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September, 1831 AD (search for this): chapter 6
Chapter 6: Law School.—September, 1831, to December, 1833.—Age, 20-22. Sumner joined the Law School of Harvard University, Sept. 1, 1831. Sumner was the author of two sketches of the Law School,—one, an article in the American Jurist, Jan., 1835. Vol. XIII. pp. 107-130; and the other, A Report of the Committee of Overseers, Feb., 1850. Works, Vol. II. pp. 377-392. Another history of the school, by Professor Emory Washburn, may be found in The Harvard Book, Vol. I. pp. 223-231. Thises, as laid down by Blackstone. The list of books read by him at the school, as noted in his commonplace-books, is remarkable for its wide range, and begins with this memorandum and extract from Coke's First Institute: Law reading commenced Sept., 1831, at Cambridge. Holding this for an undoubted verity, that there is no knowledge, case, or point in law, seeme it of never so little account, but will stand our student in stead at one time or other. 1 Inst. 9. Besides his common-law studies<
September 1st, 1831 AD (search for this): chapter 6
Chapter 6: Law School.—September, 1831, to December, 1833.—Age, 20-22. Sumner joined the Law School of Harvard University, Sept. 1, 1831. Sumner was the author of two sketches of the Law School,—one, an article in the American Jurist, Jan., 1835. Vol. XIII. pp. 107-130; and the other, A Report of the Committee of Overseers, Feb., 1850. Works, Vol. II. pp. 377-392. Another history of the school, by Professor Emory Washburn, may be found in The Harvard Book, Vol. I. pp. 223-231. This school grew out of the Royall Professorship of Law, which was established in 1815. It was organized as a distinct department two years later; but its vigorous life began in 1829, with the appointment of Judge Story and John H. Ashmun as professors. The character of Story as jurist and teacher, his immense learning, copious speech, great enthusiasm, and kindly interest in students have been often commemorated. Judge Story's method as a teacher is described in his Life and Letters, edited by<
September 19th, 1831 AD (search for this): chapter 6
n among the details of office-business or the hand-to-hand contests of the court-room. Contemporaneous letters, written chiefly by his classmates, show his habits at this time, and the expectations entertained as to his future. His father wrote to him, April 4, 1832, Charles, while you study law, be not too discursive. Study your prescribed course well. That is enough to make you a lawyer. You may bewilder your mind by taking too wide a range. Stearns, in a similar tone, wrote, Sept. 19, 1831, You were cut out for a lawyer. . . . I cannot altogether applaud your resolution to include so much in your system of study for the coming year. Law, classics, history, and literature is certainly too wide a range for any common mind to spread over at one time. Better follow Captain Bobadil's example; take them man by man, and kill them all up by computation. Hopkinson, Jan. 6, 1832, calls him the indefatigable, ever-delving student, and amorous votary of antiquity; and refers, May
September 25th, 1831 AD (search for this): chapter 6
joys. The student who feels that he is making daily progress, constantly learning something new,—who sees the shadows by which he was originally surrounded gradually exchanged for an atmosphere of light,—cannot fail to be happy. His toil becomes a delight, and all that he learns is a treasure,—with this difference from gold and silver, that it cannot be lost. It is a perpetual capital at compound interest. Letters to classmates. To Jonathan F. Stearns, Bedford, Mass. Sunday, Sept. 25, 1831. Div. 10. To Cambridge, Stearns, not knowing where Sumner was, wrote, Sept. 18, Where art thou? At Cambridge, I presume.—your missile hit the mark; though, from its early date and late coming, one would think that the post-office powder was not of the best proof. To Cambridge,--yes; it has come to me here–Law School. Yester afternoon presented me with it, as I looked in at the office on my return from sweet Auburn, where Judge Story had been, in Nature's temple, set aroun
September 29th, 1831 AD (search for this): chapter 6
dZZZlassement, says Chancellor D'Aguesseau, one of the greatest lawyers France ever saw. And now have I blackened enough paper? Have you read to this spot? If you have, you are a well-doing servant, and shalt surely have your reward. But pray visit upon these sheets the heretic's fate,—fire, fire, fire. And now I stop. Dabit deus his quoque finem. Virgil, Aeneid I. 199. Your true friend, C. S. To Charlemagne Tower, Waterville, N. Y. Law School, Divinity Hall, No. 10, Sept. 29, 1831. A new curtain has arisen. I am treading another scene of life. I behold new objects of study, and am presented with new sources of reflection. I have left Boston and the profitless thoughts which its streets, its inhabitants, its politics, and its newspapers ever excite. I find myself again in loved Cambridge, where are sociability and retirement, and where those frittering cares and thoughts which every city inflicts upon its unlucky sojourners do not intrude. I feel differentl
October 28th, 1831 AD (search for this): chapter 6
ss. He was, more than before, the master of his material. There was not as yet the glow, the earnestness, or the moral inspiration which were afterwards the peculiar traits of his writings; these were reserved for a period when his life was to be among events rather than among books. His freedom of thought, and his sympathy with new ideas and reforms, checked probably in some measure by his association with conservative teachers, appear thus early warm and active. Hopkinson wrote, Oct. 28, 1831, taking him to task for assuming positions because of their novelty, and for depreciating authority and prescription. His intellect lacked subtlety; it was generally repelled by abstruse and technical questions, and, led by Story's example, sought the more congenial domains of international and commercial law. Some of his surviving fellow-students recall that he was not thought to have what is called a legal mind; though Story and Greenleaf, each of whom counted on him as colleague or su
for several years in Hallowell, Me., and removed, in 1854, to Boston, where he is still one of the leaders of the bar. who entered Sumner's class in the spring of 1832, and whose acquaintance he then made; and with his classmate Hopkinson, who joined the school in the autumn of that year. Among other friends in the Law School even his books. Miss Frances A. Kemble, the daughter of Charles Kemble, the English actor, and the niece of Mrs. Siddons, came with her father to this country in 1832, three years after her debut at Covent Garden in the character of Juliet. She was then but twenty-one years old; and her youth added to the fascination of her bri, were preparing him for the lofty stand he attained in after life. Professor William C. Russell, of Cornell University, who saw much of Sumner at Cambridge in 1832-33, writes: — He was a tall, thin, bent, ungainly law-student; his eyes were inflamed by late reading, and his complexion showed that he was careless of ex
January 6th, 1832 AD (search for this): chapter 6
awyer. You may bewilder your mind by taking too wide a range. Stearns, in a similar tone, wrote, Sept. 19, 1831, You were cut out for a lawyer. . . . I cannot altogether applaud your resolution to include so much in your system of study for the coming year. Law, classics, history, and literature is certainly too wide a range for any common mind to spread over at one time. Better follow Captain Bobadil's example; take them man by man, and kill them all up by computation. Hopkinson, Jan. 6, 1832, calls him the indefatigable, ever-delving student, and amorous votary of antiquity; and refers, May 12, to the study and diligence for which the world gives you credit. Browne wrote from Cambridge to Stearns, May 6, 1832:— We, in Cambridge here, are studying law at a trot, or rather I should say, reciting it. Some study hard,—among them your good friend Charles, hater of mathematics; but as to your other friend [himself], he studies the books but little. Sumner will be a vast r
January 31st, 1832 AD (search for this): chapter 6
rs that I know nothing of,—not even my neighbor, parted from me by a partition-wall, have I seen yet; and I do not wish to see him. I wish no acquaintances, for they eat up time like locusts. The old classmates are enough. . . . I admire that filial piety which would make you give up formed plans and professional studies for cares with which your mind has little sympathy. It will result in good. Your friend in truth, Charles Sumner. To Charlemagne Tower. Cambridge, Law School, Jan. 31, 1832. my dear friend,—I never receive a letter from one of my old college friends without experiencing a most pleasing melancholy. Memory is always at hand, with her throng of recollections and associations, the shadows of past joys,—joys gone as irrevocably as time. Youth and college feelings have given way to manhood and its sterner avocations. The course is fairly commenced in the race of life, and every intellectual and corporal agency is bent to exertion. There are now no Saturday<
April 4th, 1832 AD (search for this): chapter 6
magazine, then and later, show that he preferred to write upon the literature of the law rather than upon the law itself. One with his qualities of mind would be more likely to find his place in the profession as author or teacher, than among the details of office-business or the hand-to-hand contests of the court-room. Contemporaneous letters, written chiefly by his classmates, show his habits at this time, and the expectations entertained as to his future. His father wrote to him, April 4, 1832, Charles, while you study law, be not too discursive. Study your prescribed course well. That is enough to make you a lawyer. You may bewilder your mind by taking too wide a range. Stearns, in a similar tone, wrote, Sept. 19, 1831, You were cut out for a lawyer. . . . I cannot altogether applaud your resolution to include so much in your system of study for the coming year. Law, classics, history, and literature is certainly too wide a range for any common mind to spread over at o
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