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[174]

I think your ‘Stranger in America’ is not in the Boston market. A young friend of mine, a son of Professor Greenleaf, who read it on my hint, is ravished with it, and tried to get a couple of copies to present to his friends. His mother and father were delighted with it.

Yours ever,


To Rev. Dr. John G. Palfrey,1 Cambridge.

Boston, Feb. 5, 1836.
my dear Sir,—It will give me great pleasure to write an article on the Uses and Importance of History, considering several topics suggested by Dr. Lieber's inaugural,—especially when you and Dr. Lieber concur in inviting me; but I feel unwilling to pledge myself to do it for the July number. My professional engagements, my own editorial duties, unsupported by a full list of able contributors, and the several connections in which I find myself implicated with works in preparation or in press, to say nothing of lighter demands which society and the current literature of the day make upon my time, leave me with less opportunity than inclination for literary composition. History, however, is a theme I love; and I hope to be able to call the attention of the public to the importance of its study, through the pages of your journal, as early as the October number if not in July. There are two other subjects which I have at heart, and wish to consider in your journal, if agreeable to you; one, the particular features which distinguish Judge Story's law treatises from the English law books, presenting a condensed view of the distinctive character of his law writings rather than a review and analysis of an individual work. The other subject is legal education, with a view to correct some erroneous notions on the subject, and to suggest courses and methods of study. These can be made the matter of future conversation between us.2 With my best wishes for your health,

I am, my dear sir,

Yours very truly,


1 Dr. Palfrey was born in 1796, and is still a resident of Cambridge. He was professor of sacred literature in Harvard University, 1831-39; and a member of Congress, 1847-49. among his various contributions to literature is a ‘history of New England.’ his article on Lord Mahon's ‘history of England,’-printed in the ‘North American Review,’ of which he was for several years the editor,—was in Sumner's judgment ‘one of the best specimens of criticism which our country has produced.’ Allibone's ‘Dictionary of authors,’ Vol. II. p. 1491. Sumner began his first political speech, Nov. 4, 1845, with a tribute to Dr. Palfrey for his manumission of inherited slaves,—the legal details of which Sumner had assisted in arranging. Works, Vol. I. p. 151. they were at this period, and for many years after, very closely associated with each other in the political movement against slavery.

2 He did not write any of the proposed articles for the ‘North American Review,’ named in the letter.

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