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[43] must make the advance. I cannot doubt that if Canada were admitted into our Union, her apparently incongruous races would be fused, as in Louisiana and Pennsylvania, by the potent though quiet action of our political system.1

To John A. Kasson, New Bedford, July 12:—

When I tell you that your article on law reform2 expounds views which I have long entertained, and which I have urged in conversation and in correspondence if not in published writings, you will understand the feelings of satisfaction with which I read it. I admired the vivid style, the facility of practical illustration, and the complete mastery of the subject which it showed. You have done good service to jurisprudence, and helped discharge the debt which Lord Bacon tells us we owe to our profession, by this able exposition of a vicious system. I trust that our Commonwealth will have the wisdom to adopt your suggestions. My own attention was directed to the subject shortly after I came to the bar, when in editing Dunlap's Admiralty Practice I found myself called upon to prepare a series of forms in admiralty. Those which are now in general use in the country were, I believe, the result of my labors at that time. While engaged upon these, I was induced to inquire if such forms are apt for the administration of justice in admiralty, Why are they not equally apt for the administration of justice at common law? The conclusions which I then adopted have been strengthened by subsequent reflection and observation, particularly on the continent of Europe. In these conclusions I went against the prejudices of a rigorous professional education and of special black-letter studies. I doubt if there are many persons in our country who have explored with more ardor than myself all the most inaccessible subtleties of special pleading, penetrating the barricades of Norman French, and the peculiar abbreviations of Rastell and the Year Books.3 When in Germany I knew well the two great masters of the question of codification,— Savigny, the renowned head of the historical school; and Thibaut, who was the chief of the didactic school. The latter is now dead, leaving a name of great honor in the jurisprudence of his country. I cannot forget a long conversation I once had with him on the subject of law reform and codification. He Was then venerable in years, and his words seemed like those of an unerring teacher. He concluded our conversation by saying that in order to conduct these reforms to a successful conclusion, “Nothing was wanted but the will,— the will.” These words made a strong impression on my mind, and I now commend then to you. I trust that our Commonwealth will exhibit the will to reform its jurisprudence. To you will belong the honor of contributing to strengthen and determine that will.

1 Cobden in his reply, Nov. 7, 1849, agreed with Sumner as to the future union of Canada with the United States. Sumner's Works, vol. XII. pp. 172-175. Such a union was a favorite idea with Sumner through life. Works, vol. XIII. pp, 127-130. North American Review, July-August, 1878; pp. 78-80: ‘A Senator's Fidelity Vindicated,’ by E. L. Pierce.

2 Law Reporter, Boston, June, 1849, pp. 61-80.

3 Sumner thought the distinction between law and equity, then rigidly enforced equally without reason, ‘an anomaly in our jurisprudence and also in that of England. unworthy of an age when the law is treated as a science.’ Letter to Professor Mittermaier, Feb. 1, 1848 (Mss.).

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