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[59] profession. He was in 1847-1848 one of the committee to pass upon essays offered at Harvard College for the Bowdoin prize,—a prize which he had himself taken as a student. In 1850 He served as one of the trustees of the State Library.

Sumner's correspondence at the period of 1845-1850 was, as always, large. He wrote to his brother George, still in Europe, more than to any one, covering personal and family affairs, as well as public questions at home and abroad, and begging him to come home and devote himself to some earnest work in literature or philanthropy. He corresponded with George P. Marsh, Dr. George W. Bethune, George W. Greene, and Brantz Mayer on literary subjects; with Lieber on historical questions; with Vaux, Parrish, and Foulke, all of Philadelphia, on prison discipline; with William and John Jay on measures against war and slavery; with Giddings, Palfrey, and Mann on issues in Congress and the antislavery movement;1 with Whittier, Charles Allen, S. C. Phillips, and many others on political resistance in Massachusetts to slavery; with David Dudley Field on the reform and codification of the law; with B. D. Silliman and William Kent, who wrote on professional topics and social amenities, both taking the liberty of friendship to chaff him for his philanthropic and political vagaries,—the former calling him a ‘prematurist.’ Friendly notes came often from Howe, Felton, and Longfellow. Death and change of interests eliminated front time to time from the list several between whom and himself many letters had passed. One from Mr. Daveis, of Portland, in 1847, broke a long interval, urging Sumner to attend that year the dinner of the Society of the Cincinnati in Boston, with whom he had last met in 1844.

It is perhaps worthy of note that Alexander H. Everett,2 as appears by a letter to Sumner just before leaving the country for his mission to China, where he died a year later, named Sumner without his knowledge to Mr. Buchanan, then Secretary of State, for the post of chief clerk in his department, which it was expected would soon be made that of assistant secretary of State. The circumstance shows Mr. Everett's appreciation of Sumner's character and attainments.

Sumner had friendly relations with Henry C. Carey,3 of Philadelphia, and in 1847 read the proofs of the latter's book, entitled

1 He was also in familiar relations at this time with S. P. Chase.

2 1792-1847.

3 1793-1879.

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