he undertook, and guarded well the interests confided to him. He was regularly at his office by 9 o'clock in the morning, left it at 2 in the afternoon for dinner, and was back again at 4 to remain an hour or two.
It was a short walk of five minutes from No. 4 Court Street, through Pemberton Square and Ashburton Place, to 20 Hancock Street. He continued to serve as commissioner of the United States Circuit Court.
Once he was counsel in some insurance cases before Judge Williams
, a referee.
He had charge of several patent causes,—one already referred to concerning friction matches, on which he was still employed in the summer of 1851;1
one concerning a rotary-power stocking loom; and another concerning a contrivance for grinding the knives or blades of a straw-cutting machine.
This last patent cause was on trial for a week, and ended in a disagreement of the jury.
B. F. Hallett
was associated with Sumner
as plaintiff's counsel, and Henry B. Stanton
and Horace E. Smith
were for the defence.
According to Mr. Stanton
‘shone in the hard fight.’
Tills is his only known case before a jury at this period.
His last appearance in court was when he argued in the Supreme Court of the State
in behalf of a trustee's answer in a trustee process.2
He appeared for his friend, F. W. Bird
, before a legislative committee in relation to the route of the Norfolk County
He had a fair share of office business; and among clients to whom he rendered such service were C. F. Adams
and A. McPhail
His briefs in the patent cases, still preserved, show careful preparation both as to the law and the facts, and a capacity to deal with this difficult and subtle branch of the law beyond what could be expected of one who was so strongly drawn to comprehensive discussions relating to human society.
His briefs in the insurance cases show the same completeness of preparation.
He annotated new editions of Story
's Works on Equity Pleading, Equity Jurisprudence
, and Partnership.
's professional earnings, which are thought to have been not more than one or two thousand dollars a year, his compensation for editing Story
's Works, and his fees for lectures before lyceums were, although he lived without charge at his mother's, only sufficient to pay his personal expenses, which were on a moderate scale,—covering the rent of his law office,