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[328] the principal, Mr. Tillinghast, the following note from Mr. Mann:1

Wrentham, Aug. 6, 1846.
My dear Sumner,—The new Normal Schoolhouse at Bridgewater is to be dedicated on Wednesday, the 19th inst. Address by Hon. William G. Bates. The active and leading agency you have had in executing measures which have led to this beneficial result would make your absence on that occasion a matter of great regret. I know it will console you for your troubles in relation to the subject to be present on the day of jubilee, to gratify so many persons, and to participate in a joy which will be common and comprehensive. Let me assure you that, however it may seem beforehand, you will not be sorry afterwards for having made some exertion, and even some sacrifice, to be there. Probably there will be three hundred graduates of the school, who will feel deeply disappointed if you are not present. Do go! Do go!

Ever and truly yours, &c.


The enterprise, though successful, subjected Sumner afterwards to vexation and pecuniary inconvenience. Failing to receive some of the promised contributions, he found himself, more than a year after the buildings had been completed, without funds to meet his note at maturity, the payment of which was pressed by the gentleman who had discounted it. To Mr. Waterston, whose active interest in raising the required sum had not been imitated by other members of the committee, he wrote, three years afterwards:—

It seems to me rather hard that I should be thus left in the lurch by our committee, and particularly by individuals on it who have never contributed their full quota, and who are themselves rich, too. I have so far neglected my worldly affairs during these latter years, and have been called upon so frequently for contributions, that I am less able than any member of the committee to pay this deficiency out of my own pocket. Nor do I think it just that——,——,——, all of whom were originally responsible with me, and who have not contributed their full share, should let this be cast upon me. I have had the labor and responsibility of carrying the matter through, as far as it has gone, and secured contributions much beyond my portion. It seems to me, therefore, that I may properly devolve upon the members of the committee above named the duty of meeting this deficit. Upon you there is no claim, for you have already supplied more than your share; but I submit the account to you, and ask your advice as to the course to be pursued.

What a contrast between those former days and these! Now States and municipalities vote cheerfully, lavishly even, appropriations

1 Mann's Life, pp. 249, 250.

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