson; money and business dissolve all the ties and bonds of friendship.’
In August and September, 1836, he took a vacation, the only one which he is known to have taken during his first three years of practice.
He visited Niagara Falls
, going by the way of New York City and the Hudson River
, and returning by the way of Canada
, the White Mountains
, and Portland
At New York he called on Chancellor Kent
who treated him with much courtesy; met William Johnson
, the reporter, whom he found ‘gentlemanly, accomplished, and talented, truly a delightful character;’ and had pleasant interviews with his friend George Gibbs
, and his classmate Tower
Impressed with the contrast between the street life of New York and that of Boston
, more striking then