previous next
[9] through the Jacobinism and Radicalism and atheism of modern Europe, and all its other isms, and come home a sound and liberal conservative, as God made you; neither bigoted to the old because it is such, nor passionately in love with the striking novelties of the new. You are daily acquiring a vast intellectual and moral power, to be wielded on your return. Our earnest desire is to have you occupy an additional professor's chair, with Judge Story and myself, bringing into our institution all that power and all the affluence of your mind, to bear upon the great and increasing number of young men who come to us for instruction in constitutional and municipal law. Our responsibilities to our country are great, for the influence we thus indirectly exert upon her institutions; but we meet them with alacrity and the courage of honest and conscientious men. We want the aid of a yoke-fellow who is both an accomplished civilian and a sound common lawyer, versed in both systems, but addicted exclusively to neither; a liberal, enlightened, and yet practical jurist, and sound in constitutional law. Need I say that no man fills this space in our eyes like yourself? So make all your acquisitions, my dear friend, bear on this subject; keep always in mind that you are to occupy an additional chair with us, as our colleague in the great and honorable work, practising also in the courts in the more important causes, and in due time hasten home to the station we are quietly endeavoring to prepare for you1

Again, Jan. 18, 1839:—

When you ask me if we do still think it would have been better for you to have stayed at home, you put a difficult question. You have indeed seen “a bright page” of human life, and with most extraordinary good fortune. It will be worth to you more or less, as you may choose. I do not yet regret the step you took. If you can return to us and to our habits of business, as if you had not left New England, bringing your great acquisitions in Europe into active service at home,—as I trust with confidence you will do,—the gain will be clear and decisive; and I think you will find no difficulty in resuming your place in the profession. We must give you an early retainer, that you may go soon into court and make your own arguments, instead of writing them for others to gain fame with.

Again, May 17:—

Can you still remember so humble and quiet a spot as Dane Hall? Scarcely a day passes, I assure you, that I am not in some way reminded of you,—whether it be by visible traces in the library or by a sense of the want of your society; and when in the city I meet your brother Henry, as I frequently do, it is almost like the sight of yourself returned. . . . Of myself I have nothing to say. My life passes without events,—except hearing recitations, giving lectures, and studying law. I am growing older, yet not graver, but rather more buoyant,—holding cheerfulness a religious duty, and

1 In Jan., 1839, Judge Story said in conversation that he and Greenleaf should try to have Sumner in the Law School soon after his return; that the wish which lay nearest and dearest to his heart was to leave the Law School in good hands, and that he desired to have Sumner and Hillard succeed himself and Greenleaf.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
New England (United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Charles Sumner (2)
William W. Story (2)
Simon Greenleaf (2)
George S. Hillard (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
January 18th, 1839 AD (1)
January, 1839 AD (1)
May 17th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: