then recently deceased, which set forth his services as a practical diplomatist and a writer on the Law
He became in his youth acquainted with Mr. Wheaton
, but the acquaintance did not then ripen into intimacy.
Such, however, was his great interest in that publicist's favorite topics that his tribute was appreciative and generous.
In 1848 Sumner
prepared a report2
for a legislative committee, to which was referred the subject of arranging a system for the organization and discipline of the militia.
It treated at length the constitutional question involved, and affirmed as the conclusion that with Congress is the exclusive power to organize and discipline the national militia, while the State
retains ample power to provide a local force, or internal police, for maintaining ‘order and the supremacy of the law.’
His draft at one time appeared likely to be accepted by the committee, but it was finally laid aside.3
Some of the points of his paper were used five years later in his speech in the Massaclusetts Constitutional Convention.4
Among the matters aside from the slavery question and prison discipline in which Sumner
was interested during the years 1845-1850, was the peaceful settlement; of the Oregon
question, in relation to which he corresponded with English friends and Mr. Winthrop
; the administration of Edward Everett
, as President
of Harvard College, whose inauguration he attended April 30, 1846, and with whom he continued to exchange notes and courtesies; Horace Mann
's labors in behalf of popular education; the literary success of his friends,—of Prescott
, who early in the summer of 1847 published his ‘Peru
,’ and soon after began his ‘Philip II.;’ of Emerson
, who issued a volume of poems early in 1847, and delivered a course of lectures in Boston
attended; of Agassiz
, to the lectures of both of whom in 1847 before the Lowell Institute he