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and was in the habit of testing the knowledge of his favorite pupils by close scrutiny and criticism. This was a healthy discipline for one of Sumner's tastes and habits of study, and he profited much by it. Professor Ashmun was succeeded, in July, by Simon Greenleaf, 1783-1853; practised law in Maine, 1806-1833; professor at Cambridge, 1833-1848. the author of the treatise on The Law of Evidence; the vacancy being filled during the intervening period by James C. Alvord, of Greenfield, ane dread his ultima dies. Most persons, I believe, have a vague fear of racking pains and torments that attend dissolution; but these are creatures of the brain. A successor has been appointed to Mr. Ashmun, who will commence his duties here in July, or next September. You have seen him announced in the papers,—Mr. Greenleaf, of Maine; a fine man, learned lawyer, good scholar, ardent student, of high professional character, taking a great interest in his profession: add to this, a gentleman,
. 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 Saturdays bringing weekly respites from drudgery, allowing a momentary stop in the path of duty. All is labor. It mattereth not the day or hardly the hour, for duty is urgent all days and all hours. What, then, could bring up more pleasing recollections, and yet tinged with melancholy (because they are never more to be seen, except in memory's mirror) than a letter from one who was present and active in those scenes to which the mind recurs? I sometimes let a whole hour slip by unconsciously, my
February, 1850 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 <
the definitions and incidents of Estates, 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, he read widely in French law. Sumner's memory was not less extraordinary than his industry. Students applied to him for guidance in their investigations, and even lawyers in practice sought, in a few instances at least, his aid in the preparation of briefs. While his friends admired his zeal and enthusiasm, they were not altogether pleased with his excessive application, and advised greater moderation in his studies. There was reason in their caut
scipline. 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 on. I much doubt whether I shall touch either subject. Fifty dollars is an inducement,—great to me; for I just begin seriously to feel the value of money. Last January I was twenty-one. New feelings have been opened to me since I arrived at that age. I feel that I ought to be doing something for myself, and not to live an expen did its argument appear to him, that he has introduced it into a note to his work on the Constitution, in three volumes; which will be published by the middle of January. Story on the Constitution, Vol. I. Appendix. To change the tone, I hope you have not given up the idea of studying law. I believe that you will be happie
March 6th (search for this): chapter 6
ines, excluding only that of spirituous liquors, and was binding only during the signer's connection with the college. The meeting for organization was held in a room in University Hall, which was used for commons. The first meeting was held March 6, and the officers were chosen March 14. Mercantile Journal, March 16, 1833. Sumner was chosen President; Abiel A. Livermore, of the Divinity School, Vice-President; and Samuel Osgood, of the Divinity School, Secretary. Among the members of the my dear friend,—I am grateful to you for the regard you have expressed for my sister. She is now beyond the show of my affection and regard. I will then transfer them, for her sake, to those who speak and think well of her. Matilda died on March 6. You were the last of my friends who saw her. If I remember, when you were last at my father's, you sat for a while in her chamber. She gradually became weaker and weaker, sinking by degrees, imperceptible except in their aggregate; always co
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<
July 29th, 1832 AD (search for this): chapter 6
oken to you of me such flattering words, as should imply that I was hurting my health with study? Contra, I reprove myself for lack of study. I am well-determined, though, that, if health is continued to me, lack of study shall not be laid to my charge. Study is the talisman. Carter is trying to start a school in Boston. Browne is well. He does not love the law. He is a keen, direct, and close debater. From your true friend, Chas. Sumner. To Charlemagne Tower. Boston, Sunday, July 29, 1832. my dear friend,—This is vacation,—if such time there can be to one who has doubled his twenty-first year, and is moderately aware of the duties of manhood,—and I am at home. I have not stirred within sight of the Boston boundary-line since I came into town, and probably shall not cross it during the whole six weeks, except perhaps to make a pilgrimage to Cambridge. I am grateful to you for your kind invitation to visit you and see your doings. The gratification of friendship a<
March 14th (search for this): chapter 6
ety was formed in the college, which included members of the professional schools, as well as undergraduates. It was a period of special interest in this reform. The pledge of this society admitted the use of wines, excluding only that of spirituous liquors, and was binding only during the signer's connection with the college. The meeting for organization was held in a room in University Hall, which was used for commons. The first meeting was held March 6, and the officers were chosen March 14. Mercantile Journal, March 16, 1833. Sumner was chosen President; Abiel A. Livermore, of the Divinity School, Vice-President; and Samuel Osgood, of the Divinity School, Secretary. Among the members of the Executive Committee were Barzillai Frost, of the Divinity School, and Richard H. Dana, Jr., of the Sophomore Class. Public meetings were held in the City Hall, or one of the churches; at one of which Rev. John G. Palfrey delivered an impressive address, still well remembered for its effe
March 15th (search for this): chapter 6
nt's Commentaries at a later period, post,p.120. When you write, tell me all the law you have read. I wish to compare reckonings with you occasionally, as we are voyaging on the same sea. This is written in the vexation of a cough, By your true friend, Chas. Sumner. To Charlemagne Tower. Cambridge, Friday Morning, May 11, 1832. my dear friend,—The moment I saw the black seal of your letter my mind anticipated the sorrowful intelligence it bore. Tower's father had died, March 15, at St. Augustine. Permit me to join with you in grief. I offer you my sincere sympathies. The loss of a father I can only imagine: may God put far distant the day when that affliction shall come over me! You have been a faithful son; and, I know, a joy to his eyes. I reverence the spirit with which you have sacrificed all your professional and literary predilections. You did that for your father's sake; and the thought that you did it on his account must be to you a spring of satisfac
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