From time to time came letters from Mittermaier
concerning prison discipline, capital punishment, penal jurisprudence and administration, codification, and criminal procedure, all topics in which that publicist was deeply interested.
They showed that time had not weakened the interest he had taken in the young lawyer whom Story had commended to him. He was anxious to keep familiar with all American publications on these topics, and Sumner
faithfully supplied him with them.
, of Berlin
, was in full agreement with Sumner
's views of prison discipline, and wrote to him at length on the European
phases of the question.
received frequent letters of introduction from foreign friends; and rarely did an Englishman, well considered at home, come to Boston
without bringing one to him.1
These opportunities to talk over English society were very agreeable to him; and though it was not often convenient to entertain guests at his mother's house, he could show them Boston
, drive with them to the suburbs, and take them to Prescott
's and Longfellow
's. He had pleasant meetings in Boston
with other foreigners than Englishmen,—with Frederika Bremer
in the winter of 1849– 1850,2
with Edmond de Lafayette
, grandson of the General
, in August, 1850, and Jean J. Ampere
friend of Tocqueville
, in September, 1851, all of whom he took pleasure in escorting to places of interest.
In a letter written in April, 1848, Sumner
explained his early interest in certain reforms.
It was a reply to a correspondent, a well-known clergyman of Boston
who, while disclaiming his own belief in the justice of the imputation, stated that unfriendly critics had ascribed his connection with them to ambition for notoriety and place.
felt hurt at the undeserved reflection on his motives, and gave this account, in the nature of autobiography, of the way in which he was led to prominence in the discussion of those questions:—
It is with reluctance and hesitation that I allude to anything in my own personal history.
If in doing so I shall expose myself to the suggestion of