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July, 1833 AD (search for this): chapter 6
mner alone was with him when he died, his sole watcher for the night. Judge Story's funeral discourse on Professor Ashmun was printed in the American Jurist, July, 1833, Vol. X. pp. 40-52. An extract is copied in Story's Life and Letters, Vol. II. pp. 143-148. Sumner was the interesting friend referred to in the discourse. He but, in Milton's words again, he shall have his charter and freehold of rejoicing to him and his heirs. It was Sumner's purpose to leave the Law School in July, 1833, at the end of a two years course; but he yielded to the persuasions of Judge Story, who urged him to remain during the next term, which would close with the yeerwards grew into treatises. Willard Phillips—author of the treatise on The Law of Insurance—was the editor. Sumner's first contribution was to the number for July, 1833,—a notice of a lecture before King's College, London, by Professor J. J. Park, on Courts of Equity. Vol. X. pp. 227-237. The English professor died shortly a<
July 15th, 1833 AD (search for this): chapter 6
and searching reviews (strictly reviews, for it is not a talk round about and about its subject) that has ever appeared in our country. Preparations are making to receive General Jackson with the same college ceremonies with which Monroe was received,—namely, an address in English from the President, and a Latin address from the first scholar of the Senior Class,—Bowen. Professor Francis Bowen. Believe me your faithful friend, C. S. To Charlemagne Tower. Dane Law College, Monday, July 15, 1833. . . . If you want a book which will be a light law-book, and a most instructive work as to the government under which we live, which shall be entertaining and informing, written in a more brilliant and elementary, though less correct, style than Kent's Commentaries, read Judge Story's Commentaries on the Constitution. They make an invaluable work to every statesman and lawyer; in fact, to every citizen of views raised at all above the ephemeral politics with which we are annoye
July 28th, 1833 AD (search for this): chapter 6
ociety much, though I remember we always enjoyed his conversation, and that my mother foresaw a future for Charles Sumner. It was during his law-studies that Judge Story and my father recognized his uncommon abilities. On one of those memorable Sunday evenings, when the judge, seated by my mother, drew all present around them, he spoke of Sumner, and said: He has a wonderful memory; he keeps all his knowledge in order, and can put his hand on it in a moment. This is a great gift. On July 28, 1833, the new First Parish church was in progress; and the steeple, after being finished inside, was to be raised entire and placed on the tower. I give an extract from my journal: We sent Horace to ask Mr. Sumner, the law-student, to let us come over to the Law School and see the raising. In a few moments, mamma, Margaret, and myself were joined by Mr. Sumner, who escorted us not only to the Law School, but all over the building, even into his own room, as, being librarian, he lives there.
August 14th, 1833 AD (search for this): chapter 6
t had no exaggerated thoughts or expressions, but was full of simple thoughts expressed in the simplest language. Come on here at Commencement Day; and yet I know no reason why I should wish particularly to be here on that day. Unless Hopkinson or Stearns or you perform the master's part, I doubt whether I shall take the trouble to attend the fatiguing exercises, or take myself from my every-day duties. Faithfully yours, C. S. To John B. Kerr, Easton, Md. Dane Law College, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 1833. my dear Kerr,—I am thankful to you for the gratification afforded simply by the sight of that handwriting, of which I was wont to see so much when in the further entry of Holworthy, as it lay scattered over your tables loaded with books, or was thrown into the yard with forgotten things, in the shape of embryo theses or letters or parts. It was last evening that I took from the post-office your friendly favor; and I at once recognized the familiar strokes, as if my eyes had res
September 1st, 1833 AD (search for this): chapter 6
t characters and situations of our old associates. One wants the vantage-ground of Cambridge to see them all distinctly. . . . As to the degree of A. M.; few took the degree last year,—but thirteen, I believe. Few will take it this year; not that there is any combination against it, but there appears to be a pervading sense of its utter worthlessness. I have not yet heard of one who will take it. . . . Your true friend, Chas. Sumner. To Charlemagne Tower. Dane Law College, Sept. 1, 1833. my dear Tower,—This is the last night of Commencement Week, and college has assumed much of its wonted air. New Freshmen are seen in the streets, with new-bought articles of furniture and with youthful cheeks,— two strong signs of the first stage of college life. Our Law School has begun to fill with students. Already is gathered together, I believe, the largest collection of young men that ever met at one place in America for the study of the law. There are now upwards of fifty wh<
October, 1833 AD (search for this): chapter 6
hich is more favorable. He paid me a long visit, and we talked at the rate of nine knots an hour. He gave a curious account of a young man who has been studying Latin and Greek in a lighthouse, to prepare for college. The reason of his choosing a lighthouse is to save the expense of oil! We agreed that he deserved all success. Mamma returned from Dedham while Mr. Sumner was still here, and he staid and had a good long talk with her. His classmate, Rev. Dr. Emery, writes:— In Oct., 1833, I returned to Cambridge and became a resident graduate. I found Sumner in the Law School, pursuing his studies with great enthusiasm, and we were often in each other's rooms. He was the same scholarly person then as when in college, and he lived, as it were, in intimate converse with the learned of ancient and modern times. I have no doubt his mind was better stored with accurate and critical knowledge than that of any other student in the school. He occupied as librarian one of the f
October 20th, 1833 AD (search for this): chapter 6
ith his excessive application, and advised greater moderation in his studies. There was reason in their caution. It is possible to task the receptive capacity of the mind to the injury of its creative power; and Sumner, perhaps, gathered his knowledge too fast for the best intellectual discipline. His notes of the moot-court cases heard by the professors, in several of which he was counsel, Cases heard Oct. 22, Nov. 22, and Dec. 13, 1832; and Jan. 14, Feb. 18, June 5, July 5, and Oct. 20, 1833. are preserved. In Feb., 1833, he maintained (Wendell Phillips being of counsel on the other side) the negative of the question, whether a Scotch bond, assignable by the law of Scotland, can be sued by the assignee in his own name in our courts. He seems to have been dissatisfied with his argument, and wrote to Browne, stating his hesitation in public speaking, and his difficulty in selecting fit language for his thoughts. Browne replied, saying that he had overstated the difficulty,
December, 1833 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 <
though very slightly, with Fanny Kemble, as we boys used to call her. He was, as much as any of us, infatuated by her acting; and I remember his one day stopping me in the street, and drawing me out of the thoroughfare, and saying, Come, Russell, tell me something about Fanny Kemble, with all the interest of a lover. His personal kindness never ceased while I remained at Cambridge, and he helped me on one occasion when I needed a friend, with the tenderness of a girl. When I left, in 1834, to no one of the friends whom I had gained there was I more attached. A lady, then a fiancee of one of his most intimate classmates, writes:— As a young law-student, I remember very well the first impression he made upon me of a certain dignity and strength, which supplied the want of grace, and which was as perceptible in his conversation as in his person. You would have said then that he was a man of ideas, and that the ideas of other people would never be trammels, only steps,
January, 1834 AD (search for this): chapter 6
fair maturity of life. During the summer and autumn of 1833, while serving as librarian, Sumner prepared a catalogue of the library of the Law School. His work, for which he was voted one hundred and fifty dollars by the corporation, was carefully done and much approved at the time. It contains, besides the list of books, an interesting sketch of the growth of the library, and of the gifts of the second Thomas Hollis, of Lincoln's Inn, which was republished in the American Jurist. Jan., 1834, Vol. XII. pp. 263-268. In 1833, he contributed two articles to the American Monthly Review: April and May. one, a review of the impeachment trials before the Senate of the United States, and particularly that of Judge Peck; and the other, a notice of an edition of Blackstone's Commentaries, with special reference to the notes of Christian and Chitty. Browne wrote to him in relation to the former article:— It is learned without a show of learning. To have been able to acco
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